Magic Caramel Bars Recipe
Active time: 25 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9"-square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine flour, powdered sugar and salt and pulse until blended. Add butter and pulse 5 or 6 times, until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add 3 Tbsp. ice water and process until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by the teaspoonful if dough seems dry.
Transfer crust mixture to prepared pan and press it evenly over bottom of pan. Bake until crust is light golden and edges are beginning to pull away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine coconut milk, brown sugar, and honey and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue to boil until mixture darkens and has reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
To assemble, sprinkle chocolate chips over baked crust, then sprinkle espresso powder over chocolate. Top with macadamia nuts. Drizzle prepared caramel evenly over top.
Return pan to oven and bake until topping is golden brown and bubbling thickly, about 15 minutes. Using a small, sharp knife, loosen bars from side of pan while still warm. Let pan cool completely on a wire rack; then refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Use knife to loosen edges again. Using 2 metal spatulas, carefully transfer to a cutting board. Trim off sticky edges (about 1/4"). Cut into 18 (2 1/2" x 1 1/2") rectangles. The bars will keep up to 2 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.