Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Salted Caramel Squares

First, Happy Back to the Future Day!  Lol.  Ok, these delicious-looking bars were in the last Penzey's Spices catalog.  The recipe is online too.  This recipe comes from an Irishman, so I guess that makes it Irish!  My layers didn't come out as clean-looking as theirs, but these were still so delicious.  I actually made these for our Canadian Thanksgiving Celebration on October 12. We had some extra kids over and most of them seemed to enjoy these, too.  My kids loved these even through they contain coconut (I didn't tell them until they were all gone.... evil laugh).
You could use a can of Dulce de Leche if you have that on hand, instead of cooking the sweetened condensed milk.  I'd melt the butter and add everything into the DDL if you do that.  I still have some cans of Portuguese DDL I brought over from the Azores, but decided to not use it for this (it's harder to find DDL in Italy... I've only seen it in international stores.
Salted Caramel Squares
adapted from Penzey's

1 Cup self-rising flour
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup shredded coconut
1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 TB. Lyle’s golden syrup (use half honey, half corn syrup for a sub)
1 TB. butter
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

16 oz. dark chocolate
1 tsp. butter
1/2- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt

1.  Preheat oven to 360°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, coconut, butter, cinnamon (if using) and salt. Mix well on low. Press onto an ungreased rectangular baking sheet (about 10x14; a 9x13 pan would also work), about 1/4-inch thick. Bake at 360° for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit, leaving the oven on.

2.  For the caramel, combine the milk, golden syrup and butter in a small heavy saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until big bubbles form and the mix is thickened and a light caramel color, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.  Pour and gently spread over the base. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool.

3.  For the chocolate, melt the chocolate and butter using a double boiler or in a glass bowl placed over a pot of boiling water. Stir until melted. Pour and spread the chocolate over the cooled caramel. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 2 hours. Cut and serve.  Tastes best at room temperature.
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