Thursday, October 13, 2011

Easy Caramel Turtle Bars (12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies - Week 3)

I love bar cookies! They're quick, easy to prepare and so versatile. They can be as sweet and homey as a molten slab of chocolate chip cookie, or dressed up for dessert with a bit of fancy cutting and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Modeled on the turtle candy, one of my mother's favorites, this recipe combines the best of a sugar cookie base was a rich, gooey caramel center, a layer of toasted pecans, and a thick chocolate coating. I threw it together during the height of last year's Christmas rush, and with the help of a few pre-made cheats, it's about as quick and easy as they get.

Of course, if you prefer to do things from scratch (for which, I commend you!) you can substitute homemade sugar cookie dough for the base and whip up your own caramel/dulce de leche for the filling.

Caramel Turtle Bars
1 package (16.5 oz) pre-made sugar cookie dough (Pillsbury works well!)
6 oz chopped pecans, lightly toasted
1 jar (at least 12 oz) caramel ice cream topping
12 oz (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch pan. Press cookie dough evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the dough and press in lightly. Spoon caramel topping over nuts and bake for 25-35 minutes until edges are browned and caramel is thickened. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat chocolate chips and condensed milk over medium-low heat, in a medium saucepan. Stir until just melted and smooth. Working quickly, spoon chocolate over slightly cooled bars and allow to cool completely before serving.

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  1. look amazing absolutely yumm! gloria

  2. These look fantastic! What a quick easy recipe--definitely a plus during the busy holiday season!

  3. I know someone who would love these for the holidays. Thanks for the inspiration and scratching someone off the list for me ;)

  4. I love bars for the same reason. And these look delicious! I am so impressed by all of you who have started thinking about Christmas baking already!

  5. This is going on my holiday bake list!

  6. Can't wait to try these! Visiting from Foodie Firday and I've pinned these! I also do a 12 Days of Cookies...check out my recipes when you get a chance! There's a list in the sidebar of my home page.