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Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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These cookie bars are chewy, chocolatey, and filled with a layer of homemade caramel. Plus, they’re easier to make than you might think!

First, you’ll make some gooey, salted caramel. Start by adding sugar to a saucepan and placing it over low-medium heat. Stir often, until the sugar begins to clump, then begins to melt, and is finally completely melted.

Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in vegan butter then vegan creamer (we love oat milk creamer) until combined. Place back over heat and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to boil, then leave it boiling for a minute or so before removing from heat again.

Finally, stir in vanilla and salt. Strain the caramel into a heat-safe bowl and set aside for later.

Next, make the cookie dough. Begin by slightly melting 1 1/2 sticks of vegan butter so that only 1/3 to 1/2 of the butter is melted – we always use these buttery sticks in baking for the best results. Mix the butter together so that it’s all one consistency.

Whisk in white and brown sugars, then nondairy milk (we typically use soy milk for baking) and vanilla.

Next, mix in flour, baking soda, salt and cornstarch.

Finally, mix in dairy-free chocolate chips. You’ll end up with a thick, delicious dough.

You’ll press half the dough into an 8×8 pan, bake it for 10 minutes, evenly pour the caramel overtop, then place the remaining dough evenly over the caramel and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

If you like caramel, you’ll absolutely love these bars, we promise.

Want some more dessert inspo? Check out our vegan desserts board on Pinterest!

And if you like cookies, check out these other recipes:

Peanut Butter S’more Cookies

Classic Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These chocolate chip cookie bars are taken to the next level with a layer of homemade caramel.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients
  

For the caramel:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) vegan butter*
  • 2 tbsp nondairy creamer we prefer soy or oat
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the cookie bars:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) vegan butter*
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp nondairy milk we prefer soy or oat
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour measured correctly**
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup nondairy chocolate chips

Instructions
 

Make the caramel:

  • Place the sugar into a saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir often, until the sugar begins to clump and melt. Continue to stir until the sugar melts completely.***
  • Remove from heat and add in the butter, whisking until combined. Add the creamer and whisk until combined.****
  • Place back onto low-medium heat, continuously stirring, until it gets bubbly. Stir for another minute or so.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Strain the caramel into a heat-safe bowl. Set aside for later.

Make the cookie dough:

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large, heat-safe bowl, melt the vegan butter sticks ~1/3 – 1/2 of the way (this takes about 30-45 seconds in our microwave) and then mix it together until it's all one consistency (see pictures above for example).
  • Add the sugars, milk, and vanilla to the butter. Beat until combined.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch to the wet mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.

Make the bars:

  • Press ~1/2 the cookie dough into your prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  • Stir the caramel. If it has thickened too much so that it won't pour smoothly, heat it up in the microwave for ~15 seconds or place back on the stove over low-medium heat until it thins out.
  • Pour the caramel over the partially cooked dough and spread it around evenly.
  • Take small pieces of the remaining dough and flatten them with your hands, then place them evenly over the caramel. Continue until all of the dough is used up.
  • Place back into the preheated oven for another 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown.
  • Let the bars cool completely and then slice into 16 bars.

Notes

*You should use vegan buttery sticks (like Earth Balance) in this recipe rather than butter out of a tub.
**Measure your flour using this method or your bars may turn out dry and crumbly.
***You’ll need some patience for this. Continuously stir the sugar and don’t increase the heat past medium if it’s not melting, it’ll take a few minutes before it begins to melt at all!
****If your sugar seizes when adding one of these ingredients, place it back over low-medium heat and continuously whisk until the ingredients combine, then continue with the next step.
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