Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sleep is calling my name!

Ravings: I am sick! There I said it. Despite the fact that it never works, my first line of defense for winter cold and flu season is pure denial! But I feel like crap and it takes every ounce of energy I have to make it through my work day. Last night, I walked in the door, let Shadow out, changed into my pj’s and went straight to bed. I did get up a couple hours later to make the Salted Caramel Butter Bars (see Cravings) for our yearly graze at work, have a cup of tea with lemon and honey (my other go to remedy), and crawl back in bed. I have no idea why I am even at work today, other than these treats are way too good not to share.

Cravings: I was first introduced to these sinfully delicious bites of goodness by my sister. I had made the Eggnog Cheesecake bars for the WAR party that I discussed in the My Voice blog post, but she had to show up with these heavenly bars, I am convinced just to outshine me! Words cannot describe how yummy these things are. But be warned, they are not in the least bit healthy. They are, however, worth every single calorie! I did alter the recipe slightly by making my homemade caramel.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars
(from Shelley at Cookies & Cups, but slightly altered)

1 lb. salted butter room temp
1 cup sugar
1½ cups powdered sugar (I only had 1/2 cup in my pantry, so I substituted 1 cup of brown sugar)
2 Tbs vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and stir until incorporated. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press one-half of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust, and place the remainder of the dough in the fridge to chill. Bake until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown approx 15-20 minutes. While that's cooking, make the caramel.

For the Caramel
(From Katie at Good Life Eats, also slightly altered)

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Bring cream and butter to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside. Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a golden caramel. Carefully stir in vanilla extract and cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently until thickened, but pourable. Allow to cool for a bit.

When caramel has stopped bubbling, pour it evenly over the prebaked crust, and crumble the rest of the dough on top of that. Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

This gotten eaten before I was able to finish cutting it, so I didn't get a picture, but you can see the original on the Cookies and Cups site.

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