All I could think of when I was reading this recipe was those cookie/snacks you make by melting the butter over the saltines, then melting the chocolate chips on top and covering that with chopped nuts! I love that cookie/snack, but I am delighted to report that these Caramel Crunch Bars bear little resemblance to them!
It is so nice when a recipe can just about spring to life on its own. If not for the chopping of the chocolate I think everything could be ready for this recipe in about five minutes. If I weren't so anal about chopping finely I suspect most people could have it ready in ten or fifteen minutes. I am sure it took me about 30! On the other hand, I had chocolate dust to add to my batter. Which means my shortbread base is very chocolaty indeed!
I so wanted to use plain Heath(r) bits for this recipe but all I could find were the ones with that stupid milk chocolate attached to them. I used them anyway and my only regret with this recipe is not correspondingly reducing the chocolate on top to offset this.
At this point, my chocolate has still not set firmly, so perhaps in the morning the cookies will have a less prominent chocolate taste and the caramel taste will come through more cleanly. Right now, it is more like a buttery after-taste in your mouth. Delicious but subtle - not a bad thing at all - but I would like it to be a bit stronger.
And, of course, my bag of Heath(r) bits was more Heath(r) dust than bits so bars were not as clearly defined as Dorie's were. The bane of the photo - you so desperately want one so you know if your food came out properly than you berate your food if it doesn't match precisely.
These cookies are definite keepers - I only hope most of them make it to work so I don't keep them as added weight - something I definitely don't need - but I could easily eat the entire batch - and I did make the entire batch.
My thanks to Whitney of What's Left on the Table for choosing the recipe. You can find it on her website or in THE BOOK, pg. 112-113.