Sunday, May 12, 2013

Simple Salted Caramel & Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Bars



A few weeks ago my class went on a field trip to a Chuck's Produce as part of our year long money unit.  This is one field trip that I wait all year to go on because Chuck's has the most amazing array of food. They have brick oven pizzas made from scratch, an anti-pasta and olive bar, delicious sandwiches (we're not talking Subway here folks!), Italian gelato and some of the most tasty soups I have ever had.



The bakery is incredible as well with some of the most 
tempting treats I have ever laid eyes on! 

 


The same goes for the produce and meat department....in a nutshell it is a fantastic grocery store! Think Whole Foods, but way cheaper and much better quality! 



When cruising through the bakery I spied the salted caramel fudge shortbread bars. This inspired me to try and replicate this at home. Now I know that many people like to make everything made from scratch ( I am guilty of it as well), but there are times when I like easier recipes because I do not always have the time to make everything from scratch. As a result, I was looking for shortcuts on my last shopping trip that would make this a simple go to recipe. 

After much thought in the baking aisle, I came up with what you see below. It only requires six ingredients and is a snap to make. From beginning to end it tool about one hour, but it was well worth it! I hope you enjoy these gooey caramel and chocolate shortbread bars as much as we do!

Happy Baking,
Miranda



Shortbread:

1-14.75 oz bag Betty Crocker Shortbread Mix

2 sticks butter

Chocolate Caramel Fudge Topping:

3 cups milk chocolate chips

1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
30 caramels, unwrapped
Fleur de sel (sea salt) for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper lighted coated with non-stick spray.







To make the shortbread layer: Mix butter and shortbread mix as directed. I like to mix it by hand in order to get the butter thoroughly combined. Roll into ball and place in prepared baking dish. Using your hands flatten out the dough until it covers the bottom of the dish. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until it is a very light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.






make the chocolate caramel fudge layer: Combine the milk chocolate, sweetened condense milk, and caramels in a non-stick pan. Heat on low and stir until everything has melted together. This will take about 20 minutes. Stir every minute for the first 10 minutes and then constantly for the last 10. 


Pour mixture directly over the shortbread cookie crust. 
Sprinkle with fleur de sel (sea salt).




Allow to completely cool before cutting into squares. 
Score your pieces before you cut them. 


Make sure to use a very sharp knife when cutting the squares. 
It will help prevent the crust from crumbling. Enjoy!