Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Cookie Week IS Here...

Welcome to Christmas Cookie Week 2013! This year, 8 bloggers have come together to share a daily recipe for yummy and delicious cookies that we hope will inspire you during this season of Christmas baking! We come from different parts of Canada, with one friend joining us from Alabama, but we all share a joy of baking which makes for love…fresh from the oven!

Well, let me set the record straight....
I am not a baker...
well, hang on a moment...
I meant to say,
I am a baker,
well, sort of.

Christmas bakers count don't they?
You know the type,
once a year,
out come the family Christmas cookie and squares recipes.

Now I cannot claim to be running in the pack with all these women but I am trotting along keeping my pace with a few of my own little treats that I am ready to share.

OH and a is in the my images are not great quality.

So, first up... SWEET & SALTY....

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars

Click here to go to photo source and see where I originally got this recipe in 2010
Well the idea of chocolate and caramel and a sprinkling of sea salt is really a bit of a no-brainer.
And.... these are really easy. I found these back in 2010 at the blog Lisa is Cooking
She has some great recipes and I have borrowed her incredible pic above to help inspire you.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Line a 22 X 33 cm baking pan with parchment paper
First off, to prepare the crust:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 half cup of sugar

1. Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
2. In a food processor blend butter with sugar until well mixed.
3. Add in the flour and baking powder mixture and blend .... don't over-blend.
4. Fill the baking pan with the crust mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.
5. The crust may get puffy during the baking stage, but just pat it down when it is cooling.

While the crust is baking.
Prepare the caramel mixture.

Melt in a saucepan:

1 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup of sugar
4 tbsp. of light corn syrup
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk

1. Cook on low heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is well-blended.
2. Bring it to a slow boil stirring slowly and regularly.
3. Turn the heat down to low and continue to stir as the mixture starts to thicken and turn a light amber and caramel brown colour. The mixture should be thickening and it is important to stir at this point so that you do not experience any issues with separation.
4. Pour the mixture over the shortbread crust.
5. Chill completely. I put my pan in the fridge at this point.... or outdoors in my bbq which is just outside my door. Cold temperatures here allow me use it like a fridge! :)

While the caramel and crust layers are cooling, you can now work on the chocolate topping.

Using a double boiler, melt the following:

8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate or milk chocolate if you prefer. Personally, the semi-sweet is a better choice in my mind due to the sweetness of the caramel mixture.
1 tsp. light corn syrup
1 half cup of unsalted butter (cut up into pieces)

Once the chocolate mixture is completely melted, pour the mixture over the top of the already cooled and set caramel layer.
Let it sit for a few minutes and then sprinkle sea salt or fleur de sel over the top of the chocolate.

I put it back in the fridge and let it set before cutting.
Then I grab my pizza cutter which is my usual choice for cutting the squares.
I like to make a 2- bite-sized square....

And I like to keep them in the freezer until I am ready to transfer them to the fridge during the holidays.
They freeze well too!
But they don't hang around too long.
As you can see below.... I had somebody in to them before I got them cut into squares.

So, head on over and check out all the recipes posted today.
Next recipe up is featuring.... one of our favourite ingredients....LEMONS.

Angie from Echoes of Laughter


  1. These bars look delicious. Is it hard to make the caramel layer? You have skills, my friend….and I might just have a chocolate smörgåsbord for Christmas! Christmas Cookie Week is going to be so much fun!

    Ricki Jill

  2. Christmas Cookies how delightful!! Yummy bars!! I know this week is going to put pounds

  3. So funny - I have a vegan version of these going up tomorrow for Christmas Cookie Week. Great minds think alike. I'm hoping some of mine will make it to the freezer, but it's not looking good. ;) I love your pizza cutter idea! My squares are a bit of a mess.

    1. I actually use unflavored dental floss to cut mine and they turn out just like the picture at the top of the page! Learned that trick in my culinary school Baking 1 class!

  4. These would not last long in my house...the combo of the salt and the chocolate and caramel is ah-mazing!

  5. The pizza cutter idea is brilliant and the squares look amazing! I love anything salted so good! Happy Christmas Cookie week! Angie xo

  6. These sound delicious Donna. I also like the idea of the pizza cutter to cut squares like that. I'll have to visit the other bloggers and see what they've cooked up.

  7. Oh my goodness, these look divine! I had to laugh because my squares for tomorrow were nearly mutilated by my husband. lol Also, pizza cutter for square...brilliant!

  8. Your recipe sounds amazing! I know my hubby would love it, I will pin it just in case I get to make it. Thank you for it.
    Hugs, cindy

  9. I love anything with salted caramel, which is one of Brittany's traditional food!

  10. I love the salt and caramel too and these looks so pretty. I'm glad to hear they actually do end up looking like that as sometimes when you try bars like this you end up with a runny mess.

  11. I'm rather fascinated with how perfect these squares look when you cut them. Mine never do but I've never thought of using a pizza cutter on them. duh I think I read blogs just so people can point out what should be obvious to me! lol

  12. Oops, I seem to have missed a lot !
    This would be my favourite sweet treat, a bit like our millionaires shortbread, which I love.
    I'm going to have to try this one.


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