Cookie dough lovers will enjoy these layered bars that include shortbread, a thick caramel, cookie dough and chocolate topping!
Well, friends, I am starting to relinquish my reign over the kitchen. My (now 13-year old!) daughter has begun to encircle my space, Catan-style. She has been finding new recipes to try and doesn’t like me to help too much.
Addie was off one day for some student holiday and had the urge to try baking something new. She found a recipe for edible cookie dough for one, and that morphed into my lending her my Cookie Dough Lovers cookbook. My husband and she had a grand old time picking out recipes but ultimately settled on these cookie dough billionaire bars.
Surprisingly, I was allowed to help with this recipe. The hardest step for Addie was the caramel layer – she wanted me to melt everything together since she’s not as comfortable using the stovetop yet. I was happy to assist and also helped assemble the remaining layers since she had her hands full with another project.
The two of us had a great time making these bars. Although the shortbread layer was a bit hard for my personal tastes, it tasted really good and balanced out the softer and gooeier layers on top. I also thought that the caramel layer was too firm, so I would recommend adding more heavy cream, but that is a personal preference.
These bars do taste like a million… er, billion bucks!
Husband’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4 out of 5
Cookie dough billionaire bars
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 7 ounces soft caramel candies about 25 candies, unwrapped
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream I recommend upping this to 3-4 Tablespoons
- ½ cup (1 stick or 8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- 4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate chopped (I used chocolate chips)
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Bake the shortbread
- Preheat your oven to 350℉. Line a standard 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch overhang on the sides.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix well.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour. Mix until well incorporated. Your dough will appear to look dry and crumbly.
- Transfer the dough to your prepared baking pan and press it onto the bottom of your pan. Use a fork to prick holes all over. Bake in your preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven (you can turn off the oven) and allow the crust to cool.
Make the caramel
- In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt the caramels with the heavy cream until no lumps remain. Pour this over the cooled shortbread crust and set aside. Allow the caramel layer to firm up before adding more layers on top (you can put the bars in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the cooling process).
Make the cookie dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer (note: I reused my mixing bowl from the shortbread and did not wash it), cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the heavy cream and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips.
- Once the caramel layer has set, spread the cookie dough on top and smooth out the top with an offset spatula. Set aside. If desired, you can set this in the refrigerator to cool and firm up (I chose not to do that).
Make the chocolate glaze
- In a small saucepan set over low heat or in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together. Beat vigorously until smooth and free of lumps. Pour this over the cookie dough layer. Allow the chocolate to set (you can place this in the refrigerator to let it set more quickly if you like).
- Once the chocolate layer has set, lift the bars out of the pan by using the parchment overhang. Set this on a flat surface and cut into 16 squares.
- Serve and enjoy!