A caramel bar is one way of serving caramel, a sweet treat made by heating sugar. This type of food comes in many different forms, but in general, a caramel bar can be any rectangular candy or baked good containing caramel as a featured ingredient. Among other things, these bars can be made of pure caramel, or layered, dipped or mixed with other ingredients and baked. A caramel bar is also the name given to a portion of caramel candy with a rectangular shape that somewhat resembles a gold bar. Generally, a candy bar is considered to be larger than a standard bite-size piece of candy, so a caramel bar would be larger than a rectangular piece of caramel candy.
A flexible type of candy, caramel bars come in a wide variety of sizes, types and flavors. Some are in the form of a layered confection with a caramel portion adjacent to other ingredients, while others might be a brownie-like chunky bar that is mixed together, cooled on a sheet and and cut into rectangular bars. Another common type of caramel bar is a portion of caramel dipped in chocolate. Often, layers of nuts or nougat accompany this type of chocolate-dipped caramel. Just as the form of caramel bars can vary, they also come in many different textures, from soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy.
Caramel bars are made in candy factories as well as by home cooks. The most common type of caramel bar that comes from a factory is a candy bar of coated caramel and other ingredients, like nougat, peanuts, or cookie. Homemade caramel bars can be chocolate-covered caramel pieces, but they are most often baked caramel cookie bars that are cut into bar form after cooking.
Chocolate covered caramel candy bars are made by dipping chilled caramel pieces into melted chocolate. At home, this is done with a double-boiler system. This type of system uses a reservoir of water to help ensure that candy is heated easily without melting. Homemade caramel flavored bars made in the oven have similar ingredients to cookies, like flour, eggs and sugar, but are usually thicker and more moist.
Mixing other ingredients, like nuts, into a caramel candy bar can add texture and flavor depth. Bars might include caramel all by itself, or it can be paired with fruit or nougat, or dipped or drizzled in chocolate. Caramel in a caramel bar can also be mixed with nuts, often walnuts.
Caramel is a food item formed by heating sugar, milk and fat until it browns. It is both an ingredient and a food; it is frequently eaten as candy by itself, but it is also an ingredient used to make many other types of sweets. Caramel in caramel bars can be flavored or unflavored. Common flavors added to caramel include vanilla and coffee or espresso.