Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Hazelnut Caramel Bars

This bake was one of those times where I just go to the cupboard, pull out a few ingredients and see what I can make with it. No recipes to follow, just my imagination. OK, so this doesn't always work, but 9 times out of 10, it ends in something amazing. This is definitely just that! I'd go so far as to say that this is probably the best thing I have ever made up. Ever. A lovely crunchy biscuit base, topped with a hazelnut 'blondie' style sponge, studded with gooey caramel pieces. What's not to love?!

For the base:
75g unsalted butter, melted
150g malted milk biscuits, crushed
50g caster sugar

For the top layer:
115g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
40g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
140g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
4tbsp milk
75g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
100g soft caramels, or fudge, chopped

Pre-heat your oven to 180c and line a deep sided baking tray/dish with greaseproof paper.

To make the base, combine the crushed biscuits and caster sugar in a mixing bowl, and stir in the melted butter. Give it a good mix to make sure everything is coated in the butter, then tip the contents of the bowl into your prepared dish.
Spread it out into an even layer, making sure to get right up to the edges and into the corners. Place in the fridge while you make the top layer.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it's soft and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat well.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold this into the mixture, before adding the chopped hazelnuts and milk, and mixing well.

Take the dish out of the fridge and scatter the chopped caramels/fudge over the biscuit base. Carefully spoon the hazelnut mix into the dish over the top of the caramel pieces, and spread out into an even layer. Again, make sure to push it right into the corners.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until just firm to the touch, and starting to turn golden on top. Leave to cool in the dish for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into bars and enjoy!


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