Caramel Bars with Salted Roasted Cashews (with gluten free option)

by Irvin on December 20, 2013 · 13 comments

These chewy salted caramel bars will drive everyone nuts, especially with the salted roasted cashews on sprinkled on top!

Caramel Bars with Salted Roasted Cashews. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

There are certain baked goods that I MUST make for my dessert party. They tend to be the favorites that people complain about if I don’t make them. These include my lemon shaker tart, my Mediterranean citrus olive oil cake and my chocolate crackle cookies. But if I didn’t make my salted caramel bars, I think my friends would revolt. They’re insanely popular and, in truth, super easy to make. This year I decided to add salted and roasted cashews to the top of them and lets just say people were going back for seconds and thirds, which in a buffet of 23 different desserts is saying something. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

The caramel bars in my dessert buffet for my holiday party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

I’ve written about these caramel bars before, when I made them with a bit of a tropical twist, but honestly these bars deserve another post because they are That. Good. The rich chewy caramel over the crisp crumbly shortbread makes them a true crowd-pleaser with the roasted and salted cashews just add a nice little bonus touch.

Salted Caramel Bars with Roasted Cashews. Photo and Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Now I realize that a lot of people think salted caramel is played out, but to those people I say pish-posh! Yes, I just used the phrase pish-posh. Apparently I’ve turned into an old British gentleman. But it’s true, I’m over people telling me what is popular, what is not popular and what I should be eating or making. Eat what you want to eat and skip over those things that you don’t. All I can say is that these salted caramel bars are not the sort of thing I (or any of my friends) will skip.

Caramel Bars with Roasted Salted Cashews. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

If you like this recipe, check out some of my other caramel recipes:
Apple Pie Bars with Easy Caramel
Easy Caramel Apples
Caramel Apple Popcorn

And check out these other caramel recipes from around the web:
Sprinkle Bakes’ Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Shutterbean’s Bourbon Salted Caramels
David Lebovitz’ Chocolate-Caramel Tartlets
Taste and Tell’s Loaded Caramel Pumpkin Blondie
Our Best Bites’ Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline December 20, 2013 at 5:56 am

As soon as I opened up my newsfeed and saw these I had to click over! OMG! I’ve been looking for something sweet and mind blowing to take to a relative’s house…I just found it! Thanks! Hugs and Happy Holidays!

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The Suzzzz December 20, 2013 at 7:14 am

What does played out have to do with anything? Delicious is delicious, regardless of fads or trends.

One thing I’ve never understood is why people put so much emphasis on SALTED caramel. Growing up in a candy making household (my mom and aunt dip several hundred pounds of chocolates every fall) is why all of the sudden people went nuts for “salted” caramel. Their caramel has always been a little heavy on the salt, but any good caramel should be, because when used correctly it is simply a flavor enhancer.

I’ve shared my mom’s caramel recipe with friends and several of them have called to complain that “These don’t taste like your mom’s caramels” and I ask them to walk me through their process and it almost always comes down to them leaving out the salt and the vanilla, or adding the vanilla in too early. When I ask them about the salt, they either say they forgot, or they say “I don’t like salted caramel”…and if it is the later I do a mental forehead slap and try to explain why the salt is necessary.

I do like it when there is a little crunch of rock salt, or you can taste the tang of salted nuts, but most of the time when something says “salted caramel” you can’t even taste the salt. These bars look like they definitely wouldn’t disappoint though.

Anyway, sorry for the novel, these bars look amazing, and don’t listen to the trend setters and the nay sayers…do what you love and never apologize for making something amazing.

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

These are total stunners! They would totally steal the show at any Christmas treat gathering!

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Belinda @zomppa December 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Oh wow these are sure to impress anyone!

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Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama December 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I try really hard to not pay attention to trends. There just some foods that are beyond just being trending. Salted caramel is one of those things that is never out of style. If anyone tries to argue otherwise, all I have to say to them… that’s just plain silly. These bars are proof that it’s fabulous! I can’t wait to make them, I added them to my candy/cookie making mania this weekend.

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Eileen December 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hey, you’d only be an old British gentleman in you said “pish” all by itself. No posh required. :) I actually will totally use “pish posh”in conversation just because it’s fun! LANGUAGE. Anyway, these sound so good! Cashews and salted caramel are definitely an amazing pair, no matter how played out anything might seem.

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Annie December 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

So wish I could make these for my get-together tomorrow but I am plumb out of steam. They look so delish. Wish you lived here so I could hire you to cater my parties!

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Adri December 21, 2013 at 7:37 am

Lovely. I adore caramel, dark caramel Too light and all I get is sweet, but let it go to the dark side, so to speak, and the sugar, having gone through its magnificent transformation by heat, is utterly changed; with new bonds and new compounds, it has morphed into a candy with a depth of flavor that is simply unmatched. These sound wonderful. I will have to give them a try. Being of Abruzzese descent , where Christmas is all about a dark caramel and almond confection known as Croccante di Natale, this is definitely my kind of treat. Buone feste a te!

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Jeannine DiBart December 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

Got this recipe in my inbox this morning and now the cookies are cooling on the counter! They look delicious! I got a little nervous at how long it took the hardened caramel to dissolve after adding the cream and butter, but I was patient and it all smoothed out. I simply can’t wait to try them!

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Marnely Rodriguez-Murray December 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Seriously, cashews are my favorite nut ever. I need to make these ASAP!

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Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage January 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm

I made these today and they are amazing! I did substain an injury in the process..caramel IS really hot! :)

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Irvin January 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Yikes! Yes, caramel is NAPALM hot. I usually have a bowl of ice water next to me when I make caramel just in case, but lately I’ve been lazy about doing that. I hope the burn wasn’t too bad!

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Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage January 6, 2014 at 6:59 am

Oh no- nothing too bad-just a small blister where a small drop hit..I was just shocked at how hot it was. Obviously, I’m a caramel novice…but your recipe turned out great even for a beginner. Good tip to keep in mind next time! Also, my pot was a bit too small I think and would have been better with a slightly larger one…less risk of splash out. I don’t want to scare anyone away from making these:)

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