Each Christmas I write what is seemingly a mile long list of things I want to bake, and each and every year I get through about one quarter of that list. These bars have been on the list year after year, and this year I decided they would have to be one of the first things that I baked. After trying one, I was kicking myself for not making them sooner. They were soooo good!
The flavours of these bars are really quite simple, but they come together to make one very delicious treat. The base is a brown sugar shortbread, the filling a slightly salty caramel, then it’s topped with a chocolate glaze and a sprinkle of salt. I really felt like they tasted a lot like a twix bar, but a zillion times better of coarse.
My usually very picky husband even declared that they were amazing. I was truthfully waiting for him to comment on the salt I sprinkled on top, because he has yet to figure out how delicious it makes things. However, he didn’t mention it. I was literally so happy thinking that I had finally converted him to being a salty sweet lover. All the while, he was just not commenting on the salt because I happen to allow him to eat some of these before I photographed them for my invisible internet friends. Ha.
Then next day, he said they were really good, but, why all the salt?
So if your into the whole salty sweet thing, add the salt, if not, by all means omit it. But run to the kitchen now and make these! Like ASAP.
A shortbread cookie crust topped with a slightly salty sweet caramel, and topped with a chocolate glaze and a sprinkle of salt.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon ice water
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup or dark brown corn syrup
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, diced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cocoa), chopped
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Flaked sea salt (such as fleur-de-sel or maldon)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12x8-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
- In a food processor, blend the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add in the cubes of butter and pulse just until a coarse meal has formed. Add in the water and egg yolk and blend until a ball of dough forms, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Press the dough into the bottom of the tart pan. Poke a generous amount of holes all over the dough using a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 22 minutes. Cool completely.
- In a saucepan, whisk together the condensed milk, sugar, butter, golden or corn syrup, and vanilla. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved, butter is melted, and the mixture has come to a boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot. Boil the mixture until the caramel is a pale golden colour, thick, and the temperature reaches 225F (107C), while whisking constantly, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt.
- Pour the caramel evenly over the crust, and using an offset spatula, spread it to almost the edge of the crust. Cool for about 15 minutes, and make the chocolate glaze while cooling.
- In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the chocolate and heavy cream. Heat in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Do not overheat. Spread chocolate glaze over warmish caramel, and sprinkle with flakey salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chocolate is set.
These bars can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. * I found these tasted best cold!
For the golden syrup, I used Tate and Lyle’s Golden Syrup, but you could also use dark corn syrup.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts.
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