Salted Caramel Butter Bars

This tastes just like fresh caramel popcorn from the beach mixed with a sugar cookie.
For the crust:

1 lb. salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbls. vanilla
4 cups flour

For the filling:
1 bag (14 ounces) caramel candies, unwrapped
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbls. coarse salt

To make the crust: In a large mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla. Slowly add the flour and mix until smooth. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread about half of the crust dough in the pan to form the bottom crust. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake crust for about 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.

While bottom crust is cooling and the remaining dough is chilling, make with filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave safe bowl. Add cream and vanilla. Cook on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to cook in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir until all the caramel is melted. Pour over crust layer.

Sprinkle the caramel layer with Sea Salt if you chose to use it.

Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel layer and bake for 25-30 minutes, until filling is bubbly and top layer is lightly golden brown. When they are cool, cut into squares.

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