Friday, January 27, 2017

Sweet and Salty Caramel Bars

My husband has recently been wanting me to bake chocolate chip cookies, his favorite. I don’t often make them, since chocolate chip cookies are not the most exciting things to post on the blog. I do look for recipes that might in some way be reminiscent of chocolate chip cookies. These bars caught my eye. They contain several types of chocolate chips. And they contain caramel, which is always a hit at work.

These aren’t really cookies; they are more like a candy bar. They don’t contain flour, just crushed up pretzels for the base. They also don’t contain eggs. Different for me, but they are still cookie-like, so they will work! They really do contain a lot of ingredients: pretzels, lots of butter, 3 types of chocolate chips, toffee bits, caramel. So many good things!

You do need to prep as you proceed through the recipe. Make sure you have the chips and the peanuts measured out in advance, because as soon as the caramel is ready you need to move quickly. I baked these and then let them cool overnight. I was concerned that the base wouldn’t hold up, as it was very soft when I took it out of the oven. It did firm up, although the base is quite crumbly. These taste a little like a Baby Ruth candy bar, caramel and peanuts with some chocolate. Whether these are cookies or not is up to debate, but they are tasty no matter what.

Sweet and Salty Caramel Bars
3 cups crushed pretzels
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter, melted

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup almond toffee bits
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
11 ounces caramel bits
2 cups salted peanuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a separate bowl, combine the semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and peanut butter chips and the toffee bits; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is dissolved. Add the caramel bits, and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir the peanuts into the caramel. Spread on top of the pretzel crust.

Sprinkle the chocolate chip mixture on top of the caramel.

Bake for minutes, until the edges are bubbly. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack.

Lift the bars from the pan and peel away the foil. Cut into bars.

Recipe from Suzie Sweet Tooth

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