Salted Caramel Squares

by Kate on October 15, 2012

Post image for Salted Caramel Squares

Right around this time we start to see some changes. There’s been a change in the weather. It’s still warm yet the evenings are cooler which I adore. It means evenings of sitting outside on the deck in front of a fire with a cozy sweatshirt are coming. We see a change in foods and ingredients too. All those warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg start to come around. Pumpkins and apples are just around the corner.. The other thing that changes are the options at my favorite coffee shop, Starbucks. Just recently they brought back their pumpkin spice latte and the salted caramel mocha. Yum!! I love their autumn and winter coffee specialties so much! With their specialty drinks come seasonal treats as well, my favorite being their salted caramel sweet squares.

I haven’t seen them reemerge this year as of yet but I do hope they bring them back. Have you ever had them? If not, oh my goodness they are amazing! Pretzels and pecans sit atop a shortbread crust topped with salted caramel and chocolate ganache. See? Amazing! Last year I said to myself, “Self, you need to try to recreate this at home.” Really, who wants to pay Starbucks prices for something I can create at home? Although, this could be dangerous because I now I can have an entire tray to myself. Yikes!┬áSo recreate I did and now so can you! These were a huge hit and what’s not to love? Of course, they made their way into work where they were inhaled pretty quickly. That’s always a good sign.

Enjoy!

~K

One Year Ago: Granola Muffins

Salted Caramel Squares

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 16 sqares

Salted Caramel Squares

Pretzels and pecans sit atop a shortbread crust topped with salted caramel and chocolate ganache.

Ingredients

    For Shortbread:
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • For Caramel:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For Gananche:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Plus:
  • 1 cup pretzels, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Instructions

    Make the shortbread:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream together butter, sugar, and salt in a bowl with a mixer until fluffy. Gradually add the flour with the mixer on low until just combined. Don't overmix.
  3. Press the dough into the pan and refrigerate until cool. Bake until golden brown around the edges, for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  4. Make the caramel:
  5. In a large heavy bottom pan, heat the sugar until it melts and become a deep amber color, swirling occasionally to ensure even cooking. Watch carefully, it can burn fast!
  6. Add the cream and butter and stir until the butter is melted. The caramel will bubble up dramatically at first and then subside. Be careful!
  7. Stir in the salt.
  8. Stir the pretzels and pecans into the caramel and spread evenly over the shortbread.
  9. Refrigerate until the caramel has thickened and is no longer runny.
  10. Make the ganache:
  11. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
  12. In a medium saucepan, warm the heavy cream just until steam rises off it.
  13. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny.
  14. Gently and evenly spread the ganache over the caramel layer. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  15. Refrigerate until set.
  16. Enjoy!

Notes

Plus chilling and setting times.

http://foodbabbles.com/2012/10/salted-caramel-squares/

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Jersey Girl Cooks October 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

Wow! These are the bomb!

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Kate October 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Thanks Lisa! These are seriously good!!

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Chris October 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

Oh, very lovely that is. That would be something for me … as things continue like this I’m either booked for months with treats or I have to get completely new clothes.

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Kate October 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Thanks Chris! They are dangerously good. I had to take them to work so I wouldn’t eat them all.

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Karyn - Pint Sized Baker October 15, 2012 at 11:34 am

Oh my gosh… You’re killing me! This looks WONDERFUL!

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Kate October 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks Karyn!! :) They are ridiculously good!

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Barbara | Creative Culinary October 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I’ll send you some salted caramel, pecan and chocolate rice krispie treats if you send me some of these…deal?

Look divine and decadent all in one place!

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Kate October 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Deal!! Those rice krispie treats sound awesome! Can’t wait to see those.

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Laura October 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Oh yum! Pinning now!

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Kate October 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Thanks Laura!

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Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom October 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

OMG, these look amazing!

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Kate October 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Thanks Alice!

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Jennie @themessybakerblog October 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

I would totally go wild and eat the entire tray myself. They looks absolutely delicious and I pinned them for future baking. Yum!

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Kate October 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I totally could have done just that! I had to take them to work to get them away from myself.

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kelly @ kellybakes October 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

oh my… you won me over with that drizzle! It was a mistake to check my google reader before I ate lunch! :x

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Kate October 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Ha! Thanks Kelly! So glad you like them.

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Stacy October 17, 2012 at 2:21 am

These look fantastic! I don’t eat many sweets but I have a weakness for nuts and salted caramel. I will definitely be trying these!

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Kate October 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Thanks Stacy! Hope you like them. They are seriously good!

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Matt mmWine Horbund October 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

Looks like a tasty treat.

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Kate October 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Thanks Matt!

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Megan @ The Pink Flour October 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm

These sounds so good, Kate! I can’t believe I never tried them at Starbucks. Thanks for sharing!

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Kate October 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thanks Megan! They are seriously, dangerously good… watch out!

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Anna @ hiddenponies October 20, 2012 at 12:46 am

I love just about anything on a shortbread crust – these look perfect!

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Kate October 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Anna! These are dangerous little beauties ;)

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Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust October 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Holy wow. That shortbread looks TO DIE FOR. :)

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Kate October 22, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Thanks Dorothy! I’m so glad you like it.

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Christina October 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I LOVE Starbucks salted carmel squares and these look even better than the ones they used to have at the store! Definitely making these soon :D

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Kate October 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Hope you like them Christina! The salted caramel sweet squares haven’t come back yet this year to any of the Starbuck around here so I had to make sure I got my “fix” ;) It really is incredibly dangerous to have an entire tray to yourself.

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Ruthie January 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Oh my goodness! Those look divine… I hope you’ll come and share them at my link party tomo :) http://www.whatscookingwithruthie.com xoxo~Ruthie

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Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:38 am

Thanks Ruthie!

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Stephanie May 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

These look amazing. I can’t wait to make them. Do you think they’d keep for a day or two in the fridge before serving? (assuming we have an amazing amount of self control ;) )

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Kate May 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Thanks so much Stephanie! I would say that A) They certainly won’t last that long ;) and B) they would still be great in the fridge probably for the first day but beyond that, they would still taste wonderful but the pretzels won’t have that nice crisp texture that they’re supposed to. So the texture will likely change but they’ll still be pretty darn irresistible.

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Mary Lou December 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I have attempted this recipe several times and cannot get the caramel recipe to work. each time when I attempt to add the cream and butter the mixture turns to hard candy. I have allowed the sugar mix to cool some, I have added the butter last, etc.

How do I improve this process??? What am I doing wrong.??

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Kate December 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I’m so sorry that you’re having difficulty with the caramel. I’ve had caramel seize on me many times myself. It sounds like you’re doing everything correctly so I’m not sure why it continues to give you trouble. I would try maybe adding the butter first, then the cream. If it still seizes, you can return the pot to very low heat and continue stirring until the hard bits become smooth. If there are still bits of hard sugar, you can also pour it through a strainer and use the caramel that isn’t seized. If your whole batch is one hard piece, I’m at a loss then. I’ve never had that occur before but I’ve definitely had parts of it become hard and the two things above usually take care of the issue. I hope this helps!! If you have your heart set on making these, (and they’re oh so good!) you could always use a thick jarred caramel sauce and just add a sprinkle of salt to it. That should yield similar results.

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D March 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

You mention an 8″ cake pan–is that 8×8, or 8″ rectangular?

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Kate March 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm

An 8×8-inch baking dish is what I meant :) Hope you like them!

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