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Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Decadent Delight: Crafting the Perfect Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Introduction

Indulge your sweet tooth in a symphony of flavors with Salted Caramel Butter Bars – a divine creation that brings together the richness of butter, the sweetness of caramel, and the perfect hint of salt. These decadent bars offer a delightful combination of a buttery shortbread crust, a luscious caramel filling, and a sprinkle of sea salt to elevate the taste to heavenly heights. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the art of creating these sumptuous bars, unravel the secrets behind a perfect caramel layer, and discover variations that cater to both keto and low-carb preferences. Get ready to treat your taste buds to a symphony of sweetness with Salted Caramel Butter Bars.

Ingredients

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Caramel Filling:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

For the Topping:

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat and Prepare:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal.
  2. Make the Shortbread Crust:
    • In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake the Crust:
    • Bake the shortbread crust in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.
  4. Prepare the Caramel Filling:
    • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter for the caramel filling. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and sea salt. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.
  5. Add Sweetened Condensed Milk:
    • Once boiling, pour in the sweetened condensed milk while stirring continuously. Bring the mixture back to a boil and continue stirring for 5-7 minutes or until the caramel thickens.
  6. Pour Over the Crust:
    • Pour the hot caramel over the baked shortbread crust, spreading it evenly. Allow it to cool and set.
  7. Melt Chocolate for Topping:
    • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chopped semi-sweet chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until smooth.
  8. Apply Chocolate Layer:
    • Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer, spreading it with a spatula for even coverage.
  9. Sprinkle Sea Salt:
    • Sprinkle sea salt over the chocolate layer while it’s still soft. This adds a delightful contrast to the sweetness.
  10. Chill and Set:
    • Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until the bars are completely set.
  11. Cut Into Bars:
    • Once set, use the parchment paper overhangs to lift the bars out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board and cut into squares.
  12. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Arrange the Salted Caramel Butter Bars on a serving platter and savor each delicious, indulgent bite.

Cook Notes

Patience with Caramel:

  • Allow the caramel to come to a boil gradually and stir consistently. Patience is key to achieving the perfect caramel consistency.

Even Shortbread Layer:

  • Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to press the shortbread crust into the pan evenly. This ensures uniform thickness.

Proper Chocolate Melting:

  • Melt the chocolate slowly and in short intervals to avoid burning. Stir well between intervals for a smooth chocolate layer.

Sea Salt Sprinkling:

  • Sprinkle the sea salt evenly and lightly over the chocolate layer. A little goes a long way in enhancing the flavor.

Variations

Nutty Crunch

Mix chopped nuts, such as pecans or almonds, into the caramel layer for added texture and nutty flavor.

Espresso Infusion

Add a teaspoon of espresso powder to the caramel for a subtle coffee undertone that enhances the richness.

White Chocolate Drizzle

Drizzle melted white chocolate over the set bars for an extra layer of sweetness and visual appeal.

Keto Versions

Almond Flour Swap

Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour in the shortbread crust for a keto-friendly alternative.

Monk Fruit Sweetener

Use monk fruit sweetener in place of granulated sugar for both the shortbread crust and caramel filling.

Low-Carb Versions

Coconut Flour Adjustment

Combine coconut flour with almond flour for a lower-carb shortbread crust with a hint of coconut flavor.

Sugar-Free Syrup Substitute

Replace corn syrup with a sugar-free syrup alternative to reduce the carbohydrate content in the caramel filling.

Conclusion

As we wrap up our journey into the realm of indulgence, the Salted Caramel Butter Bars stand as a testament to the joy of combining buttery goodness, sweet caramel, and the perfect touch of salt. Whether you savor the classic recipe or venture into keto and low-carb adaptations, these bars capture the essence of a decadent treat that elevates any occasion. So, set aside some time, gather your ingredients, and revel in the pleasure of creating a dessert that strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and saltiness. Here’s to the Salted Caramel Butter Bars – a celebration of indulgence, craftsmanship, and the sheer delight found in every scrumptious bite. Cheers to the art of decadent delight!

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