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+ servings

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars

Yield: 36 bars
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
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This sweet and salty dessert recipe is three decadent layers of mouthwatering goodness. These bars start with a buttery cookie crust followed by layers of soft caramel and milk chocolate.

Ingredients
 

Layer 1 - Cookie

  • 40 club crackers, (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter, cold (see note 2)

Layer 2 - Caramel

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Layer 3 - Chocolate

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, or 1 bag
  • 1 Tbsp butter, room temperature (optional)

Instructions
 

Layer 1 - Cookie

  • Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray (see note 3). 
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: Put Club Crackers in a food processor and process into very fine breadcrumbs (see note 4). Add the powdered sugar and salt to the food processer and process until well combined.
    Processed club crackers.
  • Add Butter: Cut the cold butter into cubes (see note 2) and add to the food processor (see note 5). Pulse until the mixture turns into small pea-sized balls and starts to clump up like dough. 
    Cookie dough after incorporating butter into dry ingredients.
  • Bake Cookie Layer: Put the mixture in the lined baking pan and press it down firmly to make the bottom layer/cookie crust (see note 6). Put it in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes. Once done baking, let it cool.
    Cookie layer in baking pan.

Layer 2 - Caramel

  • Microwave Butter: Cut 1/2 cup butter into Tablespoon sized slices. Put the butter in a very large mixing bowl (see note 7). Microwave for 45-60 seconds or until the butter is partially melted.
    Partially melted butter in large bowl.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, and salt to the bowl. Whisk until well combined. 
    Whisking caramel ingredients in grey bowl.
  • Microwave + Whisk: Microwave the mixture for a total of 8 minutes if using a plastic or melamine bowl or a total of 7 minutes if using a glass bowl, whisking every 2 minutes: 
    2 minutes + whisk
    2 minutes + whisk
    2 minutes + whisk
    2 minutes + whisk (for plastic or melamine bowl) OR 1 minute + whisk (for glass bowl)
    Microwaved caramel in large bowl.
  • Add Caramel Layer: After microwaving and whisking, immediately pour the caramel mixture over the cookie crust. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until the caramel has set.
    Pouring caramel on cookie layer.

Layer 3 - Chocolate

  • Melt Chocolate: In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips for 20-30 second intervals, stirring between, until the chocolate is just melted (see note 8). Stir 1 Tbsp of room temperature butter (see note 9) into the melted chocolate until well combined. 
    Melted chocolate in grey bowl.
  • Add Chocolate Layer: Immediately pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer. Smooth with a spatula and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
    Spreading melted chocolate on cookie bars.
  • Serve & Store: Cut the bars with a sharp knife (see note 10). Store bars in the fridge until ready to eat!

Notes

Note 1 - Club Crackers: 40 Club Crackers equals about 1 1/4 cups after they've been processed into fine breadcrumbs.
Note 2 - Cold Butter: The butter needs to be very cold. It should go straight from the fridge into your food processor!
Note 3 - Cooking Spray: To make sure you can get your bars out of the pan with ease, spray the baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper. Then spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
Note 4 - Food Processor Substitute (cracker breadcrumbs): If you do not have a food processor, a blender can be used to turn the crackers into very fine breadcrumbs.
Note 5 - Food Processor Substitute (cold butter): If you do not have a food processor, put the Club Cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and salt mixture into a large bowl. Use a potato masher or fork to incorporate the cold butter into the dry ingredients. This will take a little arm muscle!
Note 6 - Press Cookie Layer: For a compact and even cookie layer, spray the bottom of a measuring cup (or other tool with a flat surface) with cooking spray and use it to press cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Two hands pressing dough into baking dish.
Note 7 - Large Mixing Bowl: The caramel mixture bubbles up when microwaved. To ensure it doesn't overflow and make a mess, use the largest mixing bowl you can comfortably fit in your microwave.
Note 8 - Melt Chocolate Chips: Chocolate is very easy to burn when microwaving. Therefore, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals. Stir in between each interval. 
Note 9 - Room Temperature Butter: The butter needs to be room temperature when added to the melted chocolate. Cold butter may cause the melted chocolate to seize up.
Note 10 - Cut Bars: Spray your knife with cooking spray to avoid sticking when cutting the bars.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g
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