November 28, 2012

Would you like some caramel with your butter?

What do you get when you add four sticks of butter to a bowl full of sugar, milk, and caramel?

It looks a little something like this:

That sounded like a build up to a joke, but instead it is just an uncreative start to a blog post.

Please don't ask me why I felt it was necessary to add an entire box of butter to something then feed it to my coworkers, because there is really no good reason except that Paula Deen says it's ok. This isn't her recipe but I know she would like it.

For some reason I was just thinking that Paula Deen was maybe dead? A quick google search revealed that no, she just has type 2 diabetes. All is well.

Back to the butter.

It truly doesn't get much better than a crumbly shortbread topping, gooey salted caramel center and mini chocolate chips. The only thing that may be greater is that new docudrama on MTV that follows people as they meet their online boyfriends for the first time, who usually end up being overweight men living in trailers instead of young body builders. Quite possibly the most entertaining part of all this though isn't the unveiling, but the fact that these girls are actually surprised. Really?

These bars are rich. They taste like butter and they smell like butter and I ate one for breakfast. These are what I like to call a vegan's worst nightmare.

Something that I don't enjoy is substituting healthy alternatives in baked goods even though it's all the rage right now. Have you seen that chart of healthy baking substitutions that's been making it's way around the interwebs yet? Apple sauce instead of sugar? What is that shit? My take on this is simple: Using greek yogurt instead of oil to make your cream cheese pound cake makes you a moron.

I am also offended by the sugar-free items in the baking aisle that think they can just sit next to the real people items like it's nbd. I almost bought sugar-free graham crackers on accident the other day and I literally said "fuck you" out loud right next to the butterscotch chips and children when I realized my mistake. Things like this belong in their own store, and that store is called the trash can.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Adapted from Cookies & Cups

For the crust: 
1 lb. salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbs. vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1 bag caramel candies, unwrapped
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbs. sea salt

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using 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.

Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Press one-third of the dough evenly onto the pan to form a bottom crust, and place the remainder of the dough in the fridge to chill.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Bake until firm and edges are a pale golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.

While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream and vanilla. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.

Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Sprinkle salt on top.

Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator 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 firm and lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let cool before cutting into squares.

So let's embrace these, my friends. Let's embrace the fact that each square contains a tablespoon of butter. Pretend I didn't just tell you that.


  1. I thought the punchline was going to be "Paula Deen bait." :)

  2. lol. "And that store is called the trash can." Hahaha. I love this. Whenever I'm looking for a good laugh I come to this blog.