Ooey Gooey Butter Bars
I get requests to make these ooey gooey butter bars a lot. So much so that when a local holiday fundraiser came around, I promptly decided to wade through the sprinkled and iced sugar cookies to offer something so indulgent that you should probably enjoy them sparingly but tis the season! If the ooey gooey buttery nature of their namesake didn’t indicate what was to come, let’s start with the fact that like most cookies, they begin with 2 sticks of butter. From there, two cookie layers get sandwiched with homemade salted caramel sauce that also gets its own half stick of butter and generous dose of cream. Are you ready yet?
These cookie bars are actually pretty easy to whip up and only require you to make one dough that will be split two ways. I always go a bit heavy handed with the caramel sauce so that I can keep back a bit for its glorious reincarnations later. I’ve been known to candy bacon with it. Hey! Tis the season, remember? Here’s an old recipe I shared long ago on how to make 3 minute microwave caramel sauce. More so, I like these bars because it seems that the longer they sit, the better they become. I attribute the wealth of butter for keeping these moist and soft. Oh, and I suppose the thick middle layer of caramel doesn’t hurt either. I like to think of these as part cookie, part candy bar hybrid because let’s be honest. That’s what it is. I recommend cutting these into itty squares so that when you’re on your 6th piece, you won’t feel as guilty. I can’t say I have any experience with that.
- 2 sticks unsalted room temperature butter
- 1¼ c sugar
- 1 ts vanilla extract
- 2 c unbleached flour
- ¼ ts fine salt
- 1 c brown sugar
- ¼ c unsalted butter
- Heavy pinch of salt
- 1 ts vanilla extract
- ½ c heavy cream or coconut cream
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale yellow.
- Add in the vanilla.
- Stir in the flour and salt in batches. Do not over mix.
- Press half the dough onto the bottom of an 8×8 pan to form a crust.
- Wrap up the other dough half and pop both doughs into the fridge to chill.
- For the filling, combine everything together and microwave or cook on the stove top until your sauce registers at 225 degrees.
- Pour the slightly cooled caramel sauce on top of the crust.
- Tear pieces of the wrapped dough portion and plop onto the top of the caramel sauce.
- Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Cool before cutting and serving.