When I was little, Caramel Shortbread Bars were considered the pinnacle of homemade treats and beat everything from brownies through to cookies hands down. And if you were lucky enough to have a mother who made them, you were automatically given ‘legendary’ status and everyone wanted to be your friend.
These days there are so many other fantastic treats around that these are not so regalled, however, they still have their charm and most importantly, they are delicious. I know Mr Man is going to be a happy chappy when he see’s them in the fridge – and if my daughters want to try them, they are going to have to be quick!
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams/8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup icing (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (226 grams/8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup brown sugar
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
226 grams/8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon liquid glucose or light corn syrup
½ cup (112 grams/4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Preheat your oven to 160c/325f. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan.
Chill for 30 minutes and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Combine the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens. Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer and allow to cool completely.
Combine the chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour over the caramel layer and smooth the top. Allow to cool to room temperature and chill, until ready to slice and serve.
Yield: 24 large pieces
Notes: I slice mine before the chocolate sets – I find it easier.
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.