My latest obsession has been the website Pinterest. It's sort of like a visual Google search. You can find and "pin" pictures you find on the web. I use it to save all sorts of recipes I'd like to try. Through Pinterest, I found a recipe for Salted Caramel Butter Bars.
Let me say, these are amazing. They are, of course, buttery; like a rich shortbread cookie. And yes, they're sweet and a bit salty. These won't do anything for your waistline, but I swear, they're worth every bite. They also freeze really well, so feel free to make a batch and keep it in your freezer for unexpected company....or for whenever the mood strikes you.
Salted Caramel Butter Bars (adapted from Cookies and Cups)
For the crust:
1 lb. salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
For the filling:
1 (14 oz) bag caramel candies, unwrapped. I used Kraft
1/3 cup light cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
For the crust:
Preheat oven 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour and beat until a well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Use one-third of the dough and press it evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator to keep cool.
Bake until the edges are pale golden brow and the middle is firm, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool 15 minutes.
Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream and vanilla and microwave on high for one minute. Remove from microwave and stir. If the caramels aren't melted, microwave again in 30-second increments, stirring after each interval, until smooth. Once well mixed, pour the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and crumble it over the top of the caramel.
Return the pan to the oven and cook until lightly golden brown, 25-35 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.