These Salted Caramel Butter bars are one of my most requested recipes ever! The buttery cookie is filled with a creamy, salted caramel that is so rich and beyond delicious.
I can’t begin to explain to you how much I love these Salted Caramel Butter Bars…I make them ALL THE TIME. They are one of my most requested desserts to bring to parties and there is never one left! And might I add, if you happen to be entering a cookie contest, these will guarantee you victory. Unequivocally.
The base is a buttery shortbread that comes together very easily and the filling is simply caramels, milk or cream, and a little salt! You can use pre-made caramels, or even a thick caramel sauce. I do recommend using caramels over sauce, because I think the texture is more chewy and hold up better than sauce, but so many of you who have made this recipe let me know that you have used caramel sauce and it’s worked out well!
How To Make Salted Caramel Butter Bars
It’s all a pretty easy process, just a few steps, honestly: you make dough, you divide dough, you bake some of the dough, you chill some of the dough…
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Salted Caramel Butter Bars are a buttery shortbread filled with creamy salted caramel! A MUST MAKE!
For the Crust:
- 2 cups salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all purpose flour
For the Filling:
- 14 ounces soft caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
- 1/3 cup milk or cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- optional – 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325°. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until a soft dough forms.
- Press one-third of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are a pale golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
To Make the Filling:
- 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 milk or cream. 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.
- Once the caramel is melted add in your ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir until combined.
- Pour the caramel filling over the cooled 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 completely before cutting into squares.
- Store airtight for up to 5 days
Keywords: salted caramel, cookie bar, butter, butter bars, cookie recipe, cookies and cups