Saturday, November 28, 2009

Caramel Crumb Bars

It's been a busy busy week for me. I was in Vegas last weekend and returned home just in time to prepare for the hectic pie season at the bakery. We chopped thousands of apples and baked hundreds of pies; Thanksgiving came and went without a hitch. Now I'm finally back to baking...

I recently bought a couple of new cookbooks including the Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri. These caramel bars were the first recipe I've tried from it but it has so many helpful tips and ideas to make delicious baked items in easier, more accessible ways. Nick claims that these are his favorite bars/cookies in the whole cookbook!

I apologize for my lack of posting the past week. I promise I will get working on a festive holiday post asap!

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy.

Caramel Crumb Bars
Apapted from the Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour

1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp light corn syrup
4 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper and butter it. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the vanilla. On low speed add in 2 1/4 cup flour and mix until flour is just absorbed. Be sure to scrap sides of the bowl to fully combine all the ingredients. Take 3/4 of the dough and press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Do not press the dough too firmly in the pan, chill the dough. Take the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and add it to the left over dough, mix with your hands until a crumble forms, set aside at room temperature.*

To make the filling add the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Boil the ingredients, stirring continuously until it thickens and darkens in color (about 10 minutes). When the caramel is ready, remove from heat and allow it to cool in a stainless steel bowl for 5 minutes. Pour the caramel over the chilled dough and sprinkle with the crumble top. Bake the bars for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.

*Bakers Note: I added brown sugar to the crumble for a little extra sweetness.

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