If you love sweet and salty treats as much as we do, then these scrumptious salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars are for you. Yummy chocolate chips and caramel bits make these decadent and chewy cookie squares almost taste like candy bars.
Best of all, they are super easy to make and will be ready in only 30 minutes. No need for long chilling times or rolling of individual cookies. Just put the delicious dough in a pan, bake and cut. It's that easy!
Oven baked cookie bars only use simple ingredients, so you might not even have to make a trip to the grocery store! Serve these amazing treats at family game time or movie nights.
WHAT ARE COOKIE BARS?
Cookie bars are made from a basic cookie dough that is flavored by adding delicious add-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, peanut butter chips, caramel bites or coconut flakes, for example. Most importantly, no individual cookies need to be rolled, as you bake the dough in a baking dish and then cut into squares. They are quick, easy and oh so delicious!
❤️ WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS CHOCOLATE CARAMEL COOKIE BAR RECIPE
✔️ These insanely delicious cookie bars are gooey and packed full of chocolate chips and caramel bits.
✔️ No chilling time or shaping of cookies necessary.
✔️ It only takes 30 minutes to create this mouthwatering dessert.
✔️ You can bake cookie bars in the oven or air fryer.
SALTED CARAMEL COOKIE BAR INGREDIENTS
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- All-purpose flour: Plain all-purpose flour works great here but cake flour can be substituted by adding an additional 2 tablespoons for each cup of all-purpose flour. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose flour, use 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of cake flour.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Sea Salt
- Butter: It is important to use softened butter, so it blends well with the other ingredients. Take the butter out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before starting the recipe. You can also soften butter by microwaving it for a couple of seconds.
- Granulated Sugar
- Light Brown Sugar: The molasses in the sugar adds great flavor to your cookie bars and keeps them chewy. You can substitute dark brown sugar in a pinch.
- Vanilla Extract
- Chocolate Chips: We used regular semi-sweet chocolate chips for this recipe but you can also use mini chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips or a mix of all of them.
- Caramel Bits
- Salt Flakes
This section shows how to cook oven baked salted caramel cookie bars, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, nutritional information, to print the recipe or to have the recipe scaled to double or triple, see the recipe card below.
PREPARE: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x9" baking dish with parchment paper.
🔴 TIP: Use parchment paper, because the cookie bars will come out of the pan much better.
COMBINE THE DRY INGREDIENTS: In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend.
COMBINE THE WET INGREDIENTS: Combine softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
🔴 TIP: Make sure you use softened butter. Take the butter out of the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before you make cookies. Or you can cut cold butter into 1 tablespoon portions, place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 5 seconds.
MIX BATTER: Mix with an electric mixer until creamy. Add an egg and the vanilla extract. Mix again until combined.
COMBINE WET AND DRY INGREDIENTS: Slowly add dry ingredients, about a ¼ cup of flour mixture at a time, to the wet ingredients. Keep mixing with the electric mixer until all ingredients are well blended. Add chocolate chips and caramel bits and mix.
🔴 TIP: Do not overmix the batter, go slow and stop mixing once everything is just combined.
BAKE: Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and done. Remember it will continue cooking a little after removing it from the oven.
🔴 TIP: Add more chocolate chips to the top of your cookie bars and press in lightly, if desired.
ENJOY: Once cool, remove from the baking dish and cut into squares.
HOW TO MAKE COOKIE BARS IN THE AIR FRYER
Make sure you cut the recipe in half, or bake your cookie bars in 2 batches. We used a round cake pan and cooked the cookie bars at 300ºF until done.
If you like making cookies in the air fryer you must also try our scrumptious Air Fryer Cookies or Air Fryer Cookie for One.
HOW TO COOK JUST ONE COOKIE
Want to make just one cookie? After mixing up this recipe, use a large cookie scoop to make round 2-3 tablespoon size balls of dough. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet on parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for an hour. Once frozen, pop the cookie dough balls into the freezer in a ziplock bag. These cookie dough balls will last 3 months. Use our One Cookie Air Fryer Recipe to cook up one at a time when you want it.
TIPS FOR THE BEST SALTED CARAMEL COOKIE BARS
Follow these tips to make the best salted caramel cookie bars.
✔️ Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. It is tempting to use cooking spray but they’ll come out of the pan much better with parchment paper.
✔️ Use softened butter. The easiest way to soften butter is to take it out of the refrigerator and leave it on the counter for 30-60 minutes before you make cookies. If your butter is not soft, cut into 1 tablespoon portions and place on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 5 seconds. Be careful because it will melt quickly.
✔️ Do not overmix the cookie batter. Mix just until it’s all combined.
✔️ Sprinkle the top with salt flakes before cooking.
Counter: In the unlikely case you end up with chocolate caramel cookie bar leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Make sure they are tightly wrapped or covered so they stay soft and chewy.
Freeze: Completely cooled oven baked cookie bars can be frozen in a freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months.
Defrosting: Thaw your salted caramel chocolate chip blondie bars on the counter for a couple of hours. To enjoy a delicious warm cookie bar, simply pop the defrosted treats in the microwave for a few of seconds or in the oven for a minute or two.
MORE COOKIE BAR RECIPES
Do you love the convenience of no chill, no shape cookie bars? Then you have to try our Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Bars, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, and Chocolate Coconut Bars.
Another must-try recipe are these insanely yummy Lemon Cream Cheese Cookie Bars. The combination of citrusy cream cheese filling with cookie crumble topping is just to die for.
If you are a big fan of everything caramel, you will most certainly also love our Turtle Hand Pies, Deep Fried Snickers, Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Bombs, Butterscotch Cookies with Toffee and Caramel Rice Krispie Treat Sandwiches.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For perfect results every time, here are answers to the most common questions about cooking salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars.
YES. You can line your baking dish with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. Make sure you have a slight overhang on the edges. This makes it a lot easier to lift the baked cookie bar out of the pan. We do not recommend using non-stick spray or buttering and flouring your baking dish for this recipe.
For the cookie bars to be done they should be slightly puffed up, golden brown with crispy edges. The middle might still look underdone, but don't forget the cookie bars will keep on cooking for a couple of minutes after they have been removed from the oven. When you insert a toothpick at the center it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it. If there is still raw batter on the toothpick, keep the cookie bars in the oven for another couple of minutes.
Yes. You can double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13" baking pan. You might have to add a couple of minutes to the baking time. Start checking the cookie bars at the 20 minute mark to be sure you don't overcook them.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup butter - softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar - packed
- 1 large egg
- 1½ tsps vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips - (half a 12 oz bag)
- ½ cup caramel bits
- salt flakes - (garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x9" baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until mixed well.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix with an electric mixer until well blended.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again until combined.
- Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing as you go until it's all just combined. Do not overmix.
- Add chocolate chips and caramel bits stir until combined.
- Spread cookie batter into the baking pan. Spread evenly and smooth with a spatula. Add 10-20 more chocolate chips to the top, if desired. Sprinkle with salt flakes, to taste.
- Cook for 20-22 minutes or until golden and cooked to your desired crispiness. Remember it will continue cooking a little after you remove it from the oven.
- Once cool, remove from the baking dish and cut into 16 pieces.
- Do not overmix the batter. The one downside of mixing cookies with an electric mixer is the danger of overmixing when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Go slow and stop mixing once everything is combined.
- If your butter is not softened it will not mix well and your cookie bars won’t cook correctly.
- Add a handful of chocolate chips to the top of your cookie bars and press in lightly, if desired.
- We tried cooking in an air fryer in a round cake pan. Cut the recipe in half and cook at 300°F until done. We prefer the oven method but this is fun as well!