Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Celebrating National Caramel Day - April 5th

I have two things to share with you in honor of National Caramel Day, and isn't this just the best holiday to celebrate?!  First of all, a recipe for what sounds to be a delicious caramel pudding.  It's a recipe I haven't tried...yet! (but seriously, how could you possibly go wrong?), that is featured on a recipe postcard from my vast collection.

Next is a recipe from from the June 11, 2009 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that I have tried and is delicious!
Caramel Chocolate Bars = Layers of chewy deliciousness.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the baking pan 
3 tablespoons sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1 tablespoon light brown sugar 
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, coarsely chopped 
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch baking pan, then line it with a sheet of aluminum foil cut 8 inches wide and long enough to extend 3 to 4 inches over 2 sides of the pan. Butter the foil.

Crust: In a mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer on medium speed, then beat in sugar and salt. Beat 1 to 2 minutes to blend well, then beat in the flour. Gather dough into a ball and place in mounds, about a teaspoon each, on the bottom of the pan. With your fingers, press to form a smooth, even layer. Prick the dough with the tines of a fork. Bake until just starting to color lightly, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove pan, but retain oven temperature.

Caramel layer: Place 1 tablespoon each butter and light brown sugar in a heavy, medium saucepan set over medium low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until sugar has dissolved, about a minute. Add milk and salt and, whisking constantly, bring mixture to a slight simmer. Cook, whisking constantly and never letting mixture come to a boil, until it thickens and becomes a light caramel color, about 10 minutes. As milk cooks, it will caramelize lightly on the bottom of the pan, so you might see some flakes floating in the mixture. That's OK.

Pour caramel over pastry crust, smoothing into an even layer with a metal spatula or back of a knife. Return pan to oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove, and cool to room temperature.

Chocolate layer: Place chocolate and cream in a heavy medium saucepan set over medium low heat. Whisk constantly until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then pour melted chocolate over cooled caramel layer and spread evenly with a metal spatula or table knife. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, 30 minutes or longer.

Run a sharp knife around inside edges of pan to loosen, then lift out pastry using the foil as an aid. Remove foil. Cut into 16 squares.

(Bars can be made 2 days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.)

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Bars are good either way.

This is linked to:
 Dining With Debbie


Tracy's Living Cookbook said...

National Caramel Day? Really? That's great! Coincidentally I just posted my great Caramel Corn recipe here if anyone is interested.... that pudding looks so, so good. My comfort food.

Our Italian Kitchen said...

I can't believe I was unaware of National Caramel Day. That's basically my favorite. Sad I didn't know. But thank you for sharing your sweets!

Sara said...

I love caramel! And I make a bar very similar to those. Now I'll have to try the pudding. I love the combo of bananas and caramel. My favorite way to eat bananas and caramel is over vanilla bean ice cream! It's a great sundae!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Happy National Caramel Day, Pattie!!! (sorry I'm late:)

I just love that you shared these recipes for Caramel Day. How cool is that??? Nothing like "spreading" the news:)

Your Caramel Chocolate Bars look sinfully delicious. Thank you so much for sharing...

P.S. Happy Coffee Cake Day, today!!!

Unknown said...

Who knew that there was a National Caramel Day???Thanks so much for linking up to What's On the Menu Wednesday at Dining With Debbie. I hope you will visit often and link up whenever your can.

Anonymous said...

Those Carmel chocolate bars look amazing. Why was I not told about this or been able to sample them? I will have to make these.