Y to the U to the triple M – that sums up these crunchy, chewy, chocolatey, caramelly Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.
I had this brainwave one day to combine chocolate chip cookie dough – which I had in the freezer because that’s how I roll – and caramel. I united the two into the best cookie bar recipe ever!
Caramel and chocolate are truly a winning combination and one I come back to time and time again. What with the much loved “Chokito” chocolate caramel slice, caramel chocolate marshmallow cookie bars and these caramel peanut butter thumbprint cookies. Caramel features a lot around here but I think this is my favourite so far.
These cookie bars are really, really, really good – especially when they’ve been out of the oven for a while and just cooled to room temp – the cookie bar firms up but the caramel and choc chips are still all ooey gooey goodness. The stuff dreams are made of.
You just need to gather a few every day ingredients for these but some important ones are;
- Store-bought chewy caramels – these get melted down with cream to become a thick caramel sauce and it’s an easy and delicious way to fill these bars. I use Werthers chewy caramels (not sponsored, sadly they don’t know I exist, I just find they’re the best).
- Brown sugar – in addition to a little regular white sugar adds to the caramelly flavour and also adds a little chewiness to the cookie.
- Cornflour / Cornstarch – This makes the cookies a little more tender.
- Chocolate chips – I love using dark chocolate chips. You can use milk chocolate but keep in mind it will add more sweetness.
How to make them – step by step
- First combine the dry ingredients so they’re all mixes well and set it aside.
- Beat together butter and white and brown sugar until light and creamy (image 1).
- Beat in half the flour, followed by milk, then the remaining flour.
- The final step to the cookie portion is to mix through the chocolate chips (image 2) until it all starts clumping.
- Tip half of it into a lined 9 inch baking tin and press it out gently into a level layer (image 3).
- While the base bakes, get onto the caramel filling, by combining the caramels and cream in a saucepan (image 4) over medium heat and melt them together while stirring.
- Pour the caramel over the par-baked base (image 5) and scatter the remaining cookie over the top (image 6).
- Bake it again until the top is golden.
The luscious caramel filling
As you can see above, the easy caramel is truly super easy to make. It can be used for pouring over ice cream or cakes too and you can add salt to it to turn it into salted caramel. I use it in this Caramel Malteser Slice too.
If you can’t find caramels that will do the trick, you can use the caramel filling from my Cinnamon Caramel Crumble Bars, leaving the cinnamon out.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t beat the dough until it forms one big ball of dough, just until it starts forming large clumps.
- When you put the second layer of cookie dough, scatter it over in small pieces and don’t try to press it down.
- Make ahead – you can easily make these bars a day or two ahead of time, however, they’re equally as good served up an hour or two after coming out of the oven while still warm and gooey.
- Feel free to make more of that caramel filling to drizzle over the top too, like I have in these pictures.
Store these caramel cookie bars in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to a week. Take them out at least half an hour before you want to serve them and I suggest even putting them in the microwave just for 10 seconds.
Crisp, golden choc chip cookie on the top and bottom. Chewy cookie and caramel in the middle and choc chips for days. These Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars will be making regular appearances at our place now, how about yours?
Can’t get enough cookie bar recipes? Try these
Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH
- 260 g plain (all purp) flour (2 cups / 9.2oz)
- 90 g cornflour (corn starch) (⅔ cup / 3.2oz) c(notes)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda (bicarb)
- 150 g light brown sugar (¾ cup / 5.3oz)
- 100 g granulated white sugar (½ cup / 3.5oz)
- 170 g unsalted butter, room temp (1 ½ sticks / 6oz)
- 1 ½ tablespoons milk (notes)
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips (400g / 14oz)
FOR THE EASY CARAMEL LAYER
- 270 g store-bought soft caramels (9.5oz)
- ¼ cup thickened (heavy) cream
FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F /160C fan forced. Line a 9 inch square baking tin with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, cornflour and baking soda
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until lightened and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half the flour mix. Beat until just combined. Add the milk and remainder of the flour and mix until it just starts to come together.
- Finally, add the chocolate chips and give the mixture another beat until mixed through and the dough is clumping.
- Scatter half of the cookie dough in small clumps into the lined tin, then press down all over to flatten out and level.
- Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way.
FOR THE EASY CARAMEL LAYER
- Place the caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Heat stirring regularly, until you have a smooth caramel. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour the caramel over the cookie base. Scatter the remaining cookie dough, in very small pieces evenly over the top of the caramel layer until it is well covered.
- Bake for a further 25 minutes (or until golden), turning half way through.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- I use corn starch a lot in my baking – this is not an error. Cake flour is a combination of all purpose and corn starch but in Australia is not so readily available. I use this combo in my recipes a lot instead of using cake flour.
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- If you want to pour caramel over the top, you will need additional caramels
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