Dreamboat Caramel Bars
Take classic caramel candies to the next level with these gooey and delicious bars. The feel of each bite melting in your mouth is so good, you’ll be fantasizing about it long after the batch is gone.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: Makes 15 bars 1x
- Category: Bakery
- Bottom Layer
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Top Layer
- 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 14 whole soft caramel candies, unwrapped
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate baking chunks or chips
- For the bottom layer: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the ﬂour, baking soda, and salt and toss with a fork to mix well.
- In a stand mixer ﬁtted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Turn the machine off and scrape down the bowl. Turn the machine back on, and with the machine running, add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and then gradually add the ﬂour mixture.
- Spread half the dough into the prepared baking dish, pressing it into an even layer. Bake for 8 minutes—the layer will be slightly ﬁrm but not fully baked.
- For the top layer: While the bottom layer bakes, put the evaporated milk and caramel candies in a small, heavy saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the caramels have melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.
- Remove the pan from the oven and spread the caramel mixture over the bottom layer in an even layer. Sprinkle with the chocolate baking chunks and then add the remaining dough by spoonfuls over the top. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown. (You will not be able to test this with a toothpick, as the center will be very soft and gooey.)
- Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares to serve.
Keywords: caramel bars, caramel