These salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars… well, there are really no words to describe them. I mean, you could start throwing out words like "delicious" or "luscious" or "amazing" but really those would be inadequate to describe how much I adore these bars. I haven't been this smitten with a dessert in months. (And considering how many desserts I make, that's a crazy long time.) I think these are now tied with carmelitas for my very favorite dessert ever. They're just… perfect!
I love the rich, slightly salty caramel layer, the crisp cookie top, and the gooey chocolatey cookie in the middle. I really don't know how it took me so long to try this combination! I was inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod's version, but decided to try my own beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe with it instead. And then later I looked again at their version and realized it's basically the exact same recipe. I guess that means that it is the definitive version of these cookies!
Seriously, these cookies are mind-blowing! Make them ASAP and join me in the salted caramel cookie fan club. :)
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
adapted from these cookies
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
11 ounces caramel bits (or 11 ounces caramel squares, unwrapped)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by lining with foil. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars and mix until combined. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla, and mix until combined. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined (be careful not to over mix). Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream, and microwave on high power at twenty second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Spread half of the cookie mixture in the prepared pan, pushing with your hands to form an even layer. Pour the melted caramel over the top and spread to cover. Sprinkle with sea salt. Top with remaining cookie dough. (I found it easiest to put the cookie dough on a cutting board and smush it with my hands into an even layer about the size of my pan, then transfer it to the baking pan.) Sprinkle the top with more sea salt. Bake 25-30 minutes or until very lightly golden around the edges. Be careful not to over bake! The cookies are best if they are soft and a little gooey. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Cool almost to room temperature before slicing.
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