TWD: Caramel Crunch Bars

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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I know I was in the minority last week, when I said that the Devil’s Food White Out Cake didn’t knock my socks off. But, I call ‘em like I see ‘em. This week, however, I hope that I won’t be in the minority when I tell you that I really loved, loved, loved Dorie’s Caramel Crunch Bars! They were easy to put together. They didn’t take a long time to make. They turned out exactly like they were supposed to. And, they were absofreakinlutely delicious! What more could anyone ask for?

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This week’s TWD recipe was chosen for us by Whitney of What’s Left on the Table? They’re delectable and decadent cookie bars with a kind of caramelized, brown sugar shortbread base laced with a shot of espresso and studded with bits of chocolate. The bars are then topped with a layer of more chocolate and finished off with a generous sprinkling of toffee bits. I opted to use some velvety, Guittard milk chocolate for my bars, hoping for a glorified version of a Heath Bar. Guess what? That’s pretty much what I got – only better!

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These Caramel Crunch Bars are hands down one of my favorite things I’ve baked for TWD so far. Even though there isn’t any actual caramel in the recipe, the cookie base bakes up gooey, crunchy and chewy all at the same time, with a rich “caramely” flavor. The perfect fake out!

Dorie showcases these bars by turning them into ice cream sandwiches, which I think is a great use for them. I decided to try it, filling half of mine with some creamy, dreamy coffee ice cream. They were a little tough to bite into, but definitely worth the effort.

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If you’d like to try these Caramel Crunch Bars out for yourself (and I hope you do), the recipe can be found on Whitney’s site and, of course, in Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home To Yours.

You can also find many more delicious versions of these bars on the Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll. Just don’t go there hungry!

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72 responses to TWD: Caramel Crunch Bars

  1. On February 24, 2009 at 1:46pm, chocolatechic said...

    I almost got that ice cream, but I didn’t.

    Now I’m kicking myself.

  2. On February 24, 2009 at 2:05pm, Chelle said...

    Absolutely gorgeous photos. These sound fantastic – I really miss my TWD baking!

  3. On February 24, 2009 at 2:10pm, Jennifer said...

    I love, love, love your photos! I will have to try these bars again. I really think I did something wrong, as my base was VERY crispy and a bit oily. In this case, it’s definitely me, and not the recipe!

  4. On February 24, 2009 at 2:14pm, Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

    Incredibly tempting and scrumptious! I’m drooling… Stunning!
    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. On February 24, 2009 at 2:15pm, Nanc Twop said...

    Sounds yummy…

    ”I opted to use some velvety, Guittard milk chocolate”…

    I -love- that stuff!
    Almost had a fit when my closest store quit carrying it. :(

  6. On February 24, 2009 at 2:20pm, Melissa said...

    “A glorified heath bar.” Yep, that pretty much explains it.

    Great pics!

  7. On February 24, 2009 at 2:30pm, The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

    These look delicious. I want one NOW. The ice cream really sends them over the top. I can see these with some homemade caramel ice cream sandwiched between them. MMMMMM

  8. On February 24, 2009 at 3:02pm, doughmesstic said...

    Dear GOD those photos. I think perhaps you have sold your soul to the chocolate devil.
    Some devil, anyway.:)

  9. On February 24, 2009 at 3:10pm, Jennifer said...

    I LOVE that you put ice cream between the bars!!!!!!!!

  10. On February 24, 2009 at 3:13pm, Linda said...

    Dare I say it — i think your photos look ever better than those in the book —WOW!!!!

    I think ice cream is an absolute must to go with this cooke….fantastic job!!!

  11. On February 24, 2009 at 3:36pm, Mike of Mike's Table said...

    That looks stunning. I need to make this for dessert ASAP. Heck, I’d like to have this for dinner, lol!

  12. On February 24, 2009 at 3:38pm, pigpigscorner said...

    Lovely pictures! Looks amazing with the ice-cream!

  13. On February 24, 2009 at 3:57pm, pinkstripes said...

    YOur bars look perfect! So do the ice cream sandwiches. They were to-die-for, but even better with ice cream (I paired them with coffee ice cream too). YUM!

  14. On February 24, 2009 at 4:01pm, steph- whisk/spoon said...

    how pretty! they look jsut perfect!

  15. On February 24, 2009 at 4:02pm, Jules Someone said...

    These look amazing! Nice job.

  16. On February 24, 2009 at 4:15pm, Judy@nofearentertaining said...

    Beautiful Susan. They look incredible!!! I can’t wait to try these myself!!!

  17. On February 24, 2009 at 5:09pm, Karen @ Mignardise said...

    I thought they looked really good, then I saw you made them into ice cream sandwiches and now I think they look INCREDIBLE!
    Must make them soon.

  18. On February 24, 2009 at 5:21pm, TeaLady said...

    Beautiful pics. These were good, hunh!! Yours look just perfect.

  19. On February 24, 2009 at 5:30pm, Andrew's Mom said...

    Yummy!

  20. On February 24, 2009 at 6:04pm, duodishes said...

    They looked so good to begin with…and then you put the ice cream in there! So. good.

  21. On February 24, 2009 at 6:11pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Thanks so much for all of your sweet comments! I’m so glad that you all liked these too. Dorie sure hit a home run with this one, didn’t she? I am already planning to make them again.

    The ice cream sandwiches were definitely over the top, and oh, so good! Very messy, though! ;)

  22. On February 24, 2009 at 6:15pm, Tracey said...

    Yep, your photos are definitely better than the ones in the book! I didn’t even like the bars and I want to eat yours :)

  23. On February 24, 2009 at 6:41pm, Bria said...

    Glad you loved these! Beautiful photos.

  24. On February 24, 2009 at 6:44pm, Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

    Those looks amazing! The photos are gorgeous! I must make these!

  25. On February 24, 2009 at 6:52pm, Elyse said...

    I found myself reaching toward the computer screen in hopes that I just might be able to snatch one of your delicious looking bars. Things almost spun out of control when I reached the pictures of the ice cream sandwiches. YUM! Great job.

  26. On February 24, 2009 at 7:38pm, Patsyk said...

    I really, really want one of those… don’t need one, but definitely want one. They look incredible!

  27. On February 24, 2009 at 7:45pm, karimichelle said...

    holy yummy goodness..these are a dream come true!

  28. On February 24, 2009 at 7:55pm, vibi said...

    Simply put, this is the nicest, cutest, prettiest dispaly I’ve seen all day!

    Beautiful… it should say: How to make plain food look magical, on the cover of your book! LOL

  29. On February 24, 2009 at 8:21pm, Sara said...

    Great pictures! I think they are my favorite plating of the bars I’ve seen so far. And I love coffee ice cream, so this is a winner in my book. Excellent job!

  30. On February 24, 2009 at 8:38pm, Meg said...

    These look heavenly!

  31. On February 24, 2009 at 8:39pm, squawmama said...

    OMG! Susan those look sinfully delicious… I will be running right over to get that recipe… YUMO!

    HUGS
    Donna

  32. On February 24, 2009 at 8:51pm, Cathy said...

    Your food styling and photography are simply incredible. I am so glad that you loved these — we thought they were fabulous too!

  33. On February 24, 2009 at 8:56pm, finsmom said...

    What stunning photos! Thanks for sharing!!!

  34. On February 24, 2009 at 9:28pm, Nina Timm said...

    2 recipes in 1 week, I am impressed! These are yummee bars!!!!

  35. On February 24, 2009 at 9:46pm, Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

    You even made these into Ice Cream Sandwhiches??? YOU ARE AN EVIL WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I must make these asap…no time to waste.

  36. On February 24, 2009 at 9:48pm, Darius T. Williams said...

    These are looking pretty amazing!

  37. On February 24, 2009 at 10:24pm, MaryBeth said...

    Fabulous looking bars and a great looking display of them…

  38. On February 24, 2009 at 10:38pm, Olivia said...

    Delicious recipe I’m sure. These pictures are so beautiful–great angles.

  39. On February 24, 2009 at 10:52pm, rainbowbrown said...

    I’m glad you liked these. They really were perfectly easy and delicious.

  40. On February 24, 2009 at 11:05pm, Elra said...

    Utterly delicious, and the ice cream sandwich..
    Oh dear, what not to love?
    Cheers,
    Elra

  41. On February 24, 2009 at 11:43pm, Peabody said...

    Loving those with ice cream!

  42. On February 25, 2009 at 12:02am, PaniniKathy said...

    These look positively incredible – especially with the coffee ice cream. Guess this means I’m going to have to schedule another dinner party so I’ll have an excuse to make ‘em! :-)

  43. On February 25, 2009 at 12:04am, redmenace said...

    These might kill me, but it would be a lovely way to go. I love the pics!

  44. On February 25, 2009 at 4:12am, joanne at frutto della passione said...

    I don’t know if I have ever told you this but I love your photography. Your pictures are just gorgeous and some of my favourite of the blogs I read. I really wish I could reach out and taste one of those bars!

  45. On February 25, 2009 at 4:54am, Jin Hooi said...

    I love them too !! great photography skill !!

  46. On February 25, 2009 at 5:46am, HappyTummy said...

    totally agree with you–these bars were one of my faves too. wish i tried them with the ice cream, though…yours look fantastic!

  47. On February 25, 2009 at 8:00am, Kimberly said...

    Your pictures are lovely!

  48. On February 25, 2009 at 8:57am, 5 Star Foodie said...

    These look fantastic especially with the ice cream! Love your pictures.

  49. On February 25, 2009 at 9:23am, Elle said...

    These look amazing! I love how you tried them with the ice cream–it’s worth that extra step. Yum!

  50. On February 25, 2009 at 11:35am, Ingrid said...

    Fantastic photos, Susan!!! Seriously.

    Everyone I stopped in to visit said they enjoyed these, too. My guys love toffee so I guess I should give them a try.
    ~ingrid

  51. On February 25, 2009 at 11:38am, Lisa said...

    I could cry….

    They look so nice, I have given sweets up for lent so might just have to look and not touch if you get me!

    Though if anything was to tempt me…

  52. On February 25, 2009 at 1:14pm, Katrina said...

    Love your photos! Glad you are so happy with these!

  53. On February 25, 2009 at 2:31pm, Tangled Noodle said...

    So very, very, very, tempting. I could live on these alone.

  54. On February 25, 2009 at 4:36pm, kim said...

    your photos are amazing!! :) i esp love the first one with the bow, it just looks so pretty and inviting :) coffee ice cream sounds delicious too!

  55. On February 25, 2009 at 5:47pm, Mary said...

    Oh my! I’m totally drooly over these bars! You almost make me wish I hadn’t given up dessert for Lent! I’m bookmarking them for Easter Monday!

  56. On February 25, 2009 at 9:37pm, Jen of A2eatwrite said...

    Those crunch bars have really been calling out to me – it was nice to see your presentation and comments.

    I think I’ll have to put them together when my energy is fully returned.

  57. On February 25, 2009 at 10:20pm, Proud Italian Cook said...

    I want to pluck one of these right out of that pretty jar!! Fantastic photos!

  58. On February 26, 2009 at 12:51am, junglefrog said...

    Those look amazing and incredibly tasty! Love your photos!
    Simone

  59. On February 26, 2009 at 6:18am, Peter M said...

    I see that you’re still in the realm of sin…you’re killing me here…YUM!

  60. On February 26, 2009 at 7:55am, Teanna said...

    That last photo is just AWESOME!!! I’m so glad you loved these! They were great!

  61. On February 26, 2009 at 9:46am, Jescel said...

    oh my.. they look so delicious! sinful!

  62. On February 26, 2009 at 11:10am, Kalyn said...

    Well for someone who says they have lost their blogging mojo, I’d say you’re doing very well! Great photos!

  63. On February 26, 2009 at 4:10pm, Banjo said...

    Oh I’m wishing I had some of these left, they were just so darn’d good! Love your pics. :)

  64. On February 26, 2009 at 9:21pm, Stephanie said...

    Your pictures are gorgeous!

  65. On February 27, 2009 at 11:09am, Steph said...

    Those icecream sandwiches look amazing! I regret not baking my bars now.

  66. On February 28, 2009 at 9:13am, Louise at Livin Local said...

    Oh my! You’re simply killing me with those pictures!

  67. On February 28, 2009 at 12:05pm, Sara said...

    Beautiful pictures!

    Ice cream is the only way to improve caramel and chocolate cookies.

  68. On February 28, 2009 at 12:40pm, The Food Librarian said...

    Looks soooo lovely! I love the ice cream sandwich – how yummy!

  69. On March 01, 2009 at 10:34pm, J.Danger said...

    you won me over with the ice cream. oh man.

  70. On March 01, 2009 at 10:48pm, AmyRuth said...

    I love your photo with the raffia wrapped jar. Such a nice photo. Glad you liked the bars. I’m looking forward to getting them made soon.
    AmyRuth

  71. On March 02, 2009 at 9:10pm, thecoffeesnob said...

    These look incredible! I’ve been meaning to make them for the longest time but after seeing your photos, they’re going right straight to the top of my list :)

  72. On March 04, 2009 at 3:50pm, Chez US said...

    I sat out this one as there is too much chocolate and butter sitting on these thighs right now!

    I LOVE how you turned them into ice cream sandwiches, they sound wonderful!! Great job!!

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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