Caramel Chocolate Nut Bars

posted by Schmitty 10-15-99 4:02 AM

Caramel Chocolate Nut Bars

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter cut in 16 pieces
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
5 tablespoons ice water
Yolk of 1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 bars (3 ounces each) bittersweet chocolate or 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips very finely chopped in food processor or blender
1 can (11 ounces) salted mixed nuts (2 1/2 cups) rinsed in a strainer to remove salt, toasted

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees and have ready 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch jelly roll pan.

Pastry: Mix flour, sugar and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter and shortening with pastry blender or rub with fingertips till fats are completely incorporated.

In cup, stir ice water, egg yolk and lemon juice till blended. Stir with a fork into flour mixture until dough clumps together. Turn out on floured surface; knead just till smooth. Wrap and chill while preparing nuts.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a 12 x 16 inch rectangle. Trim to 15 x 12 inches. Roll dough onto rolling pin and unroll onto ungreased jelly roll pan. Prick at 1 inch intervals.

Bake 20 minutes or until pale golden and crisp.

Topping: Scatter chocolate evenly over crust; return to oven 1 minute to melt chocolate. Spread with rubber spatula into an even layer. Immediately sprinkle on chopped nuts.

Caramel: Put sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy medium-size saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, swirling pan until sugar dissolves. Boil 3 to 5 minutes until syrup turns amber (Watch carefully that it doesn't get dark or it will taste burnt.) Carefully stir in cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Use a spoon to drizzle caramel over the nut layer. Cool until set. Cut in 2 inch squares.

Makes 35

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