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Caramel Bars

Sweet and Chewy Bars Topped with Toasted Cashews

Ingredients

8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, melted [113.6 g]
3/4 packed cup light brown sugar [165 g]
1 large egg [50 g]
1/2 teaspoon salt [2.8 g]
2 teaspoon vanilla [10 mL]
Optional: 2 tbsp bourbon (or scotch or other whiskey) [30 mL]
1 cup all-purpose flour [120 g]
1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews (toasted) [62.5 g]

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Instructions

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Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat your oven 350 F.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add in 1 stick (8 tbsp) of unsalted butter, and brown the butter. It will start to smell nutty. Let the browned butter cool to room temperature. At this point also let 1 large egg come to room temperature. In a sheet pan, add in 1/2 a cup of cashews. Toast them in the oven at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let the cashews cool to room temperature, then roughly chop into smaller pieces.

While waiting for ingredients to cool, take an 8" x 8" dish and line it with 2 long strips of parchment paper that are the width of the pan, placing them vertically and horizontally in the pan.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the room temperature browned butter and 3/4 packed cup of light brown sugar. With the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed till the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the bowl and paddle attachment. Add in the room temperature egg, and mix just until it is incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle attachment. Then add in 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of bourbon (optional). Mix just until combined, and scrape down the bowl and paddle attachment as needed.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in 1 cup of all-purpose flour, and continue mixing just until combined (try not to over-mix). Scrape down the paddle attachment and bowl for any unmixed flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared 8" x 8" baking dish. Spread it evenly and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the chopped cashews evenly over the batter and press them into the batter a bit. Bake in the preheated oven at 350 F for 20 minutes, or until set in the middle. Try to err on the side of caution - I prefer the bars to be soft and chewy than be overbaked.

Let it cool in the baking dish for 10 minutes. Then holding onto the parchment paper ends, remove it from the baking dish and transfer to a cooling rack. Let it cool completely to room temperature.

When it has cooled to room temperature, transfer to a chopping board. Cut into squares, and serve. We usually cut them into 16 pieces. Enjoy!

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