Orange and Pecan Salted Caramel Cookie Bars - Orange zest and pecans join forces in these amazing orange and pecan salted caramel cookie bars. This cookie bar recipe is incredibly simple and super easy to follow. From the melt-in-the-mouth salted caramel sauce layer, to the buttery, crumbly pecan cookie base with bursts of aromatic orange zest – every single bite of this delightful dessert will blow your mind!
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ORANGE AND PECAN SALTED CARAMEL COOKIE BARS

Orange zest and pecans join forces in these amazing orange and pecan salted caramel cookie bars. This cookie bar recipe is incredibly simple and super easy to follow. From the melt-in-the-mouth salted caramel sauce layer, to the buttery, crumbly pecan cookie base with bursts of aromatic orange zest – every single bite of this delightful dessert will blow your mind!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 20

Ingredients

For orange and pecan cookie bottom:

  • 175 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 225 g plain flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g pecans, ground
  • zest of 2 oranges

For salted caramel:

  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 210 mL double cream, room temperature
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt (Note 1)

For assembly:

  • whole pecans

Instructions

For orange and pecan cookie bottom:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC) and line a baking tray, at least 1.5 inch deep, with greaseproof/baking paper.

  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the flour, salt, ground pecans and orange zest, and mix until a smooth, not sticky, cookie dough forms.
  5. Press the cookie dough into the lined baking tray and even it out so that it is approximately 1/2 inch (about 1.5 cm) thick. Put into the fridge for about 1/2 hour.
  6. Bake the cookie dough in the preheated oven at 350 ºF (175 ºC) for 18 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown at the edges. The cookie dough might feel soft immediately out of the oven, but will firm on cooling.

  7. Leave to cool completely (in the baking tray!). In the mean time, make the salted caramel.

For salted caramel:

  1. Heat caster sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. The sugar may form clumps but will eventually melt into a thick golden brown liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn the caramel.
  3. Once the sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. On its addition, the caramel will bubble rapidly – be careful.
  4. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. The butter will tend to separate from the caramel – just stir vigorously.
  5. Very slowly, drizzle in the double cream while stirring. The mixture will rapidly bubble due to the temperature difference and may splatter – be careful.
  6. Allow the mixture to boil for about 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool down before using (the salted caramel should be slightly warmer than room temperature for pouring onto the cookie bottom).
  8. Any leftover salted caramel sauce (what's that?) keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

For assembly:

  1. Still in the baking tray, pour the warm salted caramel onto the cookie bottom so that it forms a uniform layer, about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick.
  2. Allow to set overnight in the fridge. The salted caramel will firm up, enough to be easy to cut but retain its melt-in-the-mouth consistency.
  3. Remove the cookie bottom + salted caramel layers from the baking tray, and while still cold, cut them into rectangular pieces (the recipe should give about 20 pieces).
  4. Decorate the cookie bars with whole pecans. And enjoy!
  5. The orange and pecan salted caramel cookie bars keep well in a cool dry place (or even in the fridge, just allow them to come to room temperature before serving) for about 3 to 4 days. Just beware of those sneaky cookie bar ninjas!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: The exact amount of salt depends entirely on how salty you want your salted caramel to be. I advise adding the salt gradually – you can always add more, but cannot take it away!