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Salty Cashew-Caramel Bars

Every once in a while, we all need a ridiculously gooey, messy, amazingly delicious dessert. This one certainly qualifies.

These bars are layer upon layer of good stuff. It all starts with a simple crust that benefits in a salty way from crushed pretzels. Then, there’s a layer of gooey caramel. That’s then topped off with cashews, chocolate, and a sprinkling of coarse salt. It’s sweet and salty heaven!

Salty Cashew Caramel Bars are a wonderful sweet and salty treat full of chocolate, caramel, and cashews.

It’s been a while since I made something this fantastically gooey. Even at room temperature, the caramel is plenty soft and gooey. You can up the ante by heating the bars slightly before serving. Just be sure you eat these with friends, as you’re likely not only to make a mess but also to make some embarrassing yummy sounds while you eat them.

While these are perfectly delicious just as they are, you could go all out and serve the bars with a big scoop of ice cream. What a wonderful sweet ending to a meal!

Salty Cashew-Caramel Bars

Yield 24 2-inch bars
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

These Salty Cashew Caramel Bars are a gooey, chewy, sweet and salty treat with chocolate, caramel, and cashews in every bite!

Salty Cashew-Caramel Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely crushed pretzels
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups (297g) rolled oats
  • 14 ounces (396g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 11 ounces (311g) soft caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (150g) chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup (85g) dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup (85g) milk chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or other large-flake salt*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Whisk together the flour, pretzels, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until almost combined. Stir in the oats.
  5. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture for the topping. Transfer the remaining mixture to the prepared pan and press evenly.
  6. Place the condensed milk and caramels in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the caramels have melted and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the oat mixture in the pan. Spread evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the cashews, chocolates, and sea salt over the caramel. Drop the reserved oat mixture over the bars.
  9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bars are light brown.
  10. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Use the edges of the lining to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.

Notes

*I used the larger amount because I used unsalted cashews. Adjust to your own tastes.

Recipe slightly adapted from BHG.

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    7 Comments on “Salty Cashew-Caramel Bars”

  1. These bars are totally calling my name!! Yum!

  2. OMG! All of my favorites in one bar. Pinning!

  3. That caramel oozing out. Whoa. I’m sold.

  4. I made these last weekend and everyone loved them. Not too sweet actually, which was great! The caramel layer didn’t really set and I can see that, now, in your pictures. I’m wondering whether the condensed milk could be cut back a bit? But, then, there would be left over from a full can and what to do with that? Thai tea? 😉 Thanks for another great recipe, Jennifer!

  5. Although this recipe sounds delicious, I think that the baking time is way off. The base, with all the oats mixed in, is very heavy and takes more than 30 minutes to bake through. I have a new oven and set time and temp. correctly, so I was disappointed that this recipe with quite expensive ingredients left me without correct instructions.

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