Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars: A Sinfully Delicious Recipe
There's nothing quite like the taste of salted caramel. It's sweet, salty, and creamy all at the same time, and it's a flavor that everyone seems to love. In this recipe, I take that deliciousness and combine it with chocolate chip cookies to create an irresistible dessert! The cookie base is made with brown butter, which gives it a rich flavor and a beautiful golden color. The brown butter also gives the cookies a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the dulce de leche and flakey sea salt.
The dulce de leche, aka caramel, is made with sweetened condensed milk, which is cooked down until it's thick and caramel-like. It's the perfect topping for these cookie bars. In the recipe instructions, I'll tell you how to make it using the crockpot. If you just can't wait to try this recipe out, you can buy dulce de leche at your local grocery store or online.
Just like with any other chocolate chip cookie recipe, you can customize these bars to your liking. You could add in some nuts or white chocolate chips, or even go for a triple chocolate version by using dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder in the dough. No matter what variations you choose, I promise you'll love these salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars! They're so good, you won't be able to resist!
Why You'll Love This Salted Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe
- Easy homemade dulce de leche - This recipe features an easy homemade dulce de leche made with sweetened condensed milk.
- Brown butter - The brown butter in this recipe gives the cookies a nutty flavor and beautiful golden color.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips - add the perfect tough of bitter and sweet to these bars.
- Pairs perfectly with ice cream - These cookie bars are an excellent dessert for warm weather. Just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
- Customizable with your favorite mix-ins - you can use any combination of chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit in this recipe.
Equipment You'll Need To Make This Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Sauce Pan
- 9x13 Baking Dish
- Parchment paper
- Stand or Hand Mixer
Ingredients You'll Need For Your Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
Easy Dulce de Leche
- sweetened condensed milk- I typically use Eagle Brand
Cooks Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients
- unbleached all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- dark brown sugar
- table salt
- vanilla extract
- large eggs
- semi-sweet chocolate chips
- chopped nuts
How To Make Dulce De Leche Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Easy Dulce de Leche
- You can do this two ways. Either remove the paper from around the can, or open the can and pour the sweetened condensed milk into a canning jar (i.e., a 8oz Ball jar) and close tightly.
- Place the jar or can in the crockpot and fill with water about 1 inch above the can or jar.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. Jar or can may look a bit rusty, but it is ok.
- Remove can from crockpot when finished and carefully open with a can opener.
- If cooked in can, and not used right away, store in a reusable container, covered and refrigerated. It will keep up to 1 week.
Cooks Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter until browned.
- It takes about 5 minutes for the butter to begin to smell nutty and start to brown, but watch carefully because it goes from perfectly browned to burned very fast.
- Once the melted butter has browned, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add browned butter and sugars to the bowl of a mixer and mix until combined.
- Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, then add the vanilla.
- Turn the mixer off and add all of your dry ingredients to the bowl.
- Once you have measured and added the flour, soda, and salt, turn the mixer on low and mix until everything has been incorporated.
- Turn the mixer off and mix in chocolate chips and nuts with a wooden spoon.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Line with parchment paper or grease a 9x13 in pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread ½ cup of dulce de leche over the dough.
- Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the top of the dulce de leche.
- Place a couple of dollops of dulce de leche over the top layer oven cookie dough.
- Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
What To Serve With Your Cookie Bar
A big scoop of vanilla ice cream goes great with this these chocolate chip dulce de leche bars, and of course, a cold glass of milk. No matter how you choose to enjoy them, I know you'll love these salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars!
How To Store The Caramel Cookie Bars
These are best served fresh out of the oven, but if you have any leftovers, you can store them in your 9x13 pan with some plastic wrap on top. They will stay fresh for about a week in your fridge or up to three days at room temperature.
If you want to make these in advance, the dough freezes well. You can either roll it into balls and freeze or press half of it into the bottom of your baking dish, wrap with plastic wrap, and store in the freezer until ready to bake. These chocolate chip cookie bars are a great make-ahead recipe! You'll just want to wait to add the dulce de leche until you're ready to bake.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars With Caramel & Sea Salt FAQs
Can I make cookies with this recipe instead of one cookie bar?
Absolutely! You will need to adjust the cooking time for the cookies and wait to add the dulce de leche until after they bake. Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 11-14 minutes. This recipe makes 16 individual cookies (use 3 tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie).
Can I use a different type of chocolate in this recipe?
You could try using dark, white, or milk chocolate chips instead of the semi-sweet ones. Whatever your preference. Keep in mind if you use milk or white, the cookies may take on a cloying sweet profile with the caramel.
Can I make these layer bars without nuts?
Yes, you can leave out the nuts if you'd like. They just add an extra element of texture to the cookie bar.
Do I have to use dulce de leche?
No, you could use another type of caramel sauce or even Nutella. The sky is the limit! Just make sure to adjust the amount of salt that you add if you're using a different type of topping.
Don't feel like making your own dulce de leche?
You can purchase a can of dulce de leche in the condensed milk isle of your grocery stores, online, or at gourmet food markets. Either way, pick up a can the next time you are at the store. It is a glorious ingredient and wonderful to eat with a spoon, on ice cream, or on top of the brownies.
Other Cookie Recipes You’re Sure To Love
- LEMON COOKIE BARS
- STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SUGAR COOKIE BARS
- APPLE PIE SUGAR COOKIE BARS
- CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES
- STARBUCKS COPYCAT CRANBERRY BLISS BARS
I hope you enjoy this recipe for salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars as much as I do!
Salted Caramel (Dulce De Leche) Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - creamy, luxurious dulce de leche atop the most amazing chocolate chip cookie bar made with nutty brown butter and rich semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- 1 8-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 14 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar packed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup walnut pieces options
You can do this two ways- Either remove the paper from around the can, or open the can and pour the sweetened condensed milk into a canning jar (ie a 8oz Ball jar) and close tightly.
Place jar or can in crock pot and fill with water about 1 inch above the can or jar.
Cook on low for 8 hours. Jar or can may look a bit rusty, but it is ok.
Remove can from crock pot when finished and carefully open with can opener.
If cooked in can, and not used right away store in a reusable container, covered and refrigerated. Will keep up to 1 week.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt butter until browned.
It takes about 5 minutes for butter to begin to smell nutty and start to brown, but watch carefully because it goes from perfectly browned to burned very fast.
Once browned, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add browned butter and sugars to the bowl of a mixer and mix until combined.
Add eggs and yolks one at a time then add the vanilla.
Turn mixer off and add all of your dry ingredients to the bowl.
Once you have measured and added the flour, soda and salt, turn the mixer on low and mix until everything has been incorporated.
Turn mixer off and mix in chocolate chips and nuts with wooden spoon.
Line or grease a 9x13 in pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Spread ½ cup of dulce de leche over the dough.
Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the top of the ducle de leche.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.