Saturday, July 18, 2009

Graham Turtle Bars

My Venture into the Sweet and Salty

I'm not much of a dessert eater and I also hate chocolate. Yeah, I know. I'll add you to my long list of people who think I'm strange. When I do eat sweets, I go for sweets that have a sweet-tart or sweet-salty combination. These bars are incredibly simple to make so I hesitated adding them to my blog. They are nothing but graham crackers topped with hot caramel, cashews, melted chocolate, and sea salt. SEA SALT?! Yes, sea salt. This dessert has a wonderful mixture of textures and the chocolate pairs perfectly with the briny, background bite of the sea salt. I love these so much that, as soon as I took the pictures, I threw the whole batch in the trash so I wouldn't eat them. Oh, I shouldn't have told you all that. Right now, my mother is reading this entry and screaming, "You WHAT?!" Ma - I know it's a waste of food but if my batootie gets any bigger, it's gonna start affecting the tides!

So do what I did. Put on your goggles and Red-Baron scarf, jump on your stylin' moped with racing wheels and flame decals, and go screaming down the street at 15 mph to the grocery store. Get everything you need and make these bars today. Enjoy -- and happy eating!

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Graham Turtle Bars
(Printable Version)

1 sleeve of Graham Crackers
½ of a 14-oz package of caramels
4 TBSP butter
1 TBSP milk
1 cup whole cashews (salted or unsalted)
8 oz of chocolate (milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate bars), broken into small pieces
Sea Salt for sprinkling

Butter a jelly roll pan (or a small sheet pan). Remove 1 sleeve of Graham Crackers from the box and break each cracker in half to form squares. Lay the squares side-by-side in the pan.

In a microwave-safe bowl, add the caramels, butter, and milk. Microwave about 1 minute and 45 seconds (or until the mixture boils), stirring once very thoroughly during heating. Immediately pour the hot caramel over the graham crackers. Don't freak out if you've not covered every square millimeter of the graham crackers with caramel. Sprinkle on the cashews – gently pressing them into the caramel to make sure they remain seated when the caramel cools.

In another microwave-safe bowl, add the pieces of chocolate. Microwave on high until the chocolate melts – stirring it every 15 seconds. Chocolate melts FAST in the microwave so don't leave it unattended or it will scorch. Using a fork, splatter the melted chocolate all over the bars. Lick the bowl. You know you want to.

Allow the mixture to cool about 10 to 15 minutes and then sprinkle sea salt on top of the bars. Not sure if sea salt is going to be your thing? Sprinkle some of the bars with sea salt and leave the others naked.

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