Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Good Morning and Happy Monday! Did you all have a fantastic weekend? On Saturday, I went up to Hobby Lobby in NH with Emily from Emily's Going Nuts and we had brunch, did some shopping, and had a lot of fun just hanging out! Later that night, Josh and I had the chance to take Nash to Castle Island and tire him out (almost 2 miles will do that!) before the Nor'Easter started on Sunday morning. Since then, it's been pouring rain here in the Northeast and since I couldn't spend any time outside, I took this as the perfect time to try out a new recipe: Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars! I got the recipe, originally from Lisa is Cooking, from Annie at Annie Eats. I made a few changes, and had to do things a bit differently from Annie in order to mix my caramel, but these are the perfect treat - sweet and salty layered deliciousness.


In order to make these, you'll need...

For the shortbread layer:

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar

For the caramel layer:

1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate layer:

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp. light corn syrup
sea salt, for sprinkling

To start, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and lightly spray it with PAM baking spray. Then, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt, and setting it aside.


Then, in a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar, using your electric mixer, until well-blended.



Slowly add your flour mix, continuing to mix until well blended.



Take your dough and place it into your parchment lined pan, and press into a level layer on the bottom of the pan.


Bake this for 20 minutes, or until a light golden brown, in your pre-heated oven. Remove from oven and set to cool on a wire rack until completely cool. If the shortbread layer puffed up at all during baking, press it down with a spoon before it cools.

Once completely cool, you can get started on your caramel layer. Combine all of the caramel layer ingredients in a small pan, and heat over medium heat until butter has melted, stirring occasionally.






Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then, reduce to a simmer and continue to stir constantly until the mixture turns into an amber color and thickens slightly. Except that after 15 minutes of stirring, this may not happen, and you may leave your boyfriend to stir, and then it may separate and look like the second picture.



But, don't blame your boyfriend. Instead, read the comments on the original recipe and discover that you are not the first person that this has happened to. Then, grab your electric mixer, and mix on a medium-high speed desperately until it blends together. (Note: If yours doesn't separate, and simply thickens and turns into the amber color, you can skip this step.)


When it does, breathe a sigh of relief, and pour your caramel layer over the shortbread and then place in the refrigerator to chill, until hard, for about 45 minutes to an hour.



After it has hardened, you can start on your chocolate layer. Melt the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a bowl over steam (aka your makeshift double boiler) until smooth and creamy.







Then, pour over the top of your caramel layer.


Wait 2 minutes, and then sprinkle with sea salt.


Place this back into the fridge for at least 2 hours to fully harden.


When the layers are fully cooled, and you're ready to slice, remove from the refrigerator and lift the parchment paper out of the pan.


Finally, slice and serve!



If you want to take some to work, as you'll have lots and lots of them, use a large container and make sure to place wax or parchment paper between the tops and bottoms so that they don't stick together.


While this seems like a lot of steps, it really isn't that time consuming and can be done in increments throughout your day. The end result is delicious and I promise it will not disappoint. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this looks delicious. But way too labor-intensive for me... I'm of the camp that happily opens a box of brownie/cookie/cake mix rather than making my own from scratch. :)

    ReplyDelete

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