One of the most loved Girl Scout cookies, the caramel delight cookie, turned into a candy bar.
Caramel Delights have a coconut caramel layered over a shortbread cookie, and drizzled in chocolate. The candy bar version has the same amazing coconut caramel, layered over a brown sugar shortbread, fully dipped in milk chocolate. Candy bars are one of my favorite things to make. If you are like me, take a look the science behind building a candy bar and then check out these Oreo candy bars to make next!
Build the bars. Make each component separately.
- Make caramel. Let it cool at least 6 hours. It needs to cool for 24 hours before cutting the bars.
- Make shortbread. Let it cool completely - no warmth left in it at all.
- Add fat based barrier to top of shortbread.
- Stack your layers while fat based barrier is still warm.
- Let the layers rest before cutting to make sure they have come together before cutting. Minimum time: 2 hours.
- Cut bars. Mine are cut into 1" width x 3" length.
- Bottom bars.
- Fully dip in chocolate.
- Add drizzle and sea salt topping, if desired.
What is a fat based barrier?
Shortbread cookies are crispy and crunchy. Caramel is silky, smooth, and full of moisture. Yes, that delicious caramel is basically one big bag of invisible water waiting to make your delicious crunchy cookie base a swamp land. You're putting a lot of work into these bars - don't let the cookie become soft! Examples of a fat based barrier:
- cocoa butter
- compound candy coating
Save the caramel delight cookie! Keep it crunchy.
Applying a thin layer of one of these before stacking your caramel on top will make sure that the moisture will stay in the caramel. No dried out caramel, no soggy shortbread. The layer will be applied fluid (melted chocolate) and spread evenly before topping with caramel.
Fat based barrier
Between the caramel and shortbread you can see a thin layer of chocolate. Cocoa butter or confectionery "candy melts" can also be used.
Why do I bottom the caramel delight cookie candy bars?
Bottom the bars makes it easier to fully dip them in chocolate because your dipping fork will slide off easier from a pre-bottomed piece. It also makes a thicker layer of chocolate on the bottom of the cookie, extending the shelf life by leaving none of it exposed to air.
- When you bottom a bar, pick it up in the middle with your thumb and pointer finger.
- Dip it in chocolate. Run it along a spatula to remove excess chocolate.
- Place on parchment paper.
- Once set up, trim chocolate that has pooled along sides to give a nice, clean line finish of the bar.
Equipment - caramel delight cookie candy bars
- heavy duty thick bottomed pot for caramel making (8 quart minimum)
- high heat spatula for caramel making
- candy thermometer
- two identical 9X13 sheet pans. They sides should be around 1" high.
- parchment paper
- 5 qt. planetary mixer
- Brown Sugar
- Evaporated Milk
- Heavy Cream
- Corn Syrup
- Toasted coconut
When dipping it chocolate, do not use chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are made to hold their shape and the chocolate is very thick when melted. If you are not confident in tempering, I recommend using the Ghirardelli candy wafers. These are "melt and dip." Ghirardelli candy wafers can be found in the baking supply aisle. If you do want to use real chocolate and temper it, I recommend Barry Callebaut callets with a medium - high viscosity.
Storage and shelf life
Store dipped bars in an airtight container. At room temperature, bars will be good for 2-3 months. Bars can also be frozen for up to a year.
Caramel Delight Candy Bars
- heavy duty thick bottomed pot 8 quart minimum
- two identical 12 x 17" sheet pans with at least 1" sides
- 680 grams Evaporated milk 2, 12 ounce cans
- 280 grams heavy cream fill up one of the 12 ounce cans
- 680 grams white sugar
- 4 grams salt
- 150 grams butter
- 570 grams corn syrup
- 310 grams sweetened coconut, toasted
- 520 grams flour
- 100 grams white sugar
- 100 grams brown sugar
- 3 grams salt
- 300 grams butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 10 grams vanilla
- 250 grams melted chocolate for layering between shortbread and caramel
- 3 lbs tempered chocolate or candy coating for dipping
- Prepare a 12 X 17" sheet pan with parchment paper. Leave 3 inches of parchment overhang on the 12" side so you can easily lift the caramel layer out of the pan with cooled.
- Measure your toasted coconut out. Set aside.
- Combine evaporated milk, sugar, heavy cream, salt, corn syrup, and butter in a thick bottomed, heavy duty pot.
- Over medium heat, stirring constantly, stir until butter has melted and all sugar has dissolved. Turn heat to medium high.
- Stirring the whole time, cook until temperature reaches 236F. Turn off heat.
- Stir in toasted coconut.
- Pour on prepared sheet pan. Smooth into an even layer. Let rest for a minimum of six hours before assembling bars and 24 hours before cutting bars.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Prepare a 12 X 17" sheet pan with parchment paper. Leave 3 inches of parchment overhang on the 12" side so you can easily lift the shortbread layer out of the pan.
- In a 5 qt. planetary mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Begin mixing on low.
- Add in cubed butter. Mix until ingredients have the consistency of damp sand and hold together when squeezed in your hand. Add vanilla and mix 30 more seconds.
- Press shortbread dough into prepared pan. Make sure it is packed and pressed tightly with no openings.
- Cook in oven for 20 minutes. Cool completely.
- Prepare your workspace. Measure out 300 grams of chocolate or candy coating, set aside. Place tray of caramel and tray of shortbread out next to each other.
- Melt 300 grams of chocolate or candy coating.
- Spread in an even layer on top of shortbread.
- Top shortbread with with caramel with chocolate is still wet.
- Let bars sit for a minimum of 2 hours or longer if the caramel has not rested for a full 24 hours before cutting and dipping and chocolate.
- Supporting the bottom of the bars so the shortbread doesn't break, gently lift the parchment paper with the shortbread and caramel out of the sheet pan.
- Cut bars into desired size. I recommend 1" width by 3" length.
- Melt and temper chocolate.
- Pick up the bar in the middle with your thumb and pointer finger.
- Dip in chocolate. Run it along a spatula to remove excess chocolate.
- Place on parchment paper.
- Once set up, trip chocolate that has pooled along sides to give a nice clean finish to the bar.
- Using a dipping fork, fully dip bottomed bars into tempered chocolate or melted candy coating.
- Pick up coated bar out of chocolate with dipping fork. Gently tap dipping fork on the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate from bar.
- Place on parchment paper. Drizzle with chocolate if desired.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know!