Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Ingredients2 c salted butter (room temp)
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 T vanilla
4 c flour
1 bag (14 oz) caramel candies (about 50)
1/3 c cream or milk
1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 t coarse sea salt
Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat your oven to 325 F.
In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars. Beat together on medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth, soft dough forms. Press on-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Bake until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for about 15 minutes.
While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream and 1/2 t vanilla. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels aren’t completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring after each interval.
Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Sprinkle salt over caramel layer.
Remove remaining chilled dough and crumble it evenly over the caramel. Then return the pan to the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is firm and lightly golden. Let cool before cutting into squares.