Salted Caramel Butter Bars

5 Feb

These things are SICK. I made them at Christmas time (along with homemade Oreos… more on those later) because (1) I love making me some dessert, and (2) my Dad is obstinate and doesn’t like chocolate. As my husband would say, you know who didn’t like chocolate? The Nazis. But they are seriously one of the most outrageously good things I have ever stuffed in my face. I found the recipe on a blog called cookies & cups, but I believe they come from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. I do believe I made need to get my hands on a copy if this is the kind of thing she dreams up. Because I dream of these things at night. So here is the recipe:

1. In a mixer, combine the following:

  • 1 lb. SALTED butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract

2. After the butter mixture is nice and creamy, sift in:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

3. In a greased 9 x 13 Pyrex or similar baking pan, take 1/3 of your dough out of the mixer and press it in the bottom of the pan. This is your crust. Put the remainder of the dough in the fridge to chill–I just took the metal bowl from the mixer and threw it in there. Bake the crust at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Take it out and cool it on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.

4. In a microwaveable bowl, combine:

  • 11 oz pack of Kraft caramel bits, plus about 5 unwrapped caramels (or 5o unwrapped caramels)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coarse sea salt

5. Microwave the caramel mixture for 1 minute, then stir. Continue microwaving at 30 second intervals until the caramel is nice and smooth.

6. Pour the caramel mixture over the top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle on a little bit more sea salt if you are feeling dangerous.

7. Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and crumble evenly over the top of the caramel.

8. Bake the bars at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the shortbread is golden brown and the caramel is bubbly. Cool and cut into slices. Thank me later.


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