Salted Caramel Butter Bars
For the Crust:
- 1 lb. salted butter, softened
- 1-cup sugar
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbs vanilla
- 4 cups all purpose flour
For the Filling:
- 1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (51 caramels to be exact), unwrapped
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325F
2. Using a mixer, combine the butter and sugars until fluffy and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Sift the flour and add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
3. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan. Press about half of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Place the remainder of the dough in the fridge to chill. 4. Bake the crust for 20 minutes until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown. While the crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling.
5. Place the unwrapped caramels, heavy whipping cream and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/low heat until completely melted and smooth. 6. Pour the caramel filling evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with sea salt.
7. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. Crumble it evenly over the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes until the shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden.
8. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.