Sunday, May 15, 2005

Caramel Crunch Bars

Caramel Crunch Bars (Adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours)

For the base

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

For the topping

6 ounces chopped milk chocolate
3/4 cup chocolate-covered toffee bits

To prepare the base

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso, salt and cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter and beat until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add sugars and continue to beat until very light and creamy, about 3 more minutes. Mix in vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined - fold in bittersweet chocolate.

Drop dollops of the dough into a 9" x 13" baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Lay a piece of saran wrap on top of the dough and use your hands to press it into an even, thin layer.

Place into the oven and bake until lightly golden, about 20 to 22 minutes. Turn the oven off, remove the pan and place it on a wire rack.

For the topping

Immediately scatter the milk chocolate over the hot base and place back into the oven just long enough to soften the chocolate, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and use an off-set spatula to spread the chocolate all over the top. Scatter the top with the toffee bits and gently press them down to adhere. Set aside and let stand at room temperature until the chocolate has set - if it is still too soft after a few hours, put it in the refrigerator briefly to firm up the chocolate before cutting into bars.

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  1. I made these last weekend and they turned out great. I loved the suggestion of using saran wrap to pat down the dough - so much easier than how I normally do it. I also subbed in semisweet chocolate for the milk chocolate, but other than that stuck to your recipe. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Michelle - Fantastic! Thanks for the feedback.