Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Hi! Remember me? I’m sorry for being MIA the past few weeks but lots of exciting new things have been happening! Well, maybe not lots but it feels like lots!

This fall, yours truly, will be attending UCLA to finish up my environmental studies/geography degree!

Every day since I received the lovely news, I wake up and think to myself “hey remember that time you got into UCLA?” and then I smile REALLY big. You’ll even find me smiling at really awkward times. I’m just…happy. So I have been off smiling around town. I know that doesn’t really seem like an excuse for being so absent…but it’s true.

So stay tuned, Thursday Night Baking is moving to Westwood! Woohoo!

I also went to Chicago to visit my Granny with my Mom! We did some site seeing, ate food, took pictures – it was a lovely mini vacation, despite the 40 degrees and raining weather.

The pretty Jellyfish at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

So in honor of my exciting news, I made you guys something super good. This recipe has been bookmarked and drooled over for many months and now that I’ve made it I can’t believe I waited so long!

My oh my, these bars are little bites of sugary goodness! The buttery shortbread can stand proudly on its own, but wow add the gooey caramel, chocolate coating and oh of course the fleur de sel and this will leave you with a huge smile on your face.

Oh fleur de sel, you steal my heart. I’m having a hard time figuring out what doesn’t taste good with fleur de sel on top.

This recipe makes an entire 9×13 inch pan which means lots of goodies to share with friends! And trust me, this is an impressive recipe that you’ll want to show off to your friends.

Enjoy,

Madeline

#55 Salted Chocolate Pecan Cookies

This year I participated in a cookie swap and not just some amateur local one. This my friends was put together by the lovely ladies over at Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. The idea is genius really. Combine the powers of the amazingly talented food bloggers all over the country, ship a box of cookies to three different people, you get three different boxes of cookies, and in the end everyone writes a nice little post about! Fun! [If you’re interested in participating next year, sign up for their emails here]

Well here I am at stage three writing a nice little post about this event. This event was a lot more than just shipping your cookies to random people around the country. Blogging about anything can seem really closed off sometimes. You don’t get to see the people who are reading your blog or interact with them like you would if you were cooking for a group of friends. This event brought together about 500 food bloggers over the common love of cookies. Personally, I went on Twitter way more just to look through all of the tweets about the cookie swap. It was nice to bond virtually over the trials and errors of making the perfect cookie, and through the process I found a few more people to follow online.

My cookies ready to ship

I want to give a shout out to the three blogs that I sent cookies too:

KarmaCucina – my new go-to “real” cooking site! Lots of different variations on delicious food.
Life of a Bama Girl – another young chef blogging about life and food 🙂
From My Sweet Heart – a lovely woman living her life the best way possible – through sugar 🙂

The bloggers that I received cookies from:

Addicted to Recipes – she sent some yummy Gingerbread Snickerdoodles which was so appropriate. I love the two of them separately this season, so combined it was heavenly.
Grumpy’s Honey Bunch – she sent two different types of cookies [a nice result from reading directions when stressed :)] One was a peppermint bark filled bon bon (Mom loved these!) and some Cardamon Sugar cookies (yum!)
Decadent Philistines Save the World – she sent Maple Walnut cookies, which sadly must have been man-handled by the USPS because the box of cookies was opened inside when i got it and the cookies were a little hard 🙁 BUT I did try them and they tasted good regardless!  There should be a stamp for packages that says “HANDLE WITH CARE – COOKIES INSIDE”

I should probably tell you about the cookies I made now, huh? Recently I have fallen in love with the idea of sea salt on desserts, like cookies and chocolates. I know some people who havent experienced it yet are a little hesitant about the idea, but trust me, you’ll be hooked.

I was going to make a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt, but that was too simple. So these cookies ended up as a mixture of a few different cookies. I only got to eat one of them because I didn’t make enough to devour myself, but that one cookie was mouthwatering. These will be made a few more times this holiday season, that’s for sure.

Enjoy!

Madeline