Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I have become completely overpowered by the force that is salted caramel. I simply can’t get enough of it, no matter how it’s presented to me. Ice cream? Pass me a spoon. Popcorn, Pretzel & Peanut Bars? Hand me at least three, please. Brownies? You may as well just give me the entire pan. Growing up I was never one to swoon over caramel sauce. Maybe because I had never had great caramel sauce – mostly just the jarred or bottled sundae toppings – it always seemed sickeningly sweet to me. However, this whole salted caramel craze has me doing a completely 180. Throw in a healthy dose of coarse sea salt like fleur de sel to cut that sweetness and give sauces and baked goods an entirely new dimension? I am ALL.IN.

In this particular instance, I adapted my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and added a layer of salted caramel sauce in the middle, and then sprinkled the top with more sea salt, just for good measure. A great deal of thanks to Maria over at Two Peas and Their Pod for creating such an amazing concoction. She really is the cookie queen!

These beauties are chewy, gooey, sweet, salty, and chocolate chip-y. What more could you ask for?

One year ago: White Chocolate-Coconut Brownies
Two years ago: Oven-Fried Onion Rings with Dipping Sauce
Five years ago: Maple-Hazelnut Oatmeal

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Yield: 16 cookie bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Fleur de sel (or other sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed 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.

4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes.

5. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving some empty space around the edges. Sprinkle the caramel with the sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

6. Bake the 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 the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

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203 Responses to “Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars”

Comment Pages 1 2 3 4
  1. Mary @ Bake Break on February 22, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I’m 100% in the same boat with salted caramel – you cannot go wrong with it! These might have to be made asap over here…

    Reply

  2. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on February 22, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I just posted caramel bars yesterday. I love caramel. Love love love it and yours look awesome!

    Reply

  3. CouponClippingCook on February 22, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Salt and sweet…count me in for sure! Looks delicious.

    Reply

  4. Donna on February 22, 2012 at 4:39 am

    I am 100% with you on the salted caramel addiction…it runs rampant in our family…french husband is a bonified freak regarding said caramel…Question…by wrapped caramels..do you mean Kraft caramels…could I use soft-looking caramels that I see in the candy aisles in France instead?..I can’t seem to locate Kraft caramels…even in the ex-pat stores nearby…will it damage the integrity of your recipe?! So enjoying your well-crafted/organised blog…

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 22nd, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Hi Donna, Kraft and Brachs are the most popular here in the U.S. but I think you could certainly use soft caramels, as you’ll be melting them down anyway.

      Reply

  5. Kathryn on February 22, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I can’t tell you how much I want one of those bars right now!

    Reply

  6. Blog is the New Black on February 22, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Salted caramel?! I DIE.

    Reply

  7. Villy @ For the love of Feeding on February 22, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I don’t think there is anything else you can put in there that will make it more awesome..

    Reply

  8. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on February 22, 2012 at 6:06 am

    All I can say is, yes please!

    Reply

  9. katie on February 22, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Wow they look sensational. I’m not a lover of caramel on its own but with salt and chocolate its just transfored. These cookie bars look so good

    Reply

  10. Kiri W. on February 22, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Mmmmm, that sounds fantastic! I love salted caramel, it should be such a nice contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate. :)

    Reply

  11. megan @ whatmegansmaking on February 22, 2012 at 6:18 am

    oh wow, do these look good!! I can’t wait to try them. Also, random, but I wanted to let you know that I was home (in butler, PA) last weekend and my mom had saved something out of the paper to show me – and it was you, in the paper! My mom asked if I knew you (she’s all into food blog stuff now) and I said we hadn’t met, but I feel like I know you since I read your blog/talk to you on twitter. How fun – congratulations!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 22nd, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Oh how fun!! Next time you’ll be in town give me a holler and maybe we can grab lunch!

      Reply

  12. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box on February 22, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I really need to jump on the salted caramel bandwagon! I’ve never tried it before, but just the thought of it sends me dizzy. Recipe sounds great, as always!

    Reply

  13. Katrina on February 22, 2012 at 7:38 am

    These sound so yummy! Love this idea!

    Reply

  14. Catalina @ Cake with Love on February 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I love everything caramel, these bars look divine!!!

    Reply

  15. modernworkinggirl on February 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

    One word: YES. Ok two: YES, PLEASE!

    Reply

  16. Erin @ Brownie Bites on February 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I have been on a salted caramel kick this year big time. There is something otherworldly about it. I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s best friend’s face when I ordered a salted caramel cocoa and the woman who made it for me picked up a big shaker of sea salt and shook it right over the top of my whipped cream. He just.. doesn’t understand.

    Reply

  17. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on February 22, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Mmmmm, caramel–my favorite!

    Reply

  18. Dee on February 22, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Ummmm….wow! That’s all I could say through the drool.

    Reply

  19. Maria on February 22, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I am so glad you liked the bars! One of our favorites!

    Reply

  20. Genola on February 22, 2012 at 9:15 am

    My daughter made these yesterday and they are wonderful! Look just like the picture. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  21. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I’ve been on a salted caramel kick too! I”ve been buying the sugar free syrup and making lattes with them everyday, and I even order them at Starbucks, but none of that comapres to your cookie bars. They look unbelievable!!! Bookmarking this recipe!!

    Reply

  22. Christina @ This Woman Cooks! on February 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Delicious!

    Reply

  23. Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen on February 22, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Caramel, cookies, you can’t go wrong! They look so gooey and delicious!

    Reply

  24. Jeri Barry on February 22, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I will definitely make these. Can I double the recipe with the same success? If so, what size pan would you recommend? LOVE your recipes!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 22nd, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Hi Jeri, I think doubling the recipe would be fine; I would use a 9×13-inch pan. Enjoy!

      Reply

    • Lauren on December 6th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      I doubled the recipe and put it in two pans. They are delicious.
      You might not want to double the caramel. It seemed like a lot but I’m not a huge caramel fan. I am a HUGE fan of these bars though.

      Reply

  25. Serene on February 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I am drooling!! oh my gosh!

    Reply

  26. Amber, RD on February 22, 2012 at 10:27 am

    These look fantastic! It is just mean of you to post something so yummy looking on a day when I am supposed to be fasting! Couldn’t you have posted something like pureed liver and Brussels sprouts? ;)

    Reply

  27. Anne on February 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

    These bars are everything I love all mixed together making one pan of baked heaven. I can’t wait to make them!

    Reply

  28. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic on February 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I have been obsessing about salted caramel lately too (I just made salted caramel pot de creme and it was heavenly). These cookie bars are making my mouth water! Definitely going on my to-do list :)

    Reply

  29. Nancy on February 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Oh yum! I cannot wait to make these!

    Reply

  30. Mireia on February 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I just woke up from a nap (I’ve been lucky today) to find these amazing bars, I want them so bad now!!! They look amazing!

    Reply

  31. Connie on February 22, 2012 at 11:22 am

    These look so mouth-watering! Oh my!!! Caramel and chocolate? It’s just TWO of my favorite flavors in cookie bar form! Keeping this in mind for next time I need a decadent treat :-)

    Reply

  32. Amber on February 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Gah! These look so good!

    Reply

  33. Anita at Hungry Couple on February 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I’ve been seeing so many salted caramel items lately and have yet to try it myself. I’m kinda sure I’ll love it, though, because sweet and salt together is my thing…as in chocolate covered salty pretzels :) I need to make a dessert for an upcoming dinner party at a friend’s and this might be the one. Thanks.

    Reply

  34. Jenn (JJ'sCustomCakery) on February 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

    LOVE! Salted caramel has the taste buds drooling first thing this morning!

    Reply

  35. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite on February 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I really just love sweet and salty so much and I love these bars! They look incredible!

    Reply

  36. Georgia on February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I keep saying I’m going to stop collecting recipes and then something like this comes along and I just can’t pass it up. Sounds delicious.

    Reply

  37. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on February 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I can see this being my new favorite dessert very very soon!

    Reply

  38. Cookin' Canuck on February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    These look utterly irresistible! You really can’t go wrong with salted caramel.

    Reply

  39. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on February 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Oohh, this looks fantastic!! I am a firm believer that salty-sweet-combos are the best.

    Reply

  40. Tracy on February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    OMG! I’m totally in a sweet-salty-chocolate place. YUM! Can’t wait to make these!

    Reply

  41. Lacy @ NYCityEats on February 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    MMM I love salted sweets! This sounds incredible!

    Reply

  42. Choc Chip Uru on February 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    These bars look sensational – what a great twist on the Choc chip cookie bar :D
    This is 100% my dish!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: 5 Min Wrap Pizza

    Reply

  43. Erin on February 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Salted caramel IS awesome. I made a salted caramel hot cocoa mix for Christmas this past year and it was fantastic. I should serve it with these bars ;-)

    Reply

  44. Amy's Cooking Adventures on February 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Ohhhh…these look wonderful! Definitely need to make them next time I have company!

    Reply

  45. Rebecca@A Dusting of Sugar on February 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    That looks so good and gooey inside which is my favorite thing. I think the only thing worth getting at Starbucks is the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate they have in the winter….mmm.

    Reply

  46. Living The Sweet Life on February 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with your caramel predicament – – not a big caramel fan, but salted caramel … I don’t mind living in the stuff!! This bar cookie, is making me hungry – – do you think anyone will notice if I run away from work, just to make these ;)

    Reply

  47. TeoBucatar on February 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I like caramel!!!

    Reply

  48. Stephanie on February 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I’m totally with you – bring on the salted caramel! In fact, I just posted salted caramel macarons yesterday and tomorrow I’m posting salted caramel whoopie pies.

    I can’t wait to try your recipe – it sounds divine!

    Reply

  49. Sally @ sally's baking addiction on February 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    i am completely obsessed with any salty/sweet treat. These are right up my alley! I pinned them for a future recipe idea. i love your recipes, you are a genius in the kitchen michelle! :)

    Reply

  50. Jennie @ The Messy Baker Blog on February 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    These bars look amazing. I absolutely love salted caramel. You have a beautiful site.

    Reply

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