Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars by Celeste Ward
As prepared on Good Day Alabama, Tuesday, March 22, 2012
1 Box Duncan Hines "Butter Recipe Golden" cake mix
1/3 cup + 2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups Kraft Premium Caramel Bits
3 tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup roasted, lightly salted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 cups milk chocolate morsels
Pre-heat oven to 365 degrees F.
Pour cake mix into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, to break up any large chunks of cake mix.
With the mixer still on low speed, slowly pour the vegetable oil into the cake mix, and then quickly add the eggs. Increase speed to medium and mix for about 1 minute, just until the ingredients come together. Next, add the semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter and mix on low for an additional 30 seconds to combine well.
Coat a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the cookie batter into the dish and smooth into an even layer in the bottom of the dish.
Bake in the preheated oven for 23-24 minutes, or until the cookie layer is nice and golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cookie dough comes out clean. (Be careful not to over-bake. You want the cookie layer to remain a little soft.) Set to the side to cool, while you prepare the caramel and chocolate layers.
Next, pour the Caramel Bits and heavy cream into a small saucepan. Over low heat, slowly melt the caramel and cream mixture, stirring often. Keep an eye on it, because caramel has a tendency to burn quickly. Once it reaches a very smooth consistency, pour the melted caramel over the cookie layer. Using a spatula, smooth the caramel into an even layer.
Now, sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the caramel.
Using a double boiler, melt together the milk chocolate morsels and 2 tsp. of vegetable oil, stirring often. Once melted, pour the milk chocolate over the peanuts and caramel and smooth into an even layer.
Place the dish in the refrigerator and allow to cool for approximately 2-3 hours, or until the chocolate and caramel harden enough so that you can easily cut the dessert into bars.
· This dessert is best kept at room temperature.
· If you do not like peanuts, you can simply omit them from the recipe, or substitute with chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc.
· This recipe for cookie dough is a wonderful, easy way to make cookies, also. If making cookies, simply spoon the dough onto a greased cookie sheet (an ice cream scoop makes this easier and will ensure all the cookies are the same size). Bake in a 365 degree F oven and adjust baking time to 12-13 minutes.
· When making cookies, be creative with this recipe! You can substitute almost any flavor cake mix or any flavor chocolate chips (ex: use M&Ms or chocolate/vanilla swirl morsels instead of chocolate chips). You can also add shredded coconut, a few tablespoons of chunky peanut butter or even unsweetened cocoa right to the batter!
For examples of different cookie recipes, please visit my other blog posts here:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: