A smooth layer of caramel nestled between crumbly, buttery shortbread, and rich milk chocolate swirl. These Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars are a delicious treat!
Honestly anything involving chocolate and caramel is a win in my book, okay! The soft, crumbly shortbread crust is amazing and really balances out the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel. Now if you’ve been here for a while then you already know I’m infamous for the quick and easy recipes yet still delicious. However, for these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars I decided that I wanted to make the shortbread from scratch. Why might you ask lol.. well I just wanted that homemade rich buttery type cookie ya know? Trust me it really doesn’t require much, you just want to be sure you are measuring your ingredients correctly or the shortbread could end up a hot mess.
CAN I USE STORE BOUGHT SHORTBREAD COOKIES?
Absolutely! If I didn’t decide to make these babies from scratch then you guys know I would have for sure bought premade cookies and crushed them up. Time saving and delicious.
- Be sure to use sweetened condensed Milk and NOT evaporated milk, because the evaporated milk will affect the flavor of the caramel sauce and will take much longer to turn into caramel.
- Feel free to use milk, semi-sweet or dark chocolate for the topping.
- Sit the bars on the counter after removing from the fridge for about 5ish minutes prior to eating because they taste best at room temperature.
HOW SHOULD I STORE THE SHORTBREAD BARS?
- I usually store the chocolate caramel shortbread bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. The caramel tends to harden over time and become harder to eat.
Questions about these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars? Did you make this recipe? Let me know in the comments below! Tag me #chefelizabethreese on Instagram, I’d love to see your creations!
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars
- ⅔ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Sticks Butter, Room Temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 2¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 1½ Cup Bag of Milk Chocolate Chips
- 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips, Optional
For the Caramel Sauce
- 14 Ouce Can of Sweetended Condensed Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Stick Butter
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with Parchment Paper then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cream together the sugar and butter in a bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Then mix in the flour until dough is formed. Keep in mind that the dough will be crumbly but that’s ok!
- Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes until light golden on top. Once baked, remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a large saucepan pour the condensed milk, butter, sugar, and vanilla and melt on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir frequently to prevent burning and sticking. This will take about 30-40 minutes. Do not rush. The caramel is done when it begins to turn a darker brown color similar to peanut butter.
- Once the caramel is done, let cool for a few minutes then pour onto the shortbread base and refrigerate for about an hour to set.
- Once chilled, melt the milk and white chocolate and pour over the caramel and swirl them together with a skewer or butter knife.
- Place the shortbread back in the fridge to chill for an additional 1-2 hours until the Chocolate hardens.
- Cut into squares and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!