Caramel Crumb Bars

For the Bars:

For the Caramel Filling:


  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 incoroprated.
  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.

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