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Salted Vanilla Butterscotch Shortbread Bars

Salted Vanilla Butterscotch Shortbread Bars


Ingredients

  • 24 shortbread cookies, such as Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • One 10-ounce bag butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 Cup light corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Teaspoons cream
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan.

Combine the cookies and melted butter in a food processor or blender with a pulse mode. Press it into the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the butterscotch chips, corn syrup, butter, cream, and vanilla. Cook and stir over medium heat until smooth.

Spread over crust. Sprinkle with the nuts; press down lightly. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Cut into bars.

Nutritional Facts

Servings16

Calories Per Serving305

Folate equivalent (total)24µg6%


Salted Vanilla Butterscotch Shortbread Bars Recipe

I need to tell you about a bar I love. No, it's not a place to get crunk and meet people to hook up with. It's a bar cookie. Its name (happy dance) is Salted Vanilla Butterscotch Shortbread Bar. And what a bar cookie it is. And it's one that I give myself credit for: It's a bar I dreamed up for an upcoming Walkers Shortbread event, and for which I was given Walkers Shortbread cookies to bake with. Yeah!

This was my "dry run" for the event, which will be next Monday, and I am quite happy with them. When it comes to the bar's taste experience, let me be to the point. This is a perfect bar cookie. It's buttery, butterscotchy, rich and gooey, nutty-crunchy, and then oh my god there's salt on top sort of treat. I'd like to offer you one, but I think I am going to hoard them.

One thing I think I will change for the event is the type of nuts. The pecans I used this time make them LOOK like your typical pecan bar, which is not such a bad thing, but the taste is rather different. So I think I may use cashews or walnuts for the event. Feel free to use whatever type of nuts you'd like, of course.

Salted Vanilla Butterscotch Shortbread Bars (Printable recipe here)


Salted Caramel Butter Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bars 1 x
  • Category: Cookie Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description:

Salted Caramel Butter Bars are a buttery shortbread filled with creamy salted caramel! A MUST MAKE!

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 14 ounces soft caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • optional – 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Coat a 9吉 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  3. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are a pale golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.

To Make the Filling:

  1. 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 milk or cream. 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.
  2. Once the caramel is melted add in your ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir until combined.
  3. Pour the caramel filling over the cooled crust. If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.
  4. Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
  5. 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.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Notes:

Keywords:: salted caramel, cookie bar, butter, butter bars, cookie recipe, cookies and cups


Ingredients

Place a rack in middle of oven preheat to 350°. Lightly coat a 9x9” or 8x8” baking pan, preferably metal, with nonstick cooking oil spray or vegetable oil. Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides. (If you have a precut sheet of parchment, simply slice it in half crosswise, then overlap the two halves to line the pan.)

Whisk 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, ¾ cup (83 g) powdered sugar, ⅓ cup toasted sesame seeds, and ¾ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a medium bowl. Cut ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter into ½” pieces and add to dry ingredients toss to coat. Using your fingers, work in butter until pieces are about pea-size.

Separate 2 large eggs—the easiest way to do this is to crack open eggs one at a time and gently pour into a (clean) hand, letting whites fall through your fingers either into the sink or a small bowl while trapping the yolk. Add yolks to bowl with flour mixture and mix in with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Dough should hold together when squeezed in your hand.

Scrape dough into prepared pan and gently press into an even layer (lightly flour your hands if needed). Prick dough with a fork in several spots (this will help it stay flat as it bakes). Lightly flour the fork if it's sticking to the dough.

Bake shortbread until golden brown, 24–28 minutes (or up to 35 minutes if using a glass dish). Let cool slightly.

While the shortbread is cooling, make the tahini butterscotch. Cut remaining ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter into 8 pieces. Heat butter and 1¼ cups (packed 250 g) light brown sugar, whisking constantly, in a medium heavy saucepan over medium until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Whisk in ¾ cup heavy cream and 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling becomes less frequent and butterscotch is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 minutes. (When in doubt, err on the side of giving the mixture another 30 seconds—it's better if it's a little too firm than too runny.)

Remove from heat, add ½ cup tahini and 1 tsp. vanilla extract and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Pour butterscotch over shortbread and tilt pan to distribute evenly if necessary. Chill until set, 30–40 minutes.

Coarsely chop 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (65%–75% cacao) and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in a microwave in 40-second increments, stirring between bursts. (Alternatively, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water a.k.a. a double boiler do not let bowl touch water. Heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth.) Pour over butterscotch and spread evenly to edges of pan with a small offset spatula or rubber spatula sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Chill until chocolate is firm, 1–2 hours.

Using parchment paper overhang, pull bars out of pan and set on a cutting board remove parchment. Using a serrated knife (a chef's knife will smoosh these), slice into 25–36 pieces (5–6 cuts in each direction) with a sawing motion. If you're having trouble slicing, feel free to freeze the bars for 20–30 minutes, which will harden the caramel and ease the process.

Do ahead: Bars can be made 4 days ahead. Store airtight at in the fridge.

How would you rate Tahini Billionaire Bars?

These were delicious! Billionaire bars are meant to be decadent, but next time I would cut the butterscotch in half and do a chocolate drizzle instead of a whole layer. The sesame flavor is a perfect balance for these.

I've been dreaming about making these for the last 11 months and, after a curbside order got fulfilled with TWO POUNDS of bulk sesame seeds (instead of the 0.2 pounds I ordered, woops), I made tahini from scratch and got to work. I agree with other reviews that if you are after more sesame flavor and not something super sweet, the balance would probably be better if you halve the butterscotch volume - as it is, the (yummy but quite sweet) flavor overwhelms the also VERY good shortbread base. You can't really tell since the images are all taken from above, but in an 8x8 pan the butterscotch is half or more of the height of the whole bar. Definitely use the serrated knife as instructed.

I happened to have these ingredients on hand and gave them a shot. They're so good! I used the 8x8 pan, but I felt like the shortbread and butterscotch layers were a little too thick. Iɽ maybe try these in a 9x9 pan and probably still use less butterscotch. Iɽ also cook the butterscotch a smidge longer (I did about 5 1/2 - 6 mins). The steps were well explained and I didn't have any problems with my butterscotch (making caramel will be the death of me). Overall, easy and tastes great!

I am not a heavy dessert-maker, but I love these! I've made them a few times for gatherings when I'm left with dessert duty & they are an impressive crowd pleaser too. love the sesame shortbread layer!

What's especially great about these bars is you can just search B I L L I O N A I R E and this recipe comes up instantly. Points for being memorable. They are also quite delicious, especially for people who like salty/nutty/chocolatey desserts. My second time making them, I substituted 1/4 cup of ground corn meal for the while flour in the shortbread layer and am quite pleased. Only faintly corny and a bit softer. I also used dark brown sugar bc that's what I had on had, and half the chocolate was 85%. Still excellent. Maybe even excellenter.

After reading reviews, I was worried about the sheer amount of butterscotch relative to the other layers. I made the full amount but only used about 1/2 of it–which gave me more cookie base and approximately even amounts of chocolate and butterscotch. I'm pleased with this ratio, but if I were to do it again I would consider using a sweeter chocolate (I used 72%) and experimenting a little with the shortbread. For me the sesame shortbread is the star here, but I would have preferred a more buttery, less crumbly version.

remembering how delicious these came out the first time, tonight we wanted to make something for a movie night - Popped a ton of popcorn and laid it out, then made this tahini caramel and drizzled it all over, then drizzled chocolate and topped with sesame seeds and salt and HOLY CANNOLI my friends - it's incredible! BILLIONAIRE POPCORN!

FANTASTIC. My first time making shortbread AND butterscotch, but I managed not to f*** either up! I doubled the shortbread because I was using a bigger pan, which led to a better savory/sweet ratio (I think).

These turned out really well even though I accidentally added double the amount of salt! I thought making the shortbread and butterscotch would be testy but ended up going exactly as the recipe said :)

So good!! A little salt on the top would be a nice tweak which I will try next time, and there will be a next time.

Great flavor with the toasted sesame seeds in it and tahini. Easy to make too. I love when weights are given as it's so much easier (and much more accurate) to measure out flour, sugar and brown sugar on a scale than in cups. I made in a 9x9 pan and used 9 oz of chocolate instead of 6 oz to get enough coverage on the larger pan. Forgot to toast extra sesame seeds for the top so I sprinkled Malden salt on top instead - which is always perfect on chocolate. Make sure your sesame seeds are fresh as they go rancid quickly. I now keep mine in the freezer to make them last longer.

Just made these for the second time and they’re just as delicious as I remember. I used an 8x8 square metal pan and the ratio of shortbread/caramel/chocolate was just right for my tastes. The filling is really well balanced with the savory tahini and richness from the butter, I definitely didn’t find them to be too sweet like some reviewers.

These are delicious! The tahini adds a lovely melty texture to the butterscotch while the sesame seeds add texture and nuttiness. The shortbread came out great too. I have a pretty big sweet tooth and they ARE very sweet. I made it in a 9in diameter round pan and ended up cutting the 10 pieces I originally portioned into 20. I took the advice of some reviews below and used 4 oz of chocolate that I mixed a small bit of EVOO to avoid cracking. Next time I will add a tad bit more salt to the shortbread (or maybe half salted butter?) and sprinkle some on top with the seeds.

These are AMAZING! I think the ratio of butterscotch to shortbread is a little high, which contributed to the too-sweet feeling that some of the commenters mentioned. I do think the tahini provides an amazing savory flavor to slightly counter this though! Next time, I'm going to make only 75% of the butterscotch.

These are awesome! I would recommend putting some kind of fat (coconut oil, copha, etc.) in the melted chocolate so that it doesn't crack when you cut it. Otherwise, a perfect recipe!


Recipes: Blondies, Salted Vanilla Bean Shortbread Bars, Oatmeal-Jam Bars, Apricot Coconut Squares

Note: Adapted from “Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake,” by Kristen Miglore (Ten Speed Press). Miglore, creative director of Food52, noted that this recipe — from America’s Test Kitchen — is heavy on the vanilla extract. “You might think of vanilla as a volatile ingredient, like cayenne or salt — all but impossible to correct once overdone,” writes Miglore. “But it’s much harder to overdo than you think. And once you stop putting in a single teaspoon into baking recipes because it’s what you’ve always done, you can embrace vanilla as a flavor all its own — complex, haunting, memorable. Measure out 4 teaspoons or feel free to just upend the bottle.” Coconut fans can add 1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut.

• 1 c. pecan or walnut halves

• 3/4 c. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled, plus extra unmelted butter for pan

• 1 1/2 c. lightly packed light brown sugar

• 1 c. white chocolate chips, or 1/2 c. white chocolate chips and 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

• 1 c. sweetened shredded coconut, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Spread nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until they turn deep golden brown and smell toasty, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let nuts cool, then transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop them.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, and reserve. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts (and coconut, optional) and scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

Bake until the top is shiny, cracked and lightly golden at the edges, about 22 minutes. Err on the side of underbaking, so the bars don’t dry out. Remove pan from oven, transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut into bars.

Nutrition information per each of 36 bars:

Calories 135 Fat 7 g Sodium 65 mg

Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 4 g Added sugar 11 mg

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 fat.

Salted Vanilla Bean Shortbread Bars

Makes about 2 to 3 dozen bars.

Note: Adapted from “Tasty Dessert” (Clarkson Potter).

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan

• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the butter, sugar, kosher salt and vanilla bean seeds, and beat until pale and very fluffy, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add flour and mix until mixture is just combined and no dry pockets of flour are visible.

Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Using a paring knife, score the dough into rectangles, squares or other desired shape. Sprinkle the dough evenly with sea salt and press lightly to adhere it to the dough. Bake until the dough is golden brown all over and no longer shiny, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack. Immediately cut the dough along the scored lines to separate the bars. Let the bars cool completely in the pan on the wire rack. Separate the bars fully from one another and serve.

Nutrition information per each of 36 bars:

Calories 120 Fat 5 g Sodium 90 mg

Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 3 g Added sugars 8 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 15 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 carb, 1 fat.

Makes about 2 to 3 dozen bars.

Note: Adapted from “Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook” (17th edition), by editors Jessica Christensen and Jan Miller.

• 3/4 c. quick-cooking rolled oats

• 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan

• 3/4 c. seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Remove 1 teaspoon zest and 1 teaspoon juice from the lemon. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in oats, brown sugar and lemon zest.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, combine cream cheese and butter and beat until smooth, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and beat until crumbly. Remove 1 cup of the crumb mixture and reserve.

Evenly press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the pan to a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine jam and lemon juice, and spread mixture over hot crust. Sprinkle top of bars with reserved 1 cup crumb mixture. Return pan to oven and bake until top is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut into bars.

Nutrition information per each of 36 bars:

Calories 80 Fat 3 g Sodium 55 mg

Carbohydrates 12 g Saturated fat 2 g Added sugars 5 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 8 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 carb, ½ fat.

Makes about 2 to 3 dozen bars.

Note: Adapted from “At Home With Magnolia,” by Allysa Torey (Wiley).

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

• 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

• 2 eggs, at room temperature

• 2 c. sweetened shredded coconut

• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the flour, butter, cream cheese and salt, until the mixture is crumbly and well-combined. Transfer the mixture to an ungreased 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Using your hands, pat the dough firmly and evenly into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.

To prepare topping: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until well-combined. Stir in the coconut and melted butter.

To prepare filling: Gently spread a thin layer of the apricot preserves over the prepared crust. Then, very carefully, spread the coconut topping over the entire top of the bars, being sure to go all the way to the edge. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove pan from oven, transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut into bars.


Salted Vanilla Butterscotch Shortbread Bars - Recipes

Butterscotch Pie with Vanilla Shortbread Cookie Crust & Honeyed Pistachios.

Quite the mouthful, I know.

But the whipped cream is also honeyed and I left that part out so I figured that counted for something.

I just got back from an extended Weekend in Washington D.C. where I ran my fourth (!!) half marathon. It was also my first time to visit so I stayed a few extra days to do all sorts of touristy things – blog post all about it coming soon.

But for now, let’s talk about pie.

I can take or leave a fruit pie. They just don’t do much for me – I’d rather have a crisp or cobbler.

But a pudding or custard-based pie? Let me at it! Coconut Meringue, Key Lime, Butterscotch….we’re all close, personal friends.

As I was researching Butterscotch Pie recipes, most of the recipes that I came across were titled ‘Nana’s’, ‘Dutch-Style’ or ‘Old-Fashioned’. All surefire signs that Butterscotch Pie is a classic – the kind of pie that you find handwritten on a greasy, crumb-covered recipe card in the back of your Grandma’s cookbook.

And in my experience, those recipes are the best kind.

So I figured with Mother’s Day just around the corner, what better recipe to share than one that has been passed down through generations of mothers?

And while this isn’t a personal family recipe, it’s just the kind of pie I can imagine my Werther’s-candy-loving grandma baking. In fact, I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if she made her own version a time or two. (This is a half-test to see if my mom actually reads my blog because obviously, she would know the answer.)

The crust on this pie is an simple spin on the traditional shortbread crust. Instead of going through the trouble of making a shortbread dough from scratch, I crushed Walkers Vanilla Shortbread Cookies in my food processor, mixed the crumbs with melted butter and then baked until golden brown. The result is a tender, nutty crust that serves as a vehicle for creamy, rich butterscotch filling – without all the fuss.

More flavor, less fuss. We like that!

This recipe produces a super creamy, not-too-sweet butterscotch pudding with a deep caramel taste from the brown sugar. The cornstarch and egg yolks help it to set up beautifully, so that it doesn’t fall apart upon slicing. But please, make sure you give it time to chill in the refrigerator. If you slice too early, you’ll have a runny mess.

And don’t skip the pistachios! They’re crunchy and sweet and salty and add the extra oomph that takes this over the top!


Salted Vanilla Butterscotch Shortbread Bars - Recipes

OK, I'm pretty sure these are my favorite. I know I say that all the time but I really mean it this time. This is a very old fashioned bar with a few adjustments (like the addition of salt) to perk it up a bit.

I tried to use it to bribe PW. All I want is to move into The Lodge. Is that too much to ask?

All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.

Ingredients: 1 1/4 c flour, 3 tbs brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 c butter, 1/4 c butter,, 1/3 cup each of granulated sugar, brown sugar and light-color corn syrup, 1 tbs water, 1/4 tsp table salt, 1/2 c coarsely chopped cashews, 1/4 c whipping cream and 1 tsp vanilla. And about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9x2 inch pan or something kinda sorta like it with foil. I used a 7x11ish pan. Make sure the foil extends over the edges. Now butter that foil!

Lets make the crust. Do not be intimidated by pastry cutters. If I can do this, you can do this.

In a medium bowl mix 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder.

Now cut in 1/2 cup of butter with a pastry blender. I like to cut it into chunks to start with.

Throw the chunks of butter (I like it cold) into the flour mixture and just press away. After a bit it will resemble course crumbs or sand.

Keep going and when it starts to cling together its ready.

Dump into the prepared pan and even out.

Press the mixture with something flat. Like a measuring cup.

This goes into the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Coarsely chop up some cashews. I use an overflowing 1/2 cup of chopped ones. I adore cashews.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a heavy medium saucepan. When the butter is melted go ahead and add in the 1/3 cup each of granulated sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup as well as the 1 tablespoon water and the 1/4 teaspoon of table salt. Mix it up and add in the chopped cashews.

Now don't go wandering away. Is there anything shiny by you? If so, please avert your eyes.

We need to bring this to a boil stirring constantly. Once its at a boil, continue stirring often for about 5 minutes. We don't want this practically boiling over or you'll end up with hard candy.

This bar is like me. it doesn't like to be ignored.

We turned the heat down at this point.

Be careful with this stuff if you have kids running around. Boiling sugar is like lava.

Take it off the heat and add the 1/4 cup of whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

How can anything with vanilla and whipping cream be bad?

You'll be drooling by the time you pull the crust from the oven. See those divets. Those are divets of love. They are the impressions the butter leaves as it melts. Much like the impressions it leaves on my thighs.

That is completely untrue. Everyone knows that treats made for other people don't count towards points or fat or calories or carbs or whatever. The same goes for treats received from someone else. Thats the glory of the cookie exchange.

Pour the butterscoth sauce evenly over the baked crust. Put it back into the oven for another 12 minutes.

It'll be bubbly so take it out with caution. If you have kids that won't stop running 'round the oven just tie them to something before you do this. You know, just for a moment.

Let it cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Now we are going to salt it. It needs more salt. Trust me on this.

I used sea salt because of the nice big granuals it has. You could also use kosher salt.

As the bars cool keep an eye on them. We want the top tacky so the salt adheres but not so hot the salt melts.

Just sprinkle the salt evenly over the top. You can ever so gently press it if it isn't sticking quite enough.

Do not use table salt as the granuals are too small and they will just melt right in.

When the bars are completely cool just peel the foil off and cut into squares.

Eat 5 and decide whether or not you want to sprinkle a bit more kosher salt on them. Eat another 2 and decide they are just perfect. Drink a glass of milk and put the plate away.

Casually pass by the kitchen twice more. Smell them. Stack them. Eat one more. Give the rest away immediately.


Recipe Summary

  • ⅔ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ¼ cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

In a medium bowl, mix together 2/3 cup butter, white sugar, and flour until evenly crumbly. Press into a 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust (warm or cool). Cool until it begins to firm.

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute, then stir and continue to heat and stir at 20 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover completely. Chill. Cut into 1 inch squares. These need to be small because they are so rich.


Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars & a CONTEST!

Yum! That’s what we said when we tried this delicious bars, and I think that’s what you’ll say, too. If you like shortbread and caramel, mix up a batch and give it a try.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

1 lb. salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbl. vanilla + 1/2 tsp.
4 cups flour
1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies or caramel bits
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbl. coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine butter and sugars and mix until creamy. Add 2 Tbl. vanilla and mix until combined. Sift the flower in slowly and beat on low speed until a soft dough forms.

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press 1/2 of the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Wrap the rest in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes (until edges are a pale golden brown) and then let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, melt the caramels and add the cream. Stir well, and then add 1/2 tsp. vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Sprinkle the sea salt on top of the caramel. (The salt is optional, but good!)

Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the caramel layer. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the shortbread crumbles are firm and lightly golden.

Cool before cutting into squares.

(Original recipe from Cookies & Cups, where you will find a lot of other really amazing looking recipes as well.)

I’m a big fan of bar recipes. (Bars as in dessert bars, not recipes that you’d find if you were frequenting a bar on the weekend.) What is your favorite bar recipe? Leave a comment and we’ll draw a name from the comments to win a $25 Loopy Ewe Gift Certificate, next week! (Also – keep a careful eye on the blog in August, as that is our Anniversary month – Seven Years! – and we’ll be having weekly blog contests, in addition to a really cool Anniversary Kit mid-month that you’ll want to get in on.)


What You Need To Make Shortbread Cookies

  • all purpose flour
  • cornstarch
  • salt
  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • butterscotch chips
  • toffee bits

Too many shortbread cookies are over-baked resulting in an overly-dry cookie that isn’t easily enjoyed. They really only need about 10 minutes and they’re done. They don’t spread at all so don’t look for that as a sign of doneness.