Friday, January 11, 2013

Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

After a long week, I decided it was time for a pick me up... yes, in the form of chocolate and salted caramel! Most of my baked goods end up in my husband's lunch box to take to the office anyway... he's never brought any back home so I guess that means they like them :) That's where more than half of these bars ended up this morning and Joe said they were gone before the end of their morning meeting! They really are that good... I hope you have a chance to try them... I prefer mine with a scoop of ice cream (or two)!

Inspired by the recipe from, makes 16 cookie bars

This is a relatively simple recipe. You can really substitue any cookie batter you want... I used my own variation of Toll House's chocolate chip cookie recipe and then just made the caramel according to the directions on two peas and their pod. I also used their baking instructions.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (I use salted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream (I used light cream)
Additional sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 2 quart baking pan (I used a 2.2 quart Pyrex dish) with a non stick baking spray.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Mix butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time and then slowly add the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave on high until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds (this took me about 3 minutes- the timing depends on your microwave).
Divide the cookie dough in half and press half into the prepared pan. Cover the cookie dough with the hot caramel and sprinkle with sea salt. Layer second half of cookie dough over the caramel (I flattened the dough in my hands and placed over the caramel... it doesn't spread well so this method is best). Sprinkle with additional sea salt as desired.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top layer is a light golden brown. Cool to room temperature before cutting into bars to serve.