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Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These chocolate chip cookie bars are taken to the next level with a layer of homemade caramel.
5 from 2 votes
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 (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick / 56 g) vegan butter*, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) nondairy creamer, at room temperature we prefer soy or oat
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the cookie bars:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 170 g) vegan butter*
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) nondairy milk we prefer soy or oat
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups (281 g) all-purpose flour measured correctly**
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup (126 g) vegan 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.