Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Ok, so I was trying to think of a way to somehow incorporate caramel into my chocolate chip cookie recipe (which is the bomb all by itself).  Rather than just drizzle caramel onto the cookies, why not make it into kind of a caramel sandwich?

Why not indeed.

You don’t need to include caramel into your chocolate chip cookies.  Just like you don’t need air and water.  Well, maybe you need those.   But you’re definitely going to want to enjoy these!  They’re a little sticky…a little messy…but that’s half the fun.

Ingredients

Cookie Layers

·        2 1/4 c flour

·        1 t baking soda

·        1 t salt

·        1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

·        ¾ cup granulated sugar

·        ¾ cup brown sugar

·        2 large eggs

·        3 t vanilla

·        1 bag, semi-sweet chocolate chips

·        1 cup butterscotch chips

·        Sea salt for sprinkling

Caramel Layer

·        1 bag, caramel candies (bags are usually 10 or 11 ounces – either is fine)

·        3 T heavy cream

·        Sea salt for sprinkling


Directions

Take an 8 or 9 inch square tin, butter and flour it or line it with aluminum foil, and set it aside.

For the cookie portion of the dish you’re basically just going to throw everything into a bowl except the chips.   Mix until everything is fully combined.   Then add the chips.  Mix well.  Cover and refrigerate.

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That’s it for that layer – now on to the caramel.

With the caramel I’m going to admit we’re kind of cheating here.  We could totally make the caramel from scratch and it would be amazing, but I ain’t got time for that today.  And I’m assuming you lead a hectic, on-the-go lifestyle yourself, so we’re going to let a big corporation do most of the work for us.

Unwrap the candies and place them in a microwave-safe bowl.

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Add in the heavy cream and nuke the bowl in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Take it out, stir it, and do it again.  Keep doing this until most of the caramels are melted.  Once you’re at that point, stop with the microwave and just stir until the remaining caramels are fully melted.

Take the cookie batter out of the fridge and press about half of it into your prepared pan.  IMG_1020Next, pour the warm caramel mixture over it, leaving it not quite to the edges, and sprinkle with sea salt.

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Then, put the remaining cookie dough on top and smooth it out until you’ve covered all the caramel (you might want to add this top layer in smaller spoonfuls so its easier to spread).

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Sprinkle the top with additional sea salt because sea salt…yum.  By the way, while you can use regular sea salt and that will totally work, I used my vanilla-infused sea salt from Alaska because I have it and it’s awesome.

Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top layer is a nice golden brown and the edges have started to pull away from the sides.

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Cool in the pan on a wire rack until it gets to room temperature, then cover and pop into the fridge for about a half hour to get the caramel to completely set.

Cut into squares and revel in your awesomeness.

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