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Gooey Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars Recipe

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars are thick, chewy, and gooey. Sinking your teeth into these rich bar cookies is pure decadence.

You’re going to love how quick and easy these caramel bars are to whip up, and one batch will feed a crowd.

This recipe was originally posted in 2017 so it was time for an update. I’ve added some instructions and tips to make them easier to make. No changes were made to the recipe. I hope you’ll love this recipe for chocolate caramel bars as much as we do.

Slice of Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar over a white plate with a drop of caramel running out of it. A second plate sits behind it over a red napkin.

If you love an easy chocolate ooey gooey caramel dessert bar that is bursting with layers of chocolate and caramel, this recipe is for you! This Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars recipe will feed a small army and wow the pickiest of dessert lovers.

This time of year those of us that love to cook and bake are the busiest of bees in our planning and cooking.

I’m always on the lookout for recipes that don’t take a lot of time to put together, are easy to make and take, and that I think will appeal to everyone.

For some reason (dessert addict) it’s usually requested that I make dessert for work parties, holiday gatherings, or potlucks.

Slice of Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar over a white plate with a drop of caramel running out of it and the chocolate chips sitting next the bar.

What’s so special about this Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe?

I would love to take credit for this decadent Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar recipe, but this recipe is actually inspired by the Cookie Exchange edition of our Freaky Friday Blog Hop.

Freaky Friday Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop

Freaky Friday Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange

What is the Freaky Friday Blog Hop? The Freaky Friday blog hop is a group of bloggers that are secretly assigned each others’ blogs from which we choose a recipe appropriate for the theme. The blog that I was given is PicNic.

The Freaky Friday blog hop is organized by my amazing friend, Michaela, from An Affair From the Heart.

PicNic

The mastermind behind PicNic is the amazing Nicole. When they coined the phrase beauty and brains, they showed a picture of Nicole.

Nicole has her Ph.D. in Molecular Neuroscience and loves teaching. She also loves being a wife and mother to a little boy and they live in New Zealand!

The hardest thing that I had to do was decide on one recipe from her blog. I first thought I wanted to make her Double Chocolate and Salted Caramel Muffins and then thought I should look at something that I can make and take it like her Almond Butter Cookies. Then I stumbled, well fell hard, when I saw these Triple Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars.

A bar ofl Chocolate Caramel Cookie sliced in half with caramel running onto a white plate.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour. You can use bleached or unbleached.
  • Baking powder – This is what makes your cake rise. Replace it every 6 months or test it for potency. I show you how in my Basic Techniques Post.
  • Butter – I use real unsalted butter.
  • Salt – I use kosher salt. You can eliminate the salt in this recipe if you use salted butter.
  • Brown sugar – I use the dark variety but you can use the light. Either will work just fine.
  • Eggs – Grade A large is what I use for consistency in my baking.
  • Vanilla  – Pure vanilla extract is what I prefer.
  • Chocolate – Three varieties were used to make these Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars a triple threat! You can use any combination or just one variety and these cookie bars will still be delicious.
  • Caramel sauce – This recipe uses the prepared caramel sauce that’s usually used to top ice cream. There are no caramels to unwrap or melt in this easy caramel cookie recipe.
Slice of Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar over a white plate with a drop of caramel running out of it and the chocolate chips sitting next to the bar over a red napkin. A second plate sits in the background.

I always start by preheating my oven and greasing my baking dish. You want your oven good and hot when you’re ready to bake and the pan ready to go in as soon as the batter is mixed.

Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer on low, until the eggs are completely mixed in. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the chocolate.

Press half of the chocolate chip caramel cookie bar batter into the bottom of your 9×13 baking dish. Pour the caramel sauce over the batter and then crumble the remaining batter over the caramel sauce layer. Bake.

  • Don’t overmix. These caramel bars come together quickly. Having all of the ingredients ready to go will make this recipe a cinch to put together.
  • Slightly beat your eggs before adding them to the recipe. That makes mixing them into the batter quicker and easier.
  • Cool the bars completely in the baking dish over a cooling rack. Cooling will help the bars set.
  • Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars are easier to cut if they are allowed to cool completely and then chilled.

It’s best to store these caramel bars in the refrigerator. Since we used jarred caramel sauce, the caramel will not become hardened when refrigerated. If they’re stored at room temperature, the caramel sauce may leak out.

Freezing Chocolate Caramel Bars

Caramel Cookie Bars freeze well. If you have them all cut and ready to serve, you can freeze the individual pieces by wrapping them in plastic wrap and slipping them into a freezer-grade reclosable bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.

Looking for more delicious cookie bars? Follow Hostess At Heart on Pinterest!

F.A.Q’s

Can Caramel Cookie Bars be made ahead of time?

Yes, I would bake them up completely and put them in the refrigerator in a covered container. They’re best if served within one or two days of baking. Don’t pre-cut them until you’re ready to serve them because you don’t want the caramel to run out.

Do these Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars have to be baked in a 9×13 pan?

No, in fact, if you don’t need a full 9×13 sized caramel dessert, you can bake them in two 8-inch baking dishes.

I think these cookie bars are perfect as is. However, I have difficulty leaving anything as is. You can add chopped nuts to the batter. Pecans or walnuts would be delicious.

You could also sprinkle more chocolate chips over the top of the crumbled cookie layer.

For a salted caramel chocolate cookie bar, use a salted caramel sauce or lightly sprinkle the bars with flaky sea salt such as Fleur de Sel Salt.

If you enjoyed these Caramel Chocolate Cookie Bars, here are a few more recipes you may like.

Don’t forget to stop back and let me know how your Chocolate Caramel Bars turned out!

A piece of Chocolate caramel cookie bar on a white plate. It has a crumbled top and a drip of caramel running onto the plate. A second plate with a bar on it sits in the background over a red napkin.

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars

Author: Julie Menghini
Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars are thick, chewy, and gooey. Sinking your teeth into these rich bar cookies is pure decadence.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword: Triple Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 oz butter unsalted, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips I used 60% cocoa
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips I used semi-sweet because that’s what I had on hand
  • 13 oz caramel sauce my jar was just a bit under 13 oz

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Grease or line a 9×13″ pan.
  • In a medium-sized bowl whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar together.  Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  Mix until blended and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Press half of the batter into the bottom of the pan.  Pour or spoon the caramel sauce over the batter and then crumble the remaining batter over the caramel sauce.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before cutting.  I found that chilling them helped with cutting these bars.
  • Store leftover bars in an airtight container.  I also stored mine covered in the refrigerator.

Notes

This recipe was created by PicNic. For metric conversions, please visit PicNic.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 160mgPotassium: 92mgSugar: 17gVitamin A: 185IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 0.8mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

I want to thank Nicole over at PicNic for sharing such a great recipe and Michaela at An Affair From The Heart for organizing all of our Freaky Friday events! Just go see for yourself all of the amazing recipes on PicNic. I’ll guarantee you’ll want to stay a while. While you’re at it, take a look at what these other Freaky Friday participants are cooking up!

An Affair from the Heart – Mocha Rum Balls

A Dish of Daily Life – Cherry Pie Cookies

Bacon Fatte – Mexican Wedding Cookies

The Devilish Dish – Rosé Meringue Cookies

The Foodie Affair – No Bake Cookie ~ Copycat Samoas

Full Belly Sisters – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Hostess at Heart – Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars

LeMoine Family Kitchen – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dippers

Life Currents – Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

Mildly Meandering – Vanilla Bean Pizzelle Cookies

Pic Nic – Lemon and Blueberry Bars

Plattertalk – White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Take Two Tapas – Savory Pecan Cornmeal Biscotti Bites

Seduction in the Kitchen – Orange Snowball Cookies

Who Needs a Cape? – Almond Raspberry Thumbprints

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Side view of a Chocolate Chip Caramel cookie bar
Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
Recipe Rating




Michaela Kenkel

Saturday 27th of August 2022

These have been my favorite bars for years!! Every time I make them someone wants the recipe - thank you for sharing the recipe with me

Julie Menghini

Sunday 28th of August 2022

We love them too! Thank you.

Ann

Monday 22nd of August 2022

These are such an easy recipe and they taste so dreamy!!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

It's one of our favorites too! Thank you.

Kathleen

Sunday 21st of August 2022

These are, um were amazing! I made some to send to my boys in college and had to try some for myself! Oh my!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

I have a feeling they'll be very popular when they get back, Kathleen. Thank you!

Avianti

Thursday 24th of January 2019

This looks so good! I love caramel and I love chocolate chip bars! Perfect combo!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 24th of January 2019

Thank you so much!

Odhikar

Friday 7th of December 2018

Those looks delicious. Thanks.

Julie Menghini

Saturday 8th of December 2018

Thank you!