Right around this time we start to see some changes. There’s been a change in the weather. It’s still warm yet the evenings are cooler which I adore. It means evenings of sitting outside on the deck in front of a fire with a cozy sweatshirt are coming. We see a change in foods and ingredients too. All those warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg start to come around. Pumpkins and apples are just around the corner.. The other thing that changes are the options at my favorite coffee shop, Starbucks. Just recently they brought back their pumpkin spice latte and the salted caramel mocha. Yum!! I love their autumn and winter coffee specialties so much! With their specialty drinks come seasonal treats as well, my favorite being their salted caramel sweet squares.
I haven’t seen them reemerge this year as of yet but I do hope they bring them back. Have you ever had them? If not, oh my goodness they are amazing! Pretzels and pecans sit atop a shortbread crust topped with salted caramel and chocolate ganache. See? Amazing! Last year I said to myself, “Self, you need to try to recreate this at home.” Really, who wants to pay Starbucks prices for something I can create at home? Although, this could be dangerous because I now I can have an entire tray to myself. Yikes! So recreate I did and now so can you! These were a huge hit and what’s not to love? Of course, they made their way into work where they were inhaled pretty quickly. That’s always a good sign.
One Year Ago: Granola Muffins
Pretzels and pecans sit atop a shortbread crust topped with salted caramel and chocolate ganache.
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup pretzels, broken into pieces
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream together butter, sugar, and salt in a bowl with a mixer until fluffy. Gradually add the flour with the mixer on low until just combined. Don't overmix.
- Press the dough into the pan and refrigerate until cool. Bake until golden brown around the edges, for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- In a large heavy bottom pan, heat the sugar until it melts and become a deep amber color, swirling occasionally to ensure even cooking. Watch carefully, it can burn fast!
- Add the cream and butter and stir until the butter is melted. The caramel will bubble up dramatically at first and then subside. Be careful!
- Stir in the salt.
- Stir the pretzels and pecans into the caramel and spread evenly over the shortbread.
- Refrigerate until the caramel has thickened and is no longer runny.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, warm the heavy cream just until steam rises off it.
- Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny.
- Gently and evenly spread the ganache over the caramel layer. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
- Refrigerate until set.
Plus chilling and setting times.