Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Chocolate Walnut Caramel Squares

Servings: 16
Your kids will love these great little chocolate caramel snacks, and will want you to bake more of them for the next time their friends drop by.

For Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For Filling:
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2½ cups chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F.
To Prepare crust:
Combine flour, ½ cup butter and 3 Tbsp. sugar in a food processor or medium bowl. Pulse or mix with a pastry blender until dough resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of a foil-lined 9-inch square pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand 2 minutes, then spread chocolate over crust.

To Prepare filling:
Place 1 1/3 cups sugar in a large heavy saucepan; stir over low heat until melted and caramel colored, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 cup butter, cream and corn syrup. Mixture will bubble up and clump together. Simmer over medium-low heat stirring frequently until mixture is smooth and reaches 234 to 240°F (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts. Immediately pour over crust. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm. Use foil to lift out of pan; transfer to cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

Note: To test for soft ball stage without a thermometer, drop a small amount of sugar mixture into a dish of very cold water. If sugar has reached soft ball stage, it will form a soft ball that can be flattened and picked up out of the water.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: August 1, 2002