Friday, September 20, 2013

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars



I read a lot of British cooking magazines, and I often see these sorts of bars in the magazines, always called millionaire bars. I’m pretty sure that I have made some sort of caramel shortbread bar before, so I’ve always been a bit hesitant to make them. I found these online, but with added peanut butter and topped with Reese’s Pieces. They sounded great! Plus, it’s back to (regular) work for me and I have many coworkers who are fans of caramel.

Some people shy away from making bars with multiple layers, but each layer in these bars have no more than 4 ingredients. Since you make the top two layers in the microwave, there aren’t even that many bowls to wash! The only drawbacks to these bars are that the recipe doesn’t make very many, and the Reese’s Pieces fall off when you try to eat the bars. I really liked these bars, just take the time to let them chill and then come back to room temperature before cutting. I tried to rush this and I almost broke my knife!

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
25 caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Reese’s Pieces for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Make the shortbread: in a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light. Mix in vanilla and then, with the mixer on low, stir in flour. Press into the prepared pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes until barely golden on top. Cool about 20 minutes before adding the caramel layer.

Make the caramel: in a medium bowl, combine the layer caramels, peanut butter, and heavy cream. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after heating, until the mixture is smooth. Alternatively, heat the mixture on the stove over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour on top of shortbread and spread evenly. Chill for 10 minutes.

Make the chocolate topping: in a small bowl combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate on top of the caramel and spread evenly. Chill for several hours before cutting into bars.

Allow the bars to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Lift the foil from the pan and then peel it away from the bars. Cut into squares. Top with Reese’s Pieces. Serve at room temperature, or the caramel will be too hard to eat.

Recipe from Crazy for Crust

1 comment:

Caroline Barbee said...

These look great and the reese's pieces add great fall colors to them.