There’s something about cookie bars that I like more than actual cookies. Something about them that is just more tempting, more delectable, more worth it. Worth every bite, every calorie, worth waiting every single minute for. And these salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars fall into that category, but luckily you don’t have to wait much longer – you can go ahead and make them right now.
Work has been crazy busy lately, so making these cookie bars was a great way to unwind at the end of the week. I look forward to baking the way kids look forward to visiting Disney World. Baking to me is like taking a long soak in a hot tub, or doing yoga stretches after an intense workout.
As a home chef I always have chocolate chip cookie ingredients on hand in my kitchen for “emergencies” (or just Friday nights), and I had all the ingredients ready to make these chocolate chip cookie bars, except caramel. Because I didn’t just want cookie bars, I wanted caramel cookie bars, and I wanted them now.
So I ran out to the grocery store and got a bag of caramel candies just so I could turn these cookie bars into salted caramel cookie bars, and that trip was so worth it. This recipe is so worth it, and let me tell you why.
It strikes the right balance between cookie and caramel filling. Sometimes fillings can be overwhelming, but even though these cookie bars have a layer of salted caramel sandwiched inside of them (mmm) the ratio is just right. These are so perfect to eat warm because you get that combination of melty caramel, and warm chocolate chip cookie. I’m pretty sure this cookie bar would still taste amazing cold, or even if left out in the rain for a week. Maybe you’ll find them chopped into bite-sized pieces and thrown into an ice cream maker soon. Wouldn’t that be good?
I hope this salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bar makes you as happy as it made me. Okay, no more waiting, time to get baking!
- 301 grams all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 170 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 198 grams light brown sugar
- 99 grams granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 340 grams semisweet chocolate chips
- 10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9in square pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low with a wooden spoon, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. Exact times will vary depending on microwave, but this should take about 2 minutes.
- Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving about ½ inch around the border. Sprinkle the caramel with sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with your hands until the caramel is covered. It's okay if some of the caramel is peeking through. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Cut into squares and serve.
Credit: Brown Eyed Baker