Sunday, December 25, 2011

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

So... I made these for Christmas because I wanted to kill two birds with one stone.

We always make fudge, we always make caramels, we never make shortbread... but shortbread is delicious... so why not?


Shortbread Layer (make first):
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar

Caramel Layer (second):
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. light corn syrup
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate Layer (last):
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. light corn syrup
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Start with the shortbread layer. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In one bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. In another bowl (with an electric hand mixer or in a Kitchen Aid), cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Put the mixer on low and gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined. Press the dough into the baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden. Let dry completely on a wire cooling rack.

Next start the caramel layer. Combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and make sure to stir constantly (it will burn very easily at this stage if you do not stir). You will continue to cook the caramel until it is an amber color and reaches a soft ball stage (if dropped into water, it should form a soft ball). Pour this mixture over the shortbread layer, and smooth the top. Allow to cool completely before the last step (you can use a fridge to make it go faster).

Last, the chocolate layer. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water, and bring to a boil on the stove. Turn the water down until it's simmering. Combine the chocolate chips, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan, and place the smaller saucepan in the water (to create a double boiler effect). Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is completely smooth. Pour over the caramel layer and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and sprinkle sea salt over the top. Allow to cool completely before cutting... and enjoy! These are seriously amazing!!!!!

This recipe was borrowed from Annie's Eats

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