Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

I have a thing for salted caramel.
It just so happens that Trader Joes makes my FAVORITE salted caramel sauce.
One problem....NO Trader Joes in Utah.
(It is SO sad).

Luckily, I have a rockin' sister in law who lives in Davis, CA, and she lovingly supplies with this dream sauce.
Bless you Vera.

So, when I found this recipe, out came the sauce.
I'm not a huge fan of unwrapping a gazillion caramels...so when there is a recipe with caramel sauce any kind, I substitute store bought sauce.

This recipe is super easy.
Super quick.
And VERY delicious.
You can unwrap caramels if you want...but most stores sell a caramel sauce in the jar, and you can add crushed sea salt to your taste.

I added a little TOO much caramel sauce. It made the bars a little messy...but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing either. :)


Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars (from Brown Eyed Baker)
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
*10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
*3 tablespoons heavy cream
*This is where I sub for jarred sauce!
Fleur de sel (or other sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed 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.

4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes.
*Or just use the caramel sauce in a jar....lifesaver! Use about 3/4 jar!

5. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving some empty space around the edges. Sprinkle the caramel with the sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

6. Bake the 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 the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

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