Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.

Filled with a layer of homemade salted caramel sauce, this chocolate chip cookie bars are not overly sweet, yet decadent and rich nonetheless!!

caramel chocolate chip cookie bars.


 

Why you’ll love this recipe:

I’m a sucker for a rich and decadent chocolate chip cookie. You know the kind, with crisp edges and gooey centers, plenty of chocolate chips, and a delightfully chewy texture!

Now imagine they have a layer of homemade salted caramel sauce in the center. It’s pure cookie magic!

You’ll love these caramel chocolate chip cookie bars, because they’re…

  • not overly sweet
  • have moderate amount of chocolate chips (so you can actually taste the cookies and caramel!)
  • an easy treat for a crowd

These salted caramel cookie bars are like the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever tasted! Caramel and chocolate are one of my favorite cookie mashups. They vanish quickly at holiday parties and get-togethers, so remember to save yourself one (or five!).

a stack of caramel cookie bars.

Key Ingredient Notes:

  • All-purpose flour – I highly recommend buying a kitchen scale so you can weigh your flour. It gives you the most accurate results. If you don’t have one, simply use the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with the flat edge of a butter knife.
  • Baking soda – Even ooey-gooey cookie bars need leavening!
  • Salt – A small amount of salt enhances sweetness, especially caramel!
  • Unsalted butter – Be sure to use unsalted butter or the cookies will taste salty! If you don’t have unsalted, you can use salted butter in a pinch but omit the salt from this recipe.
  • Sugar & brown sugar – To sweeten the cookies! A mixture of brown and white sugar adds a depth of caramel-like sweetness.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chunks – I highly recommend chocolate chunks, which give you a lovely ratio of chocolate to caramel in each bite. Feel free to use milk or dark chocolate, if that’s more your thing.
  • Salted caramel sauce – Homemade caramel sauce take these cookie bars over the top! It’s worth the extra effort. It’s good for up to two weeks in the fridge, so you can make it ahead of time.
  • Flakey salt – Don’t skip this simple ingredient. It rounds out the sweet caramel and decadent chocolate.
ingredients for caramel cookie bars.

How to make this recipe:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13-inch cake pan with parchment paper to make removal a breeze. Let the excess come up the sides so you have something to grab onto.
  • Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Cream the butter & sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, both sugars, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a mixing bowl and a hand mixer work great too!
  • Add the eggs. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then add the eggs and mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients & mix until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chunks. Chocolate chips work great too!
a bowl of butter, eggs, and chocolate chips, cookie dough.
  • Add cookie dough. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan.
  • Spread the caramel sauce evenly on top, then drop the remaining cookie dough on top of it. It’s easiest to use small pieces of cookie dough.
how to assemble caramel cookie bars.

3. Bake and cut the bars

  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is just set. It will continue to set up as it cools.
  • Sprinkle the salt on top and transfer the cookie bar with the parchment paper onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Let the bars cool, then cut and serve. Enjoy!
a large cookie bar cut into squares.

Tips for Success:

  • For thicker cookie bars, use a smaller pan. If you want a big bar with a thick layer of caramel, you can make these in a 9×9-inch pan as well. Just bake them 5 to 8 minutes longer.
  • Pop the bar in the fridge for 30 minutes before you cut it. If you like clean lines and uniform bars, chilling the cookie makes it easier to cut.
  • Let the edges of the parchment paper hang over the sides of the pan. This will give you handles to grab onto when you remove the cookie bar from the pan.
  • Don’t cut the cookie bar while it’s still hot. It will be very messy! Of course, they still taste delish!
a stack of caramel chocolate chip cookie bars

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • The cookie dough and the caramel sauce can be made ahead of time, then all you have to do is assemble and bake!
  • Make the cookie dough up to three days ahead and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Let the cookie dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you assemble, otherwise it will be too hard to work with.
  • Homemade caramel sauce lasts for two weeks in the refrigerator and it’s out-of-this-world amazing!

Storing Tips:

  • Once the salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars are cool, store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Cookie bars are freezer-friendly! Once the bars are cut and cool, transfer them to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.
  • Thaw on the counter or heat in the microwave until just thawed. Don’t overheat them or the caramel will melt all over the microwave.

FAQs:

Is a blondie the same as a cookie bar?

Technically no, a blondie is similar but not the same as a cookie bar. A blondie is meant to be rich and gooey like a brownie, except without the chocolate! A cookie bar is more like a regular cookie, but thicker and square-shaped, oftentimes containing fillings or mix-ins.

Can I use store-bought caramel sauce?

While I highly recommend homemade caramel, store-bought caramel sauce works great too! Since the caramel sauce is a star ingredient in this recipe, choose a high-quality or craft caramel for the best results.

Can you meal prep salted caramel cookie bars?

Yes! If you like to meal prep desserts, this cookie bar recipe is the perfect fit. Simply make the bars as directed and once they’re cool, transfer them to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months, then let thaw at room temperature.

a stack of caramel cookie bars.
5 from 1 vote

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Filled with a layer of homemade salted caramel sauce, this chocolate chip cookie bars are not overly sweet, yet decadent and rich nonetheless!!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (230g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (6oz) semi-sweet chocolate chunks Note 1
  • 1 cup homemade salted caramel sauce Note 2
  • ½ teaspoon flakey kosher or sea salt

Equipment

  • 9×13 baking pan
  • electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups & spoons

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, both sugars and vanilla extract until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then add the eggs and mix until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chunks.
  • Press half of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Spread the caramel sauce on top, then drop the remaining cookie dough over the caramel filling. It’s easier to drop small pieces of dough. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is just set.
  • Sprinkle the sea salt on top and transfer the cookie bar with parchment paper onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Cool it completely before cutting and serving.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Chocolate chips work great too! You can use milk, dark, or semi-sweet chocolate chunks. 
Note 2: I highly recommend making your own caramel sauce! If you don’t have the time, store-bought caramel will work in a pinch. 
Storing Tips:
– Once the salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars are cool, store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Cookie bars are freezer-friendly! Once the bars are cut and cool, transfer them to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.
– Thaw on the counter or heat in the microwave until just thawed. Don’t overheat them or the caramel will melt all over the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 328mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 297IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Made this? Rate this recipe:




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.