I pinned this recipe quite a while ago and then completely forgot to make them....I'm not sure how anyone could forget to make caramel bars....but I did. Luckily I eventually remembered that I wanted to try them because these are sooooo goooooood! Be warned....these are not diet bars. There is a pound of butter in them but that is what makes them soooo goooood! :)
The crust and top crumble are made from your basic shortbread recipe. Lots of butter, sugar, flour and vanilla. Super simple.
The caramel layer is made from melted caramel candies and cream. Pretty much guaranteeing you will make them because they are so simple. After I spread the caramel over the crust, I sprinkled some maldon salt over the top. You can see the beautiful flakes in the picture above! If you prefer your caramel layer to be unsalted, that is no problem.....it will still be delish!
Once the bars are baked and golden brown, let them cool completely before cutting. The caramel is much easier to cut once it has cooled and hardened a bit.
Try to take some pictures before your children and their friends sneak into the kitchen to eat them all....not that I ever have that problem.....but man, those kids are quick!
Salted Caramel Butter Bars adapted from Cookies & Cups
1 lb. salted butter room temp
1 cup sugar
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
⅓ cup milk or cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 T. coarse sea salt (optional)
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 325°
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
Bake crust until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown approx 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream. 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. Once the caramel is melted add in your 1/2 tsp vanilla and stir until combined.
Pour the caramel filling over the crust. If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.
Remove the remaining chilled dough from the 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 shared on:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop
What'd You Do This Weekend
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
Treasure Box Tuesday
Wednesday's Adorned From Above Link Party
Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party