When we have out-of-town guests, I try to avoid spending my entire weekend in the kitchen (Caleb is constantly reminding me that people aren't visiting us for the food!), so that we can really just enjoy the people. I do a majority of the cooking and prep ahead of time, including dessert. The last two times we've had weekend guests, I've made these bars. They're a step up from regular chocolate chip cookies, but they're a cinch to throw together on a Thursday night before guests arrive. Plus, anything with salted caramel is a winner in my book. Happy Friday!
Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
2 1/8 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 Tbsp heavy cream
sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (I used an 11x7 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. 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 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.
source: recipe from two peas and their pod