Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Salted Caramel Bars

It has been a very crazy few weeks, and now with my daughter out of school (and officially a 3rd grader), it was nice to have an easy, relaxed long weekend with my family and friends.  I go through ups and downs with cooking and baking.  Sometimes I feel I just lack any inspiration, and we eat many meals of roasted veggies.  Roasted veggies tacos, roasted veggies in pasta, roasted veggies with mashed potatoes.  You name it, I can add roasted veggies to it.

Cooking vegetarian, with an occasional fish dish, can sometimes wear me out.  I love getting creative with vegetables and legumes, but some days, I just want it over and done with, and put on a plate in front of me.  So, it was nice this weekend when I got the spark back to experiment, and wow, this was a sinfully delicious experiment.  I was feeling caramel, I was feeling cookie bar....after looking up several ideas, I took inspiration from many different recipes, and created my own gluten-free version.

BEWARE...these are ridiculously addictive.  Seriously, you need to make them to bring somewhere, because if you leave them in your own kitchen, you will not be able to resist.

The pictures may not be super pretty, and a little too "organic", but don't let the pictures fool you. No one will be complaining about how they look.

Salted Caramel Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 t vanilla
2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Pamela's Pancake & Baking Mix)

Caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
2 T light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 t fresh ground sea salt
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325'


Combine the butter, sugars and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer until smooth, fluffy and well blended;

Add the flour until combined;

Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper;

Add half of the dough to the baking dish and use fingers to flatten and smooth to edges;

Bake for 30 minutes or until edges start to brown, place the remaining 1/2 of the dough in the fridge.

Caramel sauce:

In the meantime, add the sugar, corn syrup and water to a sauce pan, stir to combine and let sit on medium-high heat;

It will start bubbling, watch closely and when it starts to turn amber (about 8 minutes), turn off the heat, add the cream, and stir to combine;

Add the sour cream, and stir to combine;

Let sauce sit until the crust is ready.

Finishing crust:

When the crust is finished, spoon the caramel sauce on the baked crust (you will have lots left over - put in a jar and store in the fridge until you want a spoonful, or to put it on ice cream);

Sprinkle the sea salt over the caramel;

Crumble the remaining cooled dough on top of the caramel;

Bake for another 30 minutes, or until top crust starts to brown;

Let cool completely (at least an hour), and cut into squares.

Enjoy!  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Atlanta Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event, May 5th

How much do you love going somewhere where everyone is like you?  People don't look at you like you have a third eye.  Where you can eat food and not ask question after question, and then think so much about it that food no longer seems fun?

This is definitely me!  And that is why this weekend I am going to attend the Atlanta Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event on Sunday, May 5th at Gwinnett Center, about 30 minutes north of Atlanta.

The day is going to be packed with well known gluten-free speakers and endless gluten-free treats to sample from national and local Atlanta-area vendors.

For a full list of speakers and vendors, visit the event's website.

Hope to see you there! But if you cannot make it, you can follow the event on Twitter #ATLGFAFGWell.