Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars on Whisk Together

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m not a huge fan of chocolate.  I had a friend about 5 years ago who didn’t like it at ALL.  I couldn’t understand her!  What?  You crazy woman?  5 years later, I totally get it.  I know I’m weird.  BUT – I do like this dessert.  Okay, so I love pretty much any homemade dessert, but this one is AWESOME.  Like swooning, ask for your hand in marriage awesome.  Why this recipe is awesome:

1.  Well, they are just delicious!  Buttery, chocolatey home-cooked cookie goodness in a pan!
2.  They are fast.  No waiting for batches of cookies to come out.  No dollops of dough.
3.  You could make a million versions.  Leave out the caramel.  Add in peanut butter chips, or M&Ms, or skittles, or … wait a minute.  Skittles?  Okay, maybe not.  But what about salted popcorn and raisenets?  Or butterscotch chips?  The combinations are quite endless.
4.  The ingredients are standard.
5.  They taste great slightly warm from the oven.  Drool.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars
serves 16-24

2 (10 oz) and 1/8 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12 Tb. butter, melted and cooled (I made them also with 8 Tb. butter and 4 Tb. Greek yogurt!)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips
10 oz. caramel candy (like Kraft), unwrapped
3 Tb. evaporated milk or cream

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray or grease 11×7″ or 9×9″ pan.
2.  In a medium bowl:  whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
3.  In a great big bowl:  cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 2-3 minutes.
4.  Add egg and egg yolk.  Scrape and mix.  Add vanilla.
5.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time – about 3 additions.  Stir in chocolate chips.
6.  For the caramel:  put the caramels and cream into a microwave bowl.  Heat for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Heat and stir every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes.
7.  Now, take half the cookie dough and press it into the pan.  I would recommend using damp hands.  The water doesn’t like the butter in the dough which will keep your hands clean.
8.  Pour the caramel mixture on top of the cookie dough.  Try to leave a small gap (about 1/2″) between the caramel and sides of the pan.
9.  Press the rest of the cookie dough on top of the caramel.  Work in batches.  Once it is all covered, take a look and fill in any gaps.
10.  Cook for about 25-35 minutes.  The top will be golden and the edges will just start to brown.  The top will be set and not gooey.
11.  Cool and eat!  They were still warm after 2 hours, but cool enough to cut through for everyone to have a bite.

**Variation** Leave out the caramel candies and cream/milk combination.  Bake the chocolate chip bars in a 9×13″ pan.

Recipe from Two Peas and their Pod

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