Lavender Honey Caramel Candy Bars

Honey, lavender and caramel flavors gently combine to add a little something extra to this homemade gourmet candy bar. 

What a night we had making these. It’s so tiring to laud one’s own genius for that long. [Too true. –B.] I want to have some humility but this is definitely on my short list of favorites. I’ve been eating then practically nonstop since. Butchie and I both took some into work and got some great reviews back on them, but it was hard to share. Extremely hard to share. [Fine, if you must know we only got like two reviews from anyone other than ourselves. –B.]

Talk about a process, though! The caramel took far longer than we’d imagined, the shortbread dough has to refrigerate twice, and so on and so on. I’m fairly certain it was four hours after we started that I was finally covering the last bar with chocolate! Butchie thought she was so sly chopping the caramel. She made me think I was getting the easy job. Ha. She finished long, long before me, the brute. [In my defense, it was sticky work—just less finicky than the chocolate, apparently. –B.]

But we promise they are worth it. I have eaten two just while typing! It’s my own fault. I really shouldn’t have brought them into work with me. What was I thinking? Oh, right. Sharing. Silly me I should have known I’d end up eating them all myself.

Better go running! 

Lavender Honey Caramel Candy Bars

For the lavender honey caramel
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons dried lavender buds
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup honey
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

For the cookie base:
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks), cold and cut into small pieces

For the chocolate coating:
Dark chocolate

Prepare your pan by greasing it with butter then lining the bottom with parchment paper. Do not use wax paper the caramel will stick.

Place the milk, heavy cream and lavender buds in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Strain out and discard the lavender. Measure 2 cups of the liquid. Discard the excess.

Combine all of the ingredients except the vanilla and salt in a deep saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush down any sugar that has crept up the sides of the pan.   When the mixture reads 240 immediately remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and the salt, and pour into the prepared baking pan. Cool the mixture completely until it is firm, at least 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

To begin to make the shortbread, in a small bowl beat together egg and vanilla extract until yolk is broken up and evenly combined; set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter and mix until mixture looks like sand. Add egg mixture and mix just until dough comes together. Form into a flat, rectangular disk, wrap in plastic, and chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375°F. Place dough on a 14-inch piece of parchment paper, lightly flour, and roll into a 13-by-8-inch oval, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer parchment paper with dough to a baking sheet, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate again for 15 minutes.

Cut each cookien into a 3x.75 inch cookie. Pierce each cookie four or five times with a chopstick or the base of a thermometer.

Place on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

Invert the caramel onto a cutting board and turn glossy side up. Cut into bars to place on top of the shortbread.  Set aside and temper the chocolate.

Place two thirds of the chocolate in a double boiler.  Melt slowly to 107 degrees. Remove from heat and stir until it reaches 110 degrees.  Add in remaining third of chocolate and stir to combine until the mixture reaches 90-93 degrees. Use immediately. 

Place a candy bar on a fork and proceed to spoon the tempered chocolate over it, covering completely. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Set completed candy bar on the sheet. Repeat with the remaining candy bars.  Set the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.