Celebrate National Caramel Day With These 5 Sticky Sweet Recipes
April 5 is National Caramel Day. Its significance is to be determined, but we’re not complaining. If Saturday isn’t the day to eat desserts starring your favorite sugary ingredient, then we don’t know when is. Americans began making sugary syrups in the 1600s, and to this day, the concoction is still made of butter, brown and white sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla. Case in point: caramel has been appeasing people’s sweet teeth for years, and there’s no point stopping now. Whip up one of these 5 caramel centered desserts this weekend. It’s a national holiday after all — so it’s basically your civic duty.
1. Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
First up: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars from The Comfort of Cooking. We’re not sugar coating things: this dessert is heavenly, and considering salted caramel is currently one of the hippest trends in the food industry, you might as well hop on board now before caramel becomes so last season. Add that salt to your homemade caramel sauce and start baking by taking this recipe and hunkering down in the kitchen this Saturday. Once you treat your family and friends to this dessert, no one will complain that you went missing.
For Salted Caramel Sauce
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
For Chocolate Chunk Bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions for Salted Caramel Sauce: In a medium saucepan set to medium heat, add butter and sugar. Cook and stir with a wire whisk, 6 to 7 minutes, or until mixture turns a deep amber color. Watch closely to avoid burning. Slowly and carefully stir in cream, vanilla, and salt. Mixture will be bubbly. Whisking constantly, cook 1 to 2 minutes until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon.
Directions for Chocolate Chunk Bars: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread half of cookie batter in prepared baking dish. Pour salted caramel sauce over batter, spreading almost to the edges. Spread remaining batter over caramel layer.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Cool bars completely in pan set on a wire rack. Lift out bars by grabbing the foil edges and place on a cutting board. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.