Wow. These crunchy chewy bars are stunners. I served these for dessert at a dinner with my husband’s family and they really delivered. 

The base of the bar is a simple shortbread, but it’s chocolate shortbread, which makes all the difference. The shortbread is pressed into as 8″ x 8″ square pan, baked and cooled. 

The caramel topping is a bit more challenging to prepare. Caramel has always been tricky for me to execute. I paid attention to Dorie’s warning and did not let it get to dark. Here’s the color of the caramel when I called it ready:

After I added the cream, butter, salt and chocolate as called for, it took some effort to get the mixture smooth. When I poured the caramel on top of the shortbread, there were little chunks of hardened caramel in the smoother caramel. I just pulled them out and shared them with my husband. Yum!

I let the pan sit for awhile. Dorie’s instructions are to let the caramel firm up at room temperature, then turn out the cookie, cut into bars and refrigerate. I could see that it was still too gooey, so I popped the pan in the fridge. A couple hours later, I cut the cookie into four pieces, removed them and then cut into smaller bars. 

We all loved them. Rich as they were, we all ate two or three. Divine!