Browned Butter Shortbread Salted Beer Caramel and Espresso Chocolate Bars

Browned Butter Shortbread Salted Beer Caramel and Espresso Chocolate Bars

We’re almost there, in the homestretch now. We are close to the end of the strangest year that ever was and we all deserve a treat to celebrate. We made it, we’ve survived, mostly intact, only partially traumatized. Spend the next handful of days letting yourself enjoy anything you want, and reminding yourself that when it’s all said and done, you did a pretty damn good job getting through it all. 

Did you murder anyone? No. Did you mostly feed your kids or pets or both? Yes. Did you shower most but not all the days? We think so. Then you did good. Good is the new amazing. So celebrate with something you want to eat or drink and let’s just all decide to make next year a better year where we are grateful for things we took for granted in 2019. And, you know, still feed the creatures and resist murder. 

Browned Butter Shortbread Salted Beer Caramel and Espresso Chocolate Bars

5 from 3 votes

Ingredients
  

Shortbread:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ 185g cups all-purpose flour

Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar*
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon flakey sea salt

Chocolate:

  • 10 oz dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup stout beer
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant coffee powder not coffee grounds
  • 1 teaspoon flakey sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Add the butter to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it smells nutty and is a slight amber color, be careful not to burn it. Transfer the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 325°F.
  • Add the sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour, mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Line an 8x8 pan with parchment.
  • Press the dough into the pan in an even layer.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
  • Add the sugar, cream of tartar, and water to a large heavy-bottom saucepan, stir until the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring.
  • Boil until a dark amber, about 8 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally if hot spots develop.
  • Remove from heat, stir in the butter until melted.
  • Slowly stir in the heavy cream and then the salt.
  • Pour in an even layer over the shortbread, chill until set, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the chocolate chips, beer, and espresso powder to a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Pour over the caramel in an even layer. Chill until set. Cut into squares to serve.

Notes

*cream of tartar is option but it does prevent crystallization if grainy caramel has ever been an issue for you

2 thoughts on “Browned Butter Shortbread Salted Beer Caramel and Espresso Chocolate Bars

  1. 5 stars
    I wanted to give this fewer stars because of the ridiculous number of words in the title but it’s too tasty. I need to get my caramel thicker, otherwise it was stellar! Great with a Lakewood Brewing Temptress. (Dallas) or a Weihenstephan Dopplebock!!

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