Chocolate-Caramel Shortbread Bars

caramelbars1

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!

Chocolate-Caramel Shortbread Bars | Portuguese Girl Cooks

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?

Ugh.

Chocolate-Caramel Shortbread Bars | Portuguese Girl Cooks

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.

Chocolate-Caramel Shortbread Bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: About 20 to 24 squares.

A shortbread cookie crust topped with a slightly salty sweet caramel, and topped with a chocolate glaze and a sprinkle of salt.

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 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
  • Caramel Filling
  • 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
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 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)

Instructions

    For the Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12x8-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. For the Caramel Filling
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. For the Glaze
  8. 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.

Notes

These bars can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. * I found these tasted best cold!

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Notes:

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.

 

Disclosure: This post contains an amazon affiliate link. If you make a purchase from the link, I will make a small commission which goes towards all the butter and sugar involved in maintaining this blog. Thank you!!

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  • Chelle

    I Made these last night and WOW!! Love them, thanks for sharing!!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      HI Chelle! So happy you liked them!! Thanks for taking the time to let me know! Happy Holidays!

  • Tara

    Hello! I notice that in the directions for the caramel, you mention the butter melting, but in the ingredient list there is no butter listed in that layer. Should there be butter in the caramel?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Tara, sorry about that, and thanks for catching that! I have updated the recipe to reflect the butter in the filling. Thanks for stopping by :)

  • http://londonbakes.blogspot.com Kathryn

    These are one of my absolute favourite things to make and eat – over here, they’re called millionaire’s shortbread which doesn’t even begin to do some justice! Love all that salty-sweet goodness too.

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    I’ve made these before and they were awesome! Like Twix, but a gazillion times before. And without salt on top…totally regretting that decision now!

  • sprinklesandsauce1

    Awesome bars! Love the salt addition!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you!! And thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment :)

  • Michele

    No fluted pan in my cupboard. Can I use something else?

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Michele,

      I would use a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan, and line it with parchment paper or foil and leaving an overhang to lift it out. Another option would be to make it in a (round) springform pan. Hope that helps! Good luck!

      • Chelle

        just an FYI I used a round springform pan, they came out perfectly

        • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

          Excellent, thanks for letting me know!

  • Mimi

    Homemade Twix bars! Yes!

  • Kerin Kaitlin

    These are actually called millionaire’s shortbread in the UK.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you, Kerin.

  • http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/ Valerie

    These bars are floating all over Pinterest – they look irresistible!! I never make more than a dent in my holiday to-bake list. :D

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Valerie! I always have such high hopes…

  • CrunchyCreamySw

    Not only gorgeous photos but absolutely tempting recipe! Loving this post, Jessica! Pinned!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Anna! And thanks for the pin!

  • marie @ little kitchie

    Wow, these are amazing!! I love the sweet-salty combo!

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Marie!

  • Susana Machado

    PERFECT!!!!

    Beijinhos,

    http://sudelicia.blogspot.pt/

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Muito obrigado, Susana!

  • http://www.girlichef.com Heather @girlichef.com

    LOL! I looooove the salt ;). And I would be in serious danger of eating the whole pan of these bad boys. Absolutely fantastic.

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Me too! Thanks so much, Heather!

  • http://www.averiecooks.com/ Averie Cooks

    Omg they’re perfect!! I love Twix and these look a zillion times better. Wow. I want. And your photos are jaw dropping! pinned

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks so much, Averie! I really appreciate the pin!

  • Tutti Dolci

    Gorgeous bars, I love the layers and the sea salt is a must for me! :)

    • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thanks, Laura!