Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shortbread Cookie Topped with Caramel, Chocolate, and a dash of Sea Salt

My, that's a mouthful!  But that's what this decadent dessert consists of.  So, if you like the combination of salty and sweet and you have 5 sticks of butter just laying around, let's get baking!

I came across this particular recipe on Annie's Eats, a blog I am in love with.  She has amazing creativity and the best recipes.  It does take a bit of time to put these cookie bars together, but I must admit, they are pretty spectacular!  They contain all of the items found in a Twix bar, but they really taste nothing like that.  As Annie puts it, these are a more sophisticated, grown up version of the beloved candy bar.

These bar cookies are made in three layers:  shortbread, caramel, and, chocolate.  To start, prepare the shortbread:


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.  Make sure to cover the sides of the pan with the paper so the layers don't stick.  In one bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt.  Set it aside.  In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated.  Transfer mixture into the 9x13 pan and press it flat in an even layer.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.  If the shortbread raises while baking, gently flatten it as it cools.

I should have lined the pan with the parchment paper entirely.

While the shortbread cools, begin making the caramel:


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Begin by adding the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk into a saucepan over medium heat.

Stir the ingredients occasionally until the butter is melted.  Increase the heat to medium-high until it begins to boil.

Decrease the heat to medium again.  As the mixture simmers, stir constantly so it does not burn.  Continue simmering and stirring until the color becomes a nice amber and the sauce has thickened a bit.

Now, pour it over the shortbread layer and spread evenly:

Let it cool thoroughly so the caramel does not melt when you add the hot chocolate mixture.  You can chill it in the refrigerator.  I just let mine sit for awhile and answered some emails before beginning the chocolate.  ;)

Melted Chocolate Glaze

8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped in small pieces
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Sea Salt to sprinkle on top

In a double boiler, add chocolate, corn syrup and butter.  If you don't have a double boiler, you can boil water on the stove top and place a heat proof bowl over simmering water, which is what I did.  Also, I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips rather than chopped chocolate.  It worked out just fine.  

Stir the mixture occasionally until it is melted smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel layer: 

Then use an off-set spatula to spread it evenly:

One last step, a few minutes after the chocolate sets, sprinkle some sea salt across the top.  I used a sea salt grinder.  The sweet/salty combination is amazing.  Cover and chill the pan of deliciousness, cut into bars when you are ready to serve it.  You can freeze what you don't use, which is advisable, as this is not a calorie friendly treat!  I think you'll love it, though.  Enjoy!

I shared this recipe with:

Cast Party Wednesday


  1. I need to eat this triple-layer creation immediately. Also, where is the suggestions box? Can we create a clever dessert that looks like dumplings (or other dim sum) for the upcoming dumpling fest in November? Luca says hi to Auntie Debs by blowing a spit bubble and drooling. Mighty hugs and talk to you soon.

  2. This looks absolutely fantastic!

    1. Thank you, Julie! These are definitely dangerous to have around the house! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

  3. I thought you were kidding about the 5 sticks of butter! Wow, Paula Deen would love this one! Looks awesome!

    1. I know! I could not believe it myself when I read the recipe. The only saving grace is that these are very rich, so a small bar is quite filling. Can you imagine that I couldn't make a recipe today that needed SIX sticks of butter and only had five?! :)

  4. This is definitely happening this weekend!!! The butter is waiting... :)

    1. :) :) How did they turn out?! I hope you loved them!! Thanks for visiting Life Is Sweets...hope to see you again soon!!