Caramel Crumb Bars

Caramel Crumb Bars with a buttery shortbread crust, a creamy caramel filling, and crumbly topping. I was tempted by these little crumb bars about a month ago when I spotted them on Food Gawker. I knew that I wanted to make them for all of my coworkers. Today we had a pitch in at work to celebrate spring break coming up next week so I decided that today was the perfect time! ;) These rich buttery, crumbly, and chewy crumble bars are a crowd pleaser and easy to whip up for your next party or work potluck.

Caramel Crumb Bars

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For the Bars:

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
For the Caramel Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
  2. To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Mix in 2 1/4 cups of the flour on low speed, beating just until the dough is smooth and the flour has been incorporated.
  4. Pat 3/4 of the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Place reserved 1/4 aside. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator while making the filling and top layer.
  5. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the remaining dough in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until 1/8 – 1/4-inch crumbs form. Set aside.
  6. To make the caramel filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and condensed milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When the mixture begins to boil, whisk frequently until it begins to thicken and darkens in color slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and pour the filling over the bottom crust. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly then distribute the crumb topping over the filling.
  8. Bake until the filling is gently bubbling and a dark caramel color, about 30 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack. Use the parchment handles to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares.

Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

24 Responses to “Caramel Crumb Bars”

  1. #
    1
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 23, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    Lately I am loving caramel! These look similar to a bar I made that was delicious. I bet these are great!!

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    2
    jenna laughs — March 23, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    “Buttery shortbread crust, a creamy caramel filling, and crumbly topping” Seriously?! Delicious. I need these in my life.

  3. #
    3
    Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 — March 23, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    Caramel is one of my favorite flavors. I love how beautiful these look, too.

  4. #
    4
    Cara — March 23, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    Caramel and crumb topping, two of my favorite things! These look great!

  5. #
    5
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos — March 23, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    ahhh this looks wonderful!!! caramel in a bar….~~~ sounds like a a twix bar but in a bready form!

  6. #
    6
    lena — March 23, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    this looks fabulous, caramel is something that i would like to try one day but i’m just afraid of the cooking part..

  7. #
    7
    briarrose — March 23, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    Beautiful little bars. I do love anything that contains caramel.

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    8
    muppy — March 23, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    These look terribly tempting ;) Who does eat all of your amazing sweet creations……?

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    9
    happywhennothungry — March 23, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

    Wow these bars look delicious! I love how simple the recipe is too. Yum!

  10. #
    10
    Baking Serendipity — March 23, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

    Delicious! Caramel is one of my favorites…I think one of these bars and a caramel macchiato from Starbucks would make for a perfect breakfast :)

  11. #
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    Priscilla - She's Cookin' — March 23, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Looks like another winner to me! Love gooey caramel with a crumbly topping :)

  12. #
    12
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — March 23, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

    These look so good! I can’t wait to try them. :)

  13. #
    13
    katshealthcorner — March 23, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

    Holy moly! These look fantastic! :D Yum Yum YUMMY! :D

    xoxox
    Kathleen

  14. #
    14
    This Italian Family — March 23, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    Those look so delightful!

  15. #
    15
    Jenny — March 23, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    Caramel is such a fantastic flavor. These look so decadent :)

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    Ellie — March 24, 2011 @ 3:46 am

    Mmmm so purrrty and delicious I bet~Was it super sweet though?

    • Christina replied: — March 25th, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

      They are rich but not overly sweet…the shortbread crust and crumble topping cut some of the sweetness.

  17. #
    17
    Chris Scheuer — March 24, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    I am such a sucker for anything caramel! These are making me drool! I will have to walk and extra mile or two so I can justify making them!!

  18. #
    18
    The Food Hound — March 24, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

    I love caramel and I love buttery shortbread crusts!! Yay!!

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    Sara — March 25, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    I love making crumb bars like these, but had never thought to add caramel as the filling. I’ll have to give these a try.

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