Chocolate chip cookie bars are already an awesome dessert. Add in a layer of gooey caramel in the middle, and now you’ve got yourself a masterpiece!
Today is Father’s Day in Taiwan! You see, the word for eight eight (8/8) is a homonym for dad (“ba ba“). He flew to Taiwan in early April to see family after being fully vaccinated and receiving a negative PCR test. Upon arrival in Taiwan, he had to quarantine in a tiny hotel room for 2 full weeks.
During the 2 week quarantine, he was required to report out on his vitals at least twice a day (maybe even 3). After he was done with his quarantine, he was on a modified lockdown where he had to wear a mask everywhere, stay away from public places and report on his vitals once a day.
Unfortunately, after he finished all of these requirements, the country went back on lockdown. There was an outbreak in Taipei City (near my grandma’s house) and the city shut down. Sadly, my dad went back on lockdown for about 8 weeks.
My brother and I found it ironic that he went to Taiwan to escape the lockdowns here in the US, only to get locked down in Taiwan. Thankfully, my dad made it back to the US despite all the restrictions.
After my dad arrived back in the US, he stayed with me for a few days. I needed to have some type of dessert around the house and ended up making these bars. Although I love my ever-popular caramel bars, I wanted to try something without the oatmeal base. I found a recipe for a chocolate chip cookie base and used the caramel layer from my bar recipe.
I think these baked a little bit too long (25 minutes) because the tops were a deep golden rather than a lighter golden color. If you try these, start checking your bars at the 20 minute mark so they don’t over bake.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad – I’m so glad you are home safely!
Husband’s rating: 3 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4 out of 5
Caramel chocolate chip cookie bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 36 unwrapped caramels
- 6 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease or a line a standard 9"x13" baking pan and set aside.
- 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 sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, vanilla, salt and baking soda and mix well.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour until well combined. Add in the chocolate chips and mix.
- Spread about ¾ of the batter onto your prepared baking pan. I like using an offset spatula to even it out into a smooth layer.
- Now make the caramel. In a small saucepan set over medium low heat, melt the caramels and heavy cream together. Keep stirring until the caramel becomes smooth and is free of lumps. Pour this over the cookie dough batter in your pan. If desired, add more chocolate chips on top.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the remaining cookie dough on top of the caramel layer.
- Bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. I found that baking for 25 minutes seemed a bit too much, so I'd recommend checking your oven around 20 minutes in.
- Allow the bars to cool slightly before slicing and serving.