New product makes baking even more delicious!
When I am grocery shopping, I try to restrain myself. You know, only buy what’s on my list, get everything in one pass through the store and don’t wrinkle the magazines I read in the checkout line. All restraint went out the window this week, however, when I spied a new product in the baking aisle. The pretty blue package of Hershey’s Sea Salt Caramel Chipits was positively yelling at me from the shelf; I may have squealed back in return when I realized what it was. Checking to make sure no one was watching, I grabbed 6 packages and tossed them into my cart. I bought a bunch because I am certain that once word gets out about this delicious new ingredient, there’s going to be a run on them and they’ll be impossible to find.
Like any good culinary scientist, I opened a package as soon as I got back to the car. For research, of course. The modicum of restraint that remained after the squealing episode in the store thankfully kicked in, otherwise I’d have been tempted to eat the whole bag as they are ridiculously tasty. I came up with this new recipe to honour the good people at Hershey’s who invented these sea salt caramel baking chips, to whom I extend my most sincere thanks. The squares are a snap to make, beautifully flaky and not overly sweet so you can really taste the salty caramel nuggets. Best of all, you can even feel virtuous about eating them since the oats make them a tiny bit healthy, right?
- 2 cups (500 mL) flour
- 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) quick (not instant) rolled oats
- 1 cup (250 mL) icing (powdered/confectioners’ sugar)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) very cold butter
- 1 package (283 g/10 oz) sea salt caramel baking chips
- Line a 9-by-13-inch (22.5 x 32.5 cm) baking dish with parchment paper, ensuring it overhangs on two sides so you can lift the cooked squares out of the pan easily.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar and baking powder.
- Using a box grater, grate the very cold butter into the flour mixture, stopping every 30 seconds or so to clear the grater and gently stir the butter into the flour mixture with a fork. When you are finished, the mixture should be in small clumps.
- Stir in salted caramel baking chips.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan, pressing it down with a spatula or your fingers. It will look a little crumbly but as it cooks, the butter will melt and everything will stick together nicely.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan (set it on a wire rack) before lifting out to cut in bars or squares.
- Store in a tightly-covered container at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to six months.
Makes 96 small squares.