Saturday, February 14, 2015

Buttery Salted Caramel Bars

These buttery salted caramel bars are so easy and yet so delicious, a shortbread crust and crumble that melt in your mouth then adding the caramel sauce layered in between those delicious crust and crumble is a creamy melt in your mouth caramel. How could this recipe be so delicious yet so easy. Well it is. I found this recipe and make it all the time it is so good.. You can make these for a quick recipe for home or parties, warning you cant eat just one..


1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
heaping 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce or regular caramel sauce, plus more for drizzling, recipe for homemade caramel sauce below

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving an overhang then spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or you can use hand mixer, combine the butter, sugars, and beat on high speed until creamy and fluffy and a pale color about 3 minutes.
  3. Shut the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Should not be sticky, If yours is sticky, if it is add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour, or as much as needed until dough comes together without being sticky, but you do not want CRUMBLY
  5. Pour one-third of the mixture out into prepared pan, pressing and packing it down with your fingers to form a smooth, even crust layer. Bake for 20 minutes. While crust bakes, refrigerate remaining two-thirds of dough.
  6. After 20 minutes, remove pan from oven, and evenly pour heaping half cup salted caramel over crust.
  7. Then, evenly crumble reserved dough over the top
  8. Place pan back to oven and bake for about 25 to 32 minutes, or until top is barely golden browned and there is little signs of caramel bubbling up.
  9. Remove pan from oven, let cool for 30 minutes then lightly and evenly drizzle with salted caramel, and place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least two hours, very important, before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon light-colored corn syrup (can be omitted but helps reduce crystallization)
1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, optional (or substitute with bourbon, rum, Grand Marnier, or a favorite liqueur)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste (for a true 'salted caramel' sauce, I use 1 teaspoon)


  1.  Have all the ingredients in place including hot mitts and a glass jar or heat-safe container nearby. 
  2. In a medium to large saucepan (use a pan much larger than you think you'll need because the sauce will bubble very vigorously at the end), add the sugar, water, corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 to 12 minutes, or as necessary, for it to turn caramel-colored, at which point it will likely be smoking slightly. The final stage where the mixture turns from pale amber to that perfect shade of caramel can go quickly, in less than 30 seconds, so keep a watchful eye and don't let it burn. Super stinky and you'll have to start over. Throughout the boiling time, you can swirl the pan gently every minute or two if necessary, but the less the sugary mixture gets on the sides of the pan, the better in preventing crystallization in the final sauce.
  4. As soon as the sauce has turned caramel-colored, reduce the heat to low.
  5. Very carefully and slowly, add the cream. The mixture will bubble up considerably.
  6. Carefully add the vanilla and salt, to taste. It will bubble up..
  7. Whisk until sauce is smooth and combined, and let it boil another 1 minute, which helps thicken it up.
  8. Transfer sauce to glass jar or heat-safe container (easiest to pour into a 2-cup measuring cup and then easily pour into glass jar). Allow sauce to cool uncovered to room temperature; sauce thickens considerably as it cools. Sauce will keep airtight at room temp for at least 1 month, although will likely last much longer; use common sense if giving as gifts with storage considerations.

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