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Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars



Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars

Ingredients:
For the shortbread base:
  • 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1⁄3 cup (67 grams) sugar
  •  1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the caramel topping:
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  •  1⁄2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature (or slightly warmed in a microwave)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce; 28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces and very soft
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fleur de sel or a good-size pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • About 1⁄2 cup (60 grams) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line an 8x8 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In another bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together butter, sugar, and sea salt until creamy and smooth. Gradually add in dry ingredients, beating on low speed, until well-combined and a soft dough forms.

Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 21-23 minutes.

Remove from oven when done and set aside on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely, start preparing your caramel topping.

Add sugar, water,  and corn syrup to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and allow to simmer, until mixture starts to turn a amber color. Swirl the pan around a couple of times to ensure the caramel is cooking evenly. Once it turns a medium amber color, lower the heat, and pour in the heavy cream. Then add the butter and salt. Remove pan from the heat and add in chopped chocolate. Use a silicone spatula to incorporate it into the caramel.

Pour the hot caramel over the bars and then top with chopped pecans. Let the caramel set at room temperature, then cut and serve.