Sustainable Chef & Food Journalist

Dark and Stormy Bites

Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time32 mins
Yields16 Servings
DifficultyIntermediate

With Halloween looking different this year, why not take this opportunity to make your own treats?

Many popular store-bought Halloween treats contain a lot of ingredients that I just don’t agree with. Not from a personal health perspective, but from a planet and people perspective. So, this year I’ve made my own with fairtrade chocolate and sugar. I hope you can do the same!

To make the chocolate bars, just stick to the recipe below, it makes plenty! To make the bars plus to have extra caramel on hand for caramel corn and chews, double the caramel recipe and simply reserve half for the bars and a half for the other treats. In fact, you can make the caramel recipe on its own, anytime you want.

Ingredients

What You'll Need
 Brown sugar cookie base
 Creamy caramel layer
 1 cup Pecanchopped or whole
 16 oz Semi-sweet fair trade chocolatemelted
 
Brown Sugar Cookie Base
 1 cup Unsalted butterSoftened
 1 cup Fair trade brown sugar
 2 cups All-purpose flour
 1 tsp Vanilla
 ½ tsp Salt
 1 pinch Fresh nutmeg
 
Creamy Caramel Layer
 1 ½ cups Fair trade granulated sugar
  cup Water
 2 tsp Liquid honey
  cup Cold, cubed butter
 ¼ cup Whole cream 35%+ 3 TBSP more

Note:

Make-Ahead: Assembled bars keep for 5 days

Instructions

Brown Sugar Cookie Base
1

Preheat oven to 350 F.

2

In a stand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt and nutmeg, for around 2 minutes on high speed, stopping once in a while to scrape downsides of the bowl.

3

Adjust speed to slow and add flour. Mix until just incorporated and the mixture is crumbly.

4

Empty dough from the bowl onto the clean countertop, and use hands to press and knead the dough together until is smooth and uniform.

5

Press dough into 9'" x 13" parchment-lined baking dish and use the bottom of measuring cup to press dough onto dough to even it out.

6

Poke dough generously with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking - this is called "docking".

7

Bake for 20-22 minutes in the centre of the oven until golden.

8

Let cool in the baking dish before removing and cutting into 16 equal pieces.

9

Keep in an airtight container at room temperature or freezer until ready to use.

 
Creamy Caramel Layer
10

To a high rimmed large saucepan, add sugar, water and honey. Do not stir to incorporate as the mixture will crystallize.

11

Let bubble over medium-high heat until part of the sugar liquid appears amber in some spots (will happen near the centre of the pot/heat source).

12

Turn off heat and whisk in butter until it is incorporated (this can really bubble up so be careful and always use a large, high-rimmed pot)

13

Once butter is incorporated, whisk in cream. Let slightly cool slightly and become more firm before using for Dark and Stormy Bites or other treats.

 
Assembly
14

Place shortbread bars on a wire rack, over a sheet pan, or another surface that will catch the caramel and chocolate drips.

15

Spread each with a tablespoon of the caramel.

16

Top with whole or chopped pecans and press softly to adhere.

17

Spoon over melted chocolate.

18

Allow to rest for one hour before sprinkling with flaked salt.

19

Allow chocolate bars to set up overnight (at least 8 hours) or in the freezer (10 minutes).

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