Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars

The Best of Martha Stewart Living Holiday Handbook. Holiday magic at its finest. I don’t want to admit how many specialty cookie magazine and holiday books that I have because I clearly have an addiction. But let’s just say, it is a lot. But not enough that if I see more of these magazines in grocery store checkouts, I will not be able to say no.

After flipping through the pages of the magazine, I could not get the Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars out of my mind.

So not my most appetizing-looking dessert. I had a few issues.

1. The recipe calls for a 9″x9″ pan and I used an 8″x8″ . This resulted in a really thick layer of the chocolate caramel; which isn’t a bad thing. Just an overwhelming thing.

2. I didn’t line this pan well enough. The recipe called for lining it with parchment paper but having overhang and I don’t think I buttered it well enough. The chocolate caramel stuck to the sides really badly so I had to cut away the sides. And cutting these into squares was a difficult task. Lots of gooey spreading.

3. When making the caramel, the recipe didn’t require that you use a candy thermometer which I think it would have worked out better if I had used one. By using one, you can better gadge when the caramel is ready and will actually harden (slightly) as opposed to being super stringy and chewy.

4. Making the caramel was just a complete disaster – I have made caramel before and it was perfect but this time it didn’t work out so much. After I had dissolved the sugar in the water, I was stirring the pan too much and the sugar began to clump. Luckily, on the second try, everything turned out better.

5. Topped off with salted caramel. Yum! I want to try this again but this time, no answering my phone and getting distracted, and using the pan the recipe actually calls for.

But this is my first holiday baking! 40 more days until Christmas!

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