Toffee Caramel Cream Cheese Bars

A few months ago, I decided to give a try. I’d done online dating one other time, and didn’t have much luck. But I thought I’d give it one more shot, so I signed up for a month long subscription. It actually went a lot better than the first time around. I talked to some nice guys, went on a few dates. One of the guys I talked to seemed really great at first. He was my age, cute, had a good job, and seemed genuinely interested in me. After a few days of talking online, we decided to exchange phone numbers so we could communicate more regularly. He was charming, flirty…and then it happened. I had come down with a cold, and he was asking about my favorite comfort foods. I told him I like ice cream. He asked what kind. I said anything chocolate. He asked if I liked fruit in my ice cream, to which I told him that I do like fruit, but not when it masquerades as dessert. I like to keep them separate…which is when he decided to school me on how and why I should be making my desserts healthy. Umm, what?! Who needs that kind of negativity in their life? Definitely not me. And, he thought it was outrageous that I drink Starbucks twice a week. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.

Now, this dessert right here…is probably as unhealthy as it gets, but worth every delicious, creamy bite. I got the idea when my mom brought “Better Than Sex” cake for my birthday. Or, as we call it, “Better Than No Cake” cake. I subbed out the german chocolate cake for a brownie base and created a ganache/frosting to top it off. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but this dessert is my new favorite!

Toffee Caramel Cream Cheese Bars

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What I’m Listening to: “Step Out” by Jose Gonzalez

Ingredients (makes an 8×8 pan)

-1 box of brownie mix (Note: check the box to make sure it makes an 8×8 pan, not a 9×13- I used Betty Crocker Supreme Triple Chunk mix)

-1/4 cup water

-1/3 cup vegetable oil

-2 eggs

-8 oz block cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat…you know, to be healthier)

-1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

-2 heaping cups powdered sugar

-1 cup Heath toffee baking bits

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8×8 pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Pour into the pan and bake for 32-35 minutes, until the brownies have set and a fork inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the caramel ice cream topping and mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes, turning the speed to low for the last minute. Pour evenly over the brownies. Sprinkle with the Heath baking bits and place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately or place in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

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