Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Bars

This may be my new favorite dessert,(candy).  I saw on a friends blog, Millionaires Grey Salt Shortbread,  which looked amazing and I bookmarked it awhile ago.  I just didn't have the grey salt.  Turns out grey salt is just a variation of sea salt.  But I got it anyway. 

I went to make it today and say that in the shortbread alone there was 3/4 lb of butter.  Yes, 3 sticks.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Plus, as I have said before, I am not a huge shortbread fan. 
So, I did some research and found Espresso Caramel Bars from Giada De Laurentiis, and printed it off.  I have made some changes.  First, I did pure chocolate on top.  The ganache might be nice to cut the sweetness.  Will try next time. (posted recipe below)  Second, I made the caramel salted caramel!  Anyway, this has a few steps, but is really easy.  Just follow the directions!  No stirring the caramel!
These are SUPER SWEET!  Really a candy.  They are wonderful frozen.  An inch square will do you.  Seriously, one pan will serve at least 30 people.  Cut them small and have some milk standing by!



For the crust:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the Caramel :
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (I used my grey)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
For the Chocolate: *
  • 2 cups good chocolate (semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 TBSP butter
  • (can add 1 tsp of espresso powder if desired)
Sea salt for top.


For the crust:  Preheat oven to 350.  Line 9' pan with foil or spring form with parchment.  Spray with cooking spray.  Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon.  Pour in melted butter and mix well.  Put into prepared pan and use the bottom of measuring cup to press into pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes in preheated oven, until golden.

For the caramel:  Put all ingredients, except vanilla, into saucepan over med high heat.  Stir until butter is melted and mix is smooth.  Put in candy thermometer and DO NOT STIR ANY MORE!  Bring to 240 degrees (5-7 minutes).  When reaches 240, pour in vanilla and give fast stir and pour hot caramel over graham cracker crust.  Leave for 20 minutes to cool, then freeze for 10 minutes.

For chocolate:

Melt chocolate chips or chopped chocolate in double boiler or microwave in 30 second intervals with cream, until smooth.  Carefully spread over caramel topping.  Sprinkle top with sea salt.  Chill for an hour.  This will possibly be the longest hour of your life.  Cut and serve (with milk).

*Giada's recipe calls for 1/2 cup cream with chocolate chips and 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder, over double boiler. Mix until smooth.*


  1. You FORGOT to list that you should add 1/2 cup of cream to the melted chocolate.........

  2. .....or else the chocolate is not spreadable.

  3. Actually, the cream makes it a ganache and I did not add cream because I wanted a pure chocolate topping, not ganache. I had no problem spreading it because it was melted. But thank you!