Last week I had bad, bad day.
Do you know what you should do after bad days? I’ll give you a few choices:
1) blast the most obnoxious-yet-awesome-to-you-music. (i.e. anything from N’Sync’s “No Strings Attached” album. My pick is #5. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to pause from reading, go to iTunes and download “It Makes Me Ill” right now. You’ll hate me forever, and I will love you for it.)
2) throw your entire head into a bowl of sangria
3) make salted caramel cookie bars
4) all of the above.
Now we all know that when given an “all of the above” option on tests, it is most likely the right answer. Especially on my tests.
Lucky for me, I already had salted caramel cookie bars in the house as I made a batch last week for a party and I just *happened* to run out of room on the tray for all of them. And I didn’t want to be the over-zealous girl who brings two trays of something. You gotta play it cool once in a while.
Lucky for you, the recipe is super simple and comes from one of my favorite food blogs, two peas in their pod. I only adapted it a wee bit, opting to brown the butter for extra carmelicious flavor and bake it in a larger pan. Because on bad days, brown butter is necessary. So are larger pans.
These are hands down one of the best things I have ever baked/eaten in my life. And I definitely said that every time I took a bite of one. (Seriously, every time. Matt actually told me to stop: “I get it, they’re good. I heard you.”) They are great by themselves, absolutely unreal fresh outta the oven with a huge jug (dare I suggest a mason jar?) full of milk and if I must admit, pair perfectly with a really strong
bowl glass of sangria.
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
yields about 15 large square bars, or 30 small rectangle bars.
- 2 and 1/8 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups chocolate chips
- 10 ounces caramel squares, unwrapped (totally guesstimates the 10 ounces…plus I ate one caramel for every four I unwrapped, so…)
- 3 tablespoons milk (I used skim)
- sea salt for sprinkling
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. (The original recipe used 11 x 7 pan, but I still got thick & chunky cookie bra with the 9 x 13)
2) Heat a small saucepan-preferably stainless steel pan so you can see the color of your butter as it cooks- over medium heat. Add butter and melt, stirring constantly. Once you start to see little brown specs on the bottom of the pan, remove from heat. Your butter should be a nice golden/amber color, but be careful as it burns easily! Once your emote the pan from heat, cool to room temperature.
3) While butter is cooling, whisk flour, salt & baking soda together.
3) In your stand mixer or in another large bowl, mix cooled butter with brown sugar and white sugar until combined. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Then, mix in chocolate chips.
4) Unwrap your caramels and place in a microwave-safe bowl with milk. Microwave on high for :20 increments, stirring after each.
5) Spread half of your cookie dough into prepared pan, pressing down with your hands until you have an even layer. Then, spread caramel over first layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and try not to dig in right then and there!
6) Drop spoonfuls of other half of dough on top of caramel. It may be a bit hard to spread, but I just used a back of a spoon and event crumbled some of the tough on top to make sure all of the caramel was covered. Sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired.
7) Bake for 30 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting – this may be the hardest part! Once cooled, cut into bars and say hello to your new best friend.
Ta-daaaaaaaaaaaa! Frown turned upside-down. Covered with caramel and chocolate chips. Singing N’Sync.
“Bye bye bye” bad day.