Holiday Cookie Countdown: Chocolate Caramel Cashew Bars

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Welcome to Day 2! These were the very first batch of cookies I made when beginning to test recipes for this series. I made them in early October and it was like 80 degrees here (which is odd). It did not feel like the holidays and yet I knew instantly that these would make the top 12. They met every criteria I look for: easy, beautiful to look at, and mouthwateringly delicious.

You just can’t go wrong with these. My friend Anna at Cookie Madness gets credit for the recipe — I just adapted it a little because I didn’t want to unwrap all those caramels! (I used the Kraft Caramel Bits instead!)

Sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy…these are a no-brainer for your holiday baking list!

p.s. Make sure to cut these into bars when they’re cold (right out of the fridge). It makes a much cleaner cut. I find the Kraft caramel bits at Walmart in the baking section.

Holiday Cookie Countdown: Chocolate Caramel Cashew Bars

Holiday Cookie Countdown: Chocolate Caramel Cashew Bars

Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

3/4 packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

l lightly beaten egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 (11 oz) package Kraft caramel bits

2 tablespoons milk

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup salted cashew halves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each side to use as "handles" for removing bars later. Spray foil with cooking spray.

Use an electric mixer to combine butter and brown sugar. Beat in salt and egg, then flour and oats, mixing just until combined. Press mixture into the baking pan and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown around edges.

Meanwhile, combine caramel bits and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Melt on high for 2 minutes until mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with chocolate and cashews.

Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator to chill (this sets the caramel a bit).

Using foil handles, lift from pan and cut into 36 bars.

adapted from Cookie Madness

http://sugarmamacooks.com/holiday-cookie-countdown-chocolate-caramel-cashew-bars/

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