Medicated Coconut Caramel Shortbread Bars

Medicated Coconut Caramel Shortbread Bars

This decadent shortbread is topped with a layer of ultra-gooey salted caramel made from sweetened condensed coconut milk with another layer of crunchy cashews and coconut chips.

Condensed coconut milk is a great dairy-free alternative since I'm mildly lactose-intolerant. Not gonna lie--it's loaded with sugar and butter, but that's what makes it delicious, right? It's ok to be naughty sometimes! 

Medicated Coconut Caramel Shortbread Bars
Serves 8

Shortbread Ingredients:
• 1 cup salted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 1/2 cup AP flour

Salted Caramel Ingredients:
• 1 can (11.25oz) sweetened condensed coconut milk
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 3 Tbsp salted butter
• 3 Tbsp canna-butter
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 cup roasted cashews, rough chop
• 1/2 cup toasted coconut chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper along the bottom.
2. Using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly add flour and mix until combined into dough.
3. Press dough evenly into the bottom of prepared loaf pan using floured hands. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
4. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. While crust is in the oven, make filling.
5. To make the filling, pour sweetened condensed coconut milk and sugar in a nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until it turns into a light brown caramel, about 5 minutes. Turn down heat and gently stir in salted butter, canna-butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until uniform and the caramel turns a medium-brown. Take caramel off heat and add in cashews and coconut chips.
6. Remove the shortbread from the oven and pour caramel mixture into the pan. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
7. Remove from oven and cool completely. Gently remove from pan and cut into bars or squares. They're great when chilled in the fridge*. 

*Note: The caramel shortbread bars are also easier to cut after refrigeration.  

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