The Dish | Caramel Slice

Caramel slice is an Australian bakery staple: layers of coconut cookie and homemade caramel, topped with chocolate and cut into generous squares. This recipe includes a shortcut for the rich caramel center, making the slice easy to replicate at home. Caramel slice can be assembled in stages over a day, if necessary.

INGREDIENTS

Base

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut (small flakes)
  • 1 stick salted butter, melted

Caramel

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk or sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Chocolate Layer

  • 7 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp coconut or other mild vegetable oil
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter a 9×9 brownie pan and line with parchment paper. Leave paper edges above the rim of the pan for ease of removal.
  • Mix together flour, sugar, coconut, and butter and press into a pan. Dampening a spatula as you go, press around edges all the way to the center of the pan to flatten the cookie dough.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. The surface should be a light golden brown.
  • Cool cookie in the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (Longer is also fine; base can be made ahead.)

For the caramel:

  • Lower oven temperature to 325°F.
  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, then add sugar and vanilla and turn heat to medium low and let mixture cook until it comes to a simmer.
  • When the mixture begins to bubble, add condensed milk and whisk constantly for 5-6 minutes at a heavy simmer until big, slow bubbles appear. Once big bubbles appear, whisk rapidly for 1 minute, then pour the caramel onto the cookie base, tilting the pan to spread evenly.
  • Bake for 15 minutes then cool on the counter until a thin skin begins to develop on the caramel. Refrigerate. (Slice can also be made ahead to this stage.)

Chocolate topping:

  • To make the chocolate, melt chocolate and oil in microwave for 20 second bursts, stirring as you go, until chocolate is liquid enough to whisk and blend. Or, melt in a double boiler, whisking until blended.
  • Pour over caramel, spreading with a spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter so the surface is completely level. Lightly drag a fork over the surface to create wave pattern in the chocolate.
  • Refrigerate an hour or until set. Remove from fridge and leave out for 5 minutes to soften chocolate slightly. Cut into bars or squares with a clean, sharp knife.

Best stored in refrigerator. Coconut condensed milk may take 2-3 additional minutes of boiling to thicken. Using this alternative gives the caramel slice a Twix flavor.

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