I drew in my breath and waited somewhat patiently until my friend had taken a bite. I heard ‘mmmmm’ and watched her eyes slightly close as she took another bite. She said ‘This is so good’ and happily finished it. Then, her hand reached for another. A smile spread across my face and my inner baking voice told me to relax, that all was good and it was not just edible but really yummy. I know it sounds weird (and probably slightly creepy? ;)) but I always look for the facial reactions and gestures and listen, whenever someone tries what I make. Knowing I have pleased different palates or sweetened someone’s life that day is satisfaction. Baker’s delight, if you will 🙂
If you look back at my ‘Layers of Love’ blog where I talk about the Twix bar, you will notice that it is similar to this; however, this caramel does not involve a thermometer and it is softer and to me has a deeper caramely texture. The Twix bar caramel is chewy but also very good. Different texture and taste. I adore caramel and I always use Lyle’s golden syrup as I prefer the taste and gorgeous amber color. I purchase it from Amazon as my local grocery store does not carry it. I always, always utilize Ghirardelli baking bars. I think it makes a huge difference what chocolate and/or cocoa powder you use. I will experiment with Callebaut baking bars next and see if that makes a significant difference. Picture a can of sweetened condensed milk sitting next to the molasses (oops..sorry, left it out). That condensed milk stuff is divine times three!
Isn’t it wonderful when you find a recipe and make it the first time and everyone loves it? I made two batches, took it to work and one of my co-workers who does not even like caramel, had one and said it was really good. The shortbread is ready to go in the oven. You don’t want to make it really thick (unless you prefer it that way). Just press down until it is fairly even and also get the sides and give it half an inch for when you pour in the caramel.
Here is the baked shortbread. If the baking time in the recipe is not enough, leave it in the oven for a few minutes longer but not too long as you don’t want to burn it. You will see the edges slightly brown.
Once you start mixing the sweetened condensed milk, syrup, molasses and butter seen below, you will smile and be happy 🙂 Stir often and keep it on low to medium heat because it will burn. This step requires your full attention. Try to contain yourself and do not stick your finger in the pot! Stir the glorious combination seen below.
A bigger smile and now you are even happier! You must make sure you end up with this gorgeous slightly thick caramel. How does one not take a spatula and spread this on bread, cookies, ice-cream, brownies, cake..oh, the list goes on!
Pour the luscious caramel on the warm shortbread. Now, stick your finger in the bowl and very quickly lick the caramel. Be careful, it is hot! I know because I have tried and I do it again and again forgetting just how hot it is. It is still good and I would do it all again for caramel 🙂
The chocolate is next. Spread it all on there, look at it lovingly, and stick it in the fridge.
Once it has set, cut it up into bars and devour it! Well, no, be nice and share. All hail the chocolate caramel candy bar!
Recipe taken from delish
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 0.75 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. molasses
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 0.25 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment, leaving a 3-inch overhang on two sides.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing until fully incorporated. Using floured fingers, press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake until set and golden brown at the edges, 16 to 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine the condensed milk, corn syrup, molasses, and 5 tablespoons butter. Stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, 8 minutes. Gently simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened and pale golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt. Immediately spread the mixture over the crust. Refrigerate until set, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Place the chocolate and the remaining tablespoon butter in a microwave-safe bowl; cook on high until beginning to melt, 30 seconds. Stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Spread over caramel and refrigerate until it is set, about 30 minutes. Cut into 1-inch squares.