Turns out that we are not very much in sync these days with what we want for dessert. I thought B. would be happy to have more fruits and light mousses to eat after dinner since Spring is here and the weather is very clement but it seems that I was wrong given the response I had this afternoon with my lemon dessert...
"Is there any chocolate in the house, I think I saw some caramel sauce in the fridge, what could you make with that?"...Arrrghhhh! I could have told him to whip something up himself but for one thing he can't cook and for another, the kitchen is my territory. A few looks around and a few clicks on the computer later, I had these Chocolate - Caramel and Pecan Squares chilling in the fridge.
There's nothing grand to them, just simple home baking, but making bars or squares is still relatively new to me. This is not the kind of treats we make in France and I am still quite intrigued by the multitude of recipes for all kinds of bar and squares, from fruity to nutty, cakey to crumbly. The novelty has not worn of yet and I really appreciate this kind of down home baking that I first encountered visiting family in Canada and then after settling in the States. I must have 50 recipes bookmarked here and there already and the list grew just trying to find a recipe for these! I used salted butter caramel sauce I had leftover from a cheesecake, but the following recipe gives you the instructions to make your own.
Chocolate, Caramel and Pecan Squares, adapted from several recipes at allrecipes:
1 cup Graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tb. sugar
1/2 cup ground toasted pecans
Caramel Chocolate Layer:
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tb. heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl combine the crackers crumbs, butter, nuts and sugar. Mix well and pat in a 8x8 baking pan, lined with aluminium foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
While the crust is baking. Prepare the chocolate-caramel filling: in a heavy saucepan combine the butter and brown sugar and cook on medium heat until bubbly. Add the cream and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and measure 1/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the chocolate to the remaining caramel and stir until melted. Pour it over the crust, bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes and drizzle the reserved caramel and sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Chill until set (easier to cut that way too).
I truly wish I could have these breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are the right combination of crunch and smooth. I did not put a certain number of serving for the simple reason that in my house it serves 2....especially on the weekend....On a more serious note, you are in charge of the size of the squares....I will not be held responsible for expanding waistlines!!