It’s hard to think of anything more comforting than an ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie, but these cookie bars just might be it. Baking them in bar form ensures that each portion is perfectly chewy (though the corner bars still get crispy if that’s your thing) and the addition of a luscious caramel filling takes them to the next level. We love to have a pan waiting when the kids get off the bus in the afternoon for a welcoming after-school treat.
Make sure that when you line your pan, you have enough foil sticking out that you’ll be able to lift the bars out after baking. And while it’s really hard to wait for these mouthwatering morsels, make sure that they’ve cooled all the way before slicing into them, or that gooey caramel filling will end up all over the place instead of in your mouth!
Caramel Cookie Bars
45 minutes to prepare serves 24
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (mini) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 package (10 oz.) soft caramels, unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9x13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Coat foil with non-stick spray.
- Combine the sweetened condensed milk and unwrapped caramels in a medium sauce pot and place over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until the caramels melt and the mixture is smooth and a medium-dark amber color. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt and mix together.
- In a large bowl or mixer, beat together butter and sugars until combined. Then add eggs one by one, mixing after each addition.
- Add in vanilla extract, then gradually mix in dry ingredients until just combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips, then press half of the cookie dough into foil-lined baking dish.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the cookie dough, and spoon the remaining cookie dough over the top taking care that the spoonfuls are evenly distributed across the whole dish.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and the edges have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely. Lift bars out of pan by the edges of the foil and cut into bars. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective.