I first discovered caramel slices at bakeshops in Australia. When visiting my sister, these decadent treats quickly became a family favorite, and I’m not sure why I haven’t tried making them sooner. (Perhaps because I found Claire Squares over here in the States, so I never bothered.)
This holiday season, I decided to give them a go and discovered that these decadent bars couldn’t be simpler. I have a few ideas on caramel slice variations (like using my hazelnut praline shortbread as a base) that I’ll try again when the holiday hustle slows down, but until then, I’m sharing this recipe so you can whip up a quick batch for Christmas gifts because it really comes together quickly. No candy thermometers needed, just a fair bit of butter and sweetened condensed milk:)
adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
QUICK SHORTCRUST BASE
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick), plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup grated coconut flakes, optional
SOFT CARAMEL CENTER LAYER
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
DARK CHOCOLATE TOP LAYER
7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped or chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
First, preheat oven to 350 degrees fareheit.
Next prep shortcrust base by combining flour, sugar and melted butter and pressing into a parchment lined rectangle pan (7” x 11”).
Press crust flat into pan and bake 15 minutes until crust is firm; remove from oven and let cool completely.
Next make the caramel by combining butter and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
As soon as the caramel starts to bubble, add sweetened condensed milk. Continuing cooking over medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture starts to thicken and turn a light caramel color, about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and pour into cooled base.
Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. The caramel will be bubbly, but set.
Remove from oven and let firm up in refrigerator and cool.
Once cool, prep the chocolate by melting over a double boiler (or in microwave in short 30 second spurts).
Once fully melted, add oil and stir to combine.
Pour over cooled caramel and use an offset spatula to smooth across caramel. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is firm before cutting. To cut smoothly, run your knife under warm water between slices.