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Ganache Topped Caramel Bars stacked on a round white plate

Ganache Topped Caramel Bars

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It’s pretty much a given that I package up a batch of sweets with Nick when he returns to college. As a caramel fan like his mother, I knew these Ganache Topped Caramel Bars would put a smile on his face. They sure did!!

Ganache Topped Caramel Bars stacked on a round white plate

Ganache Topped Caramel Bars

I’ve shared the similar Homemade Twix Bars recipe a couple of times which are also known as Millionaire Shortbread and probably have a couple of other aliases as well. All with 3 delectable layers including caramel. So you may not be shocked that I had to bake up these ganache topped caramel bars!

As a preschooler, Nick used to accompany me on my errands, one being a weekly trek to the butcher shop for chops, hamburger, and such plus some thinly sliced ham for his sandwiches. He’d get a slice of ham to sample from the proprietor as our ham was being weighed plus there was the requisite trip to the candy jar on the counter for the coveted caramel.

So began his love affair with this confection. One in which his mother was happy to contribute–even now as he’s grown from that tot to a young man.

Ganache Topped Caramel Bars on a rimmed white plate

Tips for Making Caramel

The shortbread crust was a piece of cake, but the first caramel attempt was a bit of a disaster. I have made desserts with homemade caramel from scratch as well as those using melted pre-made caramel candies. This caramel called for sweetened condensed milk and I thought it would be a no-brainer.

I cooked the mixture and watched it boil and eventually grow a little darker to an amber shade. But when I removed the molten sugar mixture from the stovetop, the butter had separated and the caramel was far from a smooth consistency. Flop. So I tried again, reducing the amount of butter and using a candy thermometer so I could pull the caramel off the heat at the perfect time. Success. Whew.

So you may also need a few tips to ensure your caramel layer is perfect!

  • All caramel recipes are different. Some are sweetened with white sugar, others with brown. This is the first I’ve encountered with sweetened condensed milk, which is a substitute for the typical heavy cream and part of the sugar.
  • To start this recipe, all ingredients are whisked together in a saucepan. This is also not typical of caramel recipes!
  • For the best caramel consistency, not too hard nor too soft, a candy thermometer (affiliate link) is imperative.
  • Whisk constantly so the mixture does not burn. Watch for the caramel to darken to a “caramel” color which should occur around 225 degrees, approximately 6 minutes into the cooking process. Pour over the crust when your caramel reaches temperature.
  • Since these most likely will be stored in the refrigerator, you’ll want to cut them with a hot knife. I run a knife under very hot water and dry it off before slicing. The heat helps the knife glide through the chocolate and caramel.
  • PRO Tip: Remember this caramel mixture is extremely hot, so use caution when mixing, pouring, and spreading so you don’t get burned.

 

Ganache Topped Caramel Bars stacked high on a white plate over a red and white napkin

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Ganache Topped Caramel Bars

The Recipe: Ganache Topped Caramel Bars

Three-layered caramel bars with a shortbread crust and rich ganache topping.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 24 bars

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Imperial Sugar, our lovely Gold Sponsor
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cut into 1/2 tablespoon-sized cubes
  • 2 egg yolks

Caramel:

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Ganache:

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Pulse flour and sugar in a food processor to mix. Add butter and pulse till the butter is the size of small peas. Add the yolks and pulse till dough comes together. Pat into a greased or non-stick foil lined 9 x 13 pan. Bake till edges are lightly browned, 12-14 minutes. Let cool while preparing caramel.
  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together all caramel ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking often till mixture comes to a boil. Clip candy thermometer to the pan and continue whisking and cooking till caramel reaches 225º. Pour caramel over crust and let cool till caramel is set.
  4. Make ganache by combining chocolate, cream and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat gently, stopping and stirring till chocolate is almost melted. Let rest for a couple minutes, then stir till smooth. Spread over caramel layer and chill for at least an hour before cutting. Store bars in refrigerator.

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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67 comments on “Ganache Topped Caramel Bars”

  1. Liz!! #Chocotoberfest .. oh my goodness, I love this!!!! and yeah caramel is so tricky sometimes but you are a PRO. These bars look amazing as always!

  2. Never mind – I saw you recommended lining pan. Missed it when I read it first time.

  3. Can you get these out of the pan pretty easily or is a parchment paper sling recommended?

  4. Oh wowwww…these looks amazing, Liz..especially that ganache topping. I’ve never tried making my own caramel and I think I should start now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. They look beautiful Liz! I had a candy fiasco this weekend too, tried to make brittle (three times!) and what a mess… Didn’t know whether to blame the weather (hurricane), the recipe ~or~ dare I say… me:@)

    • PS-For the entry, your ganache topping has quickly become a favorite chocolate recipe of mine:@)

  6. I find caramel tricky thing ๐Ÿ˜€ sometimes it turns out perfect, sometimes disastrous ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I would have to make many more times to perfect it ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. These look incredible. There isnt a better combination out there than biscuit, caramel and chocolate!

  8. Beautifully presented bars, Liz. When I was growing up my favourite sweet was caramel as well. And if you don’t mind me saying, it’s refreshing to hear you say you also have disasters in the kitchen. I just had a dinner party that was straight from hell – if I had videoed it then blogged it, it would have been the year’s best comedy (of errors!) xx

  9. Oh, wooooow! These look incredible Lizz. My husband loves caramel bars and I think I could manage your recipe without screwing it up. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I love chocolate chunk brownies

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