It’s no secret that I love all things caramel. Especially salted caramel. So when a few years ago, one of my teaching partners gave me a huge piece of these salted caramel bars, I had to have the recipe. As I was making them for my daughter’s preschool teacher’s birthday, I realized that everyone should have the recipe. It’s a simple shortbread with homemade salted caramel poured on top. These salted caramel bars are deadly sweet and gooey, and so addicting. (And I am not going to lie, they pair really well with Diet Coke… just sayin’!)
Salted Caramel Bars Recipe
Yield- 18 2″ squares
Ingredients- for the shortbread
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter – melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Ingredients- for the salted caramel topping
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 tbs light corn syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbs granulated sugar
- 2 tbs heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions for the shortbread:
2. In a bowl, stir together the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk in egg yolk, then stir in the flour. (I do these steps in the electric mixer.) Transfer dough to pan and press the mixture evenly into bottom, building the edges slightly. Prick dough all over with a fork, then freeze 5 to 7 minutes until firm. Bake until light brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Prepare topping (see below) and pour evenly over shortbread; cool in pan at least 2 hours. (I cool in the refrigerator). Carefully lift bars from pan using parchment and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares.
Instructions for the caramel topping
In a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients except the vanilla. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Once mixture bubbles, stir constantly until thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Pour on top of warm or cooled shortbread.
- You can use salted butter as long as you omit the salt from the rest of the recipe.
- The original recipe called for sea salt flakes sprinkled on top of the caramel topping. I think it’s too salty and have omitted that ingredient all together.
- The caramel topping melts fast! I store them in the refrigerator and only let them sit out about 10 minutes before serving. When the caramel gets runny they sure taste good, but they don’t look very nice at all.
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