Monday, October 15, 2012

Caramel Nutty Explosion Bars

Shortbread, caramel, nuts and chocolate... need I say more...

I wanted to make a bar cookie of some kind.  I knew I was craving caramel and nuts.  I always love chocolate, and I wanted the crust to be something out of the ordinary...
My youngest, aka "Minnie me" and I created these bars.  To be quite honest with you?  They are outta the ballpark good.  Or as my daughter's said, "mom, these are sick cookies".  Meaning = OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD!!
You have the shortbread crust, the caramel over that, sauteed nuts and of course chocolate... did I mention very easy to make as well? 
Hello McCfly??  It's just deliciousness in one bite, is that even a word?  Okay, ready for the recipe?
Here we go;

Shortbread Crust:
cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup confectioners sugar (powdered icing sugar)
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

Caramel Sauce:
2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream, heated just till Luke warm
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt (I used Aegean Sea Blend)

2 cups pecan halves
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 tsp unsalted butter

Chocolate Drizzle Topping:
2 cups (I pkg) milk chocolate peanut butter swirl chips
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream

Directions for shortbread crust follow  HEREUsing a 15 X 9 jelly roll pan.

*Can I just take a moment and tell you how much I truly enjoy Stephanie and her amazing website!!  I have learned SOOOO much from her, and continue to learn every time I visit. *  Thank you Stephanie for all you do!!!

 Shortbread dough out of processor
Shortbread dough being spread as per Stephanie's instructions - 15 X 9 jelly roll pan
Shortbread out of the oven, PERFECT!!! 
Nut Toppings:
In a large saute pan, add 1 tsp butter, allow it to start to melt and add your pecans.  Saute the pecans till you literally want to pick one up (okay, I did it 3x) and eat one.  About 3-5 minutes.  Once nicely toasted, remove your pecans to a plate, set aside and allow to cool.
Follow the exact same instructions above for the chopped walnuts.

Once pecans have cooled, chop them into rough pieces using a knife.  I used a knife rather than a machine because I wanted bigger pieces of those succulent pecans on top. *Note: you do not have to chop the chopped walnuts.  Once chopped, set aside.

Caramel Sauce directions:
In  a non-stick heavy bottomed saucepan add your sugar, your water and your corn syrup.  Over medium heat, stirring pretty much constantly with a wooden spoon, you will see your sugar first dissolve, then bubble, then bubble harder.  When you see the bubbling become harder, this is the *turning point*.  You either cook it for a minute more or so and pull off the heat, or you go by your handy dandy candy thermometer.  I prefer the latter... what can I say, new technology ROCKS!!  Once your sugar has reached 350F (stirring constantly mind you, don't worry this only takes a few minutes), pull off heat, and add your lukewarm heavy cream and butter.  This mixture will rise up and sputter, keep your face away from it, this only takes a few seconds for it to come back down.  Keep stirring till your creams and fats have been incorporated and you have a glossy, velvety dream, like below!!

Phew... I can relax now and dip a spoon into it...

Once you have poured and spread your caramel sauce over the shortbread, immediately add your toasted chopped pecans and walnuts.

I know!!
As caramel sauce is cooling with the nut topping, let's start on our chocolate sauce shall we?

Add your cream and your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 20 second increments stirring thoroughly every time till chocolate is nicely melted and glossy.  Drizzle over pan.  Let cool bars cool, about 45 minutes to 1 hour and cut into squares.

Yield:  36 squares

Are you pulling out the flour?

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi


  1. Didi dear I will have to agree with your daughter, these bars are sickly good! I would devour them in a nanosecond if I had them in front of me! Have a beautiful week hugs and kisses!

    1. They were indeed delicious Katerina mou!!
      Thank you, you have an amazing week yourself...
      How bout if we share, my bars, your doughnuts? ;-)

  2. Didi, you've done it again!! You've taken ALL my favorite things and put them into a recipe for me!! I love your Baklava Bars so I KNOW I'm going to love these too!! YUMMY!!

    1. Thank you Teresa!! I'm sure you will love them!! Let me know and thank you!!!

  3. Didi I can just taste these right now!! OMG! What a wonderful recipe!

    1. Thank you sweetheart!! They are seriously, "rockin"!!
      As my bff and taste tester said, right on FB mind you... "better than sex" bars, LOL!!
      I don't know about all that, but they are delicious. When you can indulge I would love for you to take a gander...

  4. These look spectacular!!! What a fantastic recipe, I must make these during the holidays. Thanks sweet Didi!

    1. Your welcome sissy, that's exactly what I was thinking, "holiday's", nice and easy!! Heaven's know were baking enough!! ;-)

  5. Yu need to link with pinterest...

    1. Anonymous thank you, I was pretty sure I did this morning, but I will do it again!!
      Thank you so very much!!

  6. This is just crazy looking delicious Didi!
    Hugs and Kisses my friend!

    1. Thank you Eri!!! I love your new pic!!!!