caramel ecstasy

by @according2kelly on July 12, 2012

any recipe that calls for two entire bags of caramels, is bound to be delicious.

caramel-ecstasy

you can’t help but love ooey-gooey caramel sandwiched between layers of shortbread.

trust me when i say this stuff is addicting.

so addicting i would have called it caramel crack, but i already have a recipe for that – so caramel ecstasy it is.

& believe me, one bite & you will definitely be in ecstasy.

caramel ecstasy

crust ingredients:
1 lb. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

filling ingredients:
2 bags (14-ounces each) caramel candies, unwrapped
2/3 cup half & half, or heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

crust directions:
1. pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
2. line a 9×13 inch baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper. allow the sides of the parchment to “hang over”, making it easy for “easy removal.”
3. in a large bowl: cream the butter & both sugars until creamy.
4. add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined.
5. add the flour and beat on low speed until a smooth, soft dough forms.
6. pres 1/3 of teh dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust.
7. pat the remaining dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate until firm (approximately 30 minutes).
8. bake until the edges are a pale golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.

filling directions:
1. place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. add the half & half/heavy cream, vanilla & salt.
2. microwave on high for 1 minute.
3. remove from microwave & stir until smooth.
4. continue microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
5. sprinkle nuts (if using) over the bottom crust.
6. pour the caramel filling over the nuts/ crust & use a spatula to spread the filling evenly.
7. remove the remaining dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
8. return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, approximate 30 minutes.
9. transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
10. using the parchment overhang, remove the bars and transfer to a cutting surface. using a sharp knife cut the bars into small squares.

now you’re ready to enjoy! one bite & you’ll understand why i call it caramel ecstasty. although, according to my friend desiree’s recipe, the official name is gooey caramel butter bars.

whatever you call them – i’m sure you’ll aggre, they’re delicious. just be careful, if you turn your back, you might return to find the pan empty, just like i did…

caramel-ecstasy-caramel-crack

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