Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter or line with parchment paper a 9×13 baking dish.
In a large bowl combine butter and sugars, mix on medium speed until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
Slowly add the flour to the butter mixture on low speed and mix until a smooth, soft dough forms.
Press ⅓ of the dough into the prepared baking pan, and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are a pale golden brown. Refrigerate the remaining ⅔ of the dough.
If you are going to make your caramel from candies, do that while the crust bakes.
Place the unwrapped caramel candies and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minutes. Stir until smooth. If the caramels are not completely melted, continue microwaving on high heat for 30 second intervals, stirring after each one.
Once the caramels are melted, stir in the vanilla. Set aside until the bottom crust is done baking.
Pour the caramel filling over the crust, sprinkle with salt and crumble the remaining dough over top.
Continue baking until the filling is bubbly and the topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25-30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into squares. (I know, I know…go ahead and cut a corner out for quality control…the things we must do as bakers…)
Yield: 24 BarsCan use 1 cup homemade salted caramel sauce instead of the filling ingredients. *I halved this recipe and made 16 squares in an 8×8 baking dish, because I am only one person and I have no willpower where butter and caramel are concerned. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups
Keyword caramel sauce, chewy cookies, cookie bar recipe
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