We know. Coming across the word caramel in a recipe can stop you dead in your tracks, and make you want to flip to the next recipe ASAP. Because, really, who has the time during the holidays to make CARAMEL?
But, we think you should hear us out on this one, because we have created a salted chocolate caramel cookie bar recipe that is SO decadent, yet SO easy, we promise you will love making it almost as much as you will love eating it (almost). Our dirty little secret? Store-bought dulche de leche sauce. Intrigued? Keep scrolling to find out how you can make what will probably be the best holiday cookie you will ever try.
Makes 12 Large Bars
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 mL) packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) dulce de leche caramel sauce
1 cup (250 mL) chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp (5 mL) flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Butter parchment, excluding overhang. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and salt, and beat until just combined. Press dough evenly into pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When base is cool, spoon dulce de leche sauce over and use a large flat spatula to spread evenly almost to the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place in fridge to chill for an hour.
- When ready, place chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat and melt, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat immediately and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from fridge and pour chocolate over top of caramel layer. Use a flat spatula to spread to the edges. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place back in fridge to harden chocolate, about another hour.
- Use parchment paper overhang to remove bars from pan. Cut into 12 large bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.