Decadent Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars


Decadent Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars: A Sweet Indulgence for Any Occasion

Imagine biting into a soft, chewy bar layered with gooey caramel and rich chocolate chips—pure bliss, right? These Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars offer just that. Perfect for a cozy night in, a tea party with friends, or as a delightful treat for your family, these bars are both comforting and indulgent. Let’s dive into the process of creating these delightful confections that will surely become a favorite in your recipe collection.

Ingredients Overview

All-Purpose Flour (2 1/8 cups)

  • The foundation of your bars, providing structure and texture.

Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness.

Baking Soda (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Aids in the rise, giving the bars a light, chewy texture.

Butter (12 tablespoons, melted and cooled to room temperature)

  • Adds richness and moisture, ensuring a tender crumb.

Brown Sugar (1 cup)

  • Provides a deep, molasses-like sweetness and contributes to the chewy texture.

White Sugar (1/2 cup)

  • Balances the sweetness and aids in creating a slightly crisp top.

Large Egg (1) and Large Egg Yolk (1)

  • Bind the ingredients together and add richness.

Vanilla Extract (2 teaspoons)

  • Enhances the overall flavor with its warm, aromatic essence.

Chocolate Chips (2 cups)

  • Melty pockets of chocolate throughout the bars, making each bite a delight.

Chopped Walnuts (1/2 cup, optional)

  • Adds a delightful crunch and nutty flavor, complementing the chocolate and caramel.

Caramel Candy (10 ounces)

  • The star of the show, providing that irresistible gooey layer.

Heavy Cream (3 tablespoons)

  • Ensures the caramel melts smoothly and adds richness.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Preheat Your Oven:

  1. Set the Temperature: Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan thoroughly to prevent sticking.

Prepare the Dry Ingredients: 2. Mix the Basics: In a medium bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Blend the Wet Ingredients: 3. Combine Butter and Sugars: In a large bowl, blend the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until well combined. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. 4. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix well until everything is fully incorporated.

Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients: 5. Form the Dough: Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Avoid over-mixing to ensure the bars stay tender. 6. Add Chocolate and Nuts: Stir in the chocolate chips and, if using, the chopped walnuts. This ensures even distribution throughout the dough.

Prepare the Caramel Layer: 7. Melt the Caramel: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramel candy and heavy cream. Microwave in short bursts, stirring frequently until the caramel is completely melted and smooth.

Assemble the Bars: 8. First Layer: Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan, spreading it out evenly. 9. Add Caramel: Pour the melted caramel over the dough layer, spreading it to cover the surface evenly. 10. Top Layer: Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel. It doesn’t have to be perfect; some caramel peeking through is fine.

Bake: 11. Into the Oven: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. 12. Cool Completely: Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan before cutting. This step is crucial for the caramel to set properly.

Storage and Reheating Tips


  • Store the cooled bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • For longer storage, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


  • Enjoy the bars at room temperature, or if you prefer them warm, microwave individual bars for 10-15 seconds to soften the caramel and chocolate.

Helpful Tips for Enhancing the Recipe

Use High-Quality Ingredients: For the best flavor, opt for high-quality butter, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips.

Chill the Dough: If you have time, chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking to prevent spreading and ensure a thicker bar.

Line the Pan with Parchment: For easy removal, line your baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to lift the bars out after baking.

Cut with a Warm Knife: For clean slices, warm your knife under hot water, dry it, and then cut through the bars.

Experiment with Mix-Ins: Try adding different nuts, toffee bits, or even a sprinkle of sea salt on top for variation.

Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure the melted butter has cooled to room temperature before mixing to avoid melting the sugars and changing the texture.

Even Layering: When pressing the dough into the pan, use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly.

Cool Completely: Let the bars cool completely before cutting to avoid a gooey mess.

Small Batches of Caramel: If the caramel begins to harden before you spread it, gently reheat it in the microwave.

Popular Questions and Answers

Can I use a different type of sugar?

  • Yes! You can experiment with dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor or use coconut sugar for a slightly healthier twist.

Can I make these bars gluten-free?

  • Absolutely! Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend designed for baking.

What if I don’t have caramel candies?

  • No worries! You can make a homemade caramel sauce or use caramel ice cream topping as a substitute.

How do I keep the bars from getting too hard?

  • To maintain softness, store the bars in an airtight container and avoid over-baking them.

Can I omit the nuts?

  • Definitely! The nuts are optional and can be left out if you prefer nut-free bars.

How do I know when the bars are done?

  • Check for a golden brown edge and a set center. The bars will continue to firm up as they cool.

Can I add other toppings?

  • Yes! Feel free to sprinkle additional chocolate chips, sea salt, or even shredded coconut on top before baking.

What’s the best way to melt the caramel?

  • Microwave in short bursts, stirring frequently, or melt gently on the stovetop over low heat.

Can I use a different type of pan?

  • A 9×9 inch pan will yield thicker bars but may require additional baking time.

Why did my bars turn out dry?

  • Over-baking is the most common cause. Check them at the minimum baking time and adjust as needed.

Secrets for Achieving Culinary Perfection

Measure Ingredients Accurately: Use a kitchen scale for the most precise measurements, especially for the flour and sugars.

Room Temperature Eggs: Ensure your egg and egg yolk are at room temperature for the best incorporation into the batter.

Avoid Over-Mixing: Mix just until the ingredients are combined to keep the bars tender.

Bake Evenly: Rotate the pan halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.

Quality Caramel: Use high-quality caramel candies or homemade caramel for the best flavor and texture.

Consistent Size: Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough for even layers and uniform bars.

Cooling Patience: Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting to ensure they hold their shape.

Creative Layers: For a twist, try layering the dough with peanut butter or Nutella along with the caramel.

Testing Doneness: Use a toothpick inserted into the center—if it comes out with a few moist crumbs, the bars are done.

Aesthetic Presentation: For a bakery-style look, drizzle melted chocolate over the cooled bars before serving.

Enjoy creating these delightful Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars and savor every rich, chewy, and gooey bite


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