Apple Tart with Salted Caramel

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I first made this tart for an office Thanksgiving potluck so I could test it out before Thanksgiving and it was an enormous hit. Everyone was raving about it and asked for the recipe, which is always a good sign. Because it uses packaged puff pastry, it’s pretty much no-fail, and super quick to whip up.

Apple Tart with Salted Caramel

I kept calling the tart “rustic,” because while the quasi-mosaic part is pretty, the crust isn’t exactly picture perfect. But what it lacks in looks, it definitely makes up for in buttery, flaky, salty, sweet goodness.

Note: I used one package of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry and put the two sheets on top of each other before rolling.

Tart Base Ingredients
14-ounce package puff pastry, defrosted in fridge overnight
3 large or 4 medium apples (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small bits

Salted Caramel Glaze Ingredients
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or salted, but then ease up on the sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (or half as much table salt)
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Heat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Ideally you would use a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan. A smaller pan will make a thicker tart (and you might need fewer apples).

Lightly flour your counter and lay out your pastry. Flour the top and gently roll it until it fits inside your baking sheet, and transfer it there. If you roll it bigger, just trim the edges.

Peel, core, and slice the apples. (Deb suggested using a mandolin but I used one of those all in one peel/core/slice thingies and it worked just fine.) Leaving a 1/2-inch border, fan the apples around the tart in slightly overlapping concentric rectangles — each apple should overlap the one before so that only about 3/4-inch of the previous apple will be visible — until you reach the middle. Sprinkle the apples evenly with the first two tablespoons of sugar then dot with the first two tablespoons butter.

Apple Tart with Salted Caramel

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges of the tart are brown and the edges of the apples begin to take on some color. If you sliced your apples by hand and they were on the thicker side, you might need a little more baking time to cook them through. The apples should feel soft, but dry to the touch. If your puffed pastry bubbles dramatically in any place during the baking time, simply poke it with a knife or skewer so that it deflates.

Meanwhile, about 20 minutes into the baking time, make your glaze. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt your last 1/4 cup sugar; this will take about 3 minutes. Cook the liquefied sugar to a nice copper color, another minute or two. Off the heat, add the sea salt and butter and stir until the butter melts and is incorporated. Add the heavy cream and return to the stove over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until you have a lovely, bronzed caramel syrup, just another minute, two, tops. Set aside until needed. You may need to briefly rewarm it to thin the caramel before brushing it over the tart.

After the tart has baked, transfer it to a cooling rack, but leave the oven on. Using very short, gentle strokes, and brushing in the direction that the apples fan to mess up their design as little as possible, brush the entire tart, including the exposed pastry, with the salted caramel glaze.

Return the apple tart to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the caramel glaze bubbles. Let tart cool complete before cutting into 12 squares.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets

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And…my obsession with chocolate and salted caramel continues.

When David Lebovitz posted this recipe, my aunt immediately asked me if I had been to the bakery (Little Flower Cafe) he referenced in his post. Sadly, I have not, but it is now on my list of places to try. Since David shared a recipe adapted from one of the Little Flower Cafe recipes, I figured making the recipe could tide me over until I find a friend willing to schlep to Pasadena with me.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets

While these tartlets are a bit time consuming, they are not only delicious but absolutely gorgeous. My coworkers were oohing and aahing over them at the office, and their small size makes it perfectly acceptable to have one or two. Or three. Or um, maybe four. They’re a great party dessert too, because they’re easy to hold and won’t last for more than a few bites. In fact, I may bring these to my friends’ annual New Years Eve party.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Tartlets

Chocolate Dough Ingredients
4 ounces (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (110g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (35g) rice flour (or use 1 cup, 140g, all-purpose flour, total)
6 tablespoons (50g) cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process

Salted Caramel Filling Ingredients
4 ounces (115g) soft, salted butter caramels
3 tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream

Ganache Ingredients
4 1/2 ounces (130g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons (90ml) heavy cream
flaky sea salt


  1. To make the tartlet dough, beat the butter and the sugar just until smooth in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or by hand. Add the egg, salt, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, and cocoa powder, then mix it into the creamed butter.
  2. Butter the indentations of two mini-muffin tins with 12 places in each, or one mini-muffin tin with 24 places. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll each into a 3/4-inch (2cm) ball. As you work, put the dough balls in the indentations of the muffin tins. Take your thumb and press the dough down in the center of each indentation, then use your thumb to press the dough up the sides. (If the dough is sticky, dampen your thumb very lightly with water or oil.) Freeze the pans of dough for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  4. Bake the tartlet shells for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough appear dry and cooked. Remove from oven and use the handle of a wooden spoon to widen and smooth the inside of the little tartlet shells, pressing the dough that’s puffed up somewhat firmly against the sides. Let cool completely, then remove the tartlet shells from the muffin tins – the tip of a paring knife might be needed to help aid them out – and set them on a wire cooling rack.
  5. Make the caramel filling by warming the cream with the caramels in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Divide the caramel into each of the tartlet shells.
  6. Make the chocolate ganache by heating the cream in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then whisk the chocolate into the cream until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Top each tartlet with some of the ganache and take a butter knife or small metal spatula and swipe off the excess. Sprinkle each tartlet with a few grains of sea salt.

Recipe by David Lebovitz.

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake

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This cake was one of the first things I ever pinned when I started spending time on Pinterest. It was also smack dab in the middle of my salty sweet phase, and there were so many recipes calling my name that this one got forgotten. Until now.

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake

When I finally made it I was reminded of how much I love making bundts. (I think The Food Librarian is on to something.) No slicing into layers, piping, scooping, or time consuming decorating. Simply make a glaze, pour it on, and voila, you have a cake.

While the bundt was in the oven my kitchen smelled amazing, and the smell did not disappointment. The cake was rich, moist, and slightly dense, and the glaze, while U-G-L-Y was the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I brought it into the office the next day and it received rave reviews.

Cake Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Crème fraîche
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, room temperature

Cake Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour inside a bundt pan.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer beat the butter until creamy.
  4. Add the sugar and continue to mix until it becomes light and pale.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract and Crème fraîche 1/4 cup at a time until it is all mixed in.
  6. Add flour mixture in small amounts allowing each bit to mix in completely before you add more.
  7. After all the ingredients are mixed in spoon the batter with a spatula into the bundt mold smoothing it out on top.
    Bake for 50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Once the cake is done let it cool for about 12 minutes before you invert it onto another rack letting it cool completely for about an hour.

Caramel Glaze Ingredients
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter
Sea salt

Caramel Glaze Preparation

  1. Add the butter and sugar together and melt them at the same time while whisking (Medium Heat).
  2. As the butter and sugar start to dissolve, add the cream and continue to whisk (Medium to High Heat)
  3. Once it starts to froth and bubble, take it off the heat while still whisking.
  4. Pour glaze into a glass container or bowl and set aside.
  5. Once the cake has cooled, pour the caramel over the top covering it in a decorative fashion.
  6. Sprinkle the top with sea salt and serve!

Recipe adapted from The Tasteful Life.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars

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Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars

I was going to visit friends with a newborn, and wanted to bring a sweet treat. Since I didn’t have a chance to get the grocery store, I had to make do with what was already in my pantry. This recipe called for the basics. And yes, I usually happen to have jars of salted caramel in pantry–you can blame Trader Joe’s for that.

The reviews for the recipe were all stellar, so I was expecting something pretty amazing and was slightly disappointed. The bar is chewy, but the chocolate definitely overpowers and the caramel isn’t very noticeable. These are OK, but not so incredible that I felt the need to steal half of the pan for myself.

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar (12 ounces) salted caramel

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set half aside for topping.

Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

Whisk caramel topping and remaining flour until smooth; drizzle over top. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting. Yield: about 4-1/2 dozen.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

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I first saw these bars on Pinterest, then my coworker’s girlfriend made them but I couldn’t try them because it was Passover, and now that the holiday is over and I’m actually in town again for a few weeks, I finally found the time to make them. These bars are INSANE.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

The recipe calls for ONE POUND OF BUTTER, therefore they couldn’t possibly be bad,right? And between the two layers of buttery shortbread there is salted caramel, one of my favorite things in the whole world. And to make everything even better, the recipe is super easy and didn’t take much time.

Speaking of easy, I baked these in Chinet Bakeware which means I cut them right in the baking pan, popped on a lid, and they’re ready to go to the office in the morning–no need to transfer them to another container! Chinet sent me a huge box filled with different types of disposable baking pans and I’m looking forward to trying them all out. Plus, they offered to let me give away a box of bakeware to a reader, so stay tuned for more information and the giveaway!

Shortbread Ingredients
4 sticks (1 lb) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling Ingredients
One 14-oz. bag caramel candies, unwrapped
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt


  1. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars. Using hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Press one half of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Place remaining dough in refrigerator.
  3. Bake until firm and edges are pale golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the caramels in a microwave-safe bowl.
  4. Add the cream and vanilla, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
  5. Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Sprinkle the salt over top. Remove remaining dough from refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Recipe adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth via Pip & Ebby.