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Salted Chocolate Caramel Bar Cookies Video

Salted Chocolate Caramel Bar Cookies, perfect for pot lucks, adapted from Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook, Dorie's Cookies.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 21
Author: Angela Roberts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 136 grams all-purpose four
  • 1/4 cup 21 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick 8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup 67 grams sugar 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

FOR THE CARAMEL TOPPING

  • 1 cup 200 grams sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup 120 ml heavy cream, at room temperature (or slightly warmed in a microwave)
  • 2 tablespoons 1 ounce; 28 grams unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces and very so
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or a good-size pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces 57 grams bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • About 1/2 cup 60 grams pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Generously butter (or spray) an 8-inch square pan.

Shortbread Instruction

  • Whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
  • Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on low until the dough comes together.
  • This will take a little longer than you might expect, so don’t get discouraged. Give the dough a few last turns with a flexible spatula and scrape it out into the pan. Using your fingertips, pat the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan; press down and make sure to get the dough into the corners.
  • Bake the shortbread for 21 to 23 minutes, rotating the pan a er 10 minutes, or until it is slightly darker around the edges
  • and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan; it will not feel completely firm if poked gently. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the shortbread to cool completely.
  • TO MAKE THE CARAMEL TOPPING: Put a heatproof bowl close to the stovetop, along with a small bowl of cold water
  • and a pastry brush (preferably silicone).
  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Generously butter (or spray) an 8-inch square pan.
  • Whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
  • Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on low until the dough comes together. This will take a little longer than you might expect, so don’t get discouraged. Give the dough a few last turns with a flexible spatula and scrape it out into the pan. Using your fingertips, pat the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan; press down and make sure to get the dough into the corners.
  • Bake the shortbread for 21 to 23 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes, or until it is slightly darker around the edges and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan; it will not feel completely firm if poked gently. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the shortbread to cool completely.

Make Caramel Topping

  • Put a heatproof bowl close to the stovetop, along with a small bowl of cold water and a pastry brush (preferably silicone).
  • Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan or skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Allow the ingredients to bubble away, brushing down the sides of the pan with cold water if there are spatters and swirling the pan a couple of times once you start seeing some color, until the caramel turns a pale to medium amber.
  • (Don’t let it get as dark as mahogany.) Lower the heat, stand away from the pan and add the cream, followed by the butter and salt — ingredients that might cause the caramel to roil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, drop in the chocolate and, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stir to blend.
  • Pour the hot caramel over the shortbread and sprinkle with the nuts. Allow to set at room temperature.
  • When the caramel is firm, run a table knife around the sides of the pan, care- fully unmold the cookie onto a rack and turn it over onto a cutting board. Using a long thin knife, cut 21 bars (cut into 3 strips and then cut each strip into 7 bars). Alternatively, leave the cookie whole and cut individual bars as needed.