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My extraordinary and inspiring baking friend, Danielle, and I have started a monthly recipe challenge. We each pick one recipe from each other’s blog and share it on the second Monday of the month. In November, I made her amazing Caramel Brownies, we took December off, and now it’s time for another go around! I have made her Twix Bars before…but it was in my first few months of blogging…when I had approximately 1.2 followers. I needed a show stopping recipe for a Christmas cookie exchange and I picked these from the oodles of recipes of Danielle’s I had book marked.
The crisp shortbread base does tend to crumble when you cut into these decadent babies, but the taste will make up for any imperfections. Cookies + Caramel + Milk Chocolate = One Exquisite Bar Cookie!!!! Thanks, Danielle, for sharing your baking creativity week after week. I still need you to visit me and give me a piping and cookie decorating intervention. You’d better pack for a week!!!! xo
- Shortbread layer:
- 2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- Caramel layer:
- 20 ounces Kraft Caramels, unwrapped of course! (about 1½ bags)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Chocolate layer:
- 18 ounces milk chocolate, melted (I used Ghirardelli Bars rather than chips)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional, I used)
- For the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9" x 13" pan with nonstick foil. Set aside.
- Using a pastry blender cut butter into sugar. Use fingers to break up butter, till mixture resembles cornmeal. Add vanilla . Add the flour. Mix till flour is incorporated...mixture will be crumbly.
- Press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.
- Prick the crust all over with a fork.
- Bake 15 minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown. Set it aside to cool completely.
- For the caramel layer: Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. (or use microwave, stopping and stirring at 30-60 second intervals till smooth and melted). Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
- For the Chocolate Layer: Melt the chocolate and shortening in by microwaving using 30 second increments, stopping and stirring till melted and smooth. Spread over caramel. I used a plastic frosting tool to make optional striations while the chocolate was warm.
- Let cool before cutting.