Thursday, February 9, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

We're moving in a few months and my husband has taken ghost-like characteristics due to board studying. Our to-do list is feeling a bit insurmountable right now, so my in-laws graciously came to visit and help us start with the 'purge, organize & donate' project. It was wonderful. The problem is, we need about 10 more of those visits! I knew that all I had to say to my mother in-law was 'salted caramel and chocolate' and I knew she'd be on board. So while the guys were cleaning out the garage, we made our new favorite cookie bar!

Not sure how to start discussing these bars because all I can say is: They. Are. Amazing. I absolutely HATE how good they are. I sort of wish I'd never even made this recipe....because I simply could not stop eating them. Oh Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, you have stripped me of all self-control. And it is downright embarrassing. The least I could do is share along the recipe from Maria & Josh.

Try these delicious, unpretentious bars--they're a step up from the traditional chocolate chip cookie. And if you are worried about your own self-control, make them to serve for others! They will love you for it :) The only thing different we did was to use the WHOLE caramel package of these. Don't skimp or skip the salted layer--here's what it looked like during that step:

The coarse sea salt is wonderful on top of the sweet, gooey caramel. The chocolate takes it over the top. Keep in mind that the caramel hardens after a while, making the bars easier to cut.



Adapted from

  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (we used closer to 3 cups)
  • 10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped (we used the whole 14 oz. package)
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • Coarse Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars (don't skimp!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (which is an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
Bake cookie bars for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Dear, lovely Anca, now I know you are just another evil temptress in a nice lady disguise! These look AMAZINGLY good---better than a sunny day, a lotto win, an island vacation---or at least so it would seem this week, while I'm dieting. All I can do is look, longingly, one more time and quickly click away...for now...

    BTW I had a salted caramel ice cream sundae with candied popcorn & hot fudge at ABC Kitchen in NY, my favorite dessert my last trip.
    Caramel & chocolate & salt, oh my!