Recipe Box: Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

It’s been raining. For forever. Everything is wet and cold and terrible.

Consequently, I feel super unmotivated kind of all the time and basically hibernation seems like the best option.

I need summer, badly. I’m starting to feel like a slug.

So, to feel better, I bake. Last weekend was the last concert of my choir’s season and I volunteered to bring one of my favorite sweet treats: Salted Caramel Cookie Bars. I discovered this recipe last summer and it’s become one of my go-tos for birthdays and special occasions.

Let’s break it down really quick: layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, layer of salted caramel, layer of cookie dough.

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These bars are ridiculous. On their own, the cookie bars would be delicious, but adding the layer of caramel is some next level ish. (And then, when you’re done with the bowl that you melted the caramel in, you can make whipped cream in it with your leftover heavy cream, and then your whole life will be magic. Because caramel flavored whipped cream.)

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together 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 large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.

5. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

6.Bake 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 bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

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