These cookie bars are, in two words, amazingly delicious! Even though I was practically drooling after pinning them from Two Peas and Their Pod, I wanted to wait to make them for a get together with friends. I knew it would be dangerous to have a whole pan of these bars in the house for only TC and I. We have zero self-control when it comes to sweets. Last night, we got together with some of TC's classmates and their significant others for a pizza making party, so I immediately told the hosts that I would be in charge of dessert! I knew these bars would be a crowd pleaser and boy oh boy, were they ever. : ) I caught one of our friends holding his cookie bar and saying to it "You are sooo good!". Haha. We almost ate the entire pan last night. I only saved a few to photograph today for this blog post, and then TC and I finished those off!
These bars combine the best of both worlds, sweet and salty. A layer of chocolate chip cookie dough is topped with melted caramel and sea salt and then more chocolate chip cookie dough. The addition of caramel and sea salt really brings these bars up a few notches. You can't go wrong with sweet, gooey and salty cookie bars. They will certainly brighten up your day and your taste buds!
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. 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 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 T. heavy cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart (11x7) baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.(I only had a 3 quart glass Pyrex dish or 12x8, which worked fine.)
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.
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.
Bake 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.
***Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod