Holiday baking: Chocolate caramel squares, from North by Northwest's recipe exchange

Each week host Sheryl MacKay will compile listeners' recipes and share some on North by Northwest

Host Sheryl MacKay collects listeners' recipes and shares on North by Northwest weekly

This week's featured holiday recipe from a North by Northwest listener is chocolate caramel squares, from Kathy Drew. (Kathy Drew)

The holiday season is a great time for baking treats — and North by Northwest is enjoying all the recipes that listeners have shared with the show.

"It is so much fun to read the stories and drool over the recipes that have been pouring in for the North by Northwest Sweet Recipe Exchange," said host Sheryl MacKay.

"And we'd love to receive your cherished sweet recipe too, along with the story of why it's so special to you."

Each week until Dec. 13 the team at North by Northwest compiles the received recipes to create another "chapter" of the Sweet Recipe Exchange, which will be offered to listeners.

A new collection of recipes has been received and compiled, and it has 31 recipes including buttermilk gingerbread, apricot nut balls, butterscotch confetti, rolled pavlova and cherry snowballs. 

The full chapter can be viewed in the document at the end of this story.

We've also chosen to highlight one of the recipes, from listener Kathy Drew of Vernon.

Listeners can email their recipes and stories to before midnight on Dec. 13. Please include the origin of the recipe if you know that as well.

Everyone who sends a recipe will be put into a contest to win new cookbooks.

Here is a recipe from the third chapter of the North by Northwest Sweet Recipe Exchange, from Kathy Drew.

Chocolate caramel squares

Kathy Drew's story:

These have been a staple in our family at Christmas ever since I was a youngster growing up in Scotland! When my youngest daughter moved to Fort St John I would send a Christmas parcel to her and her family, and always there had to be a tin of these chocolate caramel squares within. There were always other goodies, like shortbread, mince tarts, etc. as well, but this was the one she always searched for.  

Nowadays I just write on the tin "This One". 


Shortbread Base:
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups flour
  •  ½ cup berry sugar
  • ½ teasp salt
Caramel Filling:
  • 10 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 4 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 12 ozs of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate (I buy the large 1kg bars (I see they are now 850 gm) that arrive in the stores before Christmas). Baking chocolate just isn't good enough for this delectable square!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

To make base:

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix, then add one inch cubes of the butter as you continue pulsing. Mixture should start to cling together. Press into a 10" x 15" jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20 mins or until the edges just start to look golden.

To make the caramel filling:

In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Stir on low heat until melted, then add the condensed milk. Increase to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly and boil for 7 mins. This mixture will burn very easily, so stir all the time. Remove from heat and beat with a spoon for about one minute. Pour the caramel over the shortbread base. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. When melted pour on top of the caramel layer and spread over. Mark and cut once the chocolate has set. These freeze well.

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