Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Two of the stickiest, gooiest…and most delicious…tastes around – caramel and peanut butter, together in a bar!  Ok, so you’ll need a napkin but these are pretty darn amazing and I think you’ll like them.  And if you don’t, don’t worry – whoever’s next to you definitely will.

Even better, these are easy to make and will have your friends wondering how you did it – they’re pretty unique!

Ingredients

·        2 ½ cups flour

·        1 t baking soda

·        1 t baking powder

·        ½ t salt

·        1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

·        2 ½ t vanilla, separated

·        ¾ cup sugar

·        ¾ cup dark brown sugar

·        2 eggs, brought to room temperature

·        2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet but you can use dark as well.  I don’t think milk chocolate will work quite as well)

·        5 oz evaporated milk (not lowfat because, ew)

·        1 14oz bag of caramels

·        ½ cup peanut butter

Directions

Butter and flour a 13×9 pan and put it to the side.

First we’re going to mix our dry ingredients, so put the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and whisk together.  It can be a smaller bowl.  Set that aside as well.

In a large bowl, add the butter, 2 t of the vanilla, sugar and brown sugar.  Mix until well combined.  Next add in the two eggs and once again beat it until everything is well combined and the mixture is super smooth.  Add in the flour mixture and beat again until well combined and set your mixer aside.

Pour in the chocolate chips and stir with a wooden spoon until they’re evenly distributed.IMG_0877

Put about half of the dough into the pan and press with your fingers to flatten.  IMG_0878Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t appear done – it’s going to go back into the oven shortly.IMG_0879

While this first layer is cooking, we’re going to create a cool caramel/peanut butter mixture.  In a small saucepan, put the evaporated milk, caramels and the remaining ½ t of vanilla.  Heat over a low flame, stirring regularly, until the caramels are all melted.  Then add in the peanut butter and stir again until that melts and combines with the caramel mixture.IMG_0880

After you take the dough out of the oven, pour the caramel/peanut butter mixture over it and top it with the rest of the uncooked dough.  You can’t really press the dough in because you want the caramel/peanut butter mixture to stay in the middle, so just spoon teaspoons full on and get as much coverage as you can – the dough should spread out while cooking.IMG_0886IMG_0890

Put the pan back into the oven for another 18-20 minutes, until the top is a nice golden brown.IMG_0893

Move to a wire rack and let it cool completely in the pan.  Trust me – these are really good!!IMG_0937

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