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Megans Cookin: Chocolate Caramel Bars

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Bars

Two weeks till Christmas folks! All the houses in the neighborhood are decorated and every weekend there seems to be more parties and festivities to attend. I wish I could bottle the spirit of the season and pull it out when I need a little holiday cheer throughout the year.

I might not be able to bottle the holiday cheer, but these bars  could cheer me up in a hurry!

Chocolate Caramel Bars

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A brown sugar shortbread topped with a chocolate caramel that is sprinkled with a course sea salt. If that doesn't spell “special” to you then I don't know what will.  :)

This cookie bar is the 11 cookie in my….


12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies


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It was also my turn to pick the Martha Monday project hosted by Brette from Martha and Me so I picked this bar from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.mondays

I must admit, I had a bit of difficulty with this bar. I doubled the recipe and had no problem with the crust. But twice, not once, but twice, I made the caramel and it screwed up. (Notice how I said “IT” screwed up, not me!)

I boiled the sugar and water just like the directions said but I ended up with a giant hard sugar crystal cube. I didn’t stir it at all during the boiling process because that would cause sugar crystals but I still ended up with them. I don't know if it was because I doubled the recipe or what, but I’m on a mission to play with more caramel this weekend and find out what went wrong.

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The third time I tried the caramel, I added a 1/2 cup of corn syrup to the sugar and water. I should have let it boil a little longer and become more amber in color but I was a bit flustered. That neurotic behavior left me with a caramel that didn’t quite set. It was more like a chocolate ganache then a caramel. Not that I’m complaining mind you. It was a delicious disaster.

OK, it wasn’t really a disaster but you see, these cookie bars were suppose to get mailed to one of my cookie baking buddies. And you want to know the worst part? I’m the last baking buddy to mail her package.

I’m a slacker. There I said it!

And I cant send her these bars because they would not hold up in the mail. (sigh)

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Speaking of sending cookies, I got my package from April of Abby Sweets. April was my very first blogging friend that I ever met and we hit it off at the very beginning.

What did she send me you want to know? She sent me Lemon Cake Cookies, Orange Vanilla Shortbread, and Sugar Glazed Almonds.

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She also sent me some Scripture Tea and some mini Christmas Loaf pans. I had myself a very merry tea party!

Thank You April!

Your the best and I appreciate you more then words can say!

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I’m sending my delicious disaster bars to Susan at Food Blogga. She is hosting the 3rd annual *Eat Christmas Cookies* event. You can check out her site for all the details. And be sure to check out the virtual cookie jar for Christmas Cookies from all over the world.


I’m also ending these to Michael of Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. Check out what everyone is making over there.

And be sure to check out my Cookie Baking Buddies!


Chocolate Caramel Bars

(Printable Recipe)


Makes 16

  • 4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for parchment
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 10 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt, and beat until just combined.
  2. Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
  3. Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and table salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture over crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Trim edges, and cut into 16 bars. Bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

From Martha Stewart Living, November 2009 |

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Blogger April said...

I am so glad that it made it to you in one piece!! These bars look so good, probably gonna have to make them!!

December 11, 2009 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

These look delicious!! And April sent you the mother load!!!! I've been lucky enough to be paired with April on a few exchanges, she rocks!

December 11, 2009 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Disaster or not they look fabulous! And those goodies you got in the mail look awesome too!

December 11, 2009 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Love your bars!! You have the greatest treats!

December 11, 2009 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I'll bet these taste fabulous. Had you not told us of your problem, I never would have noticed. Have a great Foodie Friday.

December 11, 2009 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger 5 Star Foodie said...

These bars with chocolate and caramel are outstanding! Perfect sweet treats!

December 11, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger The Double Dipped Life said...

These look divine! I agree, caramel is a difficult thing to make!

December 11, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Michael Lee West said...

Oh, my goodness! These look divine!

December 11, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

This looks like a delicious shortbread bar. I like the coarse sea salts on top. Gotta love that sweet and salty combination : )

December 11, 2009 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

Your bars don't look like a disaster, they look delicious!

December 11, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

You prevailed over the caramel! These look scrumptious! And like they might taste a little bit like a Twix bar. But better. Being home-made.

December 11, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Nutmeg Nanny said...

The little sprinkle of salt makes me drool! I can just imagine how great this taste....yum!

December 11, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I absolutely agree these look wonderful. I don't have a cooking blog so please forgive my hubris, but I remember hearing candy recipes don't double well (the topping would qualify). You might want to try the single recipe to see if that helps.

December 11, 2009 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger A Gracious Home said...

You cookies are so pretty. I will try them for our Christmas party. Thank you for sharing, Doylene

December 12, 2009 at 6:10 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Yummy! Nice that the chocolate is an thick as the cookie!

December 12, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Nicole M., MS, RD, LD said...

Those ALL look incredible, but I think anything with chocolate AND peanut butter gets the highest thumbs up in my book! Look forward to reading more!

December 12, 2009 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Nicole M., MS, RD, LD said...

*Chocolate AND Caramel.

I haven't had my morning coffee yet, apologies! : )

December 12, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Those look amazing. I love the salt on top, looks so wintery. Too bad about the caramel tries. Good for you for sticking with it!

December 12, 2009 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

They look yummy! How fun to do a cookie swap!

December 12, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

If you hadn't told me that these bars were a "disaster" I would have thought they were perfect; I still do, as a matter of fact! How fun to do a cookie swap!

December 12, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Amy J in SC said...

These don't look like a disaster at all - yum!

December 13, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Duchess of Tea said...

Hello darling and thank you for visiting my cottage and for leaving kind words behind, much appreciated. You have a delicious blog full of interesting posts and lovely photos and a new follower…me. Please stop by and visit me again, I am looking forward to our future afternoon tea get-togethers.

Love & Hugs

December 13, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Patsyk said...

Those bars look so hard to resist... too bad you couldn't share them w/your baking buddy!

December 14, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

These look SOOO good!

December 14, 2009 at 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Yum... the chocolate caramel bars look amazing! I think I need to start working on next year's baking list. There are too many tasty treats to make before New Years!

December 14, 2009 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Megan! Sorry for the delayed response. I just found your entry in my spam box. Ugh. I LOVE these. And we don't have much in the way of caramel cookies so far, so these will really stand out! Thanks again and happy baking!

December 15, 2009 at 6:15 AM  
Anonymous Mimi said...

Your bars sure don't look like a disaster, they look yummy!

December 15, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

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