Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Salted Caramel Butter Bars & Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars!

I am venturing away from cupcakes for awhile because I wanted to try out some of these good looking bar recipes I have been seeing everywhere. As a matter of fact, I made two bars, two days in a row. The first one was a gooey chocolate peanut butter bar (was really craving peanut butter that day!) and the second one was a salted caramel butter bar (amazing!).

The peanut butter bars recipe was found in a 'Karo Best Cookies & Bars' recipe book that I have had forever. These bars are truly ooey and gooey!

Here is what you will need:
For the crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

For the filling:
2 eggs
1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips

*I left out the coconut because honestly, I hate coconut! I substituted in some toffee bits, yum!

Here is what you do:
To make the crust:
Combine the flour, sugar and corn starch in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Press into greased 13x9-inch pan.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

To make the filling:
Beat eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in coconut (toffee bits) and chocolate chips. Pour over crust. Return to oven.
Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until mixture is golden. Cool on wire rack and cut into bars.

Now let me tell you first that I had a 9x9-inch pan only so this is what I used. You are supposed to be able to see the chocolate chips peeking out of the top but since I had more filling due to a smaller pan, you could not see my chocolate chips. They were still to die for!

Seriously, doesn't that look so gooey? Oh, trust me, it was!

Ok, lets move on to the salted caramel butter bars. These were my favorite of the two bars and I only got good reviews on them!

Lets get to it, heres what you will need:
For the crust:
1 lb salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour

For the filling:
1 bag caramel candies (about 50)
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

For the crust:
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth, soft dough forms.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9x13-inch pan (once again, I used a 9x9) lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust.
Bake until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
Cover remaining dough and put into fridge to chill.

While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling.

To make the filling:
Place the caramels into a microwave safe bowl and add the milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, return to microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Repeat until completely melted and smooth. Add vanilla and mix well.

Pour the caramel filling over the baked crust. Sprinkle sea salt over caramel. Take the dough out of the fridge and crumble it evenly over the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is lightly brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Beautiful, browned crust!

Salted caramel layer.

Crumble the chilled dough on top of caramel layer.

I thought that I waited long enough before cutting the first square, but was I wrong! Oh how I would love to have another one of these in front of me!

These bars would be great to bring to any event, just don't expect to have any left over ;)

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  1. We made the salted caramel butter bars last year and they were a HUGE hit! So delicious!

  2. YUM! I love salted caramel things...my fave drink at Starbucks is the salted caramel mocha/hot choc! Thanks for sharing at shine on fridays!