Tuesdays with Dorie: Caramel Crunch Bars

February 24, 2009 at 2:51 am | Posted in cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 60 Comments

caramel crunch bars

We have another yummy cookie for TWD this week.  Whitney of What’s Left on the Table? had me putting caramel crunch bars on my table, and trust me, nothing’s left!

This cookie does have a lot of crunch.  It’s a brown sugar shortbread, flavored with a little cinnamon and espresso powder and a lot of chopped chocolate.  On top there’s melted dark chocolate and a generous sprinkle of toffee bits.  I have never bought Heath Toffee Bits before, and was completely amused by the package.  Not only does it say “Bits o’ Brickle,” which is enormously funny to me, but it also says “finest quality English toffee” in one spot and then “artificially flavored” in another.  Hmmm…

In the book, Dorie suggests using these for ice cream sandwiches.  I had a little homemade fresh mint ice cream, so I decided to give it a try.  I topped the bars that I was using for the sandwiches with cocoa nibs instead of toffee (these I scattered sparingly, because they are kinda bitter).  Tasty?  Yes, but also a little hard to eat.  I thought the bars were a little too crunchy for ice cream sandwiches.  They were difficult to bite into frozen…I think I prefer a softer, more yielding cookie for that purpose.  The caramel crunch bars are sweet enough and rich enough on their own, that I preferred them just as they were.  Well, with a cup of herbal tea, that is.

For the recipe, read What’s Left on the Table? or see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll.


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  1. These look fabulous, I must give them a try. I miss my TWD weeks, I need to get baking again!

  2. wow these look amazing. I m trying to bite them :)) I think I would prefer these without ice cream too. they look so delicious the way they are 🙂

  3. oh these look totally d’lish! love choc and crunchy bars!

  4. The bars sure are a winner with me…

  5. Really gorgeous!! Love your photos.

  6. I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who had trouble with the ice cream sandwiches! Mine were delicious but very crisp. I ended up using a dark chocolate on the top and they still were all gobbled up. If I had used milk chocolate I don’t think they would have lasted until the next day!

    Yours look PERFECT!

  7. Yours look great. I think mine were undercooked. Too buttery for me.


  9. Your photos are gorgeous!

  10. These look just lovely. Glad you enjoyed them!

  11. Your cookies look fantastic!

  12. These look gorgeous!

  13. gorgeous! thanks for the ice cream sandwich tip. 🙂

  14. Mmm, your bars turned out spectacularly! Wish I could have one right now! YUM.

  15. I had the same issue — mine were a little too crunchy for ice cream sandwiches. So I put some caramel ice cream on top of one caramel crunch bar, drizzled it with hot fudge, and ate it with my hands. Delicious.

  16. Wonderful photos, as usual! I’m thinking of adding dulce de leche to these next time, and now you have me thinking of cocoa nibs . . . .

  17. I am obsessed with toffee treats, the bars look divine!

  18. The bars look absolutely perfect! I love bars that have a lil crunch in them, and these definitely look up my alley 🙂

  19. Wow! Those look like they cut a lot easier than mine, esier for you to make larger portions anyways…

    In my case, a chainsaw wouldn’t have been of use! LOL

    Amazing picture, Steph! Love the crumbs… (lol)

  20. I’m all about the nibs – that sounds so very good.

  21. Gorgeous bars.

    We just loved these.

  22. These look fantastic. Great photo.

  23. Hahah the finest artifically flavored toffee in the WORLD! Your bars are gorgeous!

  24. Great photos – I loved these so much!

  25. Your caramel crunch bars look amazing. I agree they were a little hard to eat with ice cream, but were still utterly delicious.

  26. Terrific photo. The mint sounds so refreshing. I’ll have to try it.

  27. Gorgeous pictures as always!

  28. Oh, what a lovely photo. They look good enough to eat!

  29. Steph, are you Dorie in disguise? your bars look just like the ones in the book! How do you do it!?

  30. comme d’habitude, tes photos mettent en valeur les recettes de Dorie ! très beau 🙂

  31. OOH, they look amazing…great job! I agree about the frozen part…the guys liked them just as they are!

  32. I like how your made yours more of a longer rectangle than the others’ I just saw. They look delicious, but like you said..maybe hard to eat?

  33. Yours look so nice and thick – that’s the way I think they should be!

  34. Cocoa nibs would be great on these. The cookies are sweet enough to offset the bitterness of the nibs. Beautiful looking results!

  35. those look quite simply….amazing!!!

  36. Great picture of your bars. I ate mine with ice cream.

  37. i found these got even better as each day passed. i ate one tonight and thought of throwing out the rest so i didn’t eat the whole pan. 🙂 i also like your rectangle bar shape. yeah, finest quality and artificial flavor together on the same package… hmmm.

  38. Wonderful photos! These very very, very good, and yours look delicious!

  39. Don’t you just love these cookies. I couldn’t stop eating them.

  40. Yours look just like Dorie’s, well done!

  41. Amazing!!!

  42. I thought the sandwiches were a bit difficult to eat, but they sure were tasty. I sprinkled some cocoa nibs too. I’ll bet mint ice cream would be good with these – and your cookies look great!

  43. Nibs sounds like a great topping–I’ll have to give that a try. And I haven’t tried these with tea yet–sounds great.

  44. So tasty looking!!! I like the cocoa nib idea — I thought the bars were a bit too sweet, so I must try this the next time…would assume that it cuts down on the sweetness.

  45. Amazing photo! Glad you enjoyed the bars 🙂

  46. Your rendition looks fabulous as always! I’m always stunned at the things people suggest using for ice cream sandwiches. Things that when you bite into the sandwich, the ice cream completely smushes out… HELLO?


  47. Your bars look delicious. Pefect cut! I couldn’t get mine to do that. I have to say that I paired mine crushed up in semi-frozen whipped cream and they were delicious. I agree that they would be too hard fully frozen as a bar.

  48. These look great! What a pretty picture!

  49. These look extremely extremely good!!!

  50. these look great! I just got Dorie’s book this week and this might have to be the first recipe I try 🙂

  51. Your bars look great!

  52. Your bars look wonderful! I found them too hard for the ice cream sandwiches too. Last thing I need is a trip to the dentist. 😉

  53. they look perfect! i agree, they were a little too crunchy even at room temperature to be my ideal ice cream sandwich cookie. but they sure were delicious:)

  54. Beautiful! I am going to have to try these with ice cream and cocoa nibs.

  55. They look lovely, I am wishing I had some left. Too bad I gave up sweets for Lent… UGH! I am dying already… 🙂

  56. Nice job! Yours turned out great. Perhaps a dish of ice cream with it would be better than the sandwich idea. Great photo!!

  57. these look perfect and so yummy!!! wow, i’d love to try one with some homemade fresh mint ice cram — sounds divine!

  58. Cacao nibs should be used more – they’re absolutely fantastic. After making these, I can see how making them into ice cream sandwiches would be difficult. They really are incredibly crunchy. Beautiful job!

  59. Those look so amazing. I love the cruncy texture.

  60. They look so yum. My daughter and I would like to reach through the screen and grab one!

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