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Bourbon Caramel Swirled Chocolate Chunk Bars

  • Author: Mansee Muzumdar
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8x8 pan 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven

Description

Imagine a giant chocolate chip cookie with a swirl of bourbon-spiked caramel. These bars are chewy, gooey and chock full of melty chocolate. Basically the perfect dessert!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups (215 grams) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • Flaky sea salt

Bourbon caramel

  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) water
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups (215 grams) flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat 8 tablespoons (113 grams) melted and cooled butter with 1/2 cup (125 grams) brown sugar and 1/2 cup (105 grams) sugar for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low. Fold in 2 oz chocolate by hand. Set bowl aside while you make caramel.
  5. Combine 1/2 cup (105 grams) sugar and 1/4 cup (2 oz) water in a pot. Stir to combine so all the sugar is moistened.
  6. Turn heat to medium-high and let sugar and water come to a boil. Let boil for 10-12 minutes until mixture turns a deep amber color. DO NOT STIR during this time, but if you want you can gently swirl the pan a few times to ensure nothing burns. Once you get that deep amber color, remove from heat.
  7. Immediately, but slowly and carefully, pour in 1/4 cup (2 oz) heavy cream and stir to combine. Add 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter and stir until butter melts and mixes into caramel. 
  8. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons bourbon and mix to combine. Let cool for 5 minutes. 
  9. Press 2/3 of the dough into the pan. Add about half of the 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.
  10. Top with spoonfuls of remaining dough and spread lightly to cover (it’s okay if some caramel is peeking through!!).
  11. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until edges turn a light brown but the center is still a little jiggly.
  12. Let cool completely before cutting.

Notes

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!