Friday, October 19, 2012

Cashew Caramel Bars

It's still National Baking Week.  I volunteered to donate a baked good for a basket being put together for a 19-year-old boy who is in the military and is on his way to  Korea as I write this.  Chapel Guarnieri started a Facebook Group We Stand Behind Those Who Stand Up For Us.  It's an interactive group for people in Pepperell and Townsend, MA to recognize veterans and family and friends who put their lives on the line to allow us to live in this great country. Take a look at it and see if it's something you would like to be involved in.

I didn't have a lot of time to make something elaborate, so I found this new recipe.  It didn't seem too hard and was kind of quick to make.  I threw it together in the morning before I left for work.  It is absolutely heavenly.  I thought I might have overcooked the crust and was a bit worried about that, but you would never know.  It was nice and buttery and chewy.  The butterscotch caramel had that perfect combination and it seems to me, that cashews make anything taste great.  I will definitely be making this many times and might just become my go-to recipe.

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
11 oz. butterscotch chips
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbs + 1 tsp. water
2 cups roasted, salted cashews

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x13 pan with PAM.  Cover bottom with parchment paper.  Spray parchment paper.

Beat butter, brown sugar and salt in electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.

Add flour and mix on low just until incorporated.  

Lightly press dough evenly into the prepared pan.

Press holes into the dough using a fork

Bake 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

While the crust is in the oven, start preparing the caramel.  In a heavy saucepan stir together butterscotch chips, corn syrup and water over low heat. Stir until mixture starts to simmer and butterscotch chips are melted.   For some reason, the butterscotch chips did not melt the entire way, but I found that it did not matter at all.

Pour over crust.  Cover the caramel with an even layer of cashews.

Bake for 5 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

When completely cooled, pick up the parchment paper and put it on a cutting board upside down.  Pull the paper off and turn back to right side up.  Cut into bars using a very sharp knife.  Store in a airtight container.

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