Salted Caramel Butter Bars

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.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Salted Caramel Butter Bars are THE BEST Cookie Bar of ALL TIME!

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!

These cookie bars are really super simple and can be adapted in different ways…I even made a Salted Nutella Butter bar based on this recipe. The buttery crust, the chewy caramel and the omg deliciousness of it all has never disappointed. Salted caramel runs through my veins at this point. Oh and there is even an APPLE version in my book!
These are a must in my house at the holidays…or whenever I am looking to make people fall in love with me 🙂

How To Make Salted Caramel Butter Bars

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…

THEN
You melt caramel, you spread caramel, you sprinkle salt on the caramel, then you sprinkle more dough.
Then finish baking.
It’s easy and oh so delicious!!

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

I will tell you that these cookie bars are next level. Yes, there is a lot of butter, yes there are a lot of calories, BUT I urge you not to eat the whole pan. I actually don’t think that is physically possible! ha! Have one, savor it, love it, and SHARE them!
I might go as far to say that they are one of the best things that I have made in a while.
I know you will love them..that is if you like butter, sugar and delicious caramel filling.  Yeah, that’s what I thought.
They sure won’t help your fat jean/skinny jean dilemma, but they are guaranteed to make you happy while you’re wearing elastic 🙂

Looking For More Caramel Recipes? Try These:

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Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bars 1x
  • Category: Cookie Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description:

Salted Caramel Butter Bars are a buttery shortbread filled with creamy salted caramel! A MUST MAKE!


Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

To Make the Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Once the caramel is melted add in your ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir until combined.
  3. Pour the caramel filling over the cooled crust. If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.
  4. Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
  5. 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.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Notes:

  • Store airtight for up to 5 days

Keywords:: salted caramel, cookie bar, butter, butter bars, cookie recipe, cookies and cups

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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CHILL OUT
CHILL OUT

These definitely weren’t the BEST of ALL TIME!!! They were just okay.

Redpanda
Redpanda

Made these twice and they are amazing. First time i used only 2/3 of the flour because i thought the dough was gonna be too dry, but the bars ended up a little too buttery (still good though, just veeery heavy). Second time i followed everything to a T and they were amazing. The best thing is how well they freeze! I defrost and keep them in the fridge, and they taste great cold, straight out of the fridge. But you can also warm them in the microwave and you have beautiful bubbling caramel sauce oozing out between the buttery… Read more »

Mercedes
Mercedes

I continue to make these for potlucks time and time again. I’m always asked for the recipe 🙂

Chelsea Ambrosia Fuentez
Chelsea Ambrosia Fuentez

This recipe was amazing. The shortbread was very tender and buttery (obviously). I received many compliments that it was the best shortbread they had tried. Thank you!

I did do a few things different: I whipped the butter and sugar for about 5 min, First bake, I did for only 16min, second back for 25 min, drizzled with chocolate and flake sea salt. Amazing stuff. Thank you again!

Andrea
Andrea

I make these every year for Christmas, and they are a hit! One question though…any tips for easy cutting? I always find that my bars come out fairly hard, and it can take some effort to cut the bars. Am I doing something wrong?

Amy
Amy

I have made this yearly for the past several years, and the one year I didn’t, I got very sad faces, so I’ll be making it again this year. It is really a wonderful recipe!

Deb
Deb

Can you explain the difference—-in the cookbook -this recipe calls for 2 cups of granulated sugar but the online version calls for 1 cup granulated and 1/2 cups powdered….just curious of how it will turn out with powdered (I used all granulated and LOVED them)

sheila sears
sheila sears

i think you could use caramel chips or the butterscotch chips

Ivy
Ivy

If i make them ahead of time and freeze, do you thaw them in the fridge or just in the counter? Would love to make them. Thanks alot

Shania

Have made this recipe about a dozen times in the last 2 or 3 years. I follow the recipe and they come out perfect, never a problem. The Kraft baking caramel bits work great, and I’ve even come close to doubling the amount of caramel- no problems. These became such a hit with friends that one of them adjusted the recipe and made them in mass, serving them at an event for close to 3000 people. We have loving renamed them “crack bars” because you can’t stop eating them.

Mercedes
Mercedes

I love the caramel bits but haven’t been able to find them lately in Fairbanks.

Stace
Stace

I just made these and the top layer of dough took much longer than 30 minutes to cook and by that point i had to cut off the edges because the edges werre overdone and the caramel was burnt. Maybe i needed to add more dough to the bottom layer?

Steph
Steph

Eh. These were just ok. I made them for a cookie contest… they were messy to eat and very greasy- more of a fudge-like texture than shortbread for sure.

Sharayah
Sharayah

This recipe rocks but for the LOVE of Sweets do NOT USE 4 STICKS. It came out soooooo oily, the butter keeps precipitating out of them, I had to soak up the butter with paper towels in order to reduce the buttery goodness that kept leaking from my bars before AND after cooling. Pros about recipe: Makes 2 9x 3 portions so it is already doubled for you, YAY! Cons: Butter amount did NOT WORK FOR ME! Had to cook it for more than 20 mins, roughly 25-30 minutes for second bake. Overall, YUM! Perfect for sweet tooth. I added… Read more »

Brooke

Curious to know if you have tried it with less butter 🙂

Lisa
Lisa

Can I substitute butter with vegetable oil?

Andras
Andras

How much is a cup?

Pam Smith
Pam Smith

I would love to make these for the cookie table at my daughter’s wedding in October. Can they be frozen and then thawed for the big day as I have so many cookies to bake I need to start now?!

ANNA
ANNA

ANNA MY FRIENDS ARE B E G G I N G ME FOR MORE

Kim
Kim

I was skeptical of a tablespoon of coarse sea salt, but since I had it I chose to make the dessert exactly as the recipe said. I would definitely make this again but either skip the salt altogether or drastically reduce the amount. After one bite everyone said it was too salty and stopped eating. I really hated wasting a pound of butter. The raccoons i fed it to didn’t seem to mind the salt.

Lettie
Lettie

This recipe was great, but there’s sooooo much butter haha. Pros and cons come with the butter, but I will definitely be making these again. And I highly recommend adding the sea salt (although I used just a tad less than what the recipe initially calls for).

Sarah
Sarah

When I make these, I sprinkle about a 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips on top after I’ve added the dough crumbles.

Christy
Christy

Making these right now! Though my dough is extremely crumbly, so I’m hoping it will still work! They looked like the perfect way to use up the extra caramels I had from another recipe!

Alice
Alice

I made these for Christmas and they were scrumptious! They were a big hit. Just a note: I had to increase the baking time by about 10 minutes.

Janice
Janice

Can this recipe be halved?

Holly
Holly

Can I make my own caramel, with the same result?

Mary
Mary

Can I freeze them?

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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