Twelve Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Why twelve you say?  Well, because this is the Twelve Cookies of Christmas,  and today we are officially 12 days from Christmas!

That’s right 12 types of cookies…I have officially gone Christmas cookie overboard. What’s worse is that I made 8 types over the weekend on top of hosting a dinner on Saturday. Let’s just say when Christmas music is playing, I can crank those Christmas cookies out!

So here we are 12 days before Christmas and I thought what would be a better present to all our readers than sharing 12 different recipes for the cookies I have made for the holiday season.  Just don’t tell weight watchers that I went this cookie crazy!

What are better than 12 drummers drumming? Well, after going to my boyfriend’s shows for his band Emergency Now, I can tell you that 1 drummer drumming is powerful enough, so 12 of them would probably hurt your ears.  Ear plugs would be a must!  Anyways back on topic, 12 Salted Chocolate Carmel Shortbread Bars are what are better!  This recipe was probably those most labor intensive of the cookies, but holy crap they are amazing.  It definitely helped that I made these first.  Make them!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Yield: about 5 dozen small bars
For shortbread layer-
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar

For caramel layer:
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. light corn syrup
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

For chocolate layer:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (chopped if you can’t chips)
1 tsp. light corn syrup
½ cup  unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Fleur de sel or sea salt or Kosher salt

For Shortbread layer:

Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes up on the sides.  In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Next in mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes or until blended.  Slowing the mixer to a lower setting, mix in the dry ingredients.  Transfer the dough to the parchment paper lined baking pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.  Make sure the crust doesn’t have any bubbles in it,  if so push them down with a spatula.   Move pan to a wire rack and let cool.

To make caramel layer-

In a medium sauce pan combine  butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the butter is melted.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring caramel mixture to a boil.  Stirring constantly, reduce to a simmer.  Continue, until the mixture thickens and becomes darker (Keep stirring and make sure the heat isn’t too high or it will burn).  Pour the caramel over the shortbread layer and smooth out.   Chill to harden slightly before pouring chocolate on it.

To make chocolate layer:

In a double boiler combine chocolate, corn syrup, and butter and melt completely until smooth. Pour chocolate mixture on to the caramel layer and spread so that it is even. Allow to cool for a minute then sprinkle with salt.  Cover an chill until ready to cut and serve.

Sources: Annie’s Eats and  Lisa is Cooking, components originally from Baked and The Golden Book of Baking


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