Thursday, December 15, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas, #11: Gooey Turtle Bars

I have a soft spot for Turtles chocolate. There's something incredibly satisfying about biting into soft caramel and toasted pecans, all covered in milk chocolate.

Day Eleven of my Twelve Days of Christmas Treats: Gooey Turtle Bars.

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It's no secret by now that I'm a huge fan of Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies. All of the recipes I've tried from the book so far have been stellar, like her Nanaimo bars, graham crackers, and my personal favourite, her super spicy chewy ginger cookies.

When compiling my holiday baking list, I like to vary the different kinds of cookies I'm making, from the delicate (like the shortbread), to the sturdy (like the biscotti). One or two bar cookies will always make the cut because a) they are so easy to prepare, b) are fairly sturdy, an important characteristic I look for in any cookie if I ship them, and c) keep pretty well. Most bar cookies I've done will keep for about five days to a week in an airtight container, which means I can prep them well in advance.

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Like with any caramel recipe, you need to have a little patience with it. It may seem tedious, but the time and attention you give it will pay off. A thick layer of gooey caramel sits atop a rich, buttery shortbread cookie crust, and scattered with buttery toasted pecans and chocolate chips.

Next time I make these, I think I'll sprinkle over some crushed salted pretzels or Maldon sea salt to give these bars a delightful sweet and salty contrast.

You can find the recipe over at Nervous Chef, but really, just go and buy the book. It's worth it! You'll love it, and I'm pretty sure, like me, you'll keep baking from this book time and time again.


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