2Using electric mixer, in a medium bowl, cream butter, brown and white sugars, then egg and vanilla.
3In another bowl, stir together, flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
4Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well until a soft dough forms.
5Stir in 3/4 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped pecans. Mix until chocolate chips and chopped pecans are evenly distributed in cookie dough.
6Press cookie dough evenly into bottom of an ungreased, 8-inch square, baking pan.
7Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven.
8Meanwhile, in a 1-quart saucepan on stove top, heat 24 caramels and 1 Tbs milk over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
9Carefully spread melted caramels evenly over warm cookie bars; sprinkle with pecan halves. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour.
10In small microwaveable bowl, microwave 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp shortening uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Drizzle over cookie bars. Let stand about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.
Finding the absolute best ingredients such a big part of Chef Antoine Westermann’s culinary career and the main drive behind all of his expertly crafted dishes. His relationship with farmers and purveyors are critical to his work as a chef. While visiting one of his providers in New York, the French chef describes his efforts to find the best local ingredients for his restaurant.
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