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;

Yield:  36 squares

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 SO 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 the 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 the pecans to a plate, set aside and allow to cool.
Follow the exact same instructions above for the chopped walnuts.
*Note: you do not have to chop 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.  Once chopped, set aside.

Caramel Sauce directions:
In  a non-stick heavy bottomed saucepan add the sugar, water and corn syrup.  Over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, you will see the 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 the 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 the caramel sauce over the shortbread, immediately sprinkle on the  toasted pecans and walnuts.

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

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

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!!!!