Salted Caramel Bars - Gluten Free Substitutions

Salted Caramel Bars - Gluten Free Substitutions

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (GF use Domata)
  • heaping 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (see recipe below)
  • Salted Caramel Sauce Peparation directions below
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon light-colored corn syrup (can be omitted but helps reduce crystallization)
  • 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, optional (or substitute with bourbon, rum, Grand Marnier, or a favorite liqueur)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste (for a true 'salted caramel' sauce, I use 1 teaspoon)

Directions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. 2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, sugars, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, fluffy, and well combined, about 3 minutes.
  3. 3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. 4. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Dough shouldn't be overly sticky.
  5. If yours is sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour, or as needed, until dough comes together without feeling sticky, however don't over-do it or dough could become crumbly.
  6. 5. Turn out one-third of the mixture out into prepared pan (err on the side of going over one-third if you're eyeballing it and unsure), pressing and hard-packing it with your fingers to form a smooth, even crust layer.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. While crust bakes, refrigerate remaining two-thirds of dough.
  8. 6. After 20 minutes, remove pan from oven, and evenly pour heaping half cup salted caramel over crust.
  9. 7. Evenly crumble reserved dough over the top (it looks like a lot but some sinks down into the caramel layer while baking).
  10. 8. Return pan to oven and bake for about 25 to 32 minutes, or until top is barely golden browned and there's subtle signs of caramel bubbling.
  11. 9. Remove pan from oven, lightly and evenly drizzle with salted caramel, and place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least two hours before slicing and serving.
  12. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  13. Salted Caramel Sauce Directions:
  14. Tie up your hair, put your phone down, get small children out of the kitchen.
  15. Have all the ingredients in place including hot mitts and a glass jar or heat-safe container nearby. You're working with boiling sugar and your full attention on the recipe is necessary.
  16. In a medium to large saucepan (use a pan much larger than you think you'll need because the sauce will bubble very vigorously at the end), add the sugar, water, corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
  17. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 to 12 minutes, or as necessary, for it to turn caramel-colored, at which point it will likely be smoking slightly.
  18. The final stage where the mixture turns from pale amber to that perfect shade of caramel can go quickly, in less than 30 seconds, so keep a watchful eye and don't let it burn. Super stinky and you'll have to start over.
  19. Throughout the boiling time, you can swirl the pan gently every minute or two if necessary, but the less the sugary mixture gets on the sides of the pan, the better in preventing crystallization in the final sauce.
  20. As soon as the sauce has turned caramel-colored, reduce the heat to low.
  21. Very carefully and slowly, add the cream. Stand back because mixture will bubble up considerably.
  22. Optionally, and very carefully, add the vanilla and salt, to taste. Stand back because mixture will bubble up again.
  23. Whisk until sauce is smooth and combined, and let it boil another 1 minute, which helps thicken it up.
  24. Transfer sauce to glass jar or heat-safe container (easiest to pour into a 2-cup measuring cup and then easily pour into glass jar).
  25. Allow sauce to cool uncovered to room temperature; sauce thickens considerably as it cools.
  26. Sauce will keep airtight at room temp for at least 1 month, although will likely last much longer; use common sense if giving as gifts with storage considerations.