Saturday, January 19, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

As much as I like cookies – they are, after all, my favorite dessert – I don’t particularly like making cookies.  All of that rolling, cutting, shaping, forming, icing, sprinkling, well, by the time the work is done I’m out of the mood.  So when I spotted this recipe for bar cookies that were supposed to be a better version of a Twix candy bar (another of my favorites), I had to make them.  I sent packages home with both of my sons who, with their wives, are more than happy to test recipes for me, and we all enjoyed theseA LOT.  They are easy enough to make, but take a bit of time waiting for each layer to cool before building the next one.  Trust me when I tell you that the time is well spent!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars
Spotted at Tracey's Culinary Adventures

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

8 oz chocolate, finely chopped (I used bittersweet) 
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
Fleur de sel for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the shortbread layer: Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press into an even layer over the bottom (it'll be a fairly thin layer). Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the caramel layer: Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and turns a light caramel color. This may take 10 minutes or more, so be patient. Pour the caramel mixture over the cooled shortbread and spread in an even layer. Allow to cool completely, then chill briefly (I stuck mine in the fridge overnight, but you just want to chill enough that it won't melt when you add the warm chocolate in the next step).

To make the chocolate layer: Add the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter to a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour the chocolate over the chilled caramel and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula. Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle the top with the fleur de sel (if using). Let the chocolate set completely before slicing and serving.

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Mythreyi said...

Looking super good, book marked ...

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Afternoon Pattie, Oh dear, another delicious recipe....what shall I do....I am trying to loose a bit of is cold, it is snowing and I am tucked up in my nice warm house, and do you know what.....these Shortbread bars are the order of the day and I am going to enjoy them. Thank you.
Best Wishes

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

These look so much better than Twix bars! Wonderful recipe.

Kim of Mo Betta said...

I'm drooling over here!!

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

This sounds yummy, Pattie! Thanks so much for stopping by my monster-taming post! I can imagine how hard it would be to store things in an older home, but I'm sure there are lots of compensating features! ~Zuni

Kathleen said...

Ohhh, I am going to try these, they look so good!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, these look incredible. I bet it's perfect with a cold glass of milk, huh?

Mary said...

This is a must try recipe Pattie! They look perfectly delicious!