Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars
Recipe credit: bakerbynature
- 3 Packets of Mac's Butter Shortbread Fingers
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 285g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with baking paper, using a large enough sheet so that some excess paper hangs over the edges. Spray the parchment and the sides of the pan with nonstick spray.
- Spread the shortbread fingers in an even layer in prepared pan, nestling them as close together as possible. Set aside.
- Make the caramel: Over medium heat, warm the cream, butter, and salt in a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan until the butter is completely melted. Remove from heat, keep the pan close by.
- In the separate (larger) saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and water. Stir until the sugar is evenly moistened and has formed a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the pan with a damp spatula so there are no sugar crystals above the surface of the sugar mixture. Do not stir the sugar after this point. Place pan over medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil - do not stir! But do watch closely. At first you will see tiny bubbles forming around the edge of the pan, those will gradually move inward and then the mixture will come to a rapid boil. Once the mixture darkens and begins to smell like caramel, keep a very close eye on it. We recommend pulling it off the heat 30 seconds after it darkens into that deep amber color. If you're using a candy thermometer, you can/should remove from heat anywhere between 135°C and 160°C.
- Slowly pour the warm cream and butter mixture into the sugar syrup while whisking the sugar syrup gently. The sugar syrup will bubble up and triple in size. Continue whisking until all the milk and butter mixture has been added
- Return the pan to medium heat and once again allow the caramel come to a boil without stirring. It will eventually darken to reddish-brown caramel color. You should remove the pan from heat when the caramel reaches 118°C to 121°C. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can just watch this and remove it when it reaches that deep color. Just be sure to never leave the pan unattended. Things move fast with caramel!
- Once pan is removed from heat, quickly whisk in vanilla.
- Pour the caramel sauce into the prepared pan, being sure it covers all of the shortbread cookies, and spreading quickly if need be.
- Let the caramel set. Set the caramel pan somewhere cool for at least four hours or overnight.
- When the caramel has set, lift them out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and onto a cutting board. Flip the cookie/caramel combination over, so the cookies face up. This makes it easier to cut into perfect bars. Cut along the edges of each cookie with a very sharp knife. If the caramels stick to your knife, spray your knife with nonstick cooking spray. Place cut cookies onto a cooling wrack and set aside.
- Melt chocolate and oil in a large bowl until chocolate can be whisked completely smooth. Let cool 2 minutes, whisk again - just to be sure it's still smooth - and get ready to dunk!
- Place one cookie on a fork, then emerge it into the melted chocolate, keeping it under until it's completely coated. Transfer to parchment paper, and continue process until all bars have been dunked. Place chocolate coated bars in a cool area to set. Then eat!!!