Collecting Caramel… bars, popcorn, and macarons…

I appreciate the act of collecting: surrounding yourself with things that remind you of places you have been, or things that inspire you, or even the memories of the adventures you went on while working to round out said collection. But the spoons, the masks, the turtles, they all need shelf space and this is where you lose me. I do not like clutter. At all.

I love a mantle with a single life-sized black piglet on it. I love an all-white bedroom with 5 white porcelain birds the only thing soaring across the wall. So, collections of knick knacks, excessive purses, even matchbooks make me sweat because they cause a clean space to become complicated with their stuff-ness.

So, I am in love with the idea of an online collection of beautiful images, quotes, and ideas. The Pinterest has me hooked.  I cannot believe I just started my online collection; I am so behind the cool-kid times and now that I have caught up, I am a little bit head over heels with the whole thing. I can collect, without clutter. And so, I have been collecting… a lot. Without the stuff boundaries I feel like my inner eclectic curator has moved into the spotlight and I love it… Right now, I have three boards and have plans for a whole bunch more.

While scoping out some other boards I came across an image of caramel corn in a Dixie cup. And if you have been reading my posts, you know I love the Dixie cup. I collected that baby right away. And so, when my husband asked me to come up with something fun for his work potluck I used the individual popcorn bowls as a jumping off point and took a leap into a big bowl of caramel: caramel corn, salted caramel macarons, and these divine caramel bars.

Salted Caramel Bars
From: What’s Gaby Cooking
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk, whisked
  • 1 2/3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 12 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Sea salt flakes

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper with the edges of the parchment hanging over the sides. This will make removing the bars easier.

In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar and salt with a fork. Add the yolk and combine with the fork. Add the flour and using your hands, combine the dough until its flaky. Transfer the dough into the parchment lined pan and press down with your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup. Refrigerate this for 30 minutes. Once chilled, bake for 25-27 minutes until lightly browned.

Once baked, remove and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a pot combine the topping ingredients; butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, sugar and cream. Bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Stir for about 5-10 minutes until its thick and bubbly. If you have a candy thermometer – the caramel should be about 230 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract and pour on top of the shortbread.

Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Then sprinkle with the sea salt flakes and serve. They can keep well wrapped in the fridge for a couple of days. To transport them to a potluck (or other fun party) cut them and then place them in the freezer to keep the caramel from sliding off the shortbread.

Enjoy xo

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One Response to Collecting Caramel… bars, popcorn, and macarons…

  1. Shara says:

    Damn Duncan for not being at work that day to bring me some home!!! These look lovely. I bet they were gone in a matter of seconds. Nicely done.

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