There are many many perks to blogging.
Like Chocolate Caramel Coffee Cookie Bars.
But also awesome people. Like all of you!!!
Earlier this week I got a surprise box in the mail that I thought was work and I was sort of dreading it. But when I opened the box it was 2 jars of jam from one of my favorite reader blogger friends. See? Awesome.
A couple of weeks ago, another friend, Meghan from The Tasty Fork whose fast & creative dinner solutions I adore, contacted me to see if I would like to contribute to a sort of internet potluck birthday party.
Um, duh. YES. First of all I love birthday parties. And second I think Meghan is super great and I would like to give her a big birthday hug/margarita. So anyway of course I agreed.
But I had already decided to make this week sort of dedicated to dude-friendly food in anticipation of Father’s Day weekend. So I reworked things a little bit and came up with a recipe that I think will work all the way around. I know for a fact that I have a house full of dudes that are WAY happy to have Chocolate Caramel Coffee Bars in the house. I hope Meghan likes them, too.
These bars are basically just one big batch of one of my favorite chewy chocolate cookie recipes re-worked a little bit and then pressed into a 9 X 13 pan. After the dough is baked and cooled, it is cut into bars and doused with a super simple homemade caramel sauce.
A word on caramel sauce: I need you all to know that I am sort of meticulous about what I post here. If it doesn’t work for me you will never ever see it, no matter how much I like the photos. Because nothing makes me more annoyed than a recipe I carefully collect the ingredients for, put time into, and it doesn’t work out. I threw away more butter and brown sugar this week testing caramel recipes than I actually care to discuss. Also, if you follow on Facebook you know that I managed to dump half a bag of brown sugar all over the floor. What I’m getting at here is that after I tried the caramel sauce in the crock pot (FAIL. Never ever try it), burned another batch on the stove, and had yet another batch to never ever thicken or come together, I FINALLY came up with one that is super simple, worked on the first try, and I made it with milk because I ran out of cream in all my previous fails. EASY CARAMEL SAUCE. You’re welcome.
There are more friends that brought Meghan birthday food! And if I suspect right, she will have a collection of fantastic recipe content from some really amazingly talented bloggers. Be sure to check it out! And wish Meghan a very happy happy birthday while you are there!
- Cookie Bars:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon Lorann Keoke (Kahlua) Flavor ****see note****
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 and butter a 9 X 13 casserole dish.
- Beat together the butter and sugars until they are fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and Keoke Flavor and beat until just combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Beat for about 1½ - 2 minutes until a soft dough forms, being sure to scrape down the sides. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. The whole pan of cookie dough will puff up and look huge. It will fall as it cools. You will know it's done when the sides sort of bump up like brownies would and the center is slightly firm to the touch.
- While the cookie bars bake and cool, make the caramel sauce.
- Let the cookie bars cool completely before cutting and then drizzle each one with the caramel sauce.
- Heat the water in a small saucepan. Dump the ½ cup sugar right in the center. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil (it only takes a minute or less). Remove the lid, stir (if the sugar is not completely incorporated into the water at this point) and continue cooking until the liquid is a pretty caramel-amber color.
- Place the pan in the sink and add the heavy cream. It will bubble. Stir until it’s smooth. Add the vanilla. Stir.
- These are also excellent with ice cream.
You can find the Lorann Coffee Keoke Flavor HERE. I found it at a farmer’s market for like $2.
Cookie bars were adapted from my Grasshopper Sandwich Cookies.
Happy Birthday Meghan! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and dudes that make their kids smile. Happy Weekend!