Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

My 3 year old daughter, Evelyn, and I have embarked on a very ambitious project.  The 25 Days of Christmas Cookies.   Last December, after Christmas, I found this cute apron at Williams Sonoma.  I started to craft this idea then.   Each day has a pocket, plus one big pocket.  I put a whisk in the big pocket and put little papers with our baking project for the day in each small pocket.


We are not really making cookies each day.  Some days are cookies, some days are cupcakes.  Some days we are not even turning on the oven.  One day we will make salt dough ornaments.  But every day, she will need to put on her apron to do our project.

Day one we made these chocolate caramel shortbread bars.  While they are good - very good, don't get me wrong! - I have not exhausted my search for a go to recipe for this.  I didn't love the shortbread on this.  It was crumblier than I wanted it to be and made it hard to remove it from the pan in one piece.  Also, I didn't think the caramel was a true caramel.   It was sweetened condensed milk that was heated until browned.  I want to make a real caramel next time.  My quest will have to wait until the new year, though.  There is too much to bake between now and Christmas to worry about it.

We can't keep all of this in the house.  Nico and I are each 10 pounds down since the beginning of November.  I sent these off to Nico's co-workers and the box came back empty.  I'd say Evelyn and I are off to a very good start.

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars
recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction, originally from Nigella Lawson

1.5 cups all purpose flour
.25 cup sugar
3 sticks butter, divided
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Put the flour and sugar in a bowl and cut in 12 tablespoons of butter.  Form the dough into a ball.   Press the shortbread mixture into a 9 inch square pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper.  Pierce it with a fork and cook for 5 minutes, then lower the oven to 300 degrees and cook for another 30-40 minutes until it is browned.  Let it cool in the pan.

Set a small sauce pan over medium heat and bring water to a simmer.  Set a clean metal bowl over the water, be sure it is not touching the water.  Melt the remaining butter.  Add the condensed milk and corn syrup.  Whisk until completely combined.   Heat until boiling, stirring frequently until it turns a light golden brown.  Pour the mixture over the cooled shortbread and set it aside until it cools and sets.

Clean the metal bowl and be sure it's completely dry.  Set it back over the pan of simmering water and add the chocolate.  I used chocolate chips.   If you are using blocks, break it into smaller pieces.   Melt the chocolate, then pour it over the caramel mixture.

Once set, cut into bars.


Donna said...

Yum! Will definitely make this. I saw a couple of them at TJs yesterday.

Galexi Cupcakes said...

This caught my attention so I bloghopped over to look at it and glad to know I wasn't disappointed. Delicious and the cutie pie is gorgeous. Jackie