salted caramel-cashew bars


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
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

  1. 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!) 😉

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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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