5-Ingredient Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe

Having homemade treats around the house is a great idea for when a craving for sweets strikes. While it can be tempting to simply pick up a ready-made package of mass-produced cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth (did you know there's a reason why some people have a bigger sweet tooth than others?), home baking doesn't have to be complicated — nor does it have to require dozens of ingredients and lots of time preparing, as Jessica Morone of Jess Loves Baking demonstrates with this 5-ingredient chocolate caramel cookie bar recipe. 

We dare you to find a better combination than chocolate and caramel, especially in a cookie bar format, which makes it easy to enjoy. Thanks to the classic match and a few quick shortcuts, these bars will definitely end up in your regular rotation. Morone remarks, "I've been making them for a few years and they are just so delicious." While she's glad to experiment with other recipes, she confirms, "This is honestly my favorite recipe for bar cookies."

Gather the five ingredients required for this chocolate caramel cookie bar recipe

Aside from the decadent flavor, one of the appealing factors of these cookie bars is their limited ingredient list. 

Morone accomplishes this by using a package of double chocolate chunk cookie mix for the base of the bars. To turn the powdered cookie mix into a texture that holds, she mixes it with melted butter and an egg. Although the Betty Crocker brand Morone uses is available in most supermarkets, Morone suggests using other brands of a similar size in case you can't find it. For a slightly different take, "You can also experiment with flavors like using chocolate chip cookie mix or sugar cookie mix instead of double chocolate," she notes. 

Morone keeps the filling equally simple by combining a package of individually wrapped soft caramels with sweetened condensed milk. The caramel candies dissolve into the condensed milk, creating a smooth sweet caramel filling. Morone hasn't strayed from the flavor, "because I love caramel so much," but if you want to try a different filling, she says, "I'm sure something like peanut butter would work."

In a large bowl, combine the cookie mix, melted butter, and egg

First things first, set your oven to preheat to 350 F while you assemble the bars. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Next, empty out the contents of the double chocolate cookie mix package into a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter and crack the egg to add it to the bowl. Mix everything together until the ingredients form a dough.

Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake it

Now, transfer one half of the dough into the 8x8-inch pan you prepared. Using your hands or a spatula, press the dough firmly into the bottom of the pan, spreading it out so that it fills the base from edge to edge. Try to ensure that the dough is relatively uniform in thickness since this will be the bottom layer of the bars. Next, place the pan into the preheated oven for eight to 10 minutes, until the edges start to firm up and the center is set.

You'll use the other half of the dough later. 

Melt the caramels and sweetened condensed milk

Now it's time to make the caramel filling. Place a medium saucepan on the stovetop and add the soft caramels (make sure you've unwrapped them!) and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat the mixture over low to medium heat until the caramels have completely melted and the texture is smooth. Be sure to keep stirring the contents of the saucepan to prevent them from sticking to the bottom. 

Once you've reached the desired consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat.

Pour the caramel mixture over the cookie base

Now it's time to move on to the next step required to assemble the bars: carefully pouring the caramel mixture over the cookie base in the 8x8-inch pan. Use a spatula to spread it out properly so that the caramel layer is even throughout. You'll want to make sure to get some caramel all the way to the edges so that each bite is satisfyingly rich and delicious.

Crumble the rest of the cookie dough on top of the caramel and bake

It's time to add the last layer before baking the bars. Take the remaining half of the cookie dough and crumble it over the top of the caramel. It's fine to have some caramel peeking out but try to sprinkle the dough across the surface. Pop the pan back into the oven at 350 F and bake the bars for an additional 15 minutes. 

"Since the cookie mix is dark in color, there isn't a simple clue as to when it's done like it changing to a golden brown," Morone remarks. However, she adds, "you can tell by looking at it if the cookie mix in the center looks dry and cooked rather than still wet." She notes that otherwise, "You can also touch it to see if it feels dry and set."

Once you're satisfied the bars are ready, remove them from the oven.

Let the bars cool then serve these tasty treats

Although you'll want to dig right in, let the bars cool down completely so that the caramel can set. Then, cut them into squares and enjoy these tasty chocolate caramel cookie bars. 

Morone suggests you store them in a sealed container at room temperature. She says, "These will keep for several days and still be just as delicious, even a few days later." Depending on your willpower, you might find yourself in the same position as Morone, who says, "They are so dangerous that I have to give the extras away so I don't end up eating them all."

5-Ingredient Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe
5 from 7 ratings
Thanks to the classic flavors and a few quick shortcuts, this 5-ingredient chocolate caramel cookie bar recipe will definitely end up in your regular rotation.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
16
bars
chocolate caramel cookie bars
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (17 ½-ounce) package double chocolate chunk cookie mix
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (11-ounce) package individually wrapped soft caramels
  • ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, then set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cookie mix, melted butter, and egg and mix everything until the dough comes together.
  4. Press one half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake it in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are firm and the center is set.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine the unwrapped caramels with the sweetened condensed milk.
  6. Heat the contents of the saucepan over medium-low heat until the caramels have melted and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Pour the heated caramel over the baked cookie base.
  8. Crumble up the remaining half of the cookie dough and sprinkle it over the caramel layer.
  9. Bake the bars in the preheated oven for another 15 minutes until the center looks dry.
  10. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely until they set.
  11. Cut the bars into squares and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 304
Total Fat 16.0 g
Saturated Fat 7.1 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 28.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Total Sugars 16.2 g
Sodium 150.4 mg
Protein 3.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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