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Salted caramel chocolate shortbread bars are a great twist on the traditional millionaire shortbread. These decadent cookies feature dark or milk chocolate, homemade caramel sauce, and an easy one pan shortbread cookie base all topped with a dusting of salt to level out that sweetness. Each square slice is dessert heaven!
It’s coming up on the most wonderful time of the year! Can you feel it in the air yet? Christmas preparations will be beginning shortly, and my blogging buddies want to make it super easy for you.
You know, so you're not stressed and panicked and too tired to enjoy the party. Cause that never happens. Yeah. Right. So this year. You will be prepared!!!!
I feel like I've spent so much time in the kitchen already, baking up favorites like chocolate peanut clusters, chocolate ginger ooey gooey bars, and those can't be missed ADORABLE gingerbread reindeer cookies.
**** This post originally appeared in 2014- but even after 6 years the tried and true recipes in this post are some of the best on the blogosphere!*****
The 2014 Holiday Cocktail Party Blog Hop is ready to provide you with the ideas and inspiration you need for those superb appetizers, delightful cocktails (& mocktails!), fantastic desserts, and sweet treats to knock your socks off. Are you as excited as I am? Yay!
I’m contributing a recipe that is perfect to make ahead, to serve at a party, or to hand out to your neighbors, friends, and family. That is if you can let go of them! They are so yummy! I’m sure you can’t wait to hear about this amazing recipe, but don’t forget to visit my friends down below because they have a ton of awesome ideas too!
So without further ado…..I present…….Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Squares.
Are your taste buds watering yet?
I had you at chocolate, didn’t I? This recipe is easily adapted to use milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate. The choice is yours! You can use bar chocolate, chips or chunks! Whatever you have on hand!
Or maybe it was the caramel…..oh and salted to boot! This caramel is a homemade sauce that seems to almost melt in your mouth. It whips up in a breeze and tastes so much better than store-bought caramel pieces.
Or perhaps maybe - maybe you like the classics like me. Because shortbread, well, let’s be honest—Shortbread is a classic as it gets. In a twist on the classic, this recipe uses powdered sugar instead of granulated. What that means for you is a softer base, with no grainy texture.
Yummy yummy, get in my tummy! (Actually, I make a gluten free version for myself). My tummy would not be happy if I ate the real deal. Would any of you like me to share my gluten free recipe?
Tips and tricks for homemade salted caramel shortbread bars:
- The trick to any shortbread is to be light with mixing. You don't want to overwork the dough.
- You could sub out store-bought caramel bits, but the homemade caramel takes very little work and would be less expensive
- Cut the bars into the size you would like about 10 minutes after they are out of the oven. You don't want to wait, as the caramel does harden, and then it becomes quite a chore
- You can easily omit the salt if that isn't the flavor profile you are going for
- You can use any chocolate you'd like. My husband prefers bitter dark chocolate but I adore milk chocolate on mine.
- You can technically sub out butter, and they will be yummy. BUT for some reason, I think margarine just tastes better in this recipe. Some cookies I swear by butter, some Crisco, these it's margarine.
Before I send you off to visit all my fabulous friends, I wanted to show you some of my other Holiday posts!
Pin For Later!
***Don't forget to visit the posts below the recipe for even more deliciousness!
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars
For the Shortbread Crust:
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup margarine chilled
For the Homemade Caramel Layer:
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup margarine
For the chocolate topping:
- 11.5-12 oz semi sweet Chocolate Chip morsels
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
To make the shortbread base:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and both sugars. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until a nice crumble is made. Use a light hand and try not to overwork your dough.
- Press firmly into a 9x13 baking pan and set aside while you make the caramel sauce.
- For the homemade caramel sauce:
- Place the sugar and the margarine in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins boiling.
- Once it reaches a boil, allow to boil at a heavy rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from stove and pour over crust in baking pan.
- Place the shortbread crust with caramel in the middle rack of your preheated oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- You will see the caramel bubbling. Don’t allow the shortbread to get brown and crunchy, you want it moist and fluffy.
- Once you pull your dish out of the oven, place on a cooling rack and immediatly move onto the next step:
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of your hot shortbread. Allow the chips to melt and after about 2 minutes spread evenly over the crust mixture.
- If the chocolate will not spread, you can place back in the oven for about 30 seconds if need be.
- Sprinkle the sea salt evenly on top once all the chocolate is situated.
- After about 10 minutes, carefully slice the bars into the size you would like. It is best to score them and get them pre-sliced before they cool. They will harden as they set, and cutting then can be an issue.
- Allow to cool and enjoy!