Friday, November 30, 2012

Caramel Crumble Bars with Nuts

Caramel Crumble Bars with Nuts
(Macadamia Nuts and Pecans)

I probably don't need an entirely new blog entry for this, but it's my blog, my baking, and I'm going to do it. It's my little corner of the universe that I get to control all by myself, so here I go.
The Caramel Crumble Bars I made the other day went over so well (even my husband ate a bunch of them), that I decided to try them with nuts and a splash of vanilla. I actually made this pan with macadamia nuts AND pecans--not mixed, just one side for each type of nut.
Are they good? Yes. Tasty. I took two of them to work, one macadamia nut and one pecan, and evaluated with each bite whether I really liked them or not. I do like these better with the addition of nuts, but I don't know if I'll crave these. They're easy to make and look and taste good, so I probably will make them again for other people, but if I'm baking something yummy just for me, it's going to be Frosted Brownies, Gooey Brownies w/ Dove Chocolate, or no-bake Chocolate Truffles.

Caramel Crumble Bars with Nuts
     --Adapted from Emily Loves Food

  •             1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  •             1/2 cup brown sugar
  •             1 teaspoon baking powder
  •             1/4 teaspoon salt
  •             1/2 cup butter, melted
  •             1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, macadamia nuts, or walnuts)
  •             1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  •             1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  •             2 tablespoons corn syrup
  •             1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 7x11 inch pan with parchment paper. (If you don't have a 7x11 pan, use a 9x9 inch brownie pan.)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour the butter over the top, then mix it through until it’s evenly combined. Mixture will be crumbly with some crumbs larger than others.
Reserve 1/3 of the crumble for the topping, and press the remaining 2/3 into the lined pan. Before firmly pressing in, sprinkle nuts evenly over the top. Press in firmly all over and make it flat. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes, or until it starts to brown on the edges.
While the base is baking, make the caramel filling. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the condensed milk, butter and corn syrup, stirring continuously. Bring it to a gentle boil and keep it there, stirring continuously for 4-5 minutes until caramelized slightly and thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Remove the base from the oven, and pour the caramel filling over the base. Smooth the caramel to create an even surface, and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the dry mixture evenly over the top.
Return the whole thing to the oven for another 10-13 minutes, or until the crumble topping is cooked through and slightly browned.
Allow to cool, then cut into triangles.
 - Makes about 20-30 pieces

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