Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

Sometimes life feels like a lot. Sometimes it feels like a lot ... a lot. When that happens, I turn to baking therapy. And I'm not alone. It's been known to home chefs everywhere for eons that baking is good for you, but researchers also agree. So grab your mixing bowls and chocolate chips and let's get to it.

I'm particularly fond of bars as they give me the same casual decadence that cookies do without having to individually drop a bit of dough onto cookie sheets ad infinitum. Basically, they end up being my version of lazy cookies and that's about right where my level is these days. Besides, bars means I can make yummy layered things like these chocolate chip cookie bars with a layer of ooey gooey caramel in them! Add a sprinkle of sea salt over the top and you've got a fancy salted caramel bar that will make your mouth water.

Now, you can freeze these bars and they do freeze well, but unless you're living on your own and want to keep from plowing through these in less than a week (no judgement if that's exactly what you want to do, by the way), I'm guessing they just won't last that long. And that's okay!

Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 ½ c. flour
  • 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 16 oz. caramel sauce (premade or make your own)
  • 1 tsp. flaked sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix well, then scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Turn the speed to low and add the flour. Beat to combine, then mix in the chocolate chips.

Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Reserve the remainder of the cookie dough.

Carefully spread the caramel sauce evenly over the cookie dough base in the baking dish, making sure to spread it to the edges of the pan.

Drop the remaining cookie dough over the caramel filling in small teaspoons-sized clumps. Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes, until the center is just set.

Sprinkle the top of the bars with sea salt flakes and allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into bars.

  • Yields: 24 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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