But luckily my last 2013 SRC assignment, Making Memories with Your Kids, is chalk full of mouthwatering recipes to choose from, both savory and sweet. So the only problem I had this month was choosing which one recipe to feature in this post. Things like Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake, Apple Fritter Bread, and Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecake Brownie Pie were a-callin' my name. But I can vouch that each and every person who came within striking distance of these bars didn't have an ounce of complaint.
But really, what's there to say? With a combination of gooey, sticky salted caramel and buttery, [buttery,] crispy, shortbread/sugar cookie layers, you can't go wrong.
I realize it all sounds quite simple but more often than not, keeping it simple gets you the most absolute best treats. And these Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars did not disappoint. Not. One. Bit.
I can't rave enough about the buttery goodness of the shortbread crust and crumble topping. Seriously, delish. And the layer of sweet, gooey caramel in between makes it all come together. And like I said before, the addition of the sea salt adds a lovely touch making this a unique baked goodie. No one can resist the sweet and salty combo! Plus, these babies scream Christmas/holiday cookie bar, so I couldn't have whipped these up at a better time!
Anywho, this sure was a fabulous way to end my 2013 SRC run. So thank you, Erin, for an inspiring, easy recipe that I couldn't wait to share!
Happy baking, everyone! .
- The original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of sea salt. I stopped with half because I personally don't like too much salt, so I went the cautious route. If you want more of a salty kick, stick to the full tablespoon.
Adapted from Making Memories with Your Kids
2 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 c. all purpose flour
Salted Caramel Filling:
1 (14 oz.) bag caramels, unwrapped
1/3 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
- Heat oven to 325°F. Grease a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- For the crust, in a large bowl beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and on low speed beat until smooth. Slowly add flour and beat until combined.
- Spread half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and pat down with fingers to make an even layer.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool while making the filling.
- For the filling, place caramels into a medium saucepan with heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract over medium heat. Stir mixture until smooth and caramels are completely melted. Pour caramel over the cooled crust. Sprinkle with sea salt. Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly and top layer is golden brown. Let bars cool completely before cutting to serve.
Yield: 2 dozen bars