Combine the caramels with the water in a small p an and melt over low heat. Place the shortbread cookies side by side on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon a dab of caramel onto each cookie. Then place all the cookies in the refrigerator until the caramel firms up.
In the meantime, in a double boiler over low heat, melt the chocolate chips.
You may also use the microwave for melting the chocolate. Just zap the chips for 1 minute on high, stir, then zap 'em for another minute. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator.
rest each one on a fork and dip it into the chocolate. Tap the fork on the side of the pan or bowl to knock off any excess chocolate. Then place each one on a sheet of waxed paper and let them cool at room temperature (65-70F). This could take several hours, but the bars will set best this way.
If you want to speed up the process, put the candy in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Makes 40 bars.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - NOTES : Substitute 1 cup of peanut butter sweetened with 1/2 cup powdered sugar for the caramels.
The peanut-butter mixture will be of a consistency that allows you to spread it on the shortbread cookies with your fingers.