Shortbread Caramel Brownie Bars

This treat combines several of your favorite things. It starts with a layer of shortbread, which is topped with a layer of caramel, and then it ends with a layer of gooey brownies.
Makes 24 bars


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1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
12 ounces individually wrapped soft caramels, such as Kraft
1/4 cup whole milk
10 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


Total: 2 Hours

1. Cut 1 cup butter into chunks. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and the butter chunks. Whirl until dough comes together. Press evenly into a buttered 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 325° oven until top feels dry and is just beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, unwrap caramels and place in a microwave-safe bowl with milk. Cook in a microwave oven on full power (100%) for 1 minute. Stir mixture, then cook and stir at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes longer. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cooled crust and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

3. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water), stir chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup butter often until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and, with a whisk or an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended.

4. Pour chocolate mixture over caramel layer and use a knife or spatula to spread level, completely covering caramel.

5. Bake in a 350° oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the chocolate layer comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut into 24 bars.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per bar.

Created date

April 2006

Nutritional Information

Calories 322
Caloriesfromfat 50 %
Protein 3.8 g
Fat 18 g
Satfat 10 g
Carbohydrate 39 g
Fiber 0.6 g
Sodium 200 mg
Cholesterol 58 mg