I love butter. Butter on bread. Butter on my pancakes instead of syrup… ok I can’t think of butter as a topping on anything else. But there’s a story my mom tells me about a trip to the grocery store when I was still confined to the cart. She turned her back and I ended up munching on a stick of butter.
I also love salted caramel. While everyone else is freaking out over the fact that spiced pumpkin flavors are back in season, I’m loving the salted caramel hot chocolates and the salted caramel mochas. Yum!
When I found the Salted Caramel Butter Bars on cookiesandcups.com, I was in love. Although, the amount of butter did my make mouth drop. This has been my go to dessert to bring to parties or to satisfy my sweet tooth as of late. I’ve made it at least 10 times.
Here’s the thing, with the original recipe, I kept ending up with too much extra dough. Rather than a 9×13 pan of butter bars, I could also make an 8×8 pan’s worth, but I’d have to be stingy on the topping. I pumped up the recipe by half, but just for the dough and then I doubled the filling.
I also have to thank my best friend who loaned me her stand mixer. OMG I want one so bad. Christmas list!
Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
For crust and topping:
- 6 sticks or 1.5 lbs of butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbs vanilla
- 6 cups flour
- 100 caramels, 50 for each pan
- 1/3 cup milk and a second 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Sea salt, I just use a grinder but you can use loose, coarse sea salt
Start by chopping all your sticks of butter into smaller pieces and then letting them sit until they reach room temp.
So I let them sit there for a while. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Then you want to go about adding in the sugars and creaming them together with the butter.
Ooo mixer in motion! Ya, I’m easily amused. Add in your 3 tablespoons of vanilla and continue to mix. Start to add in your flour.
It should be a soft dough. Now, you need to separate it into thirds. Take one third and press it into one pan. Take another third and press it into the bottom of the other pan. Take that last third and put it in the fridge to chill. That’ll be the topping.
See all pressed out into the crust. Now, stick them in the oven one at a time. The metal pan cooks faster than the glass. So you cook the glass one for 20 minutes. The metal one should cook for 15 minutes.
As the first pan cooks, start unwrapping the caramels. You could unwrap them earlier, but I never prep it. This is the most difficult part of the whole thing too. Remember to separate it 50/50 into two bowls. To your first bowl, add in 1/3 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Microwave it for a minute. Stir. Then heat for 30 seconds. Then stir. Repeat until the caramel is smooth.
Pour it on top of the first finished crust. Salt the caramel. I just do a couple of twists of the grinder over the top. It’s lightly salted then and people aren’t getting pieces that end up being too salty.
Then take the topping out of the fridge. Split it in half. Take one half of the dough and sprinkle it over the top of the caramel. Put the other half of the dough back in the fridge.
Do the whole thing over again from the filling steps with the second crust.
After sprinkling on the topping, cook it for 25-30 minutes. Glass pans can be closer to 30 minutes and metal pans should be 25 minutes. The caramel should be bubbly and the topping should be browned and a bit flattened out.
Let it cool and then cut! You should get at least 2 dozen out of each pan if you cut small enough. You really should cut them smaller because they are rich. You may want more than one square at a time, but I will warn you not to! These are such crowd pleasers. I have 4 dozen taunting me right now, but they’re for a special event and I must refrain from eating them.