I’m a real sucker for anything salted caramel… I think most of us are. Why? Because the salty sweet combination of flavors seeing doubles the taste sensation. Moreover, people generally like sweet because it brings pleasure and comfort, while salt is enjoyable (at the right ratio) due to its flavor-enhancing abilities. The salted caramel food craze isn’t going away anytime soon. I certainly wouldn’t want it to either.
Snickerdoodles have remained a true cookie favorite among the masses. I wanted to look further into the origin and reasoning behind the whimsical “Snickerdoodle” name.
A good start is this article from the "Columbia Missourian": " Most of the sources I found traced snickerdoodles back to colonial America, though the cookie, from the Dutch "keokje" meaning "little cake," didn't really become a popular treat until about a century ago. The snickerdoodle, a simple cinnamon-spiced cookie, was an early entry into the American cookie spectrum, along with such treats as jumbles, plunkets and cry babies. The names, according to most sources I read, were merely whimsical. "The Joy of Cooking" offered etymology tracing the snickerdoodle back to the German word "schneckennudeln," which means "crinkly noodles." This, I'm afraid to say, wasn't very helpful. But "schnecke" means "snail" in German, and could be the root of the mysterious snickerdoodle. According to an almost 30-year-old kid's book procured for me by my librarian friend called "Slumps, Grunts and Snickerdoodles: What Colonial American Ate and Why" by Lila Perl, a "shnecke" was also a German name for a cinnamon pinwheel that resembles snails. Makes more sense than "crinkly noodle," at least. " I have a very prized and popular Salted Caramel filled Snickerdoodle cookie recipe that I'm saving for my cookbook (if I ever get around to working on it). However it is ultimately time consuming and not the most favored choice of treats for a fun-filled, holiday weekend. Recreating these salty sweet treats into a easily manageable and sliceable bar was the ultimate time saving solution. These bars are decadent and delicious. I absolutely cannot wait to set out a platter of these gooey little dudes for Memorial Day. Maybe I'll top each one with an american flag toothpick for a patriotic touch. Easy, crazy delicious, and cleanup is a breeze... because there won't be any left to clean up.
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1½ cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- To make the Caramel Icing:
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine together the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. (Be sure to use a saucepan a lot bigger than you think you'll need, because the mixture expands dramatically as it boils).
- Place the saucepan over a stovetop adjusted to medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula until the sugar has dissolved and everything is well incorporated.
- If the mixture is not boiling well over medium heat, increase to medium-high. Continue boiling the mixture, stirring constantly until the icing thickens and darkens into a dark amber color, and registers 230 to 234°F (110C to) on a thermometer, about 15 minutes. This is known as the soft ball stage. Stir in the vanilla. Stop stirring once the caramel has reached the right temperature.
- Once cooled- The caramel should be soft but it shouldn't be fluid; kind of like a slightly molten piece of mozzarella cheese. If this this is not the case, then let the mixture boil for a few more minutes, then check the consistency again.
- Allow the icing to cool slightly, about 5 minutes before using it to fill and glaze the cake.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8 by 13inch baking pan with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1½ minutes. allow to cool a few minutes.
- Add the butter, eggs, and sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour, cream of tartar, salt and beat briefly on low, until just combined, be careful no to overmix.
- Turn ½ the batter out into the prepared pan. Spray a second piece of parchment with nonstick baking spray. Lay the sprayed parchment over the first layer of cookie batter and press to smooth into an even layer. Once smooth, spread the salted caramel over the first cookie layer.
- Using the second half of the cookie batter, spread it evenly over the caramel layer. Use the the sprayed parchment paper to smooth this final cookie layer.
- For Sprinkling - In plastic container with a lid- combine the sugar and cinnamon. Place li on container and shake well to fully combine the cinnamon and sugar.
- Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top layer of cookie.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Place pan on top of a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.