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Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

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Indulge in the sweet symphony of Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars! This recipe combines rich buttery shortbread, smooth caramel, and decadent chocolate for a delightful treat. Perfect for dessert enthusiasts, it’s a heavenly blend of simplicity and elegance.

Remember those cozy afternoons at Grandma’s, where the air was always filled with the scent of something sweet baking? That’s where my love for Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars began. Each layer, from the buttery shortbread to the silky caramel and rich chocolate, seemed to capture a part of those golden days. Making these bars isn’t just about following a recipe; it’s a journey back to those laughter-filled kitchens, a bite of nostalgia, and a tribute to timeless family recipes.

Why You’ll Love Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

  1. Simplicity Meets Sophistication: Combining everyday ingredients to create a luxurious dessert.
  2. Texture Wonderland: From the crumbly shortbread to the gooey caramel and the smooth chocolate topping, every bite is a textural delight.
  3. Versatile Treat: Perfect for gatherings, as a special weekend treat, or a comforting homemade gift.
  4. Customizable: Easily adaptable with various toppings or chocolate types to suit different palates.

Ingredients Notes:

Before diving into this recipe, let’s talk ingredients! High-quality butter is the secret to a flavorful shortbread base. Confectioners’ and granulated sugars balance sweetness and texture, while pure vanilla extract adds a hint of elegance. All-purpose flour keeps things simple yet effective. For the caramel layer, opt for baking caramel bits for ease, paired with heavy whipping cream for richness. Semi-sweet chocolate chips provide the perfect chocolatey finish without overpowering sweetness.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Preparation: Start by preheating your oven and prepping your baking dish. This sets the stage for baking success.
  2. Shortbread Base: Creaming butter and sugars until fluffy is crucial for a light base. Adding vanilla elevates the flavor.
  3. Incorporating Flour: Gradually adding flour ensures a well-incorporated dough that’s the perfect texture for shortbread.
  4. Forming the Base: Evenly pressing the dough into the dish forms a solid foundation for the layers to come.
  5. First Bake: Achieving a golden hue on the edges is the sign to remove the base from the oven.
  6. Caramel Layer: Melting the caramel with cream requires patience but results in a luxuriously smooth layer.
  7. Assembling: Pouring and spreading the caramel, then sprinkling chocolate chips, requires a gentle hand.
  8. Top Layer: Creatively placing the shortbread discs adds a rustic charm to the bars.
  9. Final Bake: Watching for the golden-brown finish ensures a perfectly baked top layer.
  10. Cooling and Serving: Patience is key here to allow the layers to set perfectly for slicing.

Storage Options:

These delightful bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week, ensuring they retain their texture and flavor. For longer storage, they can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, but remember to bring them to room temperature before serving for the best taste experience.

Variations and Substitutions:

  1. Chocolate Types: Swap semi-sweet chips with dark or milk chocolate for a different chocolate profile.
  2. Nutty Addition: Add chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts for a crunchy twist.
  3. Salted Caramel: A pinch of sea salt in the caramel layer can bring a gourmet touch.
  4. Flour Alternatives: Gluten-free flour can be used for a gluten-sensitive audience.
  5. Dairy-Free Options: Substitute butter and cream with vegan alternatives for a dairy-free version.

Crafted with love, humor, and a dash of nostalgia, this Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars recipe is more than just a dessert—it’s a piece of culinary art, waiting to be shared and savored. 🍫✨

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Indulge in the sweet symphony of Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars! This recipe combines rich buttery shortbread, smooth caramel, and decadent chocolate for a delightful treat. Perfect for dessert enthusiasts, it's a heavenly blend of simplicity and elegance.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 24


  • Butter: 2 cups at room temperature
  • Confectioners' Sugar: 1 ½ cups
  • Granulated Sugar: 1 cup
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: 6 teaspoons
  • All-Purpose Flour: 4 cups
  • Baking Caramel Bits: 14 ounces
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: ⅓ cup
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: 12 ounces


  • Oven Preparation: Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray it with non-stick baking spray.
  • Shortbread Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the room temperature butter, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer at medium speed until well-combined.
  • Incorporating Flour: Gradually add the all-purpose flour to the mixture, mixing continuously until fully incorporated. The mixture will have a crumbly texture but should hold together when pressed.
  • Base Layer Formation: Press approximately 3-4 cups of the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, ensuring an even layer.
  • Initial Baking: Bake the shortbread base in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the base is firmly set and the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Caramel Sauce Preparation: In a medium saucepan, combine the caramel bits and heavy whipping cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until the caramels are completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Layering Caramel: Pour the caramel sauce over the cooled shortbread base, spreading evenly to the edges.
  • Adding Chocolate Chips: Evenly sprinkle the semi-sweet chocolate chips over the caramel layer.
  • Shortbread Topping: Form the remaining shortbread mixture into small discs and arrange them over the chocolate chip layer, overlapping as necessary.
  • Final Baking: Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the top shortbread layer is golden brown.
  • Cooling and Slicing: Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, slice into bars and serve.
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