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TWD: Caramel Crunch Bars

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?

This week’s TWD recipe was chosen for us by Whitney of What’s Left on the Table? [1] 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!

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.

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 [2] and, of course, in Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home To Yours [3].

You can also find many more delicious versions of these bars on the Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll [4]. Just don’t go there hungry!