These Turtle Caramel Bars are made with lots of chocolate, nuts, a simple caramel filling and a delicious shortbread base. Put it all together to make one of the most delicious cookie bars. These Caramel Bars will be the perfect addition to your Christmas Baking.
When I was a kid in Canada I can always remember eating these ooey gooey chocolate caramel sweets that supposedly resembled a turtle and needless to say were called Turtles. I loved those things. And now I love these Turtle Cookie Bars. So when I was flipping through a cookbook my Mom gave me when I first got married, I found these amazing sounding Turtle Cookie Bars. These my friends were a definite must, especially this year when we all need a bit more sweetness!
How to make them
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and sugar, with a pastry blender or fork mix in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of an ungreased cake pan, bake.
In a medium pot, combine the brown sugar and butter, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and continue to boil for a couple of minutes. Then pour over the baked shortbread base.
Sprinkle the nuts on top then bake for approximately 13-15 minutes or until bubbly.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with the milk chocolate chips, let stand for a few minutes then with the tip of a knife, swirl the chocolate. Let cool completely then cut into small squares.
What is a bar cookie?
Bar cookies are made from a batter or stiff dough, such as a shortbread base, that is either poured or pressed into a baking pan and then baked, sometimes the base is pre-baked before the filling is added and then baked again. It is then cooled and cut into bars or squares. Bars are usually single layered, such as Brownies or multi layered such as these Caramel Bars.
How do you know when they are done?
For single layered bars, test with a wooden pick which is inserted at the centre of the pan. If it comes out clean or even better with a few crumbs attached, they are done. With layered bars it is best to follow the recipe instructions and not to over bake.
How to store them
Bar cookies can be stored in their baking pan tightly covered with foil or they can be removed and kept in an air tight container, layered between parchment paper. Bar cookies removed from the pan should be stored in an airtight container.
Separate bar cookies with waxed paper between layers. They will keep for about 4 days at room temperature, or up to a week in the fridge. If your house is very warm then I would advise refrigerating them.
How to freeze them
If you wish to freeze the whole pan, then it is a good idea to line the pan with parchment paper so it is easier to remove. Be sure to cool the bar cookies completely before double wrapping in plastic wrap then foil.
If freezing the sliced bars, then place in a freezer safe container between layers of parchment paper. Either way the bars will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature.
What’s so great about these you ask? Everything, nothing better than the combination of chocolate nuts and caramel! And of course made with my favourite base, Shortbread. Nothing says Christmas more than Shortbread in my opinion.
More Delicious Bar Cookies
So if you are looking for a new bar cookie this Holiday Season I hope you give these bars a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Turtle Caramel Bars
- 1 1/2 cups flour (195 grams)
- 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
- 3/4 cups butter (softened) (169 grams)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed (110 grams)
- 2/3 cup butter (150 grams)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (150 grams)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips (180 grams)
- Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and sugar, with a pastry blender or fork mix in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9 inch (23 cm) square cake pan ( I used a spring form pan or line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal). Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
- In a medium pot, combine the brown sugar and butter, over medium/low heat, bring it to a boil, stirring constantly continue to boil for approximately 1-2 minutes, be sure not to let it burn, remove from the heat then pour over baked shortbread base, sprinkle the nuts on top then bake for approximately 13-15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with milk chocolate chips, let stand for approximately 3 minutes then with the tip of a knife, gently swirl the chocolate. Let cool completely, then cut into small squares. Enjoy!
Updated from December 10, 2015.
Source: Kay Spicer / From Mom, With Love – Real Home Cooking