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These Salted Caramel Butter Cookie Bars are amazing. They are so rich and buttery delicious. I get rave reviews every time I make them. This recipe has to be made with butter, you can not substitute margarine or oil.
The crust is basically a really buttery shortbread cookie dough. Using salted butter gives this a natural saltiness, so it’s not necessary to add more on top unless you want to. I use the same crust or a variation of it in my Caramel Cheesecake Butter Bars and in my Raspberry Butter Bars.
If you line your pan with parchment paper, you can lift the entire dessert out and place it on a cutting board before cutting. The sides of the pan won’t get in the way and you will be able to make straighter cuts.
Yes, they are high in calories, but so worth it.
Salted Caramel Butter Cookie Bars
- 2 cups salted butter, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbs vanilla
- 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 14 oz caramel candies (approx. 50), unwrapped
- 1/3 cup half & half, or cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- coarse salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Add 2 Tbs. Vanilla and combine. Add the sifted flour 1 cup at a time, and beat on low until soft dough forms.
- Press 1/2 of the dough evenly into the pan to form the bottom crust. Cover the remaining crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Bake crust for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool while preparing the filling.
- Place the unwrapped caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Add the 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Lightly sprinkle coarse salt over the caramel layer if desired.
- Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel layer.
- Return pan to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool before cutting into squares.