It's Tuesday and that means sweets and treats with my weekly baking club, Tuesdays with Dorie. This week's assignment: Caramel Crunch Bars
I make the first half batch of brown sugar shortbread bespeckled with chunks of hershey bar. (I'm still trying to use up our extra Hershey bars from last summers s'more roasting family party-Im down to 3 cases. How's that for healthy food storage?) The dough is fantastic, caramely and buttery. After they come out of the oven, they get another coating of Hershey bar and a sprinkle of toffee. I plan to make them into ice cream bars, as Dorie suggests. Instead, they never even get properly sliced. We eat them straight out of the pan. I snap a few shots and join in.
So enchanted were we with those caramely shortbread cookies, that I decide to make another half batch. But this time, I make it without a slick of chocolate and toffee, and hopefully with some ice cream. Hooray! The cookie base is stellar on it's own. So stellar, ahem, that they never get sliced and suffer the same fate as yesterday's cookie. I'm lucky I got a shot at all.
My sister and mom have been listening to me rave about these brown sugar cookies, but I haven't been able to offer them even a crumb. This time, out of pure kindness and not a whit of selfish desires, I bake a full batch to share. We slice exactly two long rows of cookies, place them on a Valentine's paper plate and hand them over to the ladies. They love them as much as we do. We polish off the rest ourselves.
I watch the Oscar highlights (gorgeous anemic women in gorgeous skimpy clothing) on the Internet. I wonder if I ought to lay off the cookies. I pop by my mom's house and notice she has one cookie bar left. I wonder if I'll need to wear a gown anytime soon. Since I won't have to, I decide to eat the final cookie. The end.
Money Saving Tips:
This would be a great place to use up some of your Valentine Hershey kisses of chocolates, chopped into irregular pieces. Make sure to use good quality butter, since the flavor comes through loud and clear. Consumer Reports recommended Albertson's butter a few years back. If you've got an Albertson's near you, you can get butter for between $2.00 and $2.50 a pound most of the time.
Caramel Shorbread Bars they way I like them
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for a half batch
Notes: I like these without vanilla, so the brown sugar flavor really comes through.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 regular sized Hershey bar, chopped into chunks
Preheat oven to 375. Line an 8 by 8 inch baking sheet with foil. Coat the foil with no stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine butter and sugars until creamy. Add in salt and flour; blend well and add chocolate. Press into prepared pan. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown at edges and bubbly in center. Try to slice them if you can.
The Juicy Oven Roast Beef with Potatoes and Carrots (cross my heart)