Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Caramel Shortbread Squares

Do you have 20 minutes? Because that is all you need for this bar cookie. And once it's done, you'll have a rich little bite to add to your cookie tray or confection box. 
You'll need a 9x9 inch pan that you have sprayed and lined with aluminum foil or parchment. Preheat the oven to 350.

There are 3 layers to this bar but the whole thing comes together quickly as long as you lay out your ingredients first. 

In a bowl, blend together the following:
2/3 cup of softened butter (that's about 11 1/2 tbs)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup AP flour
Blend this together until it's just crumbly.

In a 2 quart saucepan, add together these ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (yes, um, there's a bit of butter in this recipe)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs light corn syrup

In a small container, nearby and handy, measure out 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips and have a small off set spatula handy. 

Ok? Ok.  Let's do this crazy thing.

crumbly crust
Press the crumbly butter/flour mix into the bottom of the pan, trying to keep the crust square to the sides of the pan for neater edges later.
Bake this crust for 15-18 minutes. Because it is shortbread, you won't get a deep golden brown color, you'll get a slight browning around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven.

filling at the end
of cooking
In the last 6 minutes that the crust is baking, heat the stuff in the saucepan and stir as it comes to a boil. Boil and stir for 5 minutes. The mixture will darken in color to the shade of peanut butter. This might happen before 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep stirring hard for 3 more minutes while the caramel cools a little and thickens (isn't it pretty?).

Regardless of how hot the crust is, pour the caramel over it and smooth is out a little, all the way to the corners. Immediately top with the chocolate chips. The heat from the caramel will melt the chocolate so let it sit for a couple of minutes before using the offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly across the bar.

That's all there is.

Chill the bar before cutting it and it will cut smoothly with a sharp knife. As I said before, these are pretty rich so expect to get around 48 pieces. I think they look especially nice cut into triangles. to get back to the holiday baking.


Katie V. said...

Awesome :) I plan on trying it out to hopefully add to my trays - I love the easier stuff - THANK YOU!! ;-)

betty crocker said...

can I just say "yay! Kate's here!!!" lol I love you