I almost didn’t make this recipe.
I saw the recipe in a magazine and thought it sounded a bit ordinary. The photo looked okay, but there are sooooo many things I want to try and I wasn’t sure this was one of them.
But honey and caramel kind of sounded really good. And two kinds of salt were called for. Doubled salted caramel!
BEST bars I have made in Forever.
The honey gives the caramel an over-the-top smooth, sweetness that is perfectly cut by the salt. The buttery shortbread and crunchy walnuts star in their supporting roles.
Shortbread Crust (recipe follows)
6 oz unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup walnut halves plus 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Prepare the shortbread crust.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Whisk in the honey, both sugars and salts and the vanilla.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel reaches 220°F on a candy thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Carefully add the cream (the caramel mixture will bubble up) and cook until the mixture reaches 238°F, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Stir in all of the walnuts and cook until fragrant and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes longer.
6. Pour the walnut caramel over the shortbread and let cool completely.
7. Using the parchment paper, lift onto a cutting board. Cut into bars and serve. The bars can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Makes about 24 bars
6 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing 1 inch overhang on the long sides.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the butter with the flour, sugar and salt at medium speed until a crumbly dough forms, about 6 minutes. (It only took about 4 minutes in my very warm July kitchen)
3. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. Bake the shortbread for 25 minutes, until golden brown; rotate the pan from front to back halfway through baking.
5. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Recipes from Food & Wine Magazine
You’ll want some soothing, mellow music playing as you enjoy your sugar coma. ‘Atlas’ fills that bill.
Check out Gdansk on the band’s Website where you can link to buy their music.