Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Bars
JUST when I thought I couldn’t fall in love with another unexpected flavor combination…
Salted caramel HAD to step into my life.
At first I wasn’t so sure about it – caramel is sugar. So sugar with salt? Weird.
But once I saw it the first time. I couldn’t stop seeing it!
Suddenly it was everywhere!
I HAD to try it. And boy oh boy…
It was GOOD!
Just like pumpkin spice. Only better. Because salted caramel is always appropriate.
In fall – Salted caramel apples. Salted caramel dip.
In winter – Hot salted caramel lattes. Warm salted caramel sauce.
In spring – Salted caramel candies. Chocolate covered salted caramels.
In summer – Salted caramel ice cream. Iced salted caramel coffee.
In every season – there is a time and a place for salted caramel!
Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Bars
A recipe from The Hungry Bride
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
These salted dark chocolate caramel bars are absolutely PERFECT!
They have the perfect balance of rich, dark chocolate and sweet, creamy caramel – all over a perfect bed of buttery shortbread, and sprinkled with salt.
Eat them cold, frozen, or at room temperature…
You won’t be able to resist these succulent bars of dreamy goodness.
Try them for yourself!
For the Crust
4 cups shortbread cookies, ground into crumbs
6 tablespoons butter
For the Caramel
1 bag individually wrapped soft caramels
1/3 cup heavy cream
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I recommend 67% cacao)
Kosher salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine melted butter and shortbread cookie crumbs – stirring until all crumbs appear moistened.
- Pour moistened shortbread cookie crumbs into a 8 x 8 square baking pan (pyrex or metal will do) – spread out moistened crumbs to cover entire bottom of pan. Press to flatten.
- Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
- While crumbs are baking, let’s make the caramel! NOM NOM NOM!
- Feel free to use microwave or stovetop for caramel making: For microwave: In a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine all caramels (unwrapped, please!) with 1/3 cup of heavy cream.Heat contents on high for 30 second intervals, stirring between each heat burst. This will likely take 4-5 minutes before caramel is fully melted and will combine with cream fully. For stovetop: Put caramels and cream over medium heat in a saucepan and stir continuously until caramel and cream have fully combined and are smooth. Set caramel aside.
- Remove baked shortbread base from oven, and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour caramel over shortbread base, spreading evenly to make one thick layer. Allow caramel to cool for at least 10 minutes. Then place entire pan in freezer to cool for an additional 20 minutes. This is VERY important – or your caramel will move when the chocolate is poured in.
- While caramel is cooling – let’s work on the ganache! In a medium saucepan, heat cream and butter until almost boiling – add chocolate and stir until all chocolate has melted and mixture appears smooth. Remove from heat – allow to cool for 5 minutes while waiting for caramel cookies in freezer.
- Once caramel is feels firm to the touch – Pour chocolate over caramel layer, spreading evenly. Allow chocolate to cool 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle with kosher salt (as desired). Allow entire pan to cool.
- Refrigerate, or freeze. entire pan of bars – the longer the better! – until completely cooled through.
- Slice bars and serve cool or at room temperature – sprinkle with additional salt if needed.
Storage: Refrigerate bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week – or freeze for 3-4 weeks.