My lady friends and I recently enjoyed our annual holiday pot luck ornament exchange and these bars were one of the highlights of the evening. Everyone who took a bite said the same thing…OMG! So I added my touch to the name and decided to call them OMG Salted Caramel Butter Bars. The crust alone calls for an entire pound of butter and 2 tablespoons (not teaspoons) of vanilla….need I say more :o)
This recipe was posted by Cookies & Cups who found it on another blog, who found it on another blog…you get the idea. This recipe is worth passing around…
OMG Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Ingredients for the Crust:
- 1 lb. salted butter room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbs vanilla
- 4 cups all purpose flour
To make the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars.
- Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy.
- Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
- Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
- Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust, and place the remainder of the dough in the fridge to chill.
- Bake until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown approx 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
- 1/3 cup milk or cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 T. coarse sea salt
Making the Filling and Wrapping it Up:
- While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add the cream and vanilla.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.
- If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
- Pour the caramel filling over the crust.
- If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.
- Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 – 30 minutes.
- Let cool before cutting into squares.
Playing with Extracts. Feel free to replace a portion of the vanilla with some different extracts and flavorings like almond, maple or orange.
Nuts for nuts. Mix some toasted nuts in with the dough – chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans would be devine!
Grate some Rind. Caramel and orange go well together, so consider adding some grated orange rind to the dough.
Top it Off Right. Drizzle the top with some dark or milk chocolate, white chocolate or a drizzly white icing for a gorgeous and delicious finish to a perfectly sinful bar.
Warm it Up. Warm these babies up and serve with a spirited warm beverage.
What a perfect end to a great evening! Happy Holidays!
The best surprises come from happy accidents!