Chocolate Caramel Nut Bar

This week we are joined by Erotic Mas Band ‘King’ and resident pastry genius, Andrew Middleton with his version of Chocolate Caramel Nut Bar.

andrew cook book


2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans

1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) salted cashews

1 cup (5 ounces) salted peanuts

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons plus a pinch of salt

4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup heavy cream

1 can caramel

New Cooking show August 030


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet, and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on long sides; set aside. Spread nuts on another rimmed baking sheet. Toast until nuts are fragrant and lightly golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer nuts to a clean surface; spread evenly, and let cool completely. Coarsely chop, and set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 2 sticks of butter with the brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With mixer on low speed, add flour and a pinch of salt; mix until just combined.


Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet, and cover with parchment paper. Using a wine bottle or small rolling pin, roll along the length of pan to smooth dough. (Alternatively, press the dough into the pan with the back of a large spoon.) Bake until lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Combine granulated sugar, cream of tartar, remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 cup water in a wide, heavy-bottom saucepan. Cook over high heat, without stirring, until some sugar begins to melt and turn golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until sugar is completely melted, mixture is deep golden, and a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees (hard-crack stage). Stirring constantly, carefully pour cream slowly down the side of the pan (it will spatter) until fully combined. Remove from heat; add remaining 1/4 stick butter and stir to combine.Transfer caramel to a heatproof bowl to cool for 10 minutes.


Stir in nuts; spread caramel mixture over cooled crust. Bake until caramel is set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into 3-by-2-inch bars.

SM Andrew


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