Sunday, June 26, 2011

Caramel Nutella Crumb Bars

I hate myself sometimes. Like when I bake things this amazingly delicious, because then I have to eat them.

I'm just saying, these are good. Like, really really good. Heaven in a bar even. A "bet you can't eat just one" kind of bar. But really, who's counting? Eat two, they're small! And I promise I won't judge you. Only because you have no idea how many of these I've eaten already...

Karly at Buns In My Oven is possibly one of my favorite people in the world. I love her. I love everything she makes. I love stalking her adorable family on her adorable blog. I want to be her when I grow up. She posted this recipe last semester, and within five minutes, I was in the kitchen trying it out. I mean, it's not that often I have all the ingredients to such a delicious sounding recipe, (including Nutella! I can eat a whole jar of Nutella in about a day, it's a problem.) so I hopped on it and started baking! I'm glad I did, because holy moly, these are good!

The caramel filling. Pretty much just butter and sugar. Life is good.

For being so good, these guys really aren't that hard to make. The bottom crust and the top crumbs are the same stuff, so that's one fewer bowl. I'm usually hesitant about baked goods that involve the stove, I've been burned and had things burn plenty of times, but the caramel in this recipe is pretty easy! And the last layer is, well, Nutella. Easy enough!

Did I mention that these are good? I  lied. They're amazing. No wait, they're not. They're super gross and icky and stick to the roof of your mouth. (Mwahaha! More for ME!) But seriously, if you try ONE of my recipes, make it this one. You'll thank me (and my bff Karly.) Well, maybe you'll hate us, they're that good. Frankly, I don't really care, because I have a whole pan of caramel nutella bars!


Ok, and I have to ask, why does my mom feel the need to put an unopened bag of brown sugar in tupperware? I mean, I'm all for keeping brown sugar soft and all, but last I checked, it's good if you haven't opened it yet!

Caramel Nutella Crumb Bars
From Buns In My Oven

2 sticks plus 4 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 plus 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 – 1/2 cup Nutella, depending on how thick you want your Nutella layer

To make the dough, in the bowl of  a stand mixer beat together 2 sticks butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until creamy using the paddle attachment. Beat in the vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add 2 1/4 cups of the flour, beating just until the dough becomes smooth and the flour is incorporated.

Press 3/4s of the dough in the prepared baking dish. Press the dough evenly to form the bottom layer. Refrigerate while you prepare the crumb topping and filling.

Add remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the remaining dough and beat together until coarse and crumbly. Do not over mix.

For the caramel filling, place 4 tbs butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and condensed milk in a saucepan over medium low heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When the mixture begins to boil, whisk frequently until it darkens and begins to get thicker, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator and spread with the Nutella (I used 1/2 cup, and there's no way I would have used any less!) You may need to warm the Nutella in the microwave for a bit to soften it up enough to spread easily. Pour the caramel filling over the Nutella layer and spread evenly with the spatula. Sprinkle on the crumb topping.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 minutes or until the filling is a dark brown color and hot and bubbling. Cool on a wire rack and cut into squares.