Monday, December 22, 2014

Recipe #41: Shortbread Caramel Chocolate Bars Finished with Sea Salt

So, what can be wrong with this triple-play combination?  Nothing, of course.  You will need a candy thermometer for making the caramel, which couldn't be easier.  I'm sure, though, I lost some of you when I mentioned those two words, "candy thermometer".  They aren't that expensive, and again, making the caramel isn't hard, just tedious as you watch the thermometer slowly creep upwards to that 238 degree.  See if any one of your neighbors has a candy thermometer and borrow theirs.  You won't believe how soft the caramel is, it is just heavenly, as you can see by the pictures below. 

FIRST LAYER

2 sticks butter,  1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt

SECOND LAYER

2 sticks butter, 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

THIRD LAYER

2 3.5 oz chocolate bars, such as Lindt or Ghiradelli, kosher or sea salt

Cream together butter, salt and sugar.  Gradually add flour and baking powder, beating well after each addition.  Pat into a 9x13 pan.   I use a piece of plastic wrap wrapped over my fingers sprayed often with a little cooking spray to make this easier...see below.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350, or until light brown.  Cool.  To prepare caramel...melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and milk in saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir constantly for about 8 minutes, or until you reach 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Pour onto the first layer and cool.  You will be tempted to eat this caramel right out of the pan, but you don't want to for 2 reasons.  First, you will burn your tongue royally, and second, you won't have anything left to spread on the shortbread.   For the third layer...melt chocolate in a saute pan or small saucepan and immediately pour over caramel.  I then spread evenly with an offset spatula.   Sprinkle top of chocolate with salt.   At this point, you may want to cut through the cookies into squares, or let the whole thing cool before cutting.  This will present some cracked chocolate, but it will not come off the cookie.  Bon appetit!


kept this half without sea salt...bet you could eat one right now!!!
                                                                                                       

Put sea salt on this half


patting the dough in the pan...


I use a flat whisk to get around all the inner edge of the pan...


it's starting to boil...


we're getting there..almost at 215 and we need to get to 238...


finally...pour the caramel on top of the baked dough and let cool...

 
then, pour the chocolate on top of the caramel...at this point you can sea salt or not...
 
 
up close and in your face...omg, what a sight to behold....                                                              
 
 
 









 










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