When considering what kind of desserts to make I have a few criteria that must be met. If I am going to take the time to bake something and then consume a criminal amount of calories it better be worth it! It must have chocolate or caramel or cheesecake. Bonus points if I can incorporate a cookie crust into this dessert somehow. The answer is usually to make a multi layered dessert with a little bit of everything. I like chocolate. I like caramel. I like cookies. Why not combine them all for a truly sinful dessert? My friend Melissa made this for my birthday this year. In January. We all really loved it, so I of course requested the recipe. She immediately sent it to me. I had planned to make it right away but when I looked at the ingredient list I saw vanilla caramels listed. What is a vanilla caramel, and where do I buy them? I puzzled over this vanilla caramel situation for awhile and before I knew it I had forgotten all about the dessert I loved so much.
Luckily, this dessert popped back into my head a few weeks ago. I decided to just use regular caramels instead of vanilla caramels and I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel caramel sauce instead of plain caramel sauce. I like to use Trader Joe’s caramel sauce at every opportunity. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should! This dessert is a breeze to make. Most of the ingredients I already had on hand. I saved about ½ of a piece for myself and gave the rest to my Mom to serve for her book club. I find that if I don’t give away all of these baked goods we make that I somehow end up eating them myself. So now, I try a bite and say good-bye! It is a hard task, but believe me, it is necessary. This dessert really has it all. Lots of chocolate, caramel, and nuts. Something for everyone!
2 cups Oreo crumbs (about 20 Oreos)
1/3 cup butter, melted
½ cup caramel ice cream topping (I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel)
½ cup whipping cream, separated
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, or by hand, pulse the Oreos into fine crumbs. Mix the crumbs and the melted butter and press into a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. While the crust is cooling prepare the caramel layer. Melt the caramels with the caramel sauce on the stove top over medium low heat. Once the caramels have melted add half of the whipping cream. Stir until combined and remove from heat. Stir in the chopped pecans. Pour the mixture over the crust. Refrigerate for 1 hour. After 1 hour the caramel layer should be firm. Melt the chocolate chips over low heat in a heavy bottomed pot or a double boiler. Heat until the chocolate is melted and stir constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining whipping cream. Stir until combined. Pour the chocolate sauce over the caramel layer. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Take it out of the refrigerator just before serving.
Source: Melissa Larson