Brownies? You may as well just give me the entire pan.
Growing up, I never gravitated to caramel sauce as a topping option, sticking with hot fudge as my old standby. Perhaps it was because I never had great caramel sauce, and it always seemed sickeningly sweet to me. However, once I tried my hand at a homemade salted caramel sauce, I did a complete 180.
Now, combine salty caramel with a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and you have something I absolutely, positively cannot stop eating.
How to Make Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
In this particular instance, I adapted one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes into bars, added a layer of salted caramel sauce in the middle, and then sprinkled the top with more flaked sea salt, just for good measure.
Kudos to Maria over at Two Peas and Their Pod for creating such an amazing concoction. She really is the cookie queen!
These salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars are incredibly easy to throw together, thanks to a shortcut caramel sauce.
If you’d prefer to use a homemade salted caramel sauce, that will definitely work! Just make sure you let it thicken up a bit, and then use enough for a thin layer over the cookie dough.
These set up and keep for me perfectly at room temperature, but if your house or kitchen is a little on the warm side, you may need to pop them in the refrigerator to allow the caramel layer to set and to keep them from getting too messy once you cut and store them.
And on that note, these are an excellent candidate for freezing. I would just cut them, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and then pop them in a freezer-safe ziploc bag. I need to get a batch in my freezer for upcoming nights on the couch snuggling a newborn and Netflix-ing!
If you love chocolate chip cookies, caramel sauce, and sweet and salty combinations, you absolutely, positively have to make these salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars. They will become one of your favorite desserts (or snacks, or breakfast *ahem*).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
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.
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.
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 about ½ inch around the border. Sprinkle the caramel with 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.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool 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 for up to 4 days.