These gluten free salted caramel chocolate cookie bars will take your breath away and leave you craving more. There’s four layers: pecan cookie, chocolate ganache, salted caramel and chopped pecans + chocolate chips. Perfect gluten free fall dessert. (NOTE: Prep time doesn't include refrigeration time)
In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla paste (or vanilla extract).
Add the egg and mix well.
Add the rest of the pecan cookie layer ingredients and mix until you get a homogeneous dough that comes together in a ball but might still be slightly sticky.
Transfer the cookie dough into the baking pan and pat it down with your hands (or a measuring cup) until you get an even layer, about 1/2 inch thick.
Allow to rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes. In the mean time, pre-heat the oven to 350 ºF (180 ºC) and line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with greaseproof/baking paper. The baking pan should be at least 2 - 2 1/2 inch deep.
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 350 ºF (180 ºC) for 16 - 18 minutes, or until light golden on top and a darker golden brown around the edges.
Allow to cool.
In a saucepan, heat the double cream until boiling.
Pour the boiling hot double cream over the chopped dark chocolate. Leave for 5 minutes, then stir well until you get a luscious chocolate ganache. (Important: make sure that there's no water in the bowl with the chopped chocolate, otherwise your ganache could split.)
Pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cookie bottom, smooth out the top and allow to cool to room temperature. After it cools, refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
In a pot, melt the caster sugar on medium-high heat while constantly stirring, until it is a deep golden brown.
Add the butter, and mix well until the butter has melted and is fully incorporated into the caramel. (Be careful, as the caramel can bubble strongly on the addition of butter!) Allow to cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
Add 1/3 cup of double cream in a slow stream, all the while mixing vigorously. (Be careful, as the caramel can bubble strongly and release steam on the addition of double cream!)
Spoon out a small amount of the caramel sauce, allow it to cool, and check its consistency. If it's too thick, add more double cream, and repeat the process until you reach the desired consistency. At its optimum consistency, the caramel should be very thick (not pourable - you will eventually cut the cookie bars into pieces, you don't want the caramel layer to be runny!) but not solid.
After the final addition of the double cream, add the salt and allow the salted caramel to cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and allow to cool until warm.
Pour the salted caramel on top of the set chocolate layer. Do not refrigerate yet.
Sprinkle the chopped pecans and chocolate chips evenly on top of the salted caramel layer and press them into the caramel gently.
The next day, cut the salted caramel chocolate cookie bars into pieces. Enjoy!
The salted caramel chocolate cookie bars keep well in a closed container in the fridge for about a week (hah, nope, they'll be gone within a day).