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salted caramel bars with cashews on wood board
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4.34 from 3 votes

Salted Caramel Bars with Cashews

Salted caramel bars with cashews have a shortbread cookie base topped with gooey salted caramel and cashews. Easy to prepare and super popular!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Calories: 275kcal

Ingredients

Shortbread Base

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (170 g; softened at room temperature)
  • cup powdered sugar (48 g)
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour (187 g; fluffed spooned & leveled)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • cup heavy cream (or whipping cream 35%)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (42 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)

Toppings

  • 1 cup roasted cashews

Instructions

Shortbread Base

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9X9 inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray bottom and sides and set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet for several minutes until it is no longer crumbly and forms a dough ball.
  • Using your hands, press the dough into the bottom of the 9X9 pan.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges have *just* begun to brown. Allow to cool .

Salted Caramel

  • In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the mixture becomes liquidy and begins to simmer, do not stir. Allow to simmer for 4 or so minutes, until it turns a dark amber color. {*If it starts to caramelize faster on one side than another, gently swirl the pot to mix}.
  • Stir in the butter, and gently pour in the cream, vanilla and salt {careful, it will bubble up and may spit}, stir with a clean spatula. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another two or so minutes until it thickens slightly.
  • Stir in half of the cashews. Pour the caramel/cashew mixture over the cooled shortbread crust. Tilt the pan to get the base completely covered. Scatter additional cashews and sea salt.
  • Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, then an additional hour or two in the fridge.

Notes

I recommend storing the bars in the fridge, however you will want them to sit at room temperature for 10 or so minutes before eating to allow the caramel to soften up a bit.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg