December 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie and Caramel Peanut Butter Bars

from the Bite Sized Baker

Cookie Layer: (Nestle Toll House Cookies)

2 ¼  cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
nuts, optional

Caramel-Peanut Butter Layer:

 ½ cup evaporated milk
60 whole caramels, unwrapped (I used a package and a half of caramel bits)
½ cup peanut butter, melted
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F and grease 9 x 13-inch pan.**
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. In another bowl beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  3. Spread half of cookie dough into prepared pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a double boiler melt caramels with ½ cup evaporated milk. (I did it in the microwave. 
  5. When caramel is melted and combined, add ½ cup melted peanut butter and pour over cookie base. Sprinkle 1/3 cup chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.
  6. Turn out remaining cookie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large rectangle a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.  (I pressed it out on a greased piece of saran wrap and then flipped it over on top of the caramel.)
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and edges are set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.
**If desired line the pan with tinfoil before greasing then you can lift the whole thing out when you want to cut into bars.

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