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Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 18 bars 1x




  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste


  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups untoasted nuts, I used half pecans and half walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. generously butter a 9 by 13-inch pan.
  2. Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, butter, oil, and vanilla bean paste until a thick dough forms that holds when squeezed together. If it falls apart, add a bit more oil until it holds. Press into the prepared pan, bringing some of the dough up the sides. Bake for about 15 minutes until just barely golden brown.
  3. While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a medium saucepot, stir together butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened and foamy.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Be careful! It will bubble up. Place pan back over the heat and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees or about 10 more minutes. I actually did this without a candy thermometer. It’s rather forgiving and you can always test for soft ball stage in a bit of cold water.
  5. Add the nuts and cook an additional 2 minutes. Pour filling over the hot crust, spreading into an even layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.


Filling recipe adapted from Food and Wine

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes