Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 9th March 2012

I was craving one of my favourite dessert combinations, Sweet and Salty and I remembered these, Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars my friend Debra (Smith Bites) made a little while back. When Debra posted about them I recall wanting to run into the kitchen and make them right away (tempting!) and then one thing led to another and I’d completely forgotten all about them. How is that possible? Sometimes life gets in the way of guilty pleasures. It’s probably a good thing I forgot because these are amazing! And I had to stop myself from enjoying the whole batch of chocolate caramel and nutty deliciousness.

A photo of Salt Caramel dessert, Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars displayed on a white dish.

Debra finished these cookie bars with a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel (sea salt) and although I love salted treats the kids aren’t partial to sea salt. I still wanted that saltiness but I also wanted to add a nutty flavour so I decided to layer and top the bars with Pecan Praline. Adding the praline also provided that bit of crunch, the perfect contrast to the velvety chocolate-caramel ganache.

A photo of Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars garnished with Pecan Praline on a dark wooden board with a heap of pecan praline placed in behind individual bars.

I did add a small sprinkling of sea salt to the piece, okay, pieces, I enjoyed. I couldn’t help myself! One taste and you too will find them hard to resist. And Debra is 100% correct if you serve these to your friends and family you’ll become an “instant rock star”.

A photo of Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars with Pecan Praline on a dark wooden board.

I wanted to share some information with you regarding an ingredient I’ve become dependent on when making caramel, liquid glucose. Liquid glucose is an invert sugar. Invert sugar is ideal for baking because it does a number of things. It helps to prevent crystallization which is invaluable in caramel making and also when making sorbetto or ice cream. It helps to improve flavour and texture, increases tenderness and moistness and also helps to preserve baked goods.

A photo of five Chocolate Caramel Cookies Bars with Pecan Praline, 4 bars are displayed on a larger plate in behind an individual bar displayed on a small dish.

Professional chefs use it because it provides a smoother mouth feel in preparations like ganache, fudge, caramel, sorbet and ice cream. It can be difficult to find, which is probably the reason why most home cooks substitute it with corn syrup. I do find in caramel making that corn syrup does work well too. When researching the ingredient I read that it also enhances aromas in sorbet and certain chocolate ganache applications. Up to this point I’ve only used glucose in caramel making. This dessert gave me the perfect opportunity to try it in a ganache application, not only would it prevent crystallization in the caramel but it should also deepen the aroma in the ganache.

A close up photo of Cookies Bars layered with butter cookie base, pecan praline and chocolate caramel ganache.

I’m happy to report it worked like a charm. And I’m more than eager to try it in ice cream. I think crystallization is the one thing we all struggle with when making homemade ice cream. In the classic preparation for sorbetto alcohol and egg white is used to help reduce the crystallization, which ultimately does help to give a much better mouth feel but I do plan on trying glucose the next time I make it.

A photo of 3 individual Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars placed in a row, one behind the other, on a white rectangular-shaped dish.

Although as I mentioned above liquid glucose can be difficult to find our local bulk food store carries it (I was very surprised) and I also believe Michael’s carries the Wilton brand. And I’ve also found a recipe for homemade invert sugar at The Kitchn. I plan on trying the recipe this weekend. From all I’ve read the syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

A photo of twelve Chocolate and Caramel Cookie Bars displayed on a dark wooden board in rows of three.

If you struggle with caramel making you may want to see if you can locate a bottle first because it’s fairly inexpensive to purchase. When it comes to making caramel I usually substitute a portion (1 to 2 tablespoons) of the sugar with glucose. If you use glucose in your baking applications I hope you’ll share you experience via the comments section.

A close up photo of a Bar Cookie, Chocolate-Caramel with Pecan Praline.

Back to cookie bars, if you’re looking for a fairly simple recipe for a take along dessert I hope you’ll try these Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars. The classic pairing of rich chocolate and ooey gooey caramel is tempting on it’s own but paired with the crunchy, nuttiness of Pecan Praline and a butter cookie crust makes the pairing in these cookie bars even more alluring and downright out of this world delicious!

A photo taken looking down on four cookie bars displayed on a dark wooden board.

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Comments (30)

30 Responses to “Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars with Pecan Praline”

  1. Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) Says:

    Those look delicious! Yum!

  2. Mi Vida en un Dulce Says:

    This is chocolate dream. Love the option to have praline as a topping.

  3. Kiri W. Says:

    Holy COW do these look utterly fantastic! Man, i would die for these :)

  4. The Smart Cookie Cook Says:

    Wow, these look like complete heaven! Just look at that mile-high pile of goodness on top of the cookie! Beautiful presentation.

  5. Medeja Says:

    And they look just amazing!

  6. Kim Bee Says:

    This is stunning. I mean pure brilliance. I have to try and find that sugar.

  7. Marly Says:

    These look amazing, Grace! I can’t wait to try that glucose in my next caramel recipe. Being vegan makes caramel all the more difficult to prepare so I’m wondering if the glucose will help with that. Love your posts – they’re so informative!

  8. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen Says:

    With a little sprinkle of salt like you said, I would be hard pressed to resist these myself!

  9. Emily @ Life on Food Says:

    They are beautiful. Almost too good to eat.

  10. Daisy@Nevertoosweet Says:

    These look and sound amazing :) So pretty just like something you’ll get from a fancy cake shop!

    Congrats for making Top 9!

  11. Grace Says:

    Thanks Daisy have a great rest of the weekend!

  12. Kristina Says:

    Omy!! These are maybe the most fabulous looking cookies ever! Yum!!

  13. Sandra Says:

    Congratulations on Top ! Also, thank you for the tip about liquid glucose, I will try and find it. Have a great week!

  14. Grace Says:

    Thanks Sandra, please let me know how you like the glucose if you have a chance to try.

  15. Suzi Says:

    These look totally fantastic, love the caramel and the pecans. Congrats on the Top 9.

  16. Grace Says:

    Thank you Suzi!

  17. Choc Chip Uru Says:

    These look stunning – I can’t even express how beautiful these look :D
    And delicious – so mouthwatering!
    Off to see more my friend!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Tropical Caramelised German Baked Pancake

  18. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    I’m pretty sure I’d end up eating more than a few pieces! Thanks for the information on the liquid glucose. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that to try it soon.

  19. Around the Web: Chocolate Caramel Day | SocialCafe Magazine Says:

    […] Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars by La Mia Vita Dolce […]

  20. Becky Says:

    These are beautiful… I want one! Please link up to Foodie Friday!

  21. Grace Says:

    Sorry Becky, I missed Foodie Friday, I was away at a conference, thank you so much for thinking of me!

  22. Live a Sweet Life Says:

    These look amazing!

  23. Maura Says:

    Ciao Grace,
    ho comprato tutti gli ingredienti, ma sono confusa su quale panna comprare, non so cosa sia la “heavy cream” e a cosa si riferisce il 35%?
    Grazie,
    MAura

  24. Grace Says:

    Buon Giorno Maura, The heavy cream can also be referred to as whipping cream which contains on average about 35% fat. I believe in Italian it is referred to as “panna fresca da montare”. I hope you enjoy Maura.

  25. Maura Says:

    Grazie Grace,
    whipping cream, perfetto, qui’ in Inghilterra la trovo.
    Grazie mille

  26. Grace Says:

    Most welcome Maura, please let me know how you enjoy them.

  27. Maura Says:

    Ok, this I have to write in english, so to get everyone involved. I MADE THEM!! They are delicious! Like you I love the taste of the sweet and salty toghether and since I’ve seen your post I kept thinking I should make them. AND I HAVE. I must admit, I have made a few mistakes here and there. The first being the timing. I was in the middle of making the ganashe when my children came back from school…Aghhhh, they started asking questions and wanted to get involved, I normally let them join in….but not this time, the process was complicated for me(I never made a ganashe before) and the caramel was hot and I was very scared for them..
    My second mistake was using coarse salt for the ganashe, thinking it would have been ok (again, it might have been if my children hadn’t come in just during this delicate process of mixing everything toghether).
    Having said that, after some sweating and hard concentration…tah dah. I’ve done it! The taste gets better day after day…only problem is…there is so much I don’t know what to do with all of it…probably treating my neighbours?

  28. Grace Says:

    I am so happy you enjoyed Maura. Sounds like your house is much like mine. I just made semifreddo and used glucose for the first time and it came out amazing, hope you’ll give it a try, especially now that you’ve made caramel and ganache, it will give you another recipe to practise the techniques.

  29. Maura Says:

    Uh, yes. Almost forgot, the all liquid glucose thing? You were righ, it really does make a difference. I might even use it to make some lollypops!
    Many thanks for all your lovely recepies!

  30. Semifreddo-What is Semifreddo-Frozen Dessert-Salted Caramel-Parfait | La Mia Vita Dolce Says:

    […] forever.This time I prepared the semifreddo substituting a portion of the sugar with glucose (benefits of using glucose). What a difference, big difference! The texture was fantastic – so smooth and creamy. I […]

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