All pretty much throughout my pregnancy, I was anti-sweets. Now? Now that the finish line is within sights, I ADORE them. As well, I find baking to be a very soothing pastime. So, I have been baking up a storm. Breads, cookies, and sweets.
These salted caramel butter bars were a Pinterest discovery of mine from a few years ago and they never fail to disappoint. They are a tad time consuming, but ever so simple. I found them on Cookies & Cups who, in turn, found them this book.
Sweet, salty, crumbly, a little chewy… There is just nothing not to love about these bars.
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Assemble your ingredients…
Yes, this recipe takes a full pound of butter. Don’t question it, just go with it. I find it easiest to start by unwrapping the caramels (you’ll need about 50). It’s the most finicky task so I like to get it out of the way.
Then, cream the butter and the sugars (be sure to sift the icing sugar).
Then add the flour (sifting!) one cup at a time until you end up with a beautiful crumbly dough.
Separate away about 1/3 of the dough (actually, I use a little more than 1/3) and press it evenly into the bottom of a greased, 9x13inch baking dish and back for about 25mins until lightly golden. Wrap up the remaining dough to chill until needed.
When your bottom layer is done, place on a cooling rack while you tackle the caramels. Add the cream and microwave for 1 minute. Keep stirring and melting until smooth and combined, then spread over your baked cookie layer.
Then comes the salt. This, if you happen not to like salted caramel can, of course, be omitted but I think it adds a beautiful layer of flavour.
Crumble the remaining dough over top of the salted caramel and bake again for another 25-30 minutes, or until the top starts to look slightly golden. Keep in mind that it’s shortbread, so it won’t turn very brown unless it’s overdone.
**I found myself with a little more dough than I wanted to put on top so I turned them into cookies!**
If you’re very nice, you’ll share with friends and family. I struggle here. It’s way to easy to gorge on these beauties!