Chocolate-Drizzled Caramel-Hazelnut Bars

Starting with a pressed in buttery shortbread crust these chocolate-drizzled caramel-hazelnut bars are then covered with a rich topping of hazelnuts, caramel and just enough bittersweet chocolate drizzle to edge them into the bite of chocolate category.  Although it’s best to lightly drizzle on the chocolate so as not to cover up too much of the beautiful hazelnuts.  I ordered dry roasted hazelnuts ahead of time from Hazelnut Hill in Oregon because I planned on making several pans of these tender fully loaded shortbread bars for Christmas gifts.  Someday I would like to visit their orchard store in Corvallis, Oregon.  In the meantime I’m just going to enjoy the Oregon hazelnuts that I had delivered to my home.

Making these bars was a fun project, the only snafu I ran into was with the first batch -I didn’t use enough baking spray on the pan, these dudes are really sticky and difficult to remove from the pan.  So for the subsequent batches I sprayed and double lined my pan with foil and sprayed again before baking my bars.  I also unstuck the edges, especially the corners between the foil and the pan after the bars came out of the oven – as soon as the pan was cool enough to handle.

I made my chocolate-drizzled caramel-hazelnut bars for a food blogger’s holiday cookie exchange and lunch at The Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco yesterday.  I placed the bars in pretty holiday bags nestled in candy cane patterned tissue tied them with red raffia and boxed them in cute Christmas holiday themed take out boxes tied with ribbons from Cost Plus World Market – after all it was a food blogger’s cookie exchange I had to go all out!

Chocolate-Drizzled Caramel-Hazelnut Bars

Yield: 36 bars

Adapted from Christmas Cookies Better Homes and Gardens.

Ingredients

  • 3 & 1/2 cups hazelnuts
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons shortening

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes until toasted, place the warm nuts on a clean kitchen towel and rub the skins off the nuts-discard the skins on the towel.
  4. Or buy dry roasted hazelnuts, ready to use.
  5. Set the nuts aside
  6. Spray a 13x9x2 " metal baking pan with baking spray then line it with foil lengthwise and crosswise coated again with baking spray (allow enough foil to overhang the pan on all sides to help remove the solid bar before cutting into squares)-set pan aside.
  7. In a food processor pulse to combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt.
  8. Add the 3/4 cup butter cut in pieces to the bowl.
  9. Cover and pulse until the butter is cut into small crumb like pieces in the flour mixture, it will be sandy.
  10. Press the sandy mixture evenly and firmly into the prepared pan.
  11. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges are a light brown and the center looks firm.
  12. Cool on a metal rack while you make the hazelnut filling.
  13. In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter and the heavy cream.
  14. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stir in the hazelnuts.
  15. Spoon the hazelnut mixture over the cooled partially baked crust.
  16. Bake for about 22 minutes or until the filling is golden, bubbly and slightly darker around the edges.
  17. Place pan on a wire rack to cool.
  18. When the pan is cool enough to handle run a thin flat knife around the inside edges of the pan, between the pan and the foil-making sure the sides and especially corners are unstuck before bars are completely cool (will be easier to remove the bar for cutting).
  19. Use the foil handles to lift the completely cool bar onto a cutting board.
  20. Using a long sharp knife cut into bars, trimming the edges if you like.
  21. Using a small microwave safe bowl add the chocolate pieces and shortening.
  22. On medium power heat the chocolate mixture in about 25-40 second intervals- stirring each time-until melted and smooth (or melt over low heat in a small saucepan on top of the stove).
  23. Drizzle the mixture over the bars and let stand until the chocolate is set.
  24. Place the bars between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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Comments

  1. What a wonderful recipe for my hazelnuts!!! WOW

  2. I would so have loved being at your lunch! Too bad 2000 miles separates us! These bars are beautiful and sound like they would be quite irresistible. Shortbread is my weakness and top it off with all this scrumptiousness, wow!

  3. I couldn’t wait for you to share this recipe. The only bad thing about going away this weekend? I won’t have a chance to run right to the kitchen to make these. :) Hubs loved them, too.

    Thanks so much for bringing these treats yesterday and thanks for organizing the get-together. It was so nice to finally see you again! Great catching up with everyone!

    ***For anyone considering making these bars…Go–run to the kitchen!! You’ll be happy you did!***

  4. Just beautiful! I would adore these with walnuts.

  5. Sticky, difficult-to-remove bars are usually The best tasting! I would love to have a batch of these in front of me right now. :D

  6. Did you mention caramel? And chocolate? Oooh, boy, these look spectacular, Patty!

  7. These look so amazing! Would love to share them on a post I’m doing for our sister blog, Daily Dish, next week. Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday. Would love if you could put our link somewhere on the recipe! Thanks!

  8. The recipients were very lucky to receive your gift Patty. I love hazelnuts and this sounds like a great treat. Glad you were able to work around the sticking to the pan. Have a great weekend! :)

  9. I absolutely love hazelnut, chocolate, and caramel – these bars are my idea of heaven!! :)

  10. Gosh, you make me want to rush to the kitchen and prepare this right now ! They are heavenly!

  11. Like Jean – I was waiting for you to post this recipe. These are simply DIVINE!!! Hubby and I had one each last night. It was such a fun lunch and cookie swap and I agree that we should make it an annual event – thank you for arranging it – you did great. I am having a dinner party tonight and was going to make dessert but then thought, I have all of these tasty delights from the cookie exchange, that there is no need to make dessert but rather enjoy all of the tasty treats from my food blogger buddies! :-)

  12. These look fabulous. The cookie exchange sounds like so much fun!

  13. Oh, Patty, those look wonderful! What a decadent treat.

  14. Caramel and hazelnuts and chocolate! I am in love!

  15. Whoever got these lovelies in the exchange was lucky indeed! They look absolutely divine, with the hazelnuts and chocolate. :)

  16. I can almost taste these; looks wonderful.
    Rita

  17. These are a tasty indulgence for the holidays. Yum.

  18. I am coming straight over and stealing your beautiful light! Really. And then I will steal these lovely bars. : )

  19. Oh my my! Next trip down here can you bring me some…pretty please :)

  20. These are mouthwatering, Patty!! Hazelnuts are one of my favorites. Great photos!

  21. Is this for the press box??? LOL! 49ers and Patriots tonight! Would have been nice to have these treats in front of me…and Tom Brady beside me. LOL! These candy / nut bars are mouthwatering…

  22. Did you make a batch for the press box, too? My husband hopes not – he’s a Patriot fan ;) I heard about this cookie swap and had to come over to see what you made. I KNEW it would be scrumptious!!

  23. Wow, Patty these look fabulous! Caramel, chocolate and hazelnuts oh yes please :)

  24. Patty, thank you again for organizing such a wonderful gathering! I’m so glad we were able to catch up over delicious bites and wonderful company. But really, these bars were one of my highlights this weekend. I seriously have hoarded them and do not plan to share with my family. Ok, maybe I will, but really, I’m so glad you posted the recipe – I KNOW I will be making this!

  25. You never fail to surprise me with your baked goodies. These hazelnut bars look so delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  26. Wow, Patty, these bars look soooo good! I love the toppings (the combination caramel chocolate hazelnut sounds perfect), but I especially like the bottom part too. The top is crunchy and bottom is a bit softer…. very delicious!

  27. I am not sure how you fit so many good thing in just one bar! Love these!

  28. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    How nice that you and the girls are near each other to get together sometime. I would love to meet you all:)These are a must-make for me since I love caramel and chocolate so much!:)

  29. I´m very partial to hazelnuts, and I love the pairing with caramel! These are gorgeous bars Patty, incredible!

  30. Caramel, chocolate and hazelnut? I sooooo want these.

  31. I can vouch for how darn delicious these babies are!! I loved every bite of them. I think those great nuts are what threw them over the top. Worth ordering them for sure. Had such a great time with all of you, looking forward to seeing you again soon.
    -Gina-

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