salted caramel-cashew bars

March 11, 2013

in Bars & Bites

If you happened to see my salted caramel-pecan bark last week, these bars will look familiar – they’re simply a spin-off of that recipe. I swapped the chocolate layer for a brown butter shortbread crust, kept the brown sugar caramel layer (no need to touch perfection!), and used roasted cashews plus sea salt as the topping.

Salted Caramel-Cashew Bars | Tutti Dolci

The verdict? These salted caramel-cashew bars are incredibly indulgent, and if you like a little salt with your sweets, you’ll find these bites quite enticing. There’s only one way to choose a favorite: make both recipes and plan a taste-off!

Salted Caramel-Cashew Bars | Tutti Dolci

Salted Caramel-Cashew Bars | Tutti Dolci

Salted Caramel-Cashew Bars
Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Brown Sugar Caramel
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup light brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cashews
sea salt

Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass bowl and chill in the freezer until solid, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch baking dish with foil. Whisk together flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Dice solidified brown butter into 1/2-inch pieces; sprinkle over flour mixture and use a pastry cutter to cut in evenly until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add dough to prepared baking dish; use a piece of parchment to press dough into an even layer. Bake for 23 minutes, until crust is lightly golden. Cool on wire rack.

Place butter and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan. Melt over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until boiling. Once mixture boils, reduce temperature to medium-low and let bubble for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; carefully add salt and vanilla (mixture will bubble up). Quickly pour caramel over shortbread layer and spread with an offset spatula. Top with cashews, pressingly gently to adhere; sprinkle with sea salt. Chill in the refrigerator until completely set, about 1 hour.

Carefully lift foil and place bars on a cutting board; use a sharp knife to cut into squares. Store leftover squares in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield – 16 squares (serving size: 1 square)
Calories – 185
Carbs – 16

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59 Comments

1 Cookin Canuck March 11, 2013

Did you make these just for me? :) Seriously, I can’t think of anything better than brown butter shortbread, caramel and cashews. Brilliant!

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2 Patty March 11, 2013

Very pretty Laura, love the combination of flavors in your delightful cookie bars ;-)

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3 The Café Sucré Farine March 11, 2013

You are responsible for more drool on my computer than I care to think about Laura! These look amazing! I love everything about this special treat!

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4 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective March 11, 2013

I think I’ve died…. these are just too good to be true!

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5 Jen @ Savory Simple March 11, 2013

holy cow, girl, these look AMAZING.

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6 Anna @ Hidden Ponies March 11, 2013

I think a taste-off is definitely in order. SO good!

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7 simi March 11, 2013

i love the way the bars look ….reminds me of an Indian traditional sweet called kaju cutley

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8 Valerie March 11, 2013

Who can resist the irresistible combination of salty & sweet!? ;)
I Love cashews!!

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9 Suzanne March 11, 2013

Nice recipe Laura, I like the swap out with a little crunchy cookie bottom!

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10 a farmer in the dell March 11, 2013

salty sweet. My favorite combination. These sound amazing!

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11 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} March 11, 2013

You are killing me! Smile. Salted Caramel Cashew Bars are right in my wheel house – I seriously would not be able to stop at one or two. These are a MUST make! :)

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12 Erin @ Texanerin Baking March 11, 2013

Don’t you love it when you can adapt a recipe like that and end up with something like this? Great fun, it is.

These are so pretty! I think I’d have to add chocolate chunks instead of cashews. You know, to de-healthify them… (I don’t like cashews!) ;)

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13 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts March 11, 2013

I love caramels and cashews, these sound so good!! Not sure which version I like better!

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14 Jennie @themessybakerblog March 11, 2013

These look absolutely wonderful. Yum!

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15 Cassie | Bake Your Day March 11, 2013

I think I said this last week about the bark too – this is dangerous for me! I would eat way too much. I love everything about this Laura!

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16 kristy @ the wicked noodle March 11, 2013

Good lord, woman, these look fantastic!! LOVE cashews, what a fabulous idea!

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17 Sandra's Easy Cooking March 11, 2013

Oh this look AMAZING!!!!! One my favorite combinations….so good! when can you ship me some LOL! JK!
Have a lovely week ahead! xo

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18 Julie @ Table for Two March 11, 2013

I love the spin-off with cashews!! My fiance LOVES cashews so these would be gone in no time!

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19 Karen March 11, 2013

Cashews have something special about them – so sweetly rich. I think they pair perfectly with salted caramel. And they look beautiful.

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20 Jennifer @ Mother Thyme March 11, 2013

Wow, what an amazing spin-off! These look incredible!

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21 Abbe@This is How I Cook March 11, 2013

Decadent. And the best part is that I have cashews in my pantry right now!

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22 Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust March 11, 2013

These are perfect! I want to eat ALL OF THEM.

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23 Terra March 11, 2013

My hubby and I adore cashews….maybe a little too much! Soooooo, I think this needs to be on my to-do list for sure:-) They look fabulous! Hugs, Terra

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24 suzanne Perazzini March 11, 2013

An interesting recipe with the salty addition of the cashews. Anything with caramel is great.

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25 Liren March 11, 2013

All my favorite things, in one bar — the more cashews the better!! This looks divine, Laura.

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26 Stephanie @ 52 Kitchen Adventures March 11, 2013

This sounds amazing! What a fabulous combo of flavors. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

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27 Gina March 11, 2013

You are absolutely right the only way for me to know which ones I want more is to try both. If I send you my address could you hook me up? Pretty please.
-Gina-

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28 Averie @ Averie Cooks March 12, 2013

I love the looks of these! Right before Xmas I made some peanut-caramel bars that in my mind were inspired by salted caramel cashew bars. I was traveling and didnt have access to cashews (barely could find peanuts!) but your bars remind me to revisit my idea. They’re just so lovely, Laura!

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29 Liz March 12, 2013

Mmmmmm….I’m a sucker for any and all things caramel…and pairing it with cashews is something I haven’t tried. Looks amazing, Laura!

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30 Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) March 12, 2013

These seriously look soo delish! Seriously anything with salted caramel knocks my socks off.

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31 Kate@Diethood March 12, 2013

Oh my gosh! SO good! I love that you added cashews… I bet the texture of the bars is just amazing. Beautiful!!

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32 Deb March 12, 2013

Cashews are a favorite at my house. Topping a salty, caramel, shortbread cookie with them is inspired! A taste off would would be traumatic, they would all disappear!

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33 Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom March 12, 2013

oh my goodness! I love these! Must try soon!! yum!

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34 Priscilla | ShesCookin March 12, 2013

I. Want. Wishing I was your neighbor because I know you can’t be devouring all the scrumptious goodies you make by yourself!

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35 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction March 12, 2013

Love that you turned the bark into these bars! Now when I make the bark, I’ll just have to make a batch of these bars, too!

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36 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 12, 2013

Oh my goodness, cashews and salted caramel? Together? I feel as though you made this just for me! ;)

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37 Carol | a cup of mascarpone March 12, 2013

Holy amazing, Laura!!! Salted caramel and cashews sitting upon a sweet crust…I can’t think of anything better! Love all photos, can’t decide which one I want to pin!

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38 Lora @cakeduchess March 12, 2013

Oh, Laura…where do I begin? I’m a sucker for any thing caramel and these bars make me swoon:)

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39 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings March 12, 2013

I grew up eating cashews because they have this silky, creamy, milky taste that I like. Cashews are my kids fave nuts, too! And to bake them with salted caramel? This is the kind of treat I grew up with! In the Philippines, we make cashew tarts with caramel…so yummy! I bet yours taste just as good, if not better!

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40 Deborah March 12, 2013

These are pretty much perfection to me!!

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41 Deborah March 12, 2013

These are pretty much perfection to me!

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42 Gourmantine March 13, 2013

I’m up for anything with salted caramel. They look beautiful as do your photos, Laura! :)

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43 Adri March 13, 2013

Oh my. I love caramel & salt. I love cashews. I love brown sugar. This is a MUST MAKE. Thanks!

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44 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 13, 2013

I love the sweet-salty combination in these bars! They look so mouthwatering and perfect for a sweet little something after dinner!

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45 Rochelle March 13, 2013

This is perfect! My hubby adores shortbread and loves cashews and I like all 3 (including the caramel), yum!

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46 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today March 13, 2013

I like salted caramels so much and in a form of bars it must be amazing. You made a small change and a totally new taste was created :)

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47 Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 13, 2013

These look great Laura! I love cashews and any excuse to eat them:)

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48 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 13, 2013

Yes to more salted caramel!

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49 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 13, 2013

Perfection is spelled in butter and salted caramel. Oh my!

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50 Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen March 14, 2013

Mmmm, these sound so good!

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51 Maria@PinkPatisserie March 14, 2013

Oh wow.. these look crazy good! I love the caramel cashew combo. Simply can’t get enough of it. So glad to have found you via TS! I’ll be back for sure!

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52 Anne March 14, 2013

Yum!!! These look awesome! Love salty sweet.

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53 Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 14, 2013

This would solve the salty and sweet cravings all at once!

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54 Mercedes March 14, 2013

These are perfection Laura! What are you using to calculate nutritional value for your recipes? I am always looking for a good source for that!

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55 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) March 14, 2013

Next to almonds and pistachios, cashews round out my top three favorite nuts. These bars are such a beautiful way to showcase them!

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56 Nami | Just One Cookbook March 14, 2013

Who will not drool by looking at these bars! Seriously Laura, these are dangerously delicious bars. Did you finish them all already? Otherwise I keep looking at my mail box. :D

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57 Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers March 15, 2013

Yum Laura! This surely touches the right spot. Looks so delicious!

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58 Patricia Scarpin March 18, 2013

These look luscious, Laura! I bet my coworkers would love these bars. :)

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59 Kelly March 20, 2013

Oh I just love these! :)

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