Every year I team up with OXO For Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. I do this because every little thing helps and me making this blog post, $100 dollars is donated to For Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Well this year the campaign is a little different. This year OXO also teamed up with Dorie Greenspan; cookbook author and chef. For today’s recipe I am making one of Dorie’s recipes in her new cookbook that will be coming out in October called Dorie’s Cookies. Today’s recipe will blow your mind and if you’re a caramel lover, this recipe is for you. I have for you, Dorie’s Salted Caramel Bars. O.M.G. Need I say more?
These bars are outrageous! I have never made a bar like this, not ever had one and all I can say is that they are sweet decadence. Dorie described them best, she said “This is the kind of cookie that makes you think you should stop everything, throw over your regular life and open a fancy pastry shop just so you can have a legit excuse to bake — and eat — these every day. The base is a simple chocolate shortbread, one with just enough sugar and salt to make it delicious but not obtrusive. It’s a cookie that knows that its place is to give the voluptuous star, the caramel, a foundation on which to flaunt its assets, among them its characteristic smooth, slow-melting texture; its deep flavor, which blends burnt sugar, dark chocolate and a hint of salt; and its looks, all sleek sophistication even while it’s enticing you to grab it like a greedy kid. The bars are topped with toasted pecans, there for flavor and to add a bit of crunch to the lithesome caramel.”
The bars are pretty easy to make too. I whipped the cream, butter and sugar first. I used my new Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer It was a breeze to use and quite, plus it has a cool light, which helps in my not so bright kitchen. The light to guide you, OXO On Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer includes intuitive digital controls to steadily increase or decrease speed. When you’re finished, the on-board beater clip, wrap-and-secure cord, and flat, stable base allow for compact, upright storage.
I added flour and cocoa powder and mixed until the dough comes together. Give it time to come together. I honestly wasn’t sure because you don’t add and egg in it. But it worked.
The dough looks a little clumpy, but trust me, this is what you want. Here is the dough after I mixed it.
I used Glass 2 Qt Baking Dish with Lid which is made from BPA-free borosilicate glass, OXO Good Grips Glass Bakeware can withstand extreme temperature changes. Plus it has generous handles and sloshproof lids make moving full dishes easier, and the clean, elegant design means you can take them from the oven directly to the family table. Just be sure not to forget to butter your pan. I used my fingertips to press the dough into the baking dish.
While my shortbread was cooling, I went grocery shopping. When I came back I made the most delicious caramel sauce to pour over the chocolate shortbread. The caramel sauce is easy to make, and once it came together, I added bittersweet chocolate to it, so good. Oh and I added toasted pecans to. the pecans adds a nice touch and breaks up the sweetness of the caramel. Here are the bars cooling.
The hardest part was waiting for them to cool. The caramel is really soft, so once it came to room temperature, I put my lid on my baking dish and put it in the refrigerator to cool further. I took it out and cut it into bars. The smaller the better. The recipe says to cut into 21 bars, I cut them into 26.
After cutting them, they were to hard to place bake into the 2 qt. baking dish, so I placed them in my Glass 3 Qt Baking Dish with Lid The size is about 9 x 13. I placed my lid on the container and will keep them stored in the refrigerator.
To serve my bars, I used my Brownie Spatula makes it easy to take out of the pan.
- FOR THE SHORTBREAD BASE
- 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams)
- unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at
- room temperature
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- FOR THE CARAMEL TOPPING
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream, at room
- temperature (or slightly warmed in a
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce; 28 grams) unsalted
- butter, cut into 3 pieces and very soft
- ¼ teaspoon fleur de sel or a good-size
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet chocolate,
- finely chopped
- About ½ cup (60 grams) pecans, toasted
- and coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Butter or spray with cooking spray, an 8 inch square pan. I used my OXO 2 quart baking dish square.
- In a small bow; add flour and cocoa powder; mix until combined; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and salt until creamy; about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and beat together on low spread; until mixture comes together; about 2 minutes.
- Place dough in prepared baking dish and with your fingertips, pat dough down evenly over the bottom of the pan. Press down to make sure to get the dough in the corners of the pan.
- Bake in oven for 21 - 23 minutes, rotating pan half way through. The shortbread is done when the sides just start to pull away. Take out of oven and let cool completely.
- Once shortbread is cooled, it is time to make the caramel topping.
- Put a small bowl of cold water with a silicone pastry brush. This is used to brush down the sides of your pan.
- In a medium size pot; add sugar, water and light corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow ingredients to bubble away; brushing down the sides of the pan with cold water. Swirl the pan a couple of times to start seeing some color, until the caramel turns a pale to medium amber color; about 7 minutes.
- Lower the heat and add heavy cream, butter and salt. the caramel may start to roll. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate. With a wooden spoon or silicone spatula; stir to blend chocolate.
- Pour hot caramel over shortbread and sprinkle with pecans. Allow to set at room temperature.
- When the caramel is firm, run a table knife around the sides of the pan, carefully unmold the cookie onto a rack and turn it over onto a cutting board. Using a long thin knife, cut 21 bars (cut into 3 strips and then cut each strip into 7 bars).
- Alternatively, leave the cookie whole and cut individual bars as needed.
Note: I recommend lining your baking dish with parchment paper with about 2" hanging over the sides. this will make it easier to pull the bars out when they are cooled.
These bars would be amazing to serve around the holiday time. They are such a wonderful treat and I can’t wait to share it with friends and family.
To get more information on #OXO Bake a Difference Campaign you can check out the following links below.
Twitter: @OXO / @Cookies4Kids
Instagram: @OXO / @Cookies4Kids
Facebook: facebook.com/OXO / facebook.com/CookiesForKidsCancer
Pinterest: pinterest.com/OXO / pinterest.com/Cookies4Kids
Have a great day!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
ohmygoooodness these bars look AHHHMAZING!
Platt College says
These look yummy. Time to break my diet.
Looks like the chocolate version of my salted caramel shortbread bites.. is the OXO 2 quart a 8×8 or 9×9? Did you use Dutch processed or naturally unsweetened cocoa?
I would cut them into bites and put into gold candy cups. Thanks for posting the recipe, will have to try it.
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says
Hi Linda, You can use an 8 x 8 baking pan. That will be the perfect fit. For the dutch chocolate I used unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s brand). Love the idea of having them in little gold cups. Little bites go a long way with these shortbread cookies. Enjoy them! They are really easy to make. They will satisfy any chocolate and caramel craving you have.
Diane bloffredo says
Can these be frozen, and if so can they be frozen before cutting?
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says
Hi Diane! I froze them and left them out at room temperature to soften up. I cut them first then froze them. It’s easier that way.