Brownies and Bars, Cookies

Caramel & Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

Now that’s a mouthful, literally! The cookie bars are chewy, full of chocolate, gooey caramel, and a little espresso punch because why not??! It’s been a while since our last recipe, but I swear this one makes up for all of it. If your a late night snacker or need a quick dessert, these bars are it!

I don’t know if you guys are big football watchers, but these cookie bars are the perfect little snackers for game day, especially with the super bowl coming up. And if you’re not, these bars are ready in less than 1 hour for all those chocolate, caramel, and coffee cravings.

Bonus, if you need a quick valentines dessert, these bars are the perfect sweetness for your hun.

At first bite, these bars are chewy and filled with gooey caramel, chocolate chunks, and little espresso bits. If you’re team crunchy, the edges are perfect for you. If you’re team chewy, like me 😏, then you’ll love the centers of these cookie bars.

I’m dreaming of dunking these bars in coffee, dipping sauce, or topping the warm bars with ice cream. Aaaarrrgghh! All your breakfast and desserts dreams whipped into one.

Imagine the best chocolate chip cookies, but with dark chocolate chunks, instant coffee, and caramel.

What You Need

  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Espresso Powder or Instant Coffee
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Dark Chocolate Chunks (or semi sweet)
  • Soft Caramel Squares

I don’t know about you but sometimes I catch myself sitting on the couch at 7 pm watching Bravo or HGTV thinking I need something sweet. Those late night cravings are something else! If it’s almost time to hit the hay, but your cravings are telling you something, you need these bars asap! Mix the batter and bake. Seriously!

How to Make the Bars

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper and leave extra on the sides to create handles for when the bars are done. Set aside.

Whisk your flour, baking soda, instant coffee or espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whip together your butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and yolk and continue to mix.

Pour in the dry ingredients and mix until a cookie dough forms. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chunks.

Press the dough into the pan evenly. Smush caramel halves into the dough leaving small spaces between them. Add more or less caramel depending on your preference.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are dark golden and the center is mostly cooked. It’s ok if the center is a little soft. Let the bars cool before cutting.

Best topped with caramel/chocolate sauce, ice cream… etc. Let me know what you would top the bars with, or leave them bare because they’re just as good.

Dig in!

For this recipe I used pre-made caramel squares, but feel free to put your grandma’s homemade recipe right in there. I’m sure it’s deeeeelish! I bought store bought dark chocolate chunks, but you could definitely buy chocolate bars and cut them yourself.

Let’s be real, you just want to throw it all in and bake. No extra work because we’re not on the British Bakeoff here! (Although part of me wishes I could, just missing the accent.)

You know what they say, dark chocolate is good for you, so have a bar, or 2, or 3. 😉

Extra Tips for the Best Cookie Bars

When I tell you these are the easiest bars ever, I’m not kidding. There is hardly anything that can go wrong here!

  • If you want your bars to be thin and crispy, use a larger pan and press to the edges. Use a smaller pan for thicker bars. The baking time will be different for these bars.
  • You can brown the butter and let it re-harden before adding it to the dough. It’ll give the bars a rich, nutty and toffee-like flavor. It may be an extra step but mmmm is it worth it!
  • Add some flaky sea salt on top of the bars for the tasty balance of sweet and salty. Are you team salt on cookie or nah?
  • You can use homemade caramel for the bars so they are extra gooey and delicious, but let’s face it, we want these bars to be uuubber quick and easy so throw in those store bought caramel squares.
  • Be careful not to add too many dry ingredients, otherwise the bars will be too dry and crumbly.
  • If you choose to skip the instant coffee or espresso (which I don’t suggest) just replace it with 2 tsp of flour.

If you’re really trying to diet, you might have to save these for a little cheat day, because trust me, you don’t want to miss out.

If you want to do something a little fun, add the cookie dough to a skillet to make a skillet cookie. If you have ever been to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse you know how good their pizookies are. Warm cookies, soft center, and topped with sauce and ice cream. Yessss please!!

Dig into those melty chocolate chunks and caramel squares.

How to Store the Bars

Once you’re done indulging, add those sweet things to a Tupperware or bag and store at room temp.

It’s best to warm them up before enjoying again.

Looking for more easy bar recipes? Check out my:

Did you make this recipe? Let us know below or on Instagram @tuesday.treats or use #tuesdaytreats2016 I love seeing your creations!

Caramel & Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

Recipe by Gillian VolzCourse: Brownies and Bars, CookiesCuisine: DessertDifficulty: Easy
Servings

14

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

If you’re looking for a quick and easy late night snack, you need these cookie bars! Warm, chewy bars with melty chocolate and caramel. Perfect for any little late night craving.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 4 tsp espresso powder or 2 packets instant coffee

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 12 tbsp softened butter (1 1/2 sticks)

  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 20 soft caramels, cut in half (I used store bought Kraft caramels)

  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chunks (semi-sweet works too)

Directions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper and leave extra on the sides to create handles for when the bars are done. Set aside.
  • Whisk your flour, baking soda, instant coffee or espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whip together your butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and yolk and continue to mix.
  • Pour in the dry ingredients and mix until a cookie dough forms. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chunks.
  • Press the dough into the pan evenly. Smush caramel halves into the dough leaving small spaces between them. Add more or less caramel depending on your preference.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are dark golden and the center is mostly cooked. It’s ok if the center is a little soft. Let the bars cool before cutting.

Notes

  • Best topped with caramel/chocolate sauce, ice cream… etc. Let me know what you would top the bars with, or leave them bare because they’re just as good.
  • It’s ok if the center is still a little gooey after baking, it will harden over time.

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