Friday, January 14, 2011
Praline Caramel Bars
I’m not usually one to deviate very much from a recipe; that’s why I am a baker rather than a cook. Once I find a recipe I stick with it. I think with cooking you have to have the confidence that the things you put together will work out. I don’t have great confidence in putting savory ingredients together, but I know if I follow a baking recipe it will usually work out. This recipe, however, it quite different from the original, and it worked out very well.
This recipe started out as peanut brittle bars. I think the “brittle” comes from the thinness of the bars, and that’s the same, but I mixed up the remaining ingredients. My husband had picked up a jar of Jamaican Praline Caramel Sauce with Rum ages ago. (The amazing things you find at Whole Foods!) I’ve been looking for a way to use that in a recipe, and this was it. I figured it was pretty close to caramel ice cream topping. While pralines can be made with any nut, I think of pecans, so I substituted toasted pecans for the peanuts. I also added an egg yolk to the crust so that it would hold together better.
I loved the Praline Caramel Sauce. I probably should have just eaten it straight from the jar since it smelled so good! I think if I would change anything, I might use a second jar of Praline Caramel Sauce as that really made the recipe. I don’t think there was quite enough caramel to completely cover the bars. It was really fun finding an interesting ingredient in the store and finding a way to use it in a recipe. (And I got to use the jelly roll pan I got recently as a gift!)
2 cups flour
½ cup brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups chopped toasted pecans
1 jar Praline Caramel Sauce (or 12 oz. jar caramel ice cream topping)
2 tablespoons flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10” x 15” jelly roll pan with foil. Grease the foil and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the 2 cups flour and brown sugar; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together somewhat. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans over the hot crust. In a small bowl, combine the Praline Caramel Sauce and the flour, stir to combine. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the bars. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, until the caramel is bubbly. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use the foil to lift the bars from the pan, peel the foil away and cut into bars.
Recipe adapted from Ultimate Cookies & Bars