Whenever I make something with a salted caramel sauce, my friend Alicia is first to comment on my obsession with salted caramel. And it’s true. I’m obsessed, in love, should probably go to a support group for it. But I can’t help myself. Luckily there have been no objections from people. Though who says no to free baked goods?
Anyway, writing this post was like trying to take pictures for this post: difficult. You know sometimes when you spend so much time in your head thinking that when it’s finally time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) you’re at a loss for words? That’s me right now. Usually this would bother me, but like when I was trying to take pictures of these bars the other day and instead got covered in melted chocolate chunks and caramel sauce, it’s okay.
So today, I bring you a few more pictures than usual and a short description. These bars have been on my mind for a long time, but I finally got around to making them and I don’t know why it took so long. Fresh out of the oven, the salted caramel sauce will ooze out and make a delicious mess. After a few hours, it starts to harden so instead you have a soft (but not saucy) caramel center. The flavors of the caramel and the cookie dough blend and mix together while baking and create a wonderful balance between sweet, salty, and chocolate-y. Pretty ideal in my world.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go melt that butter and get started on these. Now.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
makes 16 bars (1-9×9 pan)
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chunks
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, for topping
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Take a 9×9 inch square baking pan and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for minutes smooth and creamy. Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, mixing for 2 minutes until smooth, silky, and light in color. With the mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Press half of the cookie dough into the pan. Top with salted caramel sauce. Gently press remaining cookie dough over the top to cover caramel sauce. Sprinkle seat salt flakes over the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is a golden brown and the edges have started to pull away from the pan. Let cool for 30 minutes to an hour in the pan and then cut into squares. Enjoy!
[source: adapted from these bars]