- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup bourbon caramel (recipe below!)
- Flaky sea salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon
- Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Beat melted and cooled butter with sugars for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low. Fold in chocolate by hand.
- Press ⅔ of the dough into the pan. Add caramel and spread into as even of a layer as you can get it. Then use a knife to gently swirl it into the dough.
- Top with spoonfuls of remaining dough and spread lightly to cover (it’s okay if some caramel is peeking through!!).
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges turn a light brown but the center is still a little jiggly.
- Let cool completely before cutting.
- To make caramel:
- Add sugar and water to a small pan and set over medium heat. Let melt, while slowly swriling the pan (try not to stir at all!). Keep cooking and swirling for about 15 minutes, or until it turns a beautiful amber color.
- Turn off heat and slowly add heavy cream (careful – it will splatter!) and stir gently. Add bourbon and stir to combine.
- Let cool slightly while you make the cookie batter.
If the sugar starts to crystallize when you’re making the caramel, it’s okay to add a little more water and stir everything together to help move things along. You don’t want to add more than an additional 2 tablespoons though – just be patient and it will all come together as it continues to melt.
If the idea of making caramel make you laugh (I get it!), store-bought caramel is totally fine for this recipe. I love the salted caramel one from Trader Joe’s!
Hi. Welcome to your new life with these bourbon caramel swirled chocolate chip bars. It’s a good life.
I won’t lie – this isn’t anything THAT special. It’s essentially just a giant cookie with a sweet, sticky and slightly bourbon-y swirl throughout.
Okay, yes. FINE. It’s very special.
While I LOVE making cookies this time of year (but also, like, all the time), sometimes I just do not have the patience to scoop and bake four pans of them. When that lazy feeling hits me, I just press it all into a pan and remember how amazing cookie BARS really are.
Honestly, it’s more cookie in every bite.
About that caramel swirl. You don’t have to add the bourbon. I just seem to be adding bourbon to everything these days – so it happened.
Actually, you don’t even have to make the caramel if you don’t want to! Store-bought is 100% fine here. It’s the holidays. You’re busy. Buy the caramel.
All I ask is that you don’t skip the caramel. You deserve it.