Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Frosted Caramel Squares - In Memory of Papa Don


This was one of my absolute favorite treats growing up.  The recipe came from my Grandma and we had them all too infrequently because they were so rich.  Today I am making them in memory of a beloved surrogate Grandpa that passed yesterday.  I don't know what his favorite treat was, but he was "rich" and sweet just like these are, so I think they are perfect for remembrance.  I encourage you to try these delicious and decadent bars and enjoy some wonderful memories of the special people in your life.  ♥  

These treats have a rich, cakey blondie base, a gooey, nutty transition layer and a crisp and richly sweet meringue topping.  This is the first time I've made them for my girls and they echoed my raptures on how good the bars taste.  ☺
Recipe may be halved.

Frosted Caramel Squares
makes a 9x13" pan

1 cup butter, room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs, + 2 yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1½ cups finely chopped nuts (I used crispy walnuts this time)

2 egg whites
1½ cups brown sugar, loosely packed (I used light brown muscovado)
1 tsp vanilla

Line a 9x13" pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.  Preheat oven to 300ºF.  Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and yolks one at a time, then add the vanilla.  Add in flour mixture and beat just until fully incorporated.  Spread this mixture into the prepared pan and flatten it out evenly with wet or greased hands.  Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the batter and lightly press down.  In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until foamy.  Gradually beat in the brown sugar to make a stiff meringue, then beat in the vanilla.   Pour the meringue mixture as evenly over the nuts as possible, then gently spread out with the back of a spoon or a rubber scraper.  Use a light touch or the meringue will try to pick up the nuts.  Bake for about 45 minutes.  Cut into squares with a serrated knife or the meringue will crack all over.  (It tends to anyway, but is still delicious.)  Cool on a rack.

We used to double the meringue recipe to make it easier to spread, but if you can do it as written, it is the perfect sweet, gooey and crunchy offset for the rich base and nuts.  The picture is as written.  (Recipe may be halved.)

3 comments:

Foodness Gracious said...

Wow, frosted caramel needs no better introduction, those two words say it all for me :)

Sue/the view from great island said...

So sorry about your loss, what a lovely thing, though, to have someone close enough to be a surrogate grandparent.
These squares are about the richest I've seen in a while, I'm not surprised they wowed your girls. The various textures sound like they'd be delicious, I have to try,

Mary said...

Sorry that you lost your surrogate grandpa. These bars look like an excellent way to celebrate the life of a great man. I've never seen anything like them. They are seriously tempting me to bake!

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