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Ganache Topped Caramel Bars | Shortbread crust, caramel filling and creamy ganache topping make for one exquisite bar cookie

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.

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 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 stove top, 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 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

Chocotoberfest

I am beyond excited today, because it is October 5…. and that means it is the first day of #Choctoberfest! 😀 #Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you’ll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. What’s not to love? Here’s what this event is all about! #Choctoberfest would not be possible without our sponsors, starting with our 2015 Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar.

Imperial Sugar has been a trusted name in family kitchens since 1843. Their sugar products and sweeteners are made from non-GMO cane sugar and ensure consistently delicious results. We’ll be using Imperial Sugar whenever we use sugar in our recipes this week, and can’t wait to share the sweetness with you! THANK YOU, Imperial Sugar!!! You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Make sure you visit the recipes section of their website for some sweet inspiration, and you can also find coupons on their website if you want to try out Imperial Sugar yourself.

A huge thank you to all of the other blogs participating in #Choctoberfest 2015. Check out their blogs throughout the week for chocolate recipes you won’t be able to resist:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmAloha FlavorAmy’s Cooking Adventures • Angels Homestead • Balancing MotherhoodBless this MessBusy-at-HomeChocolate SlopesCoconut & LimeColie’s KitchenCookaholic WifeCooking In StilettosCooking With LibbyCookistryCopyKat RecipesCravings of a LunaticCrumbs in my MustachioCulinary CoutureCupcakes Take The CakeDeliciously SavvyEat It & Say YumFairyburgerFamished Fish, Finicky SharkFarm Fresh FeastsFood Hunter’s Guide to CuisineFull Belly SistersGet Off The Couch and CookGrumpy’s HoneybunchHey What’s for Dinner Mom?Honey and BirchI Can Cook ThatJane’s Adventures in DinnerJessie WeaverLife on Food Life, Love, and Good FoodMajorly DeliciousMoore or Less Cooking Food BlogMother Would KnowOr Whatever You DoPoet in the PantryRecipes Food and CookingSassy Southern YankeeSeduction in The KitchenSerena LissySumptuous SpoonfulsTake Two TapasThat Skinny Chick Can BakeThatsSoYummy  • The Crumby CupcakeThe Dinner-MomThe Saucy SouthernerThe Spiced LifeThe Spiffy CookieThe Two Bite ClubThe Weekday GourmetVintage KittyWendy PolisiWhat A Girl EatsWhitBit’s Indian KitchenWit Wisdom & FoodZesty South Indian Kitchen

Are you a blogger who is interested in joining us during out next community event?   Sign up here now!   We’ll make sure you get an email about our next blogger event.

Ganache Topped Caramel Bars Pin collage

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Ganache Topped Caramel Bars

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

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bars
  • Category: Dessert, Bar Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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.

Disclosure: Imperial Sugar, our Gold sponsor, donated product for this event. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

61 comments on “Ganache Topped Caramel Bars”

  1. I love chocolate chunk brownies

  2. Oh, wooooow! These look incredible Lizz. My husband loves caramel bars and I think I could manage your recipe without screwing it up. Thanks 🙂

  3. 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

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

  5. I find caramel tricky thing 😀 sometimes it turns out perfect, sometimes disastrous 🙂 I think I would have to make many more times to perfect it 😀

  6. 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:@)

  7. 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!

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

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

  10. 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!

  11. These look absolutely incredible. All of my favorite flavors in one bar.

  12. Caramel can be tricky, but it’s always worth the trouble. I’ve burned a batch or two. These bars look amazing with all the different textures and flavors.

  13. I find making caramel is a tricky process somehow but deeeeelicious. I have so many caramel lovers at my home too .. loved the recipe and will sure give it a try – at least the caramel part.

  14. Be still my heart, all I need in life is one of these bars! 😉

  15. I love caramel too! And these bars look like you did it right. They look delicious! I am sure your son will enjoy these (as well as all his friends :-))

  16. I love chocolate ganache – chocolate chips and whipping cream . Oh, and a spoon!

  17. These look wonderful Liz and I know your Nick was thrilled to take these back with him. My Nick probably would not have shared them with anyone. He was kind of naughty like that if something was REALLY good! 🙂

  18. Liz my kids will love this bars, they are crazy about chocolate and caramel. absolute treat.

  19. Oh my, oh my…ok sooo one of my absolute favorite chocolate bars is a salted crunch bar that is the bomb! I love it…definitely voting that as *one* of my favorites. I also love Mexican chocolate, but who am I kidding I love all kinds of chocolate!!

    These caramel bars look fantastic, Lizzy!!

    Toodles,
    Tammy<3

  20. Love me some dark chocolate.

  21. Caramel and I have a trouble past but I love it sooo much. These bars look delish!

  22. I love good quality milk chocolate

  23. These bars look amazing Liz, LOVE the caramel layer. And you used my favorite baking chocolate, Ghirardelli, too! I understand your issue with the caramel, I’ve had a few disasters with it myself. Homemade taste to good to give up on making it though.

  24. I love making these and putting ganache on the top instead of melted chocolate is a great idea!

  25. These bars look incredible Liz! I LOVE all things caramel.

  26. These look divine! I have made something similar, my Groovy Caramel Bars, have to try your recipe for my Christmas bar platter! Nettie

  27. Your bars turned out perfectly, second time must be a charm. Nothing better than caramel and chocolate.

  28. I have always wanted to make something like this – shortbread, caramel and chocolate – a dream combination!

  29. Oh, yum! These bars look incredibly yummy, Lizz. I love caramel bars, so can’t wait to try this perfect recipe.

  30. Caramel can be so tricky. Glad to hear you pulled it off, and the bars look fantastic!

  31. Those bars have to be sinfully delicious, my fave ingredients for such. You are a great mom to send Nick off to college with these goodies. And I’ve had more than my share of kitchen mishaps, even with company present. Thanks for the recipe!

  32. Incredible bars!!
    I won’t be able to stop eating them

  33. I must say that this could become my new favorite chocolate recipe! I never have a hard time finding a favorite one because it seems that it is whatever is in front of me at that moment!

  34. not sure I have a favorite chocolate – favorite recipe is probably oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

  35. These bars look absolutely incredible, Liz! I love all the layers, the’re just perfect 🙂

  36. As usual your treats look picture perfect and probably taste even better. I love the swirly tops.

  37. I love Turtles: pecans, caramel, covered by rich dark chocolate. Yum!

  38. I adore anything that involves caramel and shortbread–these look awesome! Pinned! And gorgeous photos!

  39. Chocotoberfest?! I love it! What a fun idea! These bars look SO GOOD! Great giveaway, thanks!!

  40. Oh my……I think I love Choctoberfest!

  41. Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in our house.

  42. I have to say that I love Chocolate Ganache! It is my favorite.

  43. These bars look so perfect! They would make lovely Christmas gifts!

  44. Hey.,OMG! sooo gooood!!! my boyfriend and i gave some of them to the family and kept some for ourselves, everyone loved them and For me, it just seemed like it needed a tad more sweetness & that did the trick.

  45. My fav would be chocolate fudge tart or chocolate cream pie!

  46. My favorite chocolate recipe is very rich dark chocolate brownies full of walnuts.

  47. YUMYUMYUM! caramel and chocolate yes yum oh my!

  48. chocolate cover fruit is my fave!

  49. I love Milk Chocolate – especially when it tops a Chocolate Meringue Pie

  50. I love good old milk chocolate or dark chocolate.

  51. Dark chocolate is my all time fave.

  52. Anything Chocolate and Caramel is a favorite in our house. Can’t wait to make these Ganache Topped Caramel Bars!

  53. Oh, I always love a good chocolate cake! 🙂

  54. Brownies, my favorite!

  55. Favorite chocolate is dark chocolate…Teuscher’s from Beverly Hills =) Ps.. Love the story about Nick as a tot =) Ps.2 Looks like you figured out the caramel perfectly.

  56. Nick has impeccable taste!

  57. Lizzy,
    I must have pinned all your other similar bars. I’m pinning this one too. I can’t wait to try it.
    Annamaria

  58. Wow you need to market these

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