11.18.2013

Secret Recipe Club: Salted Caramel Butter Bars

.  I can not even believe that this is my last SRC post for 2013.  Where the heck did the year go?! How is Thanksgiving less than two weeks away and Christmas is right on it's heels?  Whew, someone please slow time down.


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!  .

My Notes:
  • 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

Ingredients:
Shortbread Crust/Topping:
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

Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 325°F.  Grease a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and pat down with fingers to make an even layer.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Set aside to cool while making the filling.
  5. 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.  
  6. 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

post signature

12 comments:

  1. Stop. It. Salted Caramel? Butter? Bars? All in the same name? That's a touchdown if I ever saw one. Perfect ending to the year and great pick for SRC.

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  2. Jess, so glad you liked them. These are one of my favorites! Yours turned out mouth watering! (Aren't they just ridiculously buttery?!) Thanks!!!!

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  3. Holy cow. I'd have absolutely no willpower if these were in my kitchen.

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  4. These look delicious! You had me hooked at the works caramel and butter

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  5. Okay - I could eat half of the pan of these little delights. Pinning now. Glad to be part of SRC group C with you!

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  6. Wow - do these look delish! Will have to make some for me and my dad who loves caramels. Thanks for the tip about the amount of salt - I love salty sweet but find that 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon does the trick in most recipes.

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  7. THESE would not last in my house. You made a great pick with this one. Wow!!

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  8. Did you use something other than the square kraft caramels? Your picture seems to show 2 different kinds of caramels Thanks!

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  9. Did you use something other or in addition to the square Kraft caramels? You picture seems to show two different kinds of caramels. Since I've discovered Werthers chewy caramels I was just wondering how they might work.

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    Replies
    1. Good eye! My grocer didn't have a big enough bag of caramels, so I ended up buying a smaller bag of Werther's and no one noticed. They worked perfectly fine so feel free to use them!

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  10. Please verify.. In your posted recipe you show "2 tbsp. vanilla extract".. Is 2 TABLESPOONS correct? That seems like a lot, but if that is correct I will try.. Just making sure it is not a typo..

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