Tuesday, September 30, 2008

experimental bars...yum yum yum

So today I had the urge to create some delicious baked good and use up random ingredients in my kitchen. And how convenient was it that there were Oreo cookies sitting ever so seductively in tupperware on the kitchen counter when I walked in? Oh so convenient. And what is one to do with Oreos? Make Oreo-cookie crust, of course! Except mine came out a bit more cake-like since I used a little too much butter. Oh well. Still very delicious, just the same.

And then...I envisioned nothing else but cookie dough upon this layer of chocolatey cookie-goodness. And somehow, this cookie dough ended up to be really cake-like, which didn't make sense to me. I've been using this recipe for a long time now and I feel like I could make these cookies in my sleep. And yes, we are talking about the infamous Chemistry Class Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I've previously posted about. Who knows...maybe the 8x8 pan gave this batch the inspiration to be pseudo-cake. However, whatever the reason, it was a great decision on its part, and I, as well as my housemates and neighbor, did not complain.

And then...delicious chocolate-caramel chips were baked in, rather than the traditional semi-sweet variety.

And then...when you thought it couldn't get any better, homemade caramel was drenched over the top. I have to admit, I was disappointed in how this caramel turned out. It was supposed to boil, and there I was, whisking away for over 15 minutes, waiting for boil-age to happen. Did it happen? Nope. And then I thought the sugar was burning, so I frantically plopped in the butter, waited for melt-age, and then poured in the milk. It never thickened, but this was probably because I didn't have any heavy cream on hand. Anyway, it came out delicious anyways. :)

So while I was disappointed with how the caramel came out, only few slabs of these bars are left and I made them about 5 hours ago. I'd say that's clear-cut evidence for a successful baking experiment. :)

Crazy Carameled Bars

For crust:
2 cups Oreos, crushed
6 tbsp. butter, melted

For cookie:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate-caramel chips

For caramel:
1 cup white sugar
6 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8x8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

For the crust: Mix together crushed Oreos and melted butter in small bowl. Evenlt press over the bottom of the pan. Bake until set, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the cookie. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating weel after each addition. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate-caramel chips. When crust is finished baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread dough over crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes until cookie is golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

While cookie is cooling, prepare caramel topping: heat sugar in large saucepan. As sugar starts to melt, stir vigorously with whisk. Stop stirring as soon as the sugar comes to a boil. As soon as all the sugar crystals have melted, immediately add butter to the pan. Whisk until butter has melted. Remove pan from heat and slowly whisk in milk. The mixture will foam up...or should, in theory. Whisk until caramel is smooth. Let cool in pan for a few minutes.

When cookie is cooled, poke holes with a knife into top of cookies. Pour caramel over top of bars, let set, cut into bars, then devour.

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