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These Caramel Bars are about to take your taste buds by storm: They’re loaded with caramel, buttery cookies, AND chocolate chips! When you’re craving something sinfully good, this recipe for caramel butter bars is it. 

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stack of 3 cookie bars with caramel and chocolate chips
Table of Contents
  1. What is a Caramel Bar?
  2. Ingredients in Caramel Butter Bars
  3. How to make Caramel Bars
  4. Chocolate Chip Caramel Butter Bars Recipe

What is a Caramel Bar?

A caramel bar is an unforgettable combination of caramel, sugar cookie bars, and chocolate. In my mind, this is what it would taste like if chocolate chip cookies and butter cookies drizzled were caramel met and got married. 

There are so many layers of flavor to this caramel bars recipe that you’ll have to eat a second just to process them all! (and maybe even a third and a fourth – only time will tell!) 

While there are different variations that you can change to make these butter bars with caramel different, be sure to make this original caramel cookie bars recipe as written below first! 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Sugary butter cookie bars FULL of chocolate chips
  • GOOEY caramel center
  • Easy to make and freeze!
Ingredients in CARAMEL BUTTER BARS

Ingredients in Caramel Butter Bars

  • Unsalted Challenge butter – If all you have is salted butter, omit the extra salt addition listed on the recipe card. 
  • Granulated sugar – Needed for sweetness. 
  • Eggs – The main binding agent to create the dough. 
  • Vanilla extract – I always use pure vanilla extract over imitation! 
  • Baking soda – It’s a great way to give these cookie bars some texture and fluffiness. 
  • Cream of tartar – This is what gives this caramel bar recipe its chewy goodness! 
  • Salt – Needed since we started with unsalted butter!
  • All purpose flour – Be sure to measure it correctly!
  • Chocolate chips – You can use any flavor of chocolate chips that you’d like: white chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet milk chocolate, etc. 
  • Caramel or salted caramel ice cream topping – You choose! They’re both incredible. 
how to make CARAMEL BUTTER BARS

How to make Caramel Bars

You’re going to love how simple and easy it is to make these caramel squares! They’re so so good! 

  • Cream the sugar and butter with a mixer. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Once fluffy, add in the eggs and vanilla, followed by the baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Mix in 4 cups of flour until combined.
  • Then stir in the chocolate chips. 
  • Add ⅔ of the dough mixture to the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan lined with foil or parchment.
  • Mix the caramel sauce and ¼ cup of flour together in a bowl. This is to keep the caramel more solid after baking, so it doesn’t just melt into the cookie dough.
  • Pour the caramel over the top of the dough, and then drop spoonfuls of the remaining dough on top of the added caramel mixture. 
  • Bake: Pop the pan in the oven and bake for 25-33 minutes. 
stacked butter bars with chocolate baked in

Storing and Freezing

To store the leftovers, add them to an airtight container and keep them at room temperature OR the fridge for up to three days.

If you want to freeze some to enjoy later, put them in the freezer for up to 1 month.

overhead shot of 9 bars on rack with center one cut in half showing insides

FAQs

Why are my bars gooey?

These bars are actually supposed to be gooey. The caramel sauce and melted chocolate create an epic gooey middle. That’s what they’re all about! 

How to know when cookie bars are done?

To be sure that they’re cooked all the way, pay attention to the tops and the sides of the cookie squares. The top should be golden brown, and the cookies will be pulled away from the side of the pan. 

Do I have to chill them before cutting?

You don’t have to, but it does make them easier to cut. You can just chill them for a short amount of time and then cut them with a sharp knife. 

Can I make these salted caramel bars ahead of time?

You bet! If you want to prep the dough and recipe ahead of time and bake it later, you can! Just have it ready to pop in the oven when you’re ready to bake it. There’s nothing like timing it to enjoy it warm and fresh from the oven! 

What can I do with a jar of caramel?

This simple cookie recipe proves anything that you want! You can add it to the top of cookies, mix it in with cookies, or warm it up and have it as a dip. The options are endless, and you should try them all! 

Have You Made This Recipe?

Leave a rating by clicking the stars below!

stacked butter bars with chocolate baked in

Chocolate Chip Caramel Butter Bars

4.37 from 41 votes
Chocolate Chip Caramel Butter Bars – easy sugar cookie bars filled with chocolate chips and caramel! These gooey bars are the perfect dessert recipe!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 24 bars
Serving Size 1 bar

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ cups (339g) unsalted Challenge butter
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ¼ cups (527g) all purpose flour divided
  • 2 cups (340g) chocolate chips
  • 1 11-12 ounce jar caramel or salted caramel ice cream topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13” pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cream butter and sugar with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or you may use a hand mixer). Once the mixture is creamed and fluffy, mix in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth, then mix in the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix in 4 cups flour until the mixture is just combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Press about 2/3 of this mixture in the bottom and about 1/2” up the sides of the prepared pan.
  • Stir the caramel sauce and remaining 1/4 cup flour in a small bowl. Pour over the top of the dough. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining dough evenly over the top of the caramel.
  • Bake for 25-33 minutes for super gooey (up to 40 minutes for fully baked), or until the top looks done and is golden around the edges. It will still be someone jiggly in the center. Cool completely before cutting. It’s easier to cut when it’s chilled. Bake longer for a less gooey cookie bar.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword caramel, chocolate chips

As you know, I’m an ambassador for Challenge Dairy. I absolutely love their butter; it’s the only kind we ate when I was growing up. The butter is 100% sweet cream with nothing artificial added, and it’s farm-to-fridge in just 2 days. My dad loves their butter so much he talks about it with everyone he knows – if he was a blogger, he’d be their first and only ambassador! When you’re making a cookie bar like these, where the flavor of the butter shines through, you want to use a good one, one that tastes amazing. For me, that’s Challenge.

stack of three cookie bars with words on photo.

Caramel Bars are a sugar cookie bar filled with gooey caramel and chocolate chips – they’re butter bars that everyone will love!

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Last Updated on October 24, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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41 Comments

  1. I use this recipe all the time and it’s always a favorite! People request it… but I have a question?

    The company we ship our milk to produces challenge butter and they are making a recipe/cook book this year and I was wondering if I could include your recipe!

  2. These are good, I made them the first time and bake the bottom layer first for about 10 minutes. The second time I forgot and did what the recipe said. Pre-baking the bottom layer is much better!

  3. These are so very addictive, thanks for the recipe! I love that they are soft but they are quiet crumbly – do you think if I use just a little less butter next time that would make them less crumbly? I used regular butter.

  4. I made these and they were Ah-mazing! Curious if you think you could use batter for cookies? Maybe minus the caramel. I didn’t know if they might spread too much?

  5. Is it necessary to line the pan with foil? What is the purpose of that? I’m worried about cutting the foil when I cut the brownies and having little pieces of foil in my dessert. :/

    1. I did, and it made it so much easier to get them out of the pan in a presentable fashion. Mine were fairly crumbly. I cut a large piece, pulled up a corner of the aluminum foil, put the big piece on a serving plate and then cut it there into smaller pieces. Plus with the cooked caramel, it made clean up easier.