Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel Bars

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Makes 12 to 16 bars.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 tbsp butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 oz. soft caramel candies, unwrapped
3 tbsp heavy cream
sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel

Preheat to 325 F. Spray a 2-quart (11”x7”) baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, combine melted butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla extract and blend. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not over-mix. Stir in chocolate chips.

Melt caramels either in a large microwave-safe bowl with the cream, or on a stovetop using a double boiler, stirring constantly, adding the cream once fully melted. (This will take several minutes.)

Divide cookie dough into two equal portions. Press half the dough evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread melted caramel over the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over caramel and spread evenly with a spatula until fully covered. Sprinkle bars with additional sea salt.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until top is light golden brown and edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely before cutting into bars to serve.