Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

 

I’m sitting here writing this post….just wishing that I still had some of these little bars still.  Because, let me tell you, they were good.  A homemade spin-off of a Twix bar?  Ok.  Top it with some flaky sea salt to balance out that sweet caramel?  Ummmm, yes please.

To date, these have been one of my favorite treats on the blog.  Yes, they are a little time consuming to make (the caramel took a while to come together, and my arm was a little sore from the continuous stirring, but I just figured that all that hard work would balance out the calories later….), but they were well worth the wait.  I did spread the preparation of the bars over two days, just because of my own schedule. I couldn’t stop snacking on them while I was taking the pictures (it’s hard to take pictures with sticky, caramel-covered fingers…).

This was my pick for a virtual baking day with Annie. We both were excited to make them, and both of us had independently bookmarked several different variations.  I think we were both pleased with the one we chose. Since I don’t have a larger brownie pan on hand, I used an 8 x 8-inch pan…which led to 2-inch tall bars.  (I kind of liked the dramatic, in-your-face appearance, but if you want a thinner bar, try a larger pan.)  I’m still getting over my fear of making caramel, and it’s getting easier each time I do it.  This recipe is well worth taking the risk.

 

Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Servings: Approximately 12 bars

 

Ingredients

For the shortbread base:

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

For the caramel:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup granulated

4 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Flaked sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

1. For the shortbread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line your baking pan (the original recipe calls for a 9 x 13-inch pan, but mine got left behind accidentally in the move, so I used my 8 x 8-inch) with parchment paper and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl.

6. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, gently press the shortbread dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.

7. Bake until the shortbread is lightly golden, about 15-18 minutes.  **I had to slightly increase my cook time due to the pan size-watch yours carefully.

8. Let the shortbread cool completely.

9. For the caramel: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk, mixing well.

10. Increase the heat to medium-high, and stirring continuously, bring the mixture to a boil.

11. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and stir continuously (mine took about 30 minutes) until the mixture is thickened and turns a golden amber color.

12. Pour the caramel over the cool shortbread and chill until the caramel is set.

13. For the chocolate: In a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, combine the chopped chocolate, corn syrup, and butter, and melt, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

14. Pour the melted chocolate directly over the cooled and set caramel and lightly sprinkle with the flaked sea salt.

15. Cut into bars and enjoy.

 

Source: Barely adapted from lisa is cooking.

 

September 9, 2011 - 6:08 am

Lauren at Keep It Sweet - I attempted an imitation Twix bar a few months ago and it didn’t turn out… looking at these, I know I need to try again!

September 9, 2011 - 6:17 am

Caroline @ chocolate and carrots - These look 100 times better than a twix bar. Yum!!!

September 9, 2011 - 6:39 am

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel - My first thought was it was another take on a samoa cookie but yeah totally a fun take on a twix bar – love it!

September 9, 2011 - 7:05 am

Kelly - What a great looking, decadent treat. Love the sea salt!

September 9, 2011 - 4:26 pm

Irishbaker - These look delicious !

September 9, 2011 - 4:33 pm

Nikki - I love that you and Annie bake virtually together! :) I’m not the biggest caramel or Twix fan, but with the testament that these are your favorite treat to date, I just might have to give in and try them!

September 9, 2011 - 7:45 pm

Bianca - These look wonderful :) I too have a fear of making caramel, but I might try to conquer it for these!

September 10, 2011 - 12:03 am

Paula @ Dishing the Divine - I’m jealous of the virtual baking party you two have going on! I wanna come play! :)

These look so tasty! I love caramel + chocolate. :) I am hosting a dessert themed baby shower next weekend. I think I may have to try serving these as an alternative to the standard cupcakes and cookies. :)

September 10, 2011 - 9:33 pm

Annie - I am loving our baking project, and these were a great choice! Our nanny in particular thanks you – she ate a LOT of them :) Love you, dear!

September 11, 2011 - 1:40 pm

Carissa @ Pretty/Hungry - These look divine!! I’m not surprised you had to make such small slices though… I bet they’re rich.

September 11, 2011 - 4:28 pm

Angela - I am making these right now! I have football fans that are being very impatient while I make these little goodies!

September 11, 2011 - 9:25 pm

Laura - Full of awesome.

September 11, 2011 - 11:52 pm

renee@sweetsugarbean - Worth the risk indeed! All kinds of decadent happening there!

September 12, 2011 - 2:42 pm

Natalie - wow these looks good, im scared to make them due to fear of eating them ALL !

September 15, 2011 - 10:58 pm

Chris - These look irresistible! Love the salted caramel. These are similar to some “twix” bars I made a few months ago. Need to make them again soon!

December 16, 2011 - 10:20 pm

Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab - These look so good! Did you have the same issue Annie did with the caramel being a bit too soft at room temperature?

December 18, 2011 - 8:48 pm

srlacy - Hi Annie-

Yes, my caramel was a little soft as well. But, for this dessert, I didn’t mind the messiness…..so good!

February 15, 2012 - 6:11 pm

Robyn - Mmmm I made these for Valentine’s day and they turned out perfectly! I had a few modifications in mind for next time though. I’d double the shortbread and up the butter in the recipe (I LOVE butter – personal preference). I’m going to try making a simpler caramel next time as well – 1C butter + 1C brown sugar + 1t Vanilla, heat on stove until boils, allow to boil for 3 minutes, then pour over cookies and bake in 350F oven until caramel bubbles inside. I used only milk chocolate for the chocolate on top and it was fantastic!

Great recipe, I can’t wait to try it again with the modifications!

April 10, 2012 - 5:33 pm

Reema - OMG, these look absolutely fabulous and I’m not a baker, but I will definitely attempt these first chance I get! They remind me of something I discovered in Oban, Scotland – I think they’re called Millionaire’s shortbread and I was loving life…

April 28, 2013 - 8:48 pm

Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars - [...] Read all the details about the recipe on: thecurvycarrot.com [...]

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