These days it seems as though stuffing caramel into desserts is the new thing. Pies, cookies, brownies, ice cream, cakes – you name it and it’s in it. So I hopped on board and not only put caramel into these bars, but salted Nutella caramel! The addition of the salted Nutella caramel will please your taste buds, and also ensure that the bars stay super moist and chewy. And then it’s contrasted with some crunch due to the presence of chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips. I sent these to my Bakin’ Friend last month and she said they blew her away!
SALTED NUTELLA CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS
Makes 16 bars
2-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars
7 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Nutella
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square pan; set aside.
- For the bars: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined.
- Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts. Set aside.
- Make the caramel: In a heavy bottomed large sauce pan, add butter, sugars, syrup, sea salt and cream. Bring to a boil and stir until sugars are dissolved and mixture is well combined.
- Using a candy thermometer, when mixture reaches 230 degrees remove from heat and stir in vanilla and Nutella.
- To assemble, press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving some empty space around the edges. Sprinkle the caramel with the sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
- Bake the cookie bars for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.