Macadamia Nut Caramel Bars

Post image for Macadamia Nut Caramel Bars

by Chris on May 21, 2010

Remember about a month ago when the blogophere and twitterverse were inundated with teases, posts, notifications, and recaps of the Share Our Strength Bake Sales going on across the US? Like the others, Atlanta’s Bake Sale kicked ass, thanks to Tami’s tremendous organization, perseverance, and fortitude.  (My recap here and pictorial post here.

I did post one of my contributions before the sale, the moist Banana Cupcakes, filled with banana cream. The plan was to post a couple of others, thereafter.  What happened?  I became victim to my own sense (or lack there of) organization.  Where the heck did I save the file with the recipe?  Seriously, Chris?  I thought I was getting better with my external drive folders.  Finally, while looking for something completely unrelated, I came across my chicken scratch on the back of a direct mail envelope. The Macadamia Nut Caramel Bars!  Joy…on so many levels!

What word(s) raised an eyebrow first?  Macadamia Nuts or caramel? It’s a toss up for me, really.  I adore macadamia nuts, but I love caramel together.  So, I guess it really depends on my mood, where I am, etc.

My thoughts about these bars, after baking them several times, now?

They are delish, if I do say so myself.  Guaranteed crowd pleaser.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask the lovely Jennifer.  She picked up a box at the sale, for which I was extremely thankful!

  • They’re pretty versatile.  I made the bard when I worked at Noon for a dessert tray, but used hazelnuts instead. Hazelnuts worked, as would most nuts. My preference?  Macadamia nuts all the way.
  • The chocolate you use on the top can be according to preference.  The audiences for which I have baked the bars have led me to use both milk and semi-sweet.  When I made them for a personal occasion, I went with bittersweet, which is my own preference.
  • After the bars cool a bit, I transfer the pan into the ‘fridge.  Allowing the chocolate to harden, along with the rest of the bar makes for easy, clean slicing. Once the bars are cut, they are good to go to be left at room temp, in an airtight container.

Other baking on the horizon?  I am catering a birthday party with a good friend at Stone Mountain next weekend that will include two cakes, and I just finished a “First Home” cake.

I think that will be it for a while.  I am excited to get back to cooking more, so you may see more of that on here.  The freshness that is everywhere (like I mentioned in the last post) is calling to me.  But, who knows.  You know I won’t turn down a dessert/cake gig!  Time will tell.

In the meantime, enjoy the bars…and don’t forget to add/change Mele Cotte’s RSS feed (just click the orange button to the right) in your readers!  Thanks!

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Macadamia Nut Caramel Bars

Bottom crust
½ cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 ½ cups dry roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar

Topping

½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
12 oz. milk (or semi sweet) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line/butter 9X13 pan.

For the crust:  In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour and sugar. Add butter and mix until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Press evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with macadamia nuts. Set aside.

For the topping: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together butter and sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for about 1 minute, being sure to stir continuously.  Carefully and evenly, pour the mixture over the nuts/crust. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the caramel bubbles.  Remove from oven, distribute the chocolate on top of the bars, let stand for 2-3 minutes, and let the chocolate melt a bit.  Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate over the top.  Let cool completely and cut into squares.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula - bell'alimento May 21, 2010 at 11:17 PM

I know I say this all the time here but YUM! I’ll take a dozen please ; )

Reply

Cookie May 21, 2010 at 11:21 PM

What a cute cake! You’re so creative!

Reply

Rosa May 22, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Those a gorgeous bars! macadamia nuts are so delicious. What a beautiful cake!

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

peabody May 23, 2010 at 4:55 AM

Pretty sure i need like 20 of those!

Reply

Chris May 26, 2010 at 1:35 AM

Thanks ladies!
Peabody…the recipe makes more than that! 😉 Go for it.

Reply

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