Chocolate-Caramel Bars with Hazelnuts

The weather is not ready for spring yet. We visited a friend in Heidelberg this weekend and exactly Saturday morning it started snowing again. Heidelberg was beautiful but cold.

Evidence Nr. 1:

Icicles

Evidence Nr. 2:

Frozen palm tree

It was freezing cold and a bit windy. Walking around wasn’t much fun although it may look like it:

Heidelberg

Since we were invited to a party, I wanted to bring some cake. In the end I didn’t even take it and we had these wonderful bars all to ourselves. They have a wonderful intense and tender chocolate shortbread bottom and a soft, buttery caramel topping, which is filled with hazelnuts and drizzled with chocolate. I cut them into bite-sized pieces because they are very rich and addictive. They are also soy-free, if you are able to find soy-free chocolate.

Chocolate-Caramel bars

Chocolate-Caramel Bars with Hazelnuts (makes 25 small bars or 9 large):

For the shortbread (I used this recipe):

Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F) and line a 20 x 20 com (8 x 8 inch) baking dish with parchment paper)

227 g (1 cup) margarine, cut into small pieces
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon salt
180 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
45 g (1/2 cup) Dutch processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until a dough forms. Press into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

For the caramel topping (I used this recipe):

125 g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) coconut oil
200 ml (4/5 cup) full fat coconut milk
200 ml (4/5 cup) oat cream (such as oatly)
2 tablespoons golden syrup (corn syrup or agave syrup will work fine)
75 g (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
200 g (1.5 cups) toasted hazelnuts
100 g (3.5 oz) bittersweet chocolate

Melt coconut oil in a medium-size saucepan. Add coconut milk, oat cream, syrup, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.. The mixture should have been reduced by less than half with  a slightly gooey consistency. Stir in cinnamon and hazelnuts and pour over shortbread. Transfer to fridge and let cool until set. (about 1 hour).

Cut into squares of desired size. melt chocolate and drizzle over squares. They will keep refrigerated for 4-5 days.

39 thoughts on “Chocolate-Caramel Bars with Hazelnuts

  1. Oooooh my goodness… Those bars look unlike anything I have ever seen. They are bite-sized decadence! Wow. Good job :) I’m trying to ease off the sugar for the next little bit, but I would really, really, REALLY like this to be the first dessert I bake when I decide to indulge ;)

    Here it doesn’t feel like March at all; it should look something like your photos, but all the snow has melted and people are walking around in shorts (crazy Canadians).

    Enjoy the rest of the week :)

  2. Lovely icicles on the rooftops, but I too am very ready for the Spring. Wow, these bars look so amazing ~ coconut milk, mmm… I’m intrigued by the oat cream. Thanks for posting the sweetener alt., agave will work nicely for me I think because I will have to try these!

  3. Those pics are wundershun! Its hard to remember now, but eventually we’ll miss the gorgeous snowy landscapes. And those bars look so decadent, yum!

  4. First, the bars look amazing. I am scared to make them though because I think it would put my self-control to a serious test ;) But for a pot-luck or something, I’d love to try!

    Oh Heidelberg! I miss it so much. That is very weird weather for this time of year. We used to visit a lot in March and Heidelberg’s spring was usually two weeks ahead of Boston and there would be flowers popping up everywhere and we’d come home to grey skies and no greenery. If you tried any vegan/vegetarian restaurants while there, please let me know!

  5. i actually said “ohhhhhhhhhhh!” out loud, Mihl! ah ha ha! your chocolate caramel bars sound like the most glorious combination of awesomenesses that i can think of. i could hug you!!!! i need to take some time to make these, and i think i can make a gluten-free shortbread, too. cutting them in to bite sized pieces sounds perfect and they look so decandent. wow!

  6. woah, also nicht nur in der Schweiz… in Bern waren am WE alle Brunnen zugefroren O_O und am Flughafen die Flasche Wasser, die ich aus dem Automaten gezogen hab…

  7. I love that you made these with chocolate for the bottom layer. For our Haiti bakesale I made some caramel pecan bars but I want to fine tune the bottom layer before I post recipe. Your desserts always look so perfect!

    I have to say the snow and the icicles look pretty but I’ll take the warm weather, especially at this time of year. hee hee.

  8. wow. what yumminess. You are quite a maestro. I’m sure those delicious goodies made up for having to be surrounded by icicles! Long live the hazelnut!

  9. I have no trouble believing those are rich and addictive! I’ll make them next time I want to treat me to something deliciously decadent!

  10. I just discovered your blog and now my mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing such yummy loking recipes.

  11. Oh my…I am totally digging the look of these bars right now! Looks and sounds fantastic, as always! Chocolate-hazelnut anything will get me everytime. Thanks for posting this!

  12. Wow, are you a confectioner in real life?? Be honest!! These look amazing, I don´t know what to say…. wow! I want to dig my teeth right in :)

  13. Oh, YOU!! Now you know I’m totally going to have to make these, don’t you? How can I resist?? Gorgeous! I can taste them all the way across the ocean! <3

  14. I don’t know what to be more thankful for: the recipe (which looks addictive!) or your measure conversion of cups/grammes since I’ve been wondering for quite a while now how I ought to measure, say, half a cup of butter – I only have a plastic cup measure and how one is to fill this with butter up to a certain height but sans air completely mystifies me. Them EarthBalance sticks must come in half-cup measures or something… Or maybe I’m just plain daft and didn’t see the obvious way around this problem.

    In any case: thank you!!

    1. Yeah, I think one stick is half a cup. But I always weigh everything (like everyone here in Germany) and am thankful for my scale.

  15. Those bars look gorgeous! I love hazelnuts.

    And it almost seems like spring will never come :( I like your snowy pictures, though.

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