Salted Caramel Butter Bars

salted caramel butter bars | domesticated academic

You’ll love these because they’re simple to put together, they taste like heaven in your mouth, and the mix of salty and sweet is a combination worth eating a lb of butter for! I about died when I saw how much butter was used for this recipe but as a baker, I’m also fully aware that sometimes, butter is the key to any shortbread recipe and you’ve got to let go of your healthy food regimen for a few minutes and just ‘go with it.’ That’s what I kept telling myself anyway. I was also fully aware that I wasn’t going to eat the whole pan, in fact, it makes a 9×13 pan that served THREE purposes: dinner w/ a friend, a birthday dinner, and then a tailgate. These froze really well. I cut them into squares, wrapped them, and popped them in the freezer since it was a week between events. I like to prepare when I can.

I’d also like to add that anyone who ate them was happy. Someone said, “these are melting my soul” and I considered it a compliment!

salted caramel butter bars | domesticated academic

I laid this recipe out in steps based on the layer to help you out, which is a departure from my usual way of communicating recipes. I hope you find it easier to navigate.

You’ll need:

an hour + cooling time

  • 1 lb. of butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 4 cups AP flour

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Press one half of the dough evenly into the prepared pan to form a bottom crust, and place the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, combine:

  • butter
  • BOTH sugars
  1. Using a hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy.
  2. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Gradually add the all-purpose flour to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are pale golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

While the crust is cooling, make the caramel filling. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine:

  • One 14-oz. bag caramel candies, unwrapped
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk (i use 2%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If the caramels are not completely melted, microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
  2. Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt over the top.
  3. Remove the remaining dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel layer.
  4. 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.
  5. Put in the fridge to cool faster but they do get very firm and may be difficult to cut. I cut them all and packaged them according to my needs for the three events.

ps: the butter is not a problem when the buttery shortbread crust and the caramel is melting in your mouth. In fact, you thank yourself for making these and then remind yourself that a little butter never killed anyone. Eating the whole pan is not recommended but if you do, I promise not to judge you….

Lime Shortbread Bars | Domesticated Academic


Lime Shortbread Bars

Lemon Coconut Bars | Domesticated Academic


Lemon Coconut Bars





2 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  1. Pingback: Bugle Cones | Domesticated Academic

  2. Pingback: Chocolate Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Bars | Domesticated Academic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s