Sunday, August 14, 2011
Sweet Sundays: Creamy Caramel Bars
What a wonderful weekend. Each day was sweeter than the last. Friday was Gabriel’s sixth birthday. How the years have flown by. He is my youngest. The one that still snuggles with his mother. Saturday was his big birthday party and we had all of our family and friends to over the celebrate. It poured buckets and buckets of rain, but that made it that much more fun and more cozy. Today was spent with some family that I don’t get to see as much as I would like. I miss them all very much and when we get together we always say “We can’t go this long” or “Look how big he has gotten since Christmas!” But schedules change and life gets in the way. Luckily Facebook has been there to fill in the gaps when time has lapsed.
Salt and caramel. Could there be a better match made in heaven. I know all of you chocolate and peanut butter lovers are yelling at me right now. I admit it chocolate and peanut butter are right up there with the best combinations, but sometimes you need something a little different. Enter salt and caramel. I fell so in love with this flavor amalgamation when Starbucks created the Salted Caramel latte. YUMMM. I soon started to try and recreate them at work and at home, adding a little bit of kosher salt to my drinks. Shoot, now I really want one.
This Sunday’s recipe comes from 1001 cupcakes, cookies and other tempting treats. There are so many great recipes in this cookbook. The recipes are not complicated, and you don’t need fifty ingredients to make something great. Just a few extra special ones to make you recipe magnificent. I love sweetened condensed milk and I have used in it a billion recipes, but I have never made caramel out of it. What a cinch! All you have to do is stir it in the pan over a low heat for a few minutes and SHAZZAM you have caramel. These bars turn into a oozy, gooey caramel lovers dream and with just a pinch of salt, a salted caramel lovers dream.
Creamy Caramel Bars
For the crust:
5 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine plus a little extra to grease the pan.
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
For the filling:
3/4 cup butter
heaping 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup or can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
For the top:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8-inch square pan.
2. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the flour and the oats, then use your fingertips to bring the mixture together. If necessary, press the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan.
4 Bake in the over for 25 minutes, or until just golden and firm. Let cool in the pan.
5. To make the caramel filling, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently.
6. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
7. Bring slowly to a boil over low heat and boil for 3-4 minutes, while continuously stirring.
8. Pour caramel over oat crust and let set up.
9. Once the caramel is set, sprinkle caramel with the teaspoon salt (if using)
10, Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Spread with a knife over caramel.
11. You can refrigerate these until the chocolate hardens. The caramel will stay gooey. I found it best to take flip the dessert out the pan and slice it on a plate.