Homemade Carmel Bars

Here is my version on Giada's expresso carmel bars.


Crust:

Vegetable cooking spray

16 whole cinnamon graham crackers, crumbled 

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted


Caramel:

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups light brown sugar

1 tablespoon water


Chocolate Layer:

2 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 1/2 tbs. unsweetend cocao powder

2 teaspoon sea salt, optional


Special equipment: a candy thermometer


For the crust:

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 9-by 11-13 inch rectangle pan  and line with parchment or waxed paper. Spray the paper and the sides of the pan with cooking spray. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers and sugar. Process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until the mixture forms into clumps. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing gently to form an even layer. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the crust is golden. Cool for 15 minutes.


For the caramel:

While the crust is cooling, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine  cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully pour the caramel over the warm crust. Cool for 20 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes.


For the chocolate layer: 

Combine the chocolate chips, espresso powder and cream in a small bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel layer making sure that it is pretty and evenly spread. Sprinkle the top with sea salt. Let it rest for about 1 hour or until firm. 


Refrigerate until firm. Lift the parchment paper out of the dish and carefully cut into your desired shape. I recomend it being bite sized and squared. Like the one below. Refrigerate and take it out for 1-2 hours before serving.


*Also to cool down and harden any of the layers quicker you can but it in the freezer or refrigerator for a short but substancial amount of time. Make sure it doesn't freeze!*
**Note that according to the size of your pan the quainty of ingredients my vary.**

This dessert or snack is the perfect end to any meal...including around the holidays!!!
Happy Eatings!

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