Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Squares

…a few of my favorite things: chocolate on caramel on almond cookie crust…
…a few of my favorite things: chocolate on caramel on almond cookie crust…

Who doesn’t love chocolate and caramel? If someone like that exists, I don’t know him or her. I, for one, live for chocolate and caramel – it’s such a rare treat that I savor every last bite when I allow myself to have it. Today was that day.

Today’s story: a craving for sweets meets boredom meets no real food in the house. This sounded to me like an opportunity for creativity. I’ve been stuck in the house for two days with a sick kid, so grocery shopping has not gotten done and we are both at our wits end with boredom.

I realized earlier that I hadn’t posted in a while, and I didn’t want a lack of groceries to stop me. To borrow a phrase from Barney Stinson: challenge accepted. I scrounged in the fridge, rooted around the cupboards, and came up with a few usable ingredients – almond flour, a few chocolate chips, and a wayward can of dulce de leche among them. This was quickly turning into an episode of Chopped, only I was the only contestant and there was no cash prize…

I decided to make a simple cookie-like crust with the almond flour and go from there and what I ended up with loosely resembles Twix candy bars – minus all of the additives and the bomb-shelter shelf life.

Yum

To make the cookie crust you’ll need:

About 1 ¼ cup almond flour

¼ cup of cold butter

A teaspoon or so of milled flax seed

¼ cup of sweetener (I use Truvia baking sweetener – ¼ cup sweetens like a ½ cup of sugar)

About an eighth of a teaspoon of salt

almond flour cookie base

The process is super simple:

Cut the butter into small pieces and put everything into the food processor (I used my trusty Ninja), then pulse it until it is crumbly.

In the blender you go

Press it into the bottom of a 9 x 9 brownie pan that you’ve lined with parchment paper.

raw crust

Pop it into the oven at 325ᴼ for about 12-15 minutes.

Pull it out and let it cool while you’re preparing the caramel.

baked crust

To prepare the caramel, I just popped open the can of dulce de leche and put it into a small metal bowl, and then created sort of a double-boiler situation by placing the metal bowl inside of a saucepan that had a couple of inches of almost-boiling water in it. You could always just put it into a microwave-safe bowl and nuke it, but just keep a careful eye on it either way – you don’t want to burn it.

dulce de leche

boiling caramel

When the caramel is nice and hot and creamy, pour it over the crust and spread it out all the way to the edges.

spread the caramel

Put it in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate.

boiling chocolate

The chocolate is just as easy to prepare as the caramel; in fact, it’s the same process. I used the same pan of water to melt about 1/2 a cup of chocolate and just made sure to keep stirring it to prevent burning.

melted chocolate

When the chocolate is all melted, go ahead and pour it over the caramel and spread it out.

Into the fridge

Put the whole thing into the fridge for a couple of hours until it’s all set – the chocolate will harden and you’ll know it’s ready.

Yum times four

Slice into squares and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Note: this is another one of those recipes that can be customized to your liking. I considered putting shredded coconut in the crust – I think I will do that next time. Also, you could melt some peanut butter and sub it for the caramel…

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