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Pinned & prepped: Salted caramel butter bars

2012 August 21
by Emily Hill

Oh, how I love salted caramel. But wait, I got ahead of myself…

When we got the invite for Nathan’s BYU EMBA graduation party in Park City and it mentioned a dessert bar, I was all over that idea because I’m all over dessert (often literally). Plus I love any excuse to try out a new dessert recipe from my Pinterest “suh-weet!” board. If it has salted caramel in it somewhere, anywhere, even better.

By the way, I love when I come up with a clever name for a Pinterest board. It makes me smile.

So does dessert.

I decided I needed to try these salted caramel butter bars for two reasons: one, the photo made me wish yet again for Wonkavision; and two, the title has both the phrase “salted caramel” and the word “butter.”


How could you not make Eat at Allie’s salted caramel butter bars after seeing THAT photo?

Her photo is definitely better than mine but all I had was my cellphone camera on hand that night. I thought I’d have extra salted caramel bars to bring home so I could take a “real” photo later. Silly me!


Salted caramel butter bars

I’m not kidding when I say these bars are like crack. On crack. They were the hit of the party. True story: I heard Nathan’s friends telling their friends to try one before they were gone. And a guy who told me he was definitely not a dessert fan polished off his salted caramel butter bar in record time.

The only thing I’ll do differently next time (and there WILL be a next time…probably many next times) is change the ratio of dough on bottom and top. The original recipe calls for 1/3 dough pressed into the pan and 2/3 sprinkled on top. I found this made for way too much topping. In fact, I didn’t even use all the refrigerated dough because I ran out of sprinkling room in the pan. You want some of that ooey, gooey caramel to show! Next time I’ll try 1/2 dough on bottom and 1/2 on top. If that also seems off, I’ll revert to the 1/3 dough pressed into the pan and simply cut back on the topping.

A+ if you followed everything I said in that last paragraph.

Oh! I almost forgot! If you’re doing some serious multitasking while making these salted caramel bars (e.g., packing up your husband and son for a camp-out, doing multiple loads of laundry, freshening up after a long graduation-filled morning) and forget to sprinkle the sea salt on the caramel filling before adding the topping, you can sprinkle it after the final baking and they’ll still taste fabulous. Trust me.

Printable recipe for salted caramel bars below.

Salted Caramel Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These bars are like crack. In fact, they may even be better than crack. You decide.
Ingredients
Dough
  • 1 lb salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
Filling
  • 1 bag (14-oz) caramel squares, unwrapped
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees; butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugars for at least 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Sift the flour and add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until a soft dough forms.
  4. Press about half of the dough evenly into the pan; refrigerate remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until firm and the edges are just barely turning a light golden brown.
  6. While dough is baking, start on the filling.
  7. Place the unwrapped caramels, heavy whipping cream and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/low heat until completely melted
  8. Pour the caramel filling evenly over the crust. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble evenly over the caramel.
  9. Sprinkle dough with sea salt.
  10. Bake for another 25-30 minutes until the shortbread topping is firm and starting to turn a light golden brown on the edges.
  11. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

 

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Want to see what else I find “pinteresting?” Find me on Pinterest here.


ps post script

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28 Responses Post a comment
  1. August 21, 2012

    So the green shakes looked all good and healthy…but seriously?
    Salt.Caramel.Butter…all in one sentence?
    We too WILL be trying these.
    And have you seen the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Pretzel cookies floating around on Pinterest? We may or may not have made several batches of those already. (I say ‘we’ very loosely…as the oldest daughter is in charge of the bakery here.)

    ~j
    jamie´s deep thought ~ trendspottingMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I am going to have to find those cookies ASAP!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Top 10 Reasons to Visit Lake PowellMy Profile

    [Reply]

  2. August 21, 2012

    I almost always go for chocolate, over caramel, but I do love the new trend of salted caramel.
    Kristina P.´s deep thought ~ Blog Eat BlogMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Me too but lately I’ve been way into caramel, especially if it’s salted. Mmm…
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Top 10 Reasons to Visit Lake PowellMy Profile

    [Reply]

  3. August 21, 2012

    Wishing I had a bag of caramels lying around.
    Kim Orlandini´s deep thought ~ Ikea? I HEART YOU!My Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I now stock up on them!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Salted caramel butter barsMy Profile

    [Reply]

  4. Jeanette permalink
    August 21, 2012

    I’ve died and gone to heaven and I haven’t even made these yet.

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Make them. You won’t regret it.
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Salted caramel butter barsMy Profile

    [Reply]

  5. August 21, 2012

    What the…? Those look so scrumptious!
    Kazzy´s deep thought ~ taking myself thereMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Butter, sugar and caramel…how can you go wrong?
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Pinned & prepped: Salted caramel butter barsMy Profile

    [Reply]

  6. August 22, 2012

    Sad story: I always stock up on caramels for occasions like this one where we NEED something delicious. Unfortunately, our stock has dried up and I’m waiting for a blasted sale to go at it again. Oh, and Communal this Saturday is totally happening. So excited!

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    I always stock up too! Every time I use a bag I add it to my shopping list so they’re on hand in case of a dessert emergency. And yay for Communal–you’ll love it!
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ Top 10 Reasons to Visit Lake PowellMy Profile

    [Reply]

  7. August 25, 2012

    A dessert bar is my favorite way to party. The bars sound fantastic, with or without the salt.
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes´s deep thought ~ Peaches and Cream Crumble Top PieMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Emily Hill Reply:

    Love a dessert bar–so much less work than scooping out cookies. ;)
    Emily Hill´s deep thought ~ A children’s virtual art exhibitMy Profile

    [Reply]

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