Salted Caramel Cashew Bars

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Salted Caramel Cashew Bars Follow Me on Pinterest

I like chocolate – in moderation. I’ve sort of chocolate-d myself out lately, so I needed a break from it. I decided to focus on caramel this week instead. These bars were inspired by an ice cream sundae. I found myself ordering the sundae, eating the caramel and cashews, and then just picking at the ice cream. So, I decided to try to recreate the dessert minus the ice cream.

Now, it may sound like these bars would be too salty (salted butter, salted cashews, pinch of salt on top), but they need the salt to balance out all of the sugar in these guys. Otherwise, the bars would taste really sweet and sort of flatly boring. The salt keeps interesting. Mini science digression – salt allows you to more fully taste sugar, so it tastes better with a bit of salt. The day that we talked about baking and taste in chemistry was the day that chemistry finally started to be interesting for me. While we’re talking about salt, please don’t use regular table salt on top of these bars. It has smaller grains and is saltier than a finishing salt like fleur de sel, so they may end up too salty if you use iodized (table) salt.

Salted Caramel Cashew Bars
 
Ingredients
Shortbread Crust
  • 1/2 c. (8 T.) salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
Topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well-combined.
  3. Stir in flour until just incorporated.
  4. Press crust evenly into prepared pan.
  5. Prick the crust with a fork all over the base.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and middle is light golden brown.
  7. Remove crust from oven, and top with cashews.
  8. Pour caramel evenly over cashews and crust.
  9. Return to oven for 1 minute.
  10. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with a pinch of fleur de sel.
  11. Let bars cool to room temperature.

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Comments

  1. Beth says

    Many of your dessert recipes call for a mixer w/a paddle attachment…I don’t own a mixer or any attachments, I own a beater and mixing spoons, and that’s it…can anything else be used in place of this appliance?

    • kateheartseating says

      Yes! I write it that way because that’s what I use, but, many times, a hand mixer or by hand would also work just fine (like on this recipe you could use a hand mixer or stir the crust dough together by hand). For the bread doughs, you could mix many of them by hand, too. If you have any questions on any other recipes, please let me know! You can also email me because sometimes the new comments don’t show up right away on my end. =)

  2. says

    Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. says

    You are featured this week on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy! I hope you will stop by and grab a Featured Button from the Button Box on the sidebar. Pinned. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve been working on!

    • kateheartseating says

      Yeah…I tend to go a little crazy with the sweets and overdo it =). Thanks for hosting and for stopping by!

  4. says

    Hi Kate,
    I can’t wait to have this awesome Caramel Cashew Bar, I can almost taste it already. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    • kateheartseating says

      Thank you so much!! You and I are kindred dessert spirits – I love salty sweet treats, too!! I’d love to link up at your party! Thanks!! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      I hope you enjoy them! The bars are kinda like a giant candy bar. I haven’t linked up, but I would love to come and join your party on Tues! Thanks for the invite and for stopping by!! =)

  5. Amber says

    These sound amazing, to bad hubby is on a diet and I’m supporting him…but I could bring them into work ;) Found you on the Whats Shaken Linky

    • kateheartseating says

      Good for you for supporting him! These are definitely not diet food (unless you just ate one bite)! Thanks for stopping by! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to make something long after I should’ve gone to bed! =)

  6. says

    Seriously, those look like the best thing ever! Caramel and cashews are the best combinations. Beautiful, I had to pin! Thanks for sharing, hope to see you at True Aim!

  7. says

    These look soooooo good – I will have to give them a try but use a gluten free flour. The pictures are making very hungry! Hope you can stop by the enchanted oven for a visit.
    xo,
    Lisa

    • kateheartseating says

      They’re my husband’s favorite nut, too!! =) I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for hosting, and have a great night!

  8. nicolem says

    This looks like something my boyfriend would LOVE (he’s a freak who actually doesn’t like chocolate, but loves caramel and everything cashew). I just wanted to ask, for the salted caramel sauce, how much does the linked recipe yield? Does a batch of it give you pretty much the 2c needed for the bars or is there extra? Thanks :)

    • kateheartseating says

      That’s awesome! I hope you two both enjoy these!! =) I had extra; it makes just over 3 cups. I just put the extra in a jar in the fridge and heated it up as needed. We ate it pretty quickly, so I’m not sure how long the extra sauce will keep, though.

  9. ntcreations says

    ummm yep… those look awesome!!! Thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays @ Nap-Time Creations. So glad you stopped by! Emily

  10. [email protected] Plaid and Paisley Kitchen says

    I don’t think I could ever chocolate myself out but I sure would love some of these!

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks! I will have to look into Google Friends and get on there! I’m on Hello Cotton, Blog Lovin’, Google+, FB, Pinterest, and have a RSS feed if you would like to follow my blog.

    • kateheartseating says

      Haha! I thought you were going in a different direction when I started reading your comment. They were pretty delicious – a lot like a big, caramel/cashew candy bar. =)

  11. MaryB says

    These sound delicious! I will be making them next week. I’ve made salted peanut bars before and while they were good, none were just right. Some were too sticky and some were too cakey. I love shortbread and love cashews – this combo sounds just perfect with the saltiness. Knowing me, I will also try them with my absolute favorite nut – almonds. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks!! These have a lot of caramel on them, so if you don’t like them to be too sticky, you may want to cut the caramel back by 1/4 or 1/2 cup. Using almonds would be a great idea, too! I hope you like them!!! =)

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