They say a picture’s worth a thousand words.
So… maybe I should just leave this picture here to speak for itself and be done with this blog post. Just let you scroll down for the recipe.
Because, I mean, look at that.
That soft and buttery shortbread crust.
That rich, semi-sweet chocolate layer.
And that sweet, sweet candy praline coating on top.
Not to mention the sea salt topping! I hope you’re not like me… I hope you haven’t spent your whole life shying away from salted desserts because it sounded “weird”.
No, that salt MAKES these bars. I mean, OK, honestly I’m sure that they would still be pretty darn fantastic without it, but truly, a generous sprinkling of healthy-sized sea salt granules really helps to bring out the sweetness and the flavor of these praline bars. Do NOT forget the sea salt (like I almost did after I poured the praline layer on…what a moment of panic).
Need I say more?
Salted Praline Bars
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (3 sticks softened)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- Praline Layer
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
- Sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350F
Cover a 13x9 baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil with butter.
In mixer, cream together butter and granulated sugar.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
Gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) stir in flour. Stir in salt halfway through the addition of flour.
Spread dough into 13x9 pan, pressing down with the back-end of a spoon to create a flat, even layer of shortbread.
Bake in oven at 350F for 23-25 minutes (until edges just begin to turn golden brown).
Allow bars to cool for just 1 minute and then sprinkle 2 cups of chocolate chips over the shortbread. Allow the chocolate chips to melt for about 3-4 minutes, and then spread evenly over the shortbread using a knife.
While the shortbread/chocolate cool, prepare your praline layer. Pralines are a type of candy, and making candy can be tricky so it is best to make sure you have everything prepared before beginning. Before you start, cut your 1/2 stick butter into quarter-inch sized cubes, chop your pecans (if they are not already chopped. I chopped mine into pieces each about the size of an M&M), and measure out your vanilla extract. Set these aside, you will need them easily accessible once your candy is ready.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and evaporated milk. Stir occasionally (do not leave the candy during this time, stir at least once a minute) until candy reaches 238F using a candy thermometer.
Once candy reaches 238F, remove from heat and add in butter but DO NOT stir. Allow the butter to sit and melt in the praline mixture for about 1 minute and then add vanilla and pecans and stir continuously until mixture becomes lighter in color and a bit more stiff (you must also be cautious of over-mixing).
Once the praline mixture is able to hold its shape (I usually test this by dropping a small amount on a piece of wax paper and assessing whether it spreads too much or holds its shape), immediately pour over the chocolate/shortbread.
Immediately sprinkle sea salt all over the praline layer so that it sticks to the surface while it is hot.
Allow bars to sit undisturbed for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.