Kitchen accidents are a mixed bag – sometimes you invent the chocolate chip cookie and other times, you just end up with an inedible mess.
These bars include not one, but two mistakes, so you’d think they’d be twice as bad, but they actually might be one of the best things I’ve ever made.
It’s funny how the universe works sometimes.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Caramel Brownie Bars
Makes 50 bars (1 9×13 pan and 1 6×9 pan)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer
- 4 cups plus 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and cooled until warm
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Grease one 9×13″ pan and one 6×9″ pan and set aside.
- Chocolate chip cookie layer: Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and continue cooking over low heat until it browns.
- Combine melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Beat in one egg and one egg yolk and vanilla until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Dough will be very dry and crumbly.
- Add the remaining egg and egg yolk to the mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Caramel layer: grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Heat over medium heat until it reaches a boil and clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan.
- Boil the mixture until it reaches 230F.
- Remove from heat, pour into pan, and let cool. Once cooled to room temperature, transfer to refrigerator to let the caramels firm up.
- Brownie layer: in a large bowl, lightly beat four eggs, then add cocoa, salt, and baking powder and mix until smooth.
- In a small saucepan, add the butter and sugar and heat over low heat, stirring, until butter is melted. Continue heating until mixture is hot but not bubbling and looks shiny.
- Add the butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
- Fold in the flour until fully incorporated.
- To make the bars: preheat oven to 350F.
- Divide the cookie dough between your two pans and press into the pans with your fingers. Add the caramel layer and gently press it down onto the cookie dough. Spoon the brownie batter over the top until the caramel layer is completely covered.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely, then remove from pans and cut into bars.
- Store at room temperature in airtight container.
So here’s how it started.
I was making a double batch of chocolate chip cookies one morning and after I mixed everything together, I noticed the dough was very, unusually dry and crumbly. And that’s when I realized I forgot to double the eggs. It was early and I was tired, and this is why you should never bake on anything less than a good night’s sleep. So I added the eggs to the dry dough and hoped it would turn out okay, but it was still pretty tough, so I just threw it into a pan and made them bars instead.
A couple days before that, I had made some caramels, and ended up pulling them off the heat too soon, so they ended up really, really soft. After I messed up the cookie dough, I remembered the soft caramels in my fridge and figured that couldn’t hurt, so I threw them on over the cookie dough.
And at that point, it was full on, GO BIG OR GO HOME, so I added a brownie layer and called it a day.
Do I even need to explain why these are delicious? I mean, just look at them! You’ve got a dense, cookie layer, a creamy, melty caramel that oozes out, topped off with a rich, intensely chocolatey fudge brownie. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures and each bite is insanely decadent, which is the way dessert should be.
With the weather getting colder, subtle sweets just don’t do it for me anymore – I want rich and decadent, and these are the ultimate indulgence.