Friday, October 28, 2011
Caramel Crumb Bars
Halloween is just around the corner and soon I am sure that I will need to figure out how to use up all that Halloween candy. We don’t typically get trick or treaters at the door, but we always buy candy just in case. I’ve noticed that there are lots of recipes floating around the web that use candy, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open.
These caramel bars seem like they might use premade caramels, but this is a different type of caramel. I’ve melted whole caramels and I’ve made caramel with sugar, butter, and cream, but this is another method. Strange, when I was browsing around the web recently I stumbled across this type of caramel, which uses sweetened condensed milk, butter, and brown sugar. Then I looked at this recipe I had planned to make and realized that it used the same method. I love caramel so I was happy to try a new recipe.
The base and topping of this bar is buttery shortbread, which paired with buttery caramel can’t be beat. Making the caramel with the sweetened condensed milk on the top of the stove worked really well. I got some overcooked caramel around the edges of my saucepan, but just avoid adding that bit to the bar cookies. These cookies are really thin, but they’re rich so that’s ok. These turned out so well and I can’t wait to try this caramel in another recipe.
Caramel Crumb Bars
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang, and spray again with cooking spray.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until soft and light, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add 2 1/4 cups of the flour, beating just until the dough is smooth and the flour has been absorbed. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Transfer 3/4 of the dough into the prepared pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom layer. Refrigerate while you make the filling and the top layer.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the remaining dough. Work it in with your fingers until large crumbs form. Set aside.
Make the filling: in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and condensed milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When the mixture begins to boil, whisk frequently until it begins to thicken and darkens in color slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the fridge and spread the filling evenly over the bottom crust. Crumble the topping evenly over the caramel.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is gently bubbling and has turned a dark caramel color. Cool the bars in the pan on a wire rack until lukewarm, about 15-20 minutes. Use the foil to lift bars out of the pan. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Recipe from Eats Well with Others