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Chocolate Caramel Bars

December 9, 2012

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We are doing a cookie/dessert exchange and I wanted to try something new.  I have thought about trying to make caramel for a while now but it always intimidates me.  I found a post on Pinterest and figured I better give it a try.  This recipe called for condensed milk so I thought it might be easier than the boiled sugar/cream method.  Well it certainly isn’t hard, but even with stirring constantly I still had what appeared to be burnt bits throughout, but thank goodness it doesn’t taste burnt.

Overall I’d say these are pretty good, but I think the chocolate overpowers the caramel a little and the shortbread is a little too crumbly. The recipe I followed called for sea salt on top, which I didn’t have so I omitted, but maybe that would help. If you have any no fail or must try caramel recipes please send them my way!

Chocolate Caramel Bars

Ingredients:

Shortbread Layer:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Caramel:

  • 2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 T light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar

Chocolate:

  • 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (I used regular semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • 1 stick butter

Directions:

Shortbread:

  • Preheat oven to 325. Line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Mix in flour and baking powder until combined. Will be sort of crumbly.
  • Press evenly into baking dish
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown
  • If the shortbread puffs up during baking, just press it down while warm out of the oven so it cools in an even layer

Caramel:

  • Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed sauce pot. Using a candy thermometer, cook until it reaches the softball stage (240), stirring constantly.
  • If it is not already the desired amber/caramel color, reduce heat and continue cooking until color is reached.
  • Pour the caramel over the shortbread layer and allow to cool. Be careful as hot caramel on skin burns!
  • Note: I could really use some more instructions here as I wasn’t sure what temperature to cook it at to reach 240, i.e. do you boil, cook on low heat, etc.

Chocolate:

  • In a double boiler, or microwave, combine chocolate, butter and corn syrup until melted and smooth. 
  • Pour over caramel layer and allow to cool.

Slice and enjoy!

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