Caramel Nutty Explosion Bars

Didi Dalaba

By
@didicoffeegirl

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...

You have a shortbread crust, then homemade caramel sauce, sauteed nuts and of course chocolate... did I mention very easy to make as well?
The pan will disappear literally before your eyes!!
Best feeling in the world!!

Enjoy!!


Featured Pinch Tips Video

Comments:

Prep:

1 Hr

Cook:

15 Min

Ingredients

SHORTBREAD CRUST

2 c
all purpose flour
1/4 tsp
salt
2/3 c
confectioners' sugar
1 c
(2 sticks) unsalted cold butter cut into cubes

CARAMEL SAUCE

2 c
sugar
1/4 c
corn syrup, light
1/2 c
water
3/4 c
heavy cream (heated to lukewarm)
2 Tbsp
unsalted butter
1/2 tsp
fine grain salt (i used aegean sea blend)

NUT TOPPING

2 c
pecan halves
1 1/2 c
chopped walnuts
2 tsp
unsalted butter

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE TOPPING

2 c
(1 pkg) milk chocolate peanut butter swirl chocolate chips
2-3 Tbsp
heavy cream (1 tbsp more if needed)

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Using your food processor, add all your ingredients for your shortbread crust. Making sure butter is COLD.
Pulse ingredients till butter has been incorporated and the mixture looks like it's going to start forming a ball. You do not want it to form a ball, you want it right before that stage. In big chunks like. Dump your dough directly onto pre-buttered 15 X 9 jelly roll pan.
2
Preheat oven to 425F.

Using your fingers, press the dough across the pan. No worries if not even, you will be spreading this out.

Using a plastic spoon (I don't know why, but it really works), spread the mixture out evenly over the pan, making it even.
3
Using your fork tines, make grooves all throughout your dough. Freeze for 15 minutes. VERY IMPORTANT!! By freezing you will ensure that your dough will not puff up on various angles.

Bake shortbread for approximately 11-13 minutes till nicely golden. Remove onto wire rack and let cool.
4
While shortbread crust is cooling, let's prepare our nut topping.

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.
5
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 ontop. *Note: you do not have to chop the chopped walnuts. Once chopped, set aside
6
Now were ready for our caramel sauce.

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 disolve, 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 of 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 contanstly 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 till it calms back down. Keep stirring till your creams and fats have been incorporated and you have a glossy, velveety dream!!
7
Once you have poured and spread your caramel sauce over the shortbread, immediately add your toasted chopped pecans and walnuts.
8
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 bars

About this Recipe