Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

I cannot believe I am finishing the last class of my college career. It seems like I was just graduating high school. It is a very bittersweet feeling. I am very excited about the future, don't get me wrong.  I am also sad to be ending another chapter in my life. It is also hard to leave my school, when I see its rapid and constant expansion. I must say, the senioritis is definitely starting to kick in. I am very glad that I do not have to take a final in my last class. It would be very difficult for me, at this point.

I decided I wanted to reward myself for all of my hard work. I love Twix bars, so when I found this recipe, I knew I just had to make them. They are very rich and indulgent, which is perfect for a little graduation treat. They have a shortbread crust, which can turn out very crumbly (if your ingredients are not measured correctly). They are then, layered with silky smooth caramel and rich milk chocolate. I decided to top the bars with a touch of sea salt. I am currently obsessed with sweet/salty foods. I love the depth the sea salt adds to the bars. It really brings out their caramelized flavor. I hope you give these bars a try, when you too would like to reward yourself. They are so decadent, and better than any store-bought Twix bar.

Recipe adapted from: King Arthur Flour
You will need:

Shortbread layer:
1 cup of salted butter (two sticks)
1 cup of confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour

Caramel layer:
20 oz. (2 cups) of caramel cubed (I used King Arthur Flour's block caramel)
3-31/2 tbsp. heavy cream

Chocolate layer:
18 oz of chocolate chips (milk or bittersweet: depending on preference)
1tbsp. vegetable shortening
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees, and spray a 9x13in pan/baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
Beat together: butter, sugar and vanilla
Measure flour by scooping with a scooper, to prevent from using too much flour.
Sift flour, and add to sugar mixture
press shortbread dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Prick the dough allover
with a fork, to prevent air bubbles and uneven baking.

Bake for 35-40 min until crust is golden brown. Allow crust to cool completely
before adding caramel layer.
Chop up caramel into cubes. (You can also use the store-bought caramels)
melt caramel and cream slowly, on a double boiler. 
Once caramel is smooth, remove from heat and pour over cooled crust. Place in refrigerator
 for 30 minutes or until set.
place chocolate chips in a microwaveable dish. Microwave chocolate in 30 second intervals,
stirring between each interval. You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler. 
Pour melted chocolate over caramel layer, and spread to cover bars. (optional: sprinkle sea salt over chocolate)
Place bars back into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set. Allow bars to come to room temperature before cutting them.


Amy said...

These look super yummy! We are having a going away party for my boss, and I think these bars would be a perfect thing to bring. Could you use caramel dessert sauce instead of caramels?

Gourmet_Gal said...

Hi Amy!-

That sounds a like a great idea! I would think a caramel sauce would be a little too runny, unless you found some way to thicken it. If you are looking for a short-cut, I would recommend getting those individually wrapped caramels that are used for caramel apples.Hope I answered your question!

Katie said...

I cannot wait to make these. They look so tasty. I like the idea of adding sea salt. I am also in love with salty/sweet foods. Keep up the great recipes and posts!

Deborah said...

These look divine. I love twix bars, and I bet these are just as good.