I try not to adjust recipes that I'm assigned. The point of the swap is to make what is sent you, not just something like what is sent. So although I was a little surprised at just how much butter went into a dish baked in an 8x8 pan (3 1/2 sticks!!) I went with it and hoped for the best. Thankfully I didn't have much planned the weekend I made this. There are so many steps and most of the stuff has to then chill for an hour. I ended up making this over the course of 2 days.
The end result was just ok. It seemed way too butter-y and the chocolate was a bit bitter. I think if I made this again I'd adjust a few things - I'd make less dough (and definitely use less butter), more caramel and use 70% cocoa (the original recipe said "the higher percentage, the better" so I aimed high). My proportions seemed a bit off from what Coleen had ended up with.
Thankfully my husband's coworker will eat almost anything put in the break room, so I sent these treats with him and they were gone within a few days.
Caramel Shortbread Bars (submitted by The Redheaded Baker)
For the cookie crust:- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
For the caramel:
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
For the chocolate glaze:
- 9 ounces chocolate, finely chopped (the higher percentage, the better)
- 1 ½ tsp light corn syrup
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, soft
- Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving three to four inches of overhang on two sides.
- Cream the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and creamy. Beat in the sugars and vanilla.
- Whisk together the flour and the salt, then fold into the butter mixer. Spread the dough into the baking pan and smooth in an even layer. Chill for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes, just until the cookie crust starts to brown at the edges.
- Refrigerate crust until ready to add caramel layer, at least one hour and up to two days.
- Place the brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently, for one hour to 90 minutes, until caramel-colored and thickened.
- Pour over cookie crust. Place in the freezer for one hour.
- Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before adding chocolate glaze.
- Place the chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water over lowest heat. Stir frequently, until only a few lumps of chocolate remain. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Pour over caramel layer. Refrigerate at least one hour.
- To cut, dip knife in boiling water, wipe clean with a kitchen towel, and make a cut. Dip knife in hot water, wipe dry, make another cut. Repeat with entire sheet. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator with wax paper between each bar.