These Salted Caramel Butter Bars are delightful and one of my family’s favorite recipes! Soft and chewy bars filled with a salted caramel ribbon in one buttery bar cookie!
It is not the holiday season without these Salted Caramel Butter Bars!
My family – in particular my dad – goes CRAZY for them. I always make a couple batches and give one batch to my family for Christmas snacking while we unwrap gifts, and split up another batch or two for neighbor and friend cookie boxes. They get SO many compliments!
These bars are super simple to make – here’s how.
Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Salted Caramel Butter Bars start with the cookie dough, which is basically a sugar cookie dough. It consists of:
- Butter: and lots of it! Don’t be alarmed by the amount; this contributes to both the flavor and the melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- Sugars: we’re using both granulated sugar for sweetness, and powdered sugar for that airy, soft texture
- Vanilla extract: for flavor
- Flour: aka, the structure of the bars
That’s it for the dough – no leavening and no eggs needed. The dough is substantial enough on its own and is more like a buttery shortbread/sugar cookie mixture!
You’ll prebake half of the crust in a lined pan for a few minutes to help it set, then pour on a jar of salted caramel sauce. My favorite is the Smucker’s Brand “Simply Delights” line, but any high quality salted caramel sauce will do (or you can make your own!). Then you’ll crumble the remaining dough over top of the caramel layer and finish baking the bars.
When they’re fresh from the oven, you can sprinkle them with sea salt if you’d like – but be mindful if you use a salted caramel sauce that there is salt in there as well.
The result? The gooiest, most deliciously buttery Salted Caramel Butter Bars. You’ll soon see why this is a family favorite!
*adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Cookbook
Salted Caramel Butter Bars
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 11.5 oz jar salted caramel sauce (I like Smuckers Brand Simple Delights, but Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel is great, too!)
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Lastly, beat in the four (4) cups of flour until a soft dough has formed. Press HALF of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the remaining dough.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven but keep the oven on. Pour the caramel evenly into the crust, then crumble the remaining dough on top to cover the caramel layer. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and remember that there's salt in the caramel sauce, too 🙂
- Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and the caramel is bubbly. If the middle jiggles a little bit, this is okay - it will continue to cook as it cools. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares.
I hope you enjoy!
Love Salted Caramel? (Hey, me too!) Check out these other fantastic salted caramel recipes!
Have a fantastical day!