Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Hi! Remember me? I’m sorry for being MIA the past few weeks but lots of exciting new things have been happening! Well, maybe not lots but it feels like lots!

This fall, yours truly, will be attending UCLA to finish up my environmental studies/geography degree!

Every day since I received the lovely news, I wake up and think to myself “hey remember that time you got into UCLA?” and then I smile REALLY big. You’ll even find me smiling at really awkward times. I’m just…happy. So I have been off smiling around town. I know that doesn’t really seem like an excuse for being so absent…but it’s true.

So stay tuned, Thursday Night Baking is moving to Westwood! Woohoo!

I also went to Chicago to visit my Granny with my Mom! We did some site seeing, ate food, took pictures – it was a lovely mini vacation, despite the 40 degrees and raining weather.

The pretty Jellyfish at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

So in honor of my exciting news, I made you guys something super good. This recipe has been bookmarked and drooled over for many months and now that I’ve made it I can’t believe I waited so long!

My oh my, these bars are little bites of sugary goodness! The buttery shortbread can stand proudly on its own, but wow add the gooey caramel, chocolate coating and oh of course the fleur de sel and this will leave you with a huge smile on your face.

Oh fleur de sel, you steal my heart. I’m having a hard time figuring out what doesn’t taste good with fleur de sel on top.

This recipe makes an entire 9×13 inch pan which means lots of goodies to share with friends! And trust me, this is an impressive recipe that you’ll want to show off to your friends.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

51

Yield: 5 dozen small bars

Ingredients

    For the shortbread layer:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • For the caramel layer:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • For the chocolate layer:
  • 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Fleur de sel or sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

    To make the shortbread layer:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Use a fork and poke little holes across the shortbread. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  2. To make the caramel layer:
  3. Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, continue stiring. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens slightly (If you have a candy thermometer, the caramel is ready when it reads 240 degrees F.) Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely and set.
  4. To make the chocolate glaze:
  5. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour evenly over the caramel layer and smooth the top. Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Place in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process. Bars can be kept at room temperature.

Notes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Baked cookbook

Enjoy,

Madeline

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6 Responses to Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

  1. CONGRATULATIONS for getting into UCLA!!! You must feel so excited, and it shows on this post :)
    All the best in your move and change of scenery, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of new people to bake for!

  2. DJ says:

    I have a serious problem making these: every single time i attempt a recipe like this, it scorches horribly and i end up with nasty scorchy goop. I am stirring constantly and vigorously. HELP!

    • Madeline says:

      Make sure that your heat is on medium, or maybe a little lower if you think that may be too hot, and don’t stop stirring! It takes some time for the mixture to thicken up, try not to rush it and hopefully it will come out next time :)

  3. OMG OMG OMG :) That’s such wonderful news Madeline! I’m SO SO SO happy for you! That’s great! :D WOW! UCLA that’s amazing it’s like of the best universities in the world and you got in WOO HOO! SUPER happy for you!!! Well-deserved you have worked so hard! I am glad you’ve had a nice trip away with your mum :) I was wondering where you went hehe great recipe i’ve meaning to make Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread bars too hehe

  4. Pingback: Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbreads+Flavor-Blundering | the Jolly Appetite

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