Place water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat and vigorously stir until sugar is dissolved and begins to boil.
Once boiling, stop stirring and let boil until the sugar’s temperature reads 370 F on a candy thermometer.
Immediately remove from heat and carefully add butter. Swirl the pan until the butter is completely melted.
Add the heavy whipping cream and immediately stir vigorously to combine.
Stir in salt.
Cool to room temperature.
Bar Base Instructions
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your hands to mix until the ingredients come together to form fine crumbs.
Press into the bottom of a greased 8”x8” pan.
Top with 3/4 cup of the salted caramel from above. If needed, tilt the pan slightly so the caramel will flow to evenly cover the whole crust.
Bar Filling Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until fully combined.
Mix in the corn syrup and egg.
Alternately add the flour and the evaporated milk in three additions, mixing until just combined (the batter will appear slightly curdled).
Evenly distribute topping over caramel.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges of the bars are just turning brown. When you shake the pan, the center should still be somewhat loose but not liquid. Be careful not to over-bake, as you will then lose the gooey aspect of the gooey butter bars.
Cool to room temperature and optionally drizzle remaining salted caramel sauce on top.