Caramelized Maple Praline Shortbread Bars
This is one of the most decadent desserts I have ever made for myself. I do make very rich special occasion desserts for family and friends, but I normally try to stick to the lighter recipes when I’m baking for myself and my parents on an average weekend. Despite it’s shortbread-meets-praline flavor and it’s lack of “light” ingredients,it still manages to clock in at around 190 calories with only classic,organic,and simple ingredients. It made my house smell amazing and oddly enough tasted exactly like how it smelled. It was also the perfect solution for a Fall craving. Who doesn’t want shortbread,pecans,caramel, and maple syrup around this time of year? Not me! That’s for sure. 😉 This makes 9 bars and goes perfectly with a tall glass of milk on a cool Autumn evening.Ingredients (I used all organic but use whatever works for you🙂 )
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp milk
- Combine maple syrup and milk in a large saucepan (the mixture will bubble up so be careful!)
- Once combined, add the sugar and salt and boil at high to medium-high until it reaches a firm ball stage. The time will vary for each batch so test it by dropping a small amount of the mixture into ice water. It should form a firm (but not too firm) ball.
- When it’s reached firm ball stage,take the saucepan off of the stove and add the butter and vanilla immediately. Stir in chopped pecans. Set aside and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Cream together the brown sugar,butter,vanilla,and salt with a mixer or hand held beater .
- Slowly beat in flour until moist and crumbly.
- Bake for 15 minutes in an oiled 8×8 in square pan.
- Once the crust is done and still hot from the oven,return the saucepan to the to stove. Slowly warm until it becomes soft,keep stirring at low heat until the mixture crystalizes. It should look like maple candy.
- Add the tbsp of milk so that it is soft enough to spread over the crust. Don’t worry about spreading it perfectly. It will soften even more in the oven and spread throughout the pan. The maple caramel boils up and hardens into this amazing praline buttercream crust.
- Return mixture to oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack before cutting.