This month the What's Baking challenge is being hosted by none other then me! When I was asked what the theme was going to be I had a difficult time deciding. Last time I hosted we did layer cakes and I was thinking cupcakes but in the end I went with my favorite combination...sweet and salty.
There are so many wonderful treats that are made with sweet and salty ingredients. One of my favorites, and an extremely popular one, is chocolate covered pretzels. I also love chocolate chip cookies with potato chips or pretzels in them. But the one thing I love more then all the rest is salted caramel. There's just something about that sweet, smooth caramel dotted with salty goodness.
I've had a recipe for salted caramel butter bars pinned forever but I haven't had the occasion to make them until now. WARNING: Do not make these bars if you are home by yourself because they are seriously addictive and delicious! These are now my new favorite cookie. The bottom is a layer of buttery sugar cookies topped of with caramel and fleur de sel and then topped with more sugar cookie pieces. The cookie is soft, sweet, and buttery while the caramel is rich, smooth, with just a hint of saltiness.
I made these while my husband was gone for the day which was a huge mistake. I'm pretty certain I ended up eating at least 4 of the bars before he got home. They are the perfect sweet and salty combination so give them a try...you know you want too!
Salted Caramel Butter Cookie Bars (adapted from Cookies and Cups)
3 sticks (1 ½ cups) butter, softened
½ c. plain yogurt
1 c. sugar
1 ½ c. powdered sugar
2 T. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 bag (14 oz) Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
⅓ c. heavy cream
1 t. vanilla
1 T. fleur de sel
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl combine the butter, yogurt, sugar, and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in the vanilla and egg and beat until smooth.
3. Stir the flour into the sugar mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.
4. Spray a 9 x 13 glass pan with cooking spray and press one-third of the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan. Wrap the remaining dough and place in the refrigerator. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
5. Meanwhile, place the caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the caramels have melted and are mixed with the heavy cream, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
6. Pour the caramel evenly over the baked crust and then sprinkle with the fleur de sel. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over top of the caramel.
7. Place back in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the top just starts turning brown. Cool completely and then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before cutting.
8. Cut into 24 pieces.