Hello! I’m Jamie from My Baking Addiction, filling in today for the lovely and talented Amanda. I’ve forever been a lover of all things I Am Baker, so I couldn’t resist Amanda’s invitation to guest post. From a brand new cookbook deal to a charming site redesign – Amanda’s on top of her game and I couldn’t be more honored to fill in for her today!
In case ya haven’t figured it out by now, Amanda makes cakes. And not just any cakes – gorgeous, creative, delicious cakes that leave people in awe of her talent. Yup – I’m kinda obsessed with her creations! With that being said, there was no way that I was making a cake to share with you. If you can believe it, that thought actually crossed my mind until I got a grip on reality! Instead, I’m sharing a recipe for Caramel-Cashew Bars.
I’m kind of a sucker for those holiday baking displays in the middle of the grocery store. Come on, I can’t be the only one sucked in by the canned pumpkin pyramids! On my most recent trip, I ended up with 3 bags of cashews, 2 bags of mini marshmallows, and too many cans of pumpkin to count. Some may call it a bit of an obsession, I like to refer to it as preparedness – ya know, stocking up for Winter – kinda like a squirrel, except this nut is obsessed with cans of pumpkins!
With all these sweet holiday confections overflowing my pantry, I knew I had to find a recipe to put everything to good use. These Caramel-Cashew Bars start with a buttery foundation of crushed shortbread cookies, then topped with a sprinkling of miniature marshmallows and a layer of sweet, gooey caramel.
I’m pretty sure these guys will be a superstar on any holiday dessert table you decide to offer them up on. Different enough to be memorable among the pumpkin pies and Christmas log cakes, but familiar enough to be comforting and perfect with a generous cup of hot cocoa. I hope you love them as much as I love Amanda for letting me hang out here today.
3 cups finely crushed shortbread cookies (I used 32 Keebler Sandies Simply Shortbread Cookies)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
36 caramels, unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups chopped salted cashews
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with foil – be sure to extend the foil a little over the edges. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press the cookie mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan creating an even layer of crust. Bake crust in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until it starts to lightly brown around the edges. Remove pan to cooling rack.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt caramels and cream until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cashews. Sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over prepared crust. Spread the caramel-cashew mixture over the marshmallows as evenly as possible.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the caramel is set. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
5. Once bars are cool, use the foil overhang to remove the bars from the pan and cut into squares.
-Bars can be stored arranged in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
-Recipe slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Jamie Lothridge is hopelessly addicted to sugar, sprinkles, and Top Chef. She started her blog as a way to justify having copious amounts of each in her life.
When she’s not in front of her stand mixer, or behind her camera, she can be found teaching middle school, hanging with her fiance, or watching the Food Network.