Today, my friends and I become second semester high school seniors. As much as our teacher try to convince us otherwise, this means that we have paid our educational dues and now it’s finally time for studying and schoolwork to take the backseat in our lives for now as we finally start doing what we want to do instead of what we have to do. This means that I will have more time for baking, crafting, exploring LA, practicing yoga, and blogging. What would you do if your responsibilities suddenly eased up, allowing you with more time for yourself?
Even more important than being the first day of my last semester of high school, today is Goose’s 18th birthday. He is one of the kindest, most creative, and most thoughtful people I have ever met, and I feel incredibly lucky have grown and matured besides him from when we started dating as two crazy 15-year-olds.
A few days ago I asked Goose what he wanted me to bake him as his birthday treat, because he has been such an obliging taste tester over the past few years. His request was simple enough…chocolate chip cookies or something simple…absolutely nothing with frosting. The ruled out the adorable smash cake or the cute baseball rice krispy treats that I had been considering making him.
I combined his favorite drink, Starbucks’s salted caramel hot chocolate, with one of my family’s favorite birthday recipes , chocolate chip cheesecake bars, to make these delectable Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. These are two layers of delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies with a layer of decadent salted caramel sandwiched in the middle.
There are a variety of ways to alter these delicious cookies based on your taste preferences and time availability. You could:
- Use pre-made cookie dough to save on time
- Use your own go-to chocolate chip cookie dough recipe
- Use peanut butter, snicker doodle, or sugar cookie dough instead of chocolate chip
- Fill the cookies with a layer of marshmallow fluff, hot fudge sauce, buttercream frosting or any other filling of your choice
- Instead of making the caramel sauce from scratch, melt 10 ounces of caramels candies (such as Werther’s) with 3 Tbs of heavy cream in the microwave for about 2 minutes in 20 seconds intervals, stirring after each 2o seconds
- Top the warm cookie bars with ice cream for an extra decadent treat
For the cookies
- 1 Cup + 2 Tbs all purpose flour
- 1 Cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 Tsp salt
- 1/2 Tsp baking soda
- 12 Tbs butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 Cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Cups chocolate chips
For the Caramel Sauce
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1/4 Cup water
- 3/4 Cup heavy cream
- 3 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 Tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, then spray an 11 X 7 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda, then set aside
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the melted butter and sugars, then add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients (from the second step) and mix on low until just combined, then mix in the chocolate chips
5. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat and bring to a boil without stirring until the syrup is a deep amber color (about 5 to 6 minutes)
6. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream, then stir in the butter and salt
5. Press a little less than half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula
6. Pour the hot caramel sauce over the cookie dough and sprinkle caramel with sea salt
7. Flatten spoonfuls of cookie dough into sheets and gently place them over the caramel, filling in the cracks with extra dough and smoothing the top down until the caramel is completely covered
8. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt, then place them in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown
9. Once the bars are completely cooled, cut bars into squares and serve
Happy Birthday Goose! What special birthday traditions or special occasion recipes do you have?