Thursday, April 25, 2013

Salted Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Bar For Two

I was about ready to kill someone for chocolate today.
You've had those days, right?
Like...if someone looks at you the wrong way you are ready to go into full on attack mode.
I can't be the only one.
Well, regardless, in case you need an emergency chocolaty, caramel-y, salty, shortbread-y treat but don't want to make a whole pan because you know you would sit there and eat the whole thing, I have created this scrumptious little tidbit.
Big enough for 2...maybe even 3 (if you are feeling generous)...or just big enough to calm the killer inside of you on THOSE days.
It's best we don't look up the calories or nutritional info on this one. Just enjoy and know that the calories are worth keeping you out of jail.
Salted Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Bar For Two
2 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter
Caramel Filling
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
Chocolate Topping
2 Tbsp chocolate chips
1/4 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 Tbsp butter
Pinch coarse sea salt
Preheat toaster oven to 350 (or regular oven). Line a 3 X 6 oven safe dish with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Crust: In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar with a fork. Using the fork, add in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Dump into prepared dish.
Press down firmly in prepared dish.
Bake until just starting to brown. About 5 - 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Prepare Caramel Filling: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk.
Stir constantly and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to turn amber in color. Remove from heat.
Carefully spread over crust in dish.
Chill for a few minutes to let firm up before adding the topping.
Prepare topping: In a small, microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, corn syrup, and butter.
Heat about 20 seconds in microwave. Remove and stir until smooth. (If chocolate is not completely melted then return to microwave for a few more seconds and stir again.)
Spread over caramel layer.
Chill for a few minutes to let the chocolate set up a bit, 5 - 10 mins.
Sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt.
Chill until ready to serve.
One thing you don't want to do is overcook your caramel layer. If it gets too dark it will get hard and will be quite hard to eat as a bar. You want to cook it just until it starts to turn amber in color. Remove it from the heat and immediately spread it on the crust.
I let it sit in the pan for a few minutes and it kept cooking and got a bit dark. It still tasted fantastic but was VERY hard. The second time I cooked it a bit less and took it out of the pan right away and it was perfect.
Be sure to visit My Turn For Us for some great links!

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