Friday, September 14, 2012

Caramel Crumb Shortbread Bars

These seriously need to be called the "oh my GAWD these are so freakin' delish bars".  

But I figured that would be too long of a title.

I actually wasn't even interested in these particular bars...I was more interested in sampling them as a base recipe for several other bars that I am going to be making.  

And then I tasted them...

And oh my freaking gosh are these babies GOOD!

I mean seriously good!

Just check out all that rich and creamy caramel in there.


I ate them fresh from the oven...

I ate them during their photo shoot...

I ate them with a glass of cold milk...

I ate them in front of the tv...

While sitting in a boat....

Floating around a moat...

I know I shouldn't gloat...

But gosh darn...these really DID float my boat!

So take note...

Go make them and you will see

These are the best gal-darn crumb bars EVER!

Just you make them and you will see...

Ok...I ran out of rhyme-y type words there.  

But you get the drift.

Go make these.

Enough said.

Caramel Crumb Shortbread Bars

recipe slightly adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

    Shortbread Layer
    • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) salted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    Caramel Filling
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 1 - 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the Shortbread
    Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit with a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment and spray again with cooking spray.

    To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed until soft and light, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

    With the mixer on low, add 2 1/4 cups of the flour and nutmeg, beating just until the dough is smooth and the flour has been absorbed, and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl and the paddle as necessary.

    Transfer 3/4 of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan to form the bottom layer. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator while you make the filling and top layer.

    Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the remaining dough in the mixer bowl and work it in with your fingertips until 1/8 - 1/4-inch crumbs form. Set aside.

    Caramel Filling
    In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When the mixture begins to boil, whisk frequently until it begins to thicken and darkens in color slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.

    Remove the pan from the refrigerator and pour the filling over the bottom crust. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly then distribute the crumb topping over the filling.

    Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is gently bubbling and a dark caramel color. Cool the bars in the pan on a wire rack until lukewarm, about 15-20 minutes. Use the foil (or parchment) to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

    Once completely cool, cut into 2-inch squares.
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    1. GORGEOUS. Oh wow I want these bars badly. Love your rhyming prose too. I wanted to do it in my comment but I suck at rhyming, lol.

      1. Thanks Dorothy! I had just watched the Cat N the Hat with my kids...I was inspired by Dr. Seuss. LOL!

    2. That's a really nice recipe! Just stopping in from market yourself monday.

    3. Yummy!!! That is all I can say! :) I pinned them and hope to make them next week. Thanks for sharing!

      1. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

    4. You've sold me! Pinning and can't wait to try :)

      1. You won't be disappointing! Thanks for stopping by :)

    5. Wow these sound absolutely delicious, I love bars like this! Thanks for sharing these! They look really yummy!

    6. Looking at blogs at night isn't the best thing...I am now craving caramel bars like mad!!! These look great!!! And I love the fun post:-)

      1. LOL! I know what you mean :) Thanks for popping by!


    7. Oh my heck. My two favorite things - caramel and shortbread! I can't wait to make these! Thansk.


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