Monday, August 27, 2012

Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

Perfect Pairing: Quality sea salt

I am going to keep this short and sweet. 
These cookie bars are as good and gooey as they look.  How can you go wrong? 

 Cookies + Caramel + Sea Salt = Winner

 Who was the genius that started adding sea salt to dessert? 

The Perfect Pairing for these delights is quality sea salt.  It seems weird, but good sea salt is not very salty, not like table salt.  Sea salt actually comes from evaporated seawater and is minimally processed, so the flavor is natural and subtle.  Table salt, or iodized salt, is more intense and can taste like chemicals.  You don’t want Chemical Caramel Cookie Bars, do you?

Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
Adapted by Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing from Two Peas and their Pod

·         4 ¼ cups flour
·         1 tsp salt
·         1 tsp baking soda
·         20 Tb unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
·         2 cups brown sugar
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         2 eggs
·         2 egg yolks
·         4 tsp vanilla
·         3 cups chocolate chips
·         14 oz. caramel candy squares, unwrapped
·         4 Tb heavy cream
·         Sea salt, for sprinkling over bars
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.   Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda using a whisk.
Using a mixer, combine the melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until evenly combined.  Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in small batches, on a low speed, until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
Add the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream to a large microwave-safe bowl.  Heat on high until the candy is melted, stirring every 20 seconds.  This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the greased 9x13 pan.  Pour the hot caramel over the dough.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Top the caramel with the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls, until evenly covered.  Sprinkle with additional sea salt.
Bake the bars in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan.  Allow to cool before cutting and serving. 

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