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How to Make Shortbread Caramel Bars

Updated on July 19, 2012
Finished Shortbread Caramel Bars
Finished Shortbread Caramel Bars | Source
3 stars from 2 ratings of Shortbread Caramel Bars

Many a sweet tooth will be satisfied from these delicious caramel bars. Sweet and salty with a hint of chocolate, what more could you possibly ask for from a homemade dessert? These caramel bars are perfect for holiday and family gatherings or potlucks anytime of year.

This easy and simple bar dessert recipe only takes 30 minutes however it needs time to cool and become firm before serving. I prefer to make my desserts the same day I serve them, so I make the dessert 3-4 hours before I plan on serving them. This gives my bars 2 hours to firm, and the bars won't be so hard that I cannot cut them or people cannot eat them.

If you prefer to make your desserts a day ahead I would advise taking the shortbread caramel bars out of the fridge an hour or two before serving them. Taking them out allows the bars to come to room temperature making it easier for you to cut them. They also taste better room temperature verses fresh from the refrigerator as the coldness can be hard to handle for those who have sensitive teeth.

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: 1 13x9 in. pan


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups flour

Caramel Layer

  • 1 package (14 oz.) caramels
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup sweet and condensed milk
  • 1 cup cashews (pecans or salted peanuts will work as well)

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbs. butter

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Crust ready for the oven.Finished crust:)Caramels that I used.Melted butter, caramel, and milk.Finished caramel layer ready for the crust.
Crust ready for the oven.
Crust ready for the oven. | Source
Finished crust:)
Finished crust:) | Source
Caramels that I used.
Caramels that I used. | Source
Melted butter, caramel, and milk.
Melted butter, caramel, and milk. | Source
Finished caramel layer ready for the crust.
Finished caramel layer ready for the crust. | Source

How to Make Shortbread Caramel Bars:

  1. In a large bowl, cream the 1/2 cup of butter and brown sugar. Beat in flour just until blended.
  2. Pressed into a greased 13x9in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt caramels and 1/3 cup of butter with the condensed milk until smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add cashews (or preferred nuts). Spread over crust.
  4. In another small sauce pan, melt chocolate chips and butter stirring until smooth. Drizzle over caramel layer. (I like to save dishes so I just melted my chocolate drizzle in the same sauce pan I melted my caramels in).
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Cut into desired sized bars.

*Note: Allowing the caramel to cool before pouring the chocolate drizzle will prevent the chocolate from melting into the caramel layer.

This recipe is quick, easy and stores great. Whether you are looking for something to sell in a bake sale, for taking on a picnic, or simply looking for a good after supper dessert these bars are perfect. With complementing flavors of sweet and salty these bars are perfect for caramel lovers, or those who simply love a delicious homemade dessert.

If you have nut allergies the nuts can easily be removed from this recipe and could be replaced with a sprinkle of sea salt over the top of the finished bars to keep that sweet and salty flavor. Or for those salt lovers you could combine nuts and sea salt for a touch more flavor.

© 2012 Shesabutterfly


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    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      You're welcome alissaroberts. I love sweet and salty as well, and if it's a play on a yummy candy bar that's even better. Hope you enjoy the bars!

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Oh that picture looks delicious! I love anything that is both sweet and salty. You have just given me one more dessert that I am going to have to try out. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      They taste a little bit like one too:) I'm sure if you covered the entire top with chocolate it would appear more like a twix bar. Hope you enjoy them if you make them cardelean.

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Yummy! This sound just like a delicious twix bar! I am going to be making these one day for sure!