CARAMEL SHORTBREAD BARS

I found this recipe in a waiting room Oprah magazine originally so I have no idea how old it is.  You know how waiting rooms are, the magazine may have been 10 years old for all I know. I made a few changes for our liking and am now calling it CARAMEL SHORTBREAD BARS. There are so many flavor possibilities with changing the chip flavors and/or nut pieces.

CARAMEL SHORTBREAD BARS
1 1/2-3/4 cup cake flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 +/- tablespoon ice water
10 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey*
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 cup chopped and toasted macadamia nuts

CRUST

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Using a metal blade food process the flour, powdered sugar and salt.
  • Add butter pieces and pulse several times until dough resemble coarse bread crumbs.
  • Add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse until dough forms.  You can add more ice water as necessary if dough is too dry.
  • Press dough mixture into baking dish evenly.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until golden and edges are beginning to pull away.
  • Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.

CARAMEL SAUCE

  • While the crust is baking add the coconut milk, brown sugar and honey to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat stirring well to dissolve sugar.  Bring to a SLOW boil and continue boiling until mixture darkens and reduces by half (7-10 minutes). Set aside to cool.

ASSEMBLY

  • Sprinkle chocolate and butterscotch chips over crust evenly.
  • Sprinkle espresso powder evenly over chips.
  • Sprinkle macadamia nut pieces evenly on top.
  • Drizzle caramel mixture evenly over top.
  • Return to the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
  • Remove from oven and run a knife all around the edges.
  • Cool on rack 15 minutes.
  • Cover and move to the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Cut into bars.
  • Keep refrigerated.

*use a quality honey, it really makes a difference

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