Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars
Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars: a cinnamon scented, spelt cookie dough crust, a dulce de leche center studded with white and dark chocolate chips, pecans and a sprinkle of maldon sea salt. Uh-mazing.
I seem to reheat the same cup of coffee a half a dozen times throughout the day. It’s the same everyday. I start with my morning ritual of drinking warm lemon water first thing and sip on it while I make a cup and half of coffee in my french press. Once I finish my water I switch to the hard stuff and sip on it as the day comes to life. But I never seem to finish that cup. Because inevitably, the kids get up and need breakfast, help getting dressed and then it’s a mad rush to get backpacks and jackets as we head out the door to school. My coffee is left behind, lukewarm, only half of it gone.
And interestingly, it’s the same story as my days go on. I warm my coffee and then get lost in laundry. I rewarm my coffee and then change the sheets on the bed. Rewarm again but now the dogs need to go out for a walk. I rewarm yet again only to get lost in blog work. More often than not, it’s not until the afternoon that I actually sit down and finish that never-ending cup of coffee. I’m not always great about it but I try to sit down for 15 minutes or so before the kiddos get home from school. With all that running, I really need a few minutes to sit and well, just sit. Sometimes I read, sometimes I’ll watch a bit of a t.v show but almost always, I finish off that last bit of coffee.
I joke with my husband that I haven’t slowed down in 8.5 years. (The age of my oldest.) It’s the fate of being a working mom I suppose. A fate I wouldn’t change for anything. A fate that I gladly accept and one that doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. I’ve learned that through the busyness, it’s super important to take care of myself. I can only run and gun for so long before it catches up with me. So I’m really good about taking time for myself when I need it and more pointedly, asking for help when I feel like I’m getting buried. It might seem small but my afternoon ritual of sitting down to the never-ending cup of coffee and taking a few minutes for myself makes all the difference in how the rest of my day will go.
One of the perks of food blogging is that there is usually a cookie or slice of leftover cake that I’ve stashed away in the freezer. On the especially hard days, finding a sweet stowed away in the freezer is like hitting the jackpot.
Huh? Did someone say something about emotional eating?
Because the only thing better than sitting down to an old cup of coffee is when it’s paired with a slightly frozen homemade goody am I right?
Dulce de Leche bars for the win.Print
A cookie bar with dulce de leche, chocolate and pecans.
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold butter, diced
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dulce de leche
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Line a 9-inch-square baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; coat the foil with cooking spray.
- Pulse 1 cup all-purpose and spelt flour, the diced butter, powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a food processor until the mixture starts clumping together, about 1 minute.
- Remove dough from food processor and firmly press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until firm and lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the dulce de leche, heavy cream, egg yolks and the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth; set aside.
- Pour the dulce de leche mixture over the crust and sprinkle with both the dark and white chocolate chips and pecans. Sprinkle with salt if using. Return bars to the oven and bake until set around the edge but slightly jiggly in the center, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Lift out of the pan using the overhanging foil. Remove the foil and cut into 20 pieces.
Recipe adapted from the Food Network Magazine.