Friday, April 15, 2011

Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Squares

Sometimes it feels like I am writing a baking blog as so many of my recent recipes have been for sweets.  Ever since I was a kid I have had a wicked sweet tooth.  This is a great recipe because it's so easy and satisfying.  You can dress these bars up for company by adding unsweetened whipped cream and maybe even a glug of caramel sauce, but in this instance less is more they are just perfect as is!

Be warned you have to love butter to make this recipe, no substitutes are allowed! 
Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Squares

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Generously butter a 9 x 13" baking pan, place in it a large enough piece of parchment paper that it hangs over the sides (see below).  Then butter the parchment.

Melt in a small sauce pan 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks).

In a large bowl add:  1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1 3/4 cups rolled oats.  Using your hands mix together well until most of the lumps from the brown sugar have been broken down.

Add the melted butter and mix with either a wooden spoon or your hands until the mixture is damp and thoroughly mixed.  Place 1/4 of the mixture aside and firmly pat the rest of the oatmeal mixture into the prepared dish.
Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.

Barely chop 1 cup of lightly toasted Pecans, I like the pieces to be big, so go lightly here.
Roughly chop 8 ounces of 70% Dark Chocolate.
In a medium sauce pan with a heavy bottom add  15 Tablespoons of unsalted butter (yes it's true this recipe calls for nearly a pound of butter) and 3/4 of cup of tightly packed brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook for a generous minute, then remove from the heat and had 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 3 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream, stir until well mixed.  Let cool for a minute or 2.

Sprinkle the pre-baked and cooled base with the chopped Pecans and Chocolate
 
...then pour over the caramel and spread it evenly over the nuts and chocolate (which will melt a bit, not to worry).
Top with the remaining reserved Oatmeal mixture and place back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes, until the caramel starts to get bubbly and the top turns a nice brown.  Mine never gets' "browned" per se just a little darker.

This is the finished dish.
 Mmmmmmm bubbling caramel! 
Cool on a rack until room temperature then refrigerate for an hour or more. When ready to serve take out of the fridge and slide a knife around the pan, carefully lift up the parchment paper flaps and place on a cutting surface and slice into 2 x 2 squares.

3 comments:

midcenturycharlie said...

Yum!!

Peter said...

this looks like a dinner party winner. I'm cooking roast pork belly tonight and this might be the perfect desert dish to follow!

Urban Food Guy said...

Yummy roast pork belly! This could be a great sweet to complete that! Let me know how it turns out?

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