Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

When I found this recipe for "Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Bars" on Pinterest, I immediately re-pinned it to my "Yummy in the Tummy" board. Being a little wary of adding too much salt to the caramel, because I don't own any really good sea salt, my first attempt at these bars were really just chocolate chip caramel bars. AND THEY WERE DELICIOUS. My bf and I made them for our Mother's Day shindig, and our parents flipped for them. In fact, Jane has not stopped talking about them. She not so casually hints that she would like me to make them again at least once a week, and has requested that I make them for Father's Day this weekend. (Note: mother requesting a dish for father's day.) In any case, there's a good chance we'll be indulging in this buttery, chocolatey, ooey-gooey goodness again come this weekend... The recipe below is taken in it's original form from "Two Peas & Their Pod", with some notes on specific ingredient quantities added on in parentheses. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Cheers! Cleo

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

Yield: 16 cookie bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (I think this was a tad too much butter. I'm going to try the 9-10 tablespoon range this weekend) 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups chocolate chips (I didn't use the full 2C of chocolate chips. In fact, I think I only used somewhere between 1-1.5C because I like to be able to taste my cookie dough. The amount you use is totally up to your chip/dough ratio preference) 10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped 3 tablespoons heavy cream Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars (I didn't sprinkle any extra sea salt over the top of the bars, just a little on the caramel layer)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (which is an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together 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 large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.

5. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

6.Bake 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 bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.