Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Almond No Bake Bar Cookies

Do you like SWEET?  Well, good these are the cookies for you.

I've never liked those "no bakes" that are all sad, dumpy brown lumps... but these... these are different.  They have SHAPE, and FLAVOR, and CHEWY caramel and CHOCOLATE.
Plus, even if you have to stand at the stove, stirring, for a while, these cookies are easy, easy, easy.

Remember.... "no bake" does not mean "no cook"...

Makes about 60 small squares
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond  extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
24-30 caramels, unwrapped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup of cream

Grease a 9x9 inch square pan. Line with a piece of parchment, or foil, over hanging over two sides.  This makes it easier to pull out.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and almond extract. 

Mix in the oats and sliced almonds. Cook over low heat 5-7 minutes, stirring until ingredients are well blended and begin to look a little 'toasty" and starting to brown and get sticky. Press 2/3 of mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan while the mixture is still warm (be careful!). Reserve the third for topping.

Meanwhile, microwave the caramels with 1 Tbsp of water for 30 second increments, stirring each time.  Should take about 1 min 30 second.  

Pour smooth caramel over the pressed oatmeal and almond mixture. 

Heat cream to steaming hot in microwave pouring over chocolate chips and and  stirring frequently until smooth. 

Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel crust in the pan, and spread evenly with a knife or the back of a spoon. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer, pressing in gently. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cutting into bars.

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