The illustration of Salted Caramel & Pecan bars is by Turkish illustrator Gizem Vural. She creates playful dreamscapes where people, objects and places weave into one and has taken our Pecan Bars on a heavenly journey of the salty and sweet.
Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
For the Shortbread
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 granulated sugar
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Caramel
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup light brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecans, chopped roughly (or however you’d like them to look)
Preheat the oven to 180 and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with baking paper.
To make the base, pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the cubed butter and vanilla extract and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Turn the mixture out onto prepared baking dish and bring the dough comes together, pushing into the base of the pan. Bake for about 20 mins or until just brown. Remove and let cool.
To make the caramel, place butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Melt over medium heat, stirring constantly – once it boils, reduce temperature to medium-low and let bubble gently for 3 more minutes. Keep stirring! Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla (mixture will bubble up). Quickly pour caramel over chocolate layer and spread with an offset spatula. Sprinkle evenly with pecans, pressingly them to make them stick. Sprinkle with additional sea salt if desire and chill in the refrigerator until completely set – takes about an hour. Pack in an airtight container with wax paper between layers; store in the refrigerator.
For a more decadent take on the recipe,replace the shortbread base with 350g of good-quality cooking chocolate. Slowly melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over boiling water, once melted, poor into the prepared tin. Let set and cool before pouring in the caramel mixture.