Monday, June 8, 2009

Caramel Chocolate Bars

I found this recipe in the Columbus Dispatch and knew I would have to try it as I LOVE all things caramel. Especially caramel combined with shortbread and chocolate. (maybe this explains my too frequent trips to the dentist...)

This recipe has a lot of steps, but is not difficult. First, line a 9" pan with foil, with enough overhang to create "handles." You'll need these handles later to pull the bars out of the pan. Grease the foil.

Cream together the sugar and butter in a small mixing bowl. Beat in the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.

Take this crumb mixture and pour it evenly into the pan, then press it out with your fingers to create a level crust.

Bake until golden brown. While the crust is baking, you can make the caramel layer. Melt the brown sugar and butter together in a small saucepan, then add the sweetened condensed milk.

Whisk this constantly over low heat to let mixture simmer, but never boil. You will need to cook it about 10 minutes. It should thicken up slightly like this:

After you've removed the crust from the oven, spread the caramel layer on carefully. Be sure to use a rubber scraper to get all the caramel out of the pan, and use a metal spatula or dinner knife to spread it on the crust.

Now return to the oven a bake a bit more. While you wait, you can eat the caramel off the spatula. Yum!

When it's done, cool on a wire rack until it's at room temperature. (I actually put mine in the fridge overnight and added the chocolate the second day.)

To make the chocolate layer, combine the chocolate and whipping cream (I actually used 1/2 and 1/2 and it was fine!) in a small sauce pan and cook over low heat.

Whisk this constantly, until the chocolate is melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Use a metal spatula or table knife to spread the chocolate on over the caramel layer.

Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the chocolate set. When you're ready to serve the bars, remove from the fridge, and use those foil handles to lift the bars out of the pan.

I think it's easiest to now remove the foil completely, and place the bars on a cutting board to cut. You can cut 4 rows, and then 4 to 5 "columns" of bars to yield 16-20 bars.

These can be served at room temperature or directly from the refrigerator. Store them in the refrigerator. Then commence with an exercise program after you've eaten more than your fair share...

Get more great ideas at a Themed Baker's Sunday, Save Room for Dessert Wednesday, Mouthwatering Mondays, What's Cooking Wednesdays , Your Life, Your Blog and Chocolate Fridays.

Caramel Chocolate Bars

6 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 T. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
Caramel layer:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate layer:
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half

Line a 8 or 9" pan with foil, long enough to create handles on the ends. Grease the foil.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar and salt on medium speed until well blended. Beat in flour. Drop dough by spoonfuls over foil and press out with your fingers to create a smooth, even layer. Prick the dough with a fork.

Bake at 350 until just starting to color lightly, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, for caramel layer, place butter and brown sugar in a saucepan set over medium low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Add milk and salt, and whisking constantly, bring mixture to a simmer. Do not allow mixture to boil. Cook and whisk until mixture thickens and becomes a light caramel color, about 10 minutes.

Pour caramel over crust, smoothing into an even layer with a metal spatula or dinner knife. Return pan to oven and bake 10 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool to room temperature. (At this point, you can refrigerate the bars overnight if you wish.)

For chocolate layer, place chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk constantly until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then pour over caramel layer and spread out evenly.

Refrigerate until chocolate is set, 30 minutes or longer. Lift bars out of pan using foil handles. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 16 or 20 bars. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 16-20 servings.


  1. YUM!! I love how you used pictures!!

  2. Hi!
    I love Carmel! This looks so good! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!


  3. That sounds SOOO amazing!!
    Love the step by steps, too!

  4. How in the world were you able to wait OVERNIGHT to eat those bars? They look delicious, but I fear for my dental work....

  5. I think I gained 5# just from the pix. Can't wait to make them!

  6. You have combined all my favorite flavors into one recipe - LOL! Yum - sounds wonderful! Thanks for linking this up!

  7. Swoon - these look great.

    if you like caramel, check out the end of my post from Thursday this week - salted caramel chocolates from a local place :)

  8. How could I never have seen this recipe before? I have a spare 1/3 cup of cream in the fridge that I didn't know how to use. Now I know!

  9. These are delicious! My best friend makes these with an almost identical recipe, and I just love them! :-)

  10. Two of my favorites, Chocolate and Caramel!!!!


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