Holiday Cookie Countdown: Gooey Salted Caramel Bars

Gooey Salted Caramel Bars 1_small
For the love of all things sticky and sweet, add these to your holiday baking list. They are to die for.

These bars start with a buttery shortbread crust and are topped with a thick layer of homemade salted caramel. You’ll need a candy thermometer to make them, but don’t let that scare you. This caramel is pretty fuss-free; just dump and stir ’til it reaches 238 degrees.

I bet you these won’t last more than a day at your house…consider yourself warned.

These bars MUST be kept chilled and not touching each other (they are very sticky). The caramel gets a little oozy when the bars are left at room temperature, so if you want to take them somewhere freeze them first so they retain their shape, and keep chilled until serving. Oh, and even when the caramel gets oozy they taste delicious! I like to cut them small since they are pretty rich.

Holiday Cookie Countdown: Gooey Salted Caramel Bars

Holiday Cookie Countdown: Gooey Salted Caramel Bars



10 tbsp UNSALTED butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg yolk, beaten

1 2/3 cups AP flour


1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

12 tbsp light corn syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

4 tbsp granulated sugar

4 tbsp heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Sea salt flakes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper with the edges of the parchment hanging over the sides. This will make removing the bars easier.

In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar and salt with a fork. Add the yolk and combine with the fork. Add the flour and using your hands, combine the dough until its flaky. Transfer the dough into the parchment lined pan and press down with your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup. Refrigerate this for 30 minutes. Once chilled, bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned. Once baked, remove and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine the topping ingredients; butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, sugar and cream. Bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Insert a candy thermometer and cook until 238 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract and pour on top of the shortbread.

Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. For clean cuts, use a very sharp knife run under hot water (and dried). Repeat after each cut.

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