I had a really real moment with a girl behind the counter at Magnolia Cupcakes in Grand Central the other day.
“Can I have a chocolate chip cookie?”
“Yes.” (smile, no movement, dead eyes. classic.)
“the cookie…” I point at it. I think we might be playing chicken, not sure. I’ve never been very good at sports.
“Oh. How many?”
“One. I want one cookie. The salted caramel chocolate chip cookie, please.”
Her eyes widen. I think I’ve said today’s secret word. I prepare to be slimed.
“Are you sure? Have you ever…had one of those?”
“Yeah?” I begin to uncurl from fallout position.
“It’s salted…” I am convinced she is convinced that I am deaf, dumb, and blind and her conviction rivals only my own and so I think we’re both confused. I forge on.
“I can handle it.” We make more eye contact. I really want that cookie. It’s the size of my face.
Long story finally brought to fruition: I couldn’t entirely handle it. It was really good, really big, and really made my teeth hurt. But I think I might just have a cavity. Typical Molly would have been all like “I WILL CONQUER YOU AND ALSO PROBABLY GET CHOCOLATE ON MY FACE AND NOT REALIZE IT FOR HOURS.” Instead, I was more like “ouch.” But then I decided I must make it for myself. Because I fear no one or thing or cookie.
Well, first I decided I needed to clean my room. Then I quickly abandoned that idea because DUMB. It’s cookie time!
I ate half a dozen cookies that night. And slept around the shoes and clothes and bags on my bed.
SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHUNK BARS
makes 18-20 bars/who even cares, you’ll eat them all in one sitting anyways
- 1 tablespoon coconut butter or oil
- 1 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar blend
- 1 tablespoon white cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (coconut works better for more calories but I was out and almond milk works fine – just makes a thinner caramel)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon coarse salt, depending on how daring you are
- 1¾ cups spelt flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (I did not sweeten the cookies themselves because of the caramel that’s coming up – feel free to add more if you like)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons water, whisked together and refrigerated for about 15 minutes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 60g extra dark chocolate chips
I like it when your face is all sticky, yo…
Make dat caramel…
In a sauce pan, heat the white sugar, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and coconut butter over medium high heat while you stir occasionally. It’ll start to thicken a bit. When it starts to bubble, carefully add the almond milk (or coconut milk). Mix it to combine, bring to a simmer, and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir once or twice in there to prevent burning but mostly let it cook. Take it off the heat. Sprinkle in the coarse salt. Allow it to cool and harden a bit while you make the cookie dough.
Make cookies, not babies…
Set the oven to 325. Take out a square baking dish and spray it lightly with baking spray. Leave it like that or go the extra step and line the pan with parchment paper. I believe in you. Go that extra step. Go it with gusto. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt and almond flours, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and peanut butter til smooth. I used a fork for this and definitely not my mouth/tongue/face/you should probably not eat the food I make. Mix in the tablespoon of maple syrup, make it a little sweeter if you insist. Mix in the flax seed/water mixture and the vanilla.
Mix the dry ingredients in that lonely medium bowl with the wet ingredients in your big bowl. The dough will definitely need that extra liquid element so add 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk as you see fit. Mix in about half the chocolate chips.
Divide the dough in half. Spread one half into an even layer in the baking dish. Evenly distribute the rest of your chocolate chips onto this layer and press them into the dough. Drizzle the salted caramel sauce that’s been chilling (GET IT???) over yonder this whole time all over the layer of dough. Let this sit for a little until the caramel hardens a bit or be like me and get ready for shit to get real messy. Get stoked. Also, spread the remaining half of the cookie dough onto of the caramel layer. HOW STICKY ARE YOU RIGHT NOW? RIGHT??!?
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
NUTRITION based on 18 cookie bars: 150 calories . 18g carbs . 7g fat . 3g protein . 3g fiber . 7g sugar