If you have been following my blog for a while, you should be pretty familiar with my obsessions. Caramel is one of them. Anything that is baked with gooey caramel becomes an instant favorite for me!
Sorry friends. These are called salted caramel BUTTER bars for a reason. They may not help the weight loss program at all. And they are packed with butter. But I promise they are worth every bite. These are the bars that someone brings to a get together and you HAVE to get the recipe. Or the tiny cookie square on a cookie exchange plate that is the best one! A delicious butter shortbread crust with a gooey salted caramel center. Simple yet amazing! These are the perfect balance of salty and sweet and will always be a hit!
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 1 14 oz bag caramels, unwrapped or 11 oz unwrapped Caramel Bits work great
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar, and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in the flour and combine until it forms a soft dough.
- Press half of the dough in the bottom of a 9x13 dish and place the other half of the dough into the refrigerator. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and melt the caramels, heavy cream and ½ tsp vanilla in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together until smooth. Pour evenly over the hot crust. Lightly sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the crust. I didn't end up using the entire T, just lightly sprinkle evenly on top. You don't want them too salty. :)
- Take the remaining dough out of the refrigerator and crumble over the top of the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until filling is bubbly and the top is firm. Let them cool completely before cutting.