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RECIPE: Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

We couldn’t close out the year without a batch of buttery shortbread. This recipe, from Spice Islands, adds creamy caramel, a dark chocolate ganache icing and a sprinkle of sea salt.

The recipe includes cashews. You can substitute another favorite nut (macadamias, pecans, pistachios, walnuts) or omit the nuts entirely.

National Chocolate Caramel Day is March 18th. For another yummy recipe, check out this Chocolate Caramel Turtle Brownie Recipe.

RECIPE: SALTED CARAMEL CARAMEL
CASHEW SHORTBREAD BARS WITH
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Ingredients

For The Shortbread

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped, salted cashews
  •  

    Shortbread topped with caramel, chocolate and sea salt. Photo courtesy Spice Islands.

     
    For The Caramel

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/3 cup Karo light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, fine grind (you can substitute table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Ganache

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Line a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil leaving overhang on 2 sides. Lightly grease the foil on the sides of the pan.

    2. MAKE shortbread crust: Mix butter and sugar until well blended in a bowl. Stir in flour and cashews until a stiff dough forms. Press dough evenly onto bottom of foil lined pan. Prick the dough using the tines of a fork. Bake shortbread 20 to 23 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and place on wire rack.

    3. MAKE caramel: Stir brown sugar, cream, butter and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble. Stir in salt and mix well. Continue to cook at a full boil without stirring for about 8 to 10 minutes until candy reaches 240°F. Stir in vanilla. Pour caramel over shortbread crust. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

    4. HEAT cream and chocolate in microwave on HIGH (100% power), stirring every 15 seconds until chocolate is melted, about 30 to 45 seconds. Evenly spread Ganache over caramel layer. Top with coarse sea salt. Place in refrigerator 10 minutes or just until chocolate is set. Cut into bars.
     
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