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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Shortbread Caramel Brownie Bars

Yes, you can have your brownie, shortbread and caramel and eat it, too. Wait, that's not how that goes?

Sunset OCTOBER 2002

  • Yield: Makes 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

1. Cut 1 cup butter into chunks. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and the butter chunks. Whirl until dough comes together. Press evenly over the bottom of a buttered 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 325° regular or convection 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 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 a 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° regular or convection 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.

Nutritional analysis per bar.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 322
  • Calories from fat: 50%
  • Protein: 3.8g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrate: 39g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Cholesterol: 58mg
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Shortbread Caramel Brownie Bars recipe

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