3ounces(85 grams) bittersweet chocolatechopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2cuptoasted pecansroughly chopped
For the Caramel
Measure the cream into a glass measuring cup and set it near the stove. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl.
Combine the corn syrup and the sugar in a 2-quart non-reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat. As the mixture heats up gently stir with a metal spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved stop stirring.
Continue to cook until the mixture comes to a boil and starts to caramelize to a deep amber. It will read 360 degrees on a digital thermometer.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream to the caramel and stir with a long-handled spoon. It will bubble and splatter, continue to stir until the caramel is smooth and add the butter.
Return the caramel to the stove and continue boiling over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F. Immediately pour the caramel into a glass jar that is big enough to hold 2 cups. Allow the caramel to cool for 10 minutes and stir in the vanilla.
If making the caramel a few days in advance, store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds so it is pourable.
For the Cookie Base
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides of an 8 x 8-inch pan to keep the caramel from sticking.
Put the flour, the oats, the brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir with a large silicone spatula to combine. Add the melted butter and mix together until no specks of the flour mixture remain.
Scrape the mixture into the pan and press it into the pan so it covers the bottom evenly.
Bake it for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle the chocolate pieces and the walnuts over the top. Drizzle the caramel mixture evenly across the top and return the pan to the oven for 15 minutes until the caramel is bubbling.
Remove the bars from the oven and set on a cooling rack. Run the tip of a cake spatula all the way around the edges of the cake to loosen the warm caramel from the sides of the oven.
Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack. Use a small metal spatula to loosen it from the sides of the pans. Use an offset spatula to lift the edges of the cookie bars and invert the bars onto a cutting board. Reinvert the bars and then cut into 2 x 2-inch squares.
Store the bars in an airtight container and separate the layers with wax paper. The bars will keep for about 3 weeks.
This recipe is adapted from Rose's Christmas Cookie Book by Rose Levy Beranbaum.