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caramel nutella crumb bars

you know what i love about nutella? it’s a helpful snack, ready to lend support on both good days + bad. let’s say you have a bad day at work. you walk in the door, + that jar of nutella holllers out, bad day at work? pull up a chair + a spoon + i guarantee you’ll feel better. but it doesn’t stop there. when you have a wonderful day + arrive home, full of cheer, the nutella takes one look at you + says, great day? rock on! grab a spoon + let’s celebrate! as you may have guessed, i really love nutella, so when i ran across this recipe for caramel nutella crumb bars, i absolutely had to make them.

the recipe is easy to make + was prepped, assembled, + in the oven within probably 20 minutes of starting it – not too shabby for when you want a nutella dessert ASAP. + the results? holy decadence. these bars are super super buttery, with one layer of creamy caramel + a second layer of rich, delicious nutella. as a testament to how good these are: i got up around 2 AM last night for a glass of water + spied these little fellers sitting in a container on the kicthen counter. i looked one way. then the other way. noticing that (obviously) no one was watching, i quickly gobbled one down, forgot about the water completely, + happily went back to bed. yup, they’re really that delicious!

caramel nutella crumb bars

makes about 20 2” square bars, adapted from buns in my oven

ingredients for the crust + topping

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

ingredients for the caramel & nutella filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or cane syrup or homemade sugar syrup)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup nutella

directions

preheat oven to 350 degrees + line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper.

to make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter, sugar, + salt on medium speed until creamy using the paddle attachment. beat in the vanilla.

turn the mixer to low + slowly add 2 1/4 cups of the flour, beating just until the dough becomes smooth + the flour is incorporated.

press 3/4 of the dough in the prepared baking dish. press the dough evenly to form the bottom layer. refrigerate while you prepare the crumb topping + filling.

add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the remaining dough + beat together until coarse + crumbly. do not over mix.

for the caramel filling, place the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, + condensed milk in a saucepan over medium low heat. bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. when the mixture begins to boil, whisk frequently until it darkens + begins to get thicker, about 10 minutes. remove from the heat + allow to cool for 10 minutes.

remove the pan from the refrigerator + spread on a layer of the nutella using an off-set spatula. you may need to warm the nutella in the microwave for a bit to soften it up enough to spread easily.

pour the caramel filling over the nutella layer + spread evenly with the spatula.

sprinkle on the crumb topping.

bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is a dark caramel color + lightly bubbling. cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes + then cut into squares.