BF&F – Best Friends and Foodies

Baking Tuesday – Salted Caramel Butter Bars

I had high expectations for these bars.  I mean what isn’t to LOVE about salt, caramel and butter?!?!  However, I was disappointed in this cookie bar.  Basically this is a sugar cookie with caramel.  It should have been perfect. It had all the makings for something wonderful and just wasn’t.  I tried them straight out of the oven when they were just cool enough to cut and eat. They were chewy and the flavor was delicious.  I had the hubby taste test and he spit it out into a trashcan stating the crust was too dry.  I found that particularly strange since it is made with 1lb, yep 4 sticks, of butter! 

As soon as the bars cooled they became rock hard.  I mean, to the point a knife won’t cut them.  I don’t know what went wrong.  The only thing I can think is the high altitude messed with the baking.  I kept them in for the correct time, at the correct heat and followed the directions.  I only modified the recipe by using 50-50 Almond and Vanilla Extract.  I have never “failed” at a recipe so badly before :(

Bums me out but I probably won’t make them again, even though they had such potential. But, you never know because I KNOW they have to be better than what I got!

 

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

recipe by Cookies and Cups

For the Crust:
1 lb. salted butter room temp
1 cup sugar
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs vanilla 
4 cups all purpose flour
 
For the Filling:
1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
1/3 cup milk or cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 T. coarse sea salt (optional)
 
To make the crust:
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust, and place the remainder of the dough in the fridge to chill.
Preheat to 325F.
Bake until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown approx 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes
 
While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream and vanilla.   Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.

Pour the caramel filling over the crust.  If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.
 
Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 – 30 minutes.

Let cool before cutting into squares.
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