Remember the best dessert you had as a kid. Remember the texture of it in your mouth… how the scent made you mouth water. How the sweetness seemed to envelop your senses. These caramel cookie bars are at that level of good.
It has crisp, buttery moments that hold up gooey salted caramel that is balanced and brought to the next level by chunks of chocolate. It has notes of that childhood nostalgia mixed with something that is so much more.
There is something about the combination of caramel and cookies that is just too delicious. Ever since I first had the combination, I’ve been obsessed. I try not to make it too often because, seriously, I can have the whole batch of whatever it is on my own.
Besides these caramel cookie bars, these beer and pretzel caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies are an absolute favorite. Still, cookie bars are easier and faster to make. And faster is definitely better in many instances.
For the sake of everyone’s waistlines, this recipe only makes an 8×8 baking pan worth of bars. If you want to double it so it will fit in a 9×13 baking pan, you should be able to double everything almost exactly.
I do recommend not exactly doubling the caramel part though. I would recommend doing maybe adding just 50% more caramel instead…. 16 ounces of caramel instead of 22 ounces.
The trick to keeping the goo to a minimum is to ensure the bars are completely cool before you cut them. Once they’ve cooled to room temperature, I recommend chilling in the refrigerator for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
If all else fails, use a plate and maybe a fork! Messy is often more delicious anyway. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream! After all, it’s nice when decadence knows no bounds every once in a while!
Caramel Cookie Bars Recipe
- 0.5 Unsalted Butter room temperature
- 1 Brown Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 2 Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1.5 All-Purpose Flour
- 0.5 Baking Soda
- 0.5 Salt
- 1 Chocolate Chips
- Caramel Squares
- 2 Heavy Cream
- 1.5 Flaked Sea Salt optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy — about 5 minutes.
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
- Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well-combined. Add in the chocolate chips and fold until just incorporated. Take the bowl and place into the refrigerator until needed.
- Add the caramel and heavy cream into a small saucepan and heat on medium. Stir until the caramel is at least mostly melted. Remove from the heat and stir until the caramel is fully melted.
- Take out the dough. Press down about 2/3 of the cookie dough into the baking pan into an even layer. Pour the caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle the salt if desired.
- Take chunks of the remaining cookie dough and flatten. Place randomly over the caramel.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cookie dough is a light golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely. I find it is best to also chill the baking pan in the refrigerator before cutting.