Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

chocolate chip salted caramel cookie bars
I love chocolate chip bars but always thought they were missing something. A salted caramel layer in the middle makes them irresistible!

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

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.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (which is an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. 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.

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. 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. Spoon tablespoons of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

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. Adapted from two peas & their pod.

Published in The News and Neighbor on January 26, 2013

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