These Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars are seriously amazing. A layer of caramel sauce perfectly sandwiched between layers of the best chocolate chip cookie… it’s just plain amazing! If you love chocolate chip don’t miss my best Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars, and Piggy Pie Dessert!
Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars
The concept has been around for quite a while… adding caramel to chocolate chip cookies. I remember my MIL making these for my (then boyfriend!) husband and me 15 years ago. So nothing new here! I simply changed the recipe to use my chocolate chip cookie recipe and simplified my homemade caramel sauce a bit. The final result is pretty darn amazing. Everyone in the family raved about how perfect these bars are and the kids already requested them for school lunch!
Tips for Success
These bars can get ready to get messy. You can try dipping your fingers in flour before spreading the cookie dough into a flat layer or using a large spatula that has been greased or dipped in flour. Hands work best!
Do I Have to Use Evaporated Milk?
The sauce has 2 ingredients; caramels and evaporated milk. Substitutions are half & half, heavy whipping cream, and whole milk in place of the evaporated milk.
Simply place caramels and evaporated milk into a saucepan over medium-low to medium heat and stir until the caramels are melted and the evaporated milk is incorporated. This takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Once the caramels are creamy and smooth remove them from heat.
Variations for Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars
- Milk chocolate morsels instead of semi-sweet. Or even white chocolate chips. (This is a VERY sweet combination and I recommend making salted caramel to offset the sweet.)
- Sprinkle the top with sea salt or salt flakes. Anywhere from 1-2 teaspoons depending on the size (and flavor! some salts are very mild) of the salt. I do not recommend doing this with table salt.
- Try making it two layers instead of three. Prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough and press all of it into your 9×13 baking dish, bake for 18-23 minutes. While it is baking prepare your caramel. When the cookie bars are done, pour caramel sauce over top and then sprinkle some sea salt over top. Allow bars to come to room temperature and serve!
How to Serve and Store Caramel Bars
Allow bars to cool a bit before cutting. Cut into 12 pieces and serve. These are fantastic with ice cream if you want even more decadence!
Store leftover bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you opt to refrigerate, but sure to allow them to come to room temperature before enjoying them.
Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups (300g) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2¼ cups (282g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 5 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 package (11 ounces) caramel bits or wrapped caramels (be sure to unwrap if using the wrapped caramels)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Add butter, brown sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl and with a hand-held mixer, cream ingredients until they are lighter and fluffier. Add in eggs, mixing well after.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until combined. I usually add my chocolate morsels right into the cookie dough and mix with the hand-held mixer, but you can also stir them in by hand.
- In a prepared 8×12 or 9×13 baking dish, press half of the cookie dough down. Try to get an even layer. Set the remaining cookie dough aside.
- Bake for 10 minutes. While the cookie bars are baking, prepare the caramel.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the evaporated milk and caramel bits. Stir frequently for about 8 minutes, or until the caramels are melted and the evaporated milk is fully incorporated. Remove from heat.
- Carefully remove the cookie bars from the oven and place on a heat-safe surface.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the bars making sure to get it into every nook and cranny.
- Carefully start placing flattened dollops of the remaining cookie dough over the hot caramel. I find it works best to pick up a small handful, flatten it in your hand a bit, and then place that directly on top of the caramel. Do this with all remaining cookie dough. It is ok if there is some caramel showing.
- Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes, or until the caramel is bubbling and the cookie is golden brown.
- Allow bars to cool to room temperature and then cut and serve.
Did you make this recipe?
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Can I use ice cream Carmel Sauce instead
I was thinking the same thing….quicker and easier! I don’t see why not…will try….looks yummy!
It sounds delicious, in the recipe it says prepared pan ,but it doesn’t say with what. Is it greased or both greased and floured.
Either method works. You can prepare the pan however you see fit.
I have some caramel Wraps. Could I use them? If so, how?
Are you using hard caramel candies, or soft?
Love all of your recipes. This caramel brownie sounds fabulous. Will be making for super bowl Sunday with the nacho recipe.
Do you only use the 9×13 of doubling it
Same question. This seemed really thin if single recipe and 9×13 pan. I make a caramel/brownie bar and double the recipe for a 9×13 and the cooking time is longer/it sets up like a bar and is great cold.
I can see it “as is” if you are treating it like an ooey-gooey ice cream sundae component. But if you want a freestanding bar, I think it works better doubling the batter and doubling caramels/keeping same amount of evap milk for the middle layer. Cooking time increases depending on oven.
Love all recipes and look forward to making a few. I have recommended you to my daughter.