Saturday, May 07, 2005

Caramel Crunch Bars

Caramel Crunch Bars (Adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours)

For the shortbread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vanilla sugar (you can use regular granulated)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces finely chopped milk chocolate

For the top

6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup toffee bits

To make the shortbread

Preheat oven to 375

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter and beat until creamy and smooth. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Pour in the dry ingredients and turn the mixture on low speed - mix just until the dry ingredients are almost all incorporated. At this point, add the chopped milk chocolate - using a wooden spoon or firm spatula, stir the mixture until combined.

The dough should be creamy and very sticky at this point - don't worry, it should be like this. Place dollops of the batter over the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Using an offset spatula, a spoon or wet fingertips, spread the mixture into a thin even layer.

Bake until the shortbread is a rich golden brown and looks like it is trying to come away from the sides of the pan, about 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the pan and turn the oven off.

To make the topping

Scatter the top of the hot shortbread with the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Pop the pan back into the turned off oven and let sit for 2 minutes to soften the chocolate. Remove and immediately use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate mixture all over the top. Scatter the toffee bits on top of the melted chocolate and gently press down to adhere. Place the baking pan on a wire rack to cool completely - if the chocolate has not firmed up by the time you need to cut the bars, briefly place it in the refrigerator to set.

Just found the recipe? Click here to see where we talked about it!


  1. Those looks amazing! I can't wait to try them! :)

  2. I can spot a Dorie recipe a mile away! Those bars are especially good with ice cream.

  3. Dianne - They are so worth it!

    Brilynn - I so wanted to try that combo, but I needed to make sure Jeff had enough to bring in. I'm already thinking about making them again just to stuff 'em with ice cream!

  4. OMG these sound good. I love those toffee bits!

  5. Susan - Me too. I always have a bag of the bits in the pantry!