Monday, October 19, 2009

Caramel Crunch Bars


I don't remember what blog I saw this posted on, but I do remember that it is originally from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking, From My Home to Yours" cookbook.

They are delicious and slightly addictive, but don't quite make the 54 servings in the original recipe (I like them bigger).

Caramel Crunch Bars

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. instant espresso powder or finely ground instant coffee*
1/2 tsp. salt (I like to use Kosher)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. butter, room temp
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 oz. bittersweet or premium milk chocolate, chopped (I used milk chocolate chips)

Topping:
6 oz. milk chocolate, chopped (or chips)
3/4 c. Heath toffee bits

Whisk flour, coffee*, salt, and cinnamon. Beat butter until smooth; add sugars and beat until light and creamy then add vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat slowly until almost incorporated. Add chocolate and mix only until dry ingredients are mixed in. It will be a heavy and sticky dough. Pat into a thin layer in a greased 9x13 pan (can line with greased foil). Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes or until bubbly. Scatter chocolate on top and return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove and spread chocolate around and sprinkle with toffee bits, pressing down lightly. Cool on rack. You may need to refrigerate later to get chocolate to set completely.

*If you use the instant coffee, I would dissolve it in the vanilla and just add it when it calls for the vanilla.

When I made these, I made my own toffee since I had everything else on hand, and I wasn't sure the local grocery store carried the toffee bits - I only remember seeing the chocolate covered kind, which would probably work fine. I'd post my toffee recipe (which was really good, especially after it got humid and the leftovers turned into this delicious-tasting substance that just dissolved on your tongue), but I don't know what happened to it.

Enjoy!

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