The Easiest Salted Caramel Cookie Bars


Come here.




That should be close enough. I have a secret I want to share with you. It involves zero guilt and tons more time on your hands. The secret is this, “There ain’t no shame in the faking it game.”

I read a food blog I adore recently that condemned store bought pie crust. I love that blog. This ain’t that blog. I like homemade pie crust. I like homemade cookie dough. I like my house vacuumed frequently. I like to read after dinner. But we all know there simply isn’t enough time in the day for all of our “likes” and “wants.” Heck. There is barely enough time for the “needs.”

So let’s fake us some homemade cookie bars, shall we?

I won’t tell if you don’t.

I was so pleasantly surprised how well these cookie bars turned out. I do highly recommend using parchment paper, because the bars are too sticky to get out otherwise.



2 packages of sugar cookie dough logs or 1 package of the preflattened sugar cookie dough (I prefer the preflattened kind made by Nestle. It ends up being cheaper, but the logs make a prettier cookie bar)
1/3 cup caramel sauce
1/3 cup toffee bits
Sea salt
Parchment paper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place parchment paper in an 11 X 7 baking dish. Take a log of sugar cookie dough and press it into place over the parchment paper or lay one layer of your flat cookie dough and push it into the corners of the parchment paper (depending upon which premade sugar cookie dough you purchased). Put into the oven and bake for fifteen minutes.


Remove from oven. Microwave caramel for 25 seconds to soften and make it easier to pour. Measure it out. Pour over slightly cooked cookie dough. Sprinkle the toffee bits on top. Now sprinkle sea salt over top. Just give it a nice dusting.

I have a hand-cranked dispenser from Costco, so I turn it seven to ten times over the caramel.


Now break up your remaining cookie dough log over the top if you bought the logs or simply place the other cookie sheet over the top, if you bought the preflattened kind.


Put the whole thing back into the oven and bake for twenty five minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for one hour before cutting into bars. I lift the parchment paper with the cookie bar in place and then lay it on my counter before I cut this into bars with my pizza cutter.


Now eat this sinfully simple (or would it be simply sinful dessert?). Either way, it is good. It is quick. It is easy. This is my husband’s favorite cookie lately. It is equally good served warm with vanilla ice cream on top drizzled with caramel sauce.

Just bake it. (I am pretty sure Nike did not mean bake a million calories into a dessert when they made that slogan, but I will oblige them by running to the stove the moment these babies are done. That’s gotta burn a zillion calories, right?).

Nutella Whoopie Pie Cookies


I know.

It is at this point that you are probably wondering if I am sticking to my diet. The answer is, “yes.”

“How?” I can hear you wonder.

Well, I do not recommend that you do what I do. But let’s just say, a cookie for lunch ain’t somethin’ I’m new to.

You, of course, could eat some carrots, too.

I won’t.

But you could.

Priorities, peeps.

I recently shared my Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie recipe here. These are very similar. One day, I thought, Hey, Jenni. Why don’t you add all Nutella and skip the peanut butter?

So I did.

Only… While the rest of my family liked the cookies just fine. Well, I thought to myself, Self. These are still needin’ somethin’.

What if you added frosting? Self, what if you made a cookie sandwich and put the frosting in the middle?

Then when someone asks you what you had for lunch, you can say, ‘a sandwich.’ And nobody will be the wiser.

So I did.

If you cannot tell by now, that voice pretty much makes all of the decisions in my life. I am not sure… But, you guys, I think it is coming from my thighs.

The voice is booming. And it’s kinda shaky.

And that is why I am writing this recipe and not doing laundry.

And that is why I had a sandwich for lunch.

And that is why I am happy.

On to the happiness:


1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened salted butter
1 egg
1 and 3/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. Milk
2/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (I use Nutella)
Caviar from one vanilla bean (if you do not have this, you can use 1/2 more tsp. vanilla extract)
1/2 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 Tbsp. Cold brewed coffee
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup organic brown sugar (organic brown sugar is so much better. I am not part of the organic movement, but I will not buy anything else.)

Ingredients for frosting (you have options here):

1 can of cream cheese or vanilla frosting



Or my favorite: I chose to use this recipe for most of my cookies. You will need: 5 Tbsp. Flour, 1 cup milk, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar. It is a surprisingly easy and delicious frosting.


Marshmallow fluff


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Or 325 degrees Convect Bake if you have a convection oven.

Pour the 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a separate bowl and set aside while you work on the following.


In a bowl with a hand mixer or in your bowl on your stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light. Stop mixer and add in your vanilla and vanilla bean caviar. Mix.


Now add Nutella, melted chocolate chips and coffee and mix together until completely incorporated.

Add the milk and mix.

Add the egg and mix until light and fluffy.

Turn mixer to low and add in salt, cocoa powder and baking soda. Mix until incorporated.


Add flour and mix.



Turn off mixer. Now take a small ball of cookie dough and roll it on your hands. Drop the ball into the bowl of granulated sugar and gently roll it around.


Place the ball of dough on a baking sheet. Repeat this step until your baking sheet is filled with cookie dough balls evenly spaced apart.


With a fork, make two flat indentations onto each cookie.

With a spoon, scoop up some of the granulated sugar and pour a little sugar over marks left from the fork.


Place baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes until edges are just a little brown. Do not cook longer. You do not want these overcooked.

Transfer baked cookies to a cooling rack.

Repeat with remaining dough. Turn oven off.

Let the cookies cool.


For these cookies, I opted to make the best frosting to put between them. This version tasted like a homemade Oreo. Frost one backside of a cookie. Place the backside of another cookie against the frosting.

You made a sandwich!

Now eat your lunch!


I also did a pure Nutella Whoopie Pie (the cookie appears lighter because I forgot the melted chocolate chips in this batch. Doh!) by spreading Nutella in between the cookie layers.

Gosh. I love that voice inside my thighs head.

And that voice loves…

Ryan Gosling Sandwiches.

Oh! But what about a Ryan Gosling Sandwich?

Self. You’ve gone too far. Eat your cookie.


P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.

Cookie Butter Oatmeal Cookies

A tasty friendship
Cookie butter and oatmeal
Together at last


So, cookie butter in cookies? Oh, yes. Honestly, this cookie dough could be eaten by itself without the addition of chocolate. But if I am going to indulge, I want it to mean something. Let’s take this relationship to the next level, cookie butter. Let’s make some babies. I mean, um, cookies. Let’s make some cookies. No need to rush things. Now, just take off that lid…


This recipe makes approximately 40 cookies.

1/3 cup cookie butter
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) softened salted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
90 pieces of Clasen sea salt caramel melting chocolate (about 2/3 pound)*
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar packed
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups oats

Preheat your oven to 360 degrees or 335 degrees convect bake.

In a mixer or with a handheld mixer in a bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar. Add vanilla. Mix. Add cookie butter mix.

Add eggs one at a time into the batter and beat approximately thirty seconds each.


At this point I change attachments from the wire whisk to the paddle. If you are using a hand mixer, mix the following in by hand. Mix in salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.

Mix in flour.


Mix in oats.




With a small cookie dispenser, dispense cookies onto a cookie sheet. Press a melting chocolate into the center of the dollop to flatten cookie. Shape cookie back into a circle around chocolate. Bake 10-11 minutes until lightly brown.

Remove from oven. With a spatula, transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat process until dough is used up.



Melt 50 melting chocolates in a small bowl in the microwave for thirty second intervals. Stir after every thirty seconds until completely melted. Place paper towel under cooling rack. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies.

Let cookies cool and cover them. If you do not cover, cookies will harden over night. You can reverse the hardened process by placing a slice of fresh bread into the cookie container all day. Or reheat your cookies in the microwave for twenty seconds. But I would just cover them and save yourself a few steps.


And enjoy! Cookie butter you are so good to me. Hmmm, what would our babies taste look like?

* You could use Hershey’s Kisses for a chocolatey version, if you do not have access to Clasen Brand melting chocolates. You could also just mix in some chocolate chips or raisins and call it a day.

It’s The Little Things: Cookie Butter!

Oh, yes, cookie butter. I wish I had it on camera, the moment I first saw this spectacular creation on a giant display at the store. I think time froze as I reread and reread the label, my mouth gaping open. Drool puddling on the floor. I, of course, grabbed a jar. When you see something with words that you normally associate the other way around (Butter Cookies), you have to grab it.

I got home and immediately opened the jar. I tried it. Oh my goodness! Heaven. I checked the calories. Ninety calories for one tablespoon. Reality.


I knew I would have to eat this with something healthy to not feel like Goldie Hawn in “Death Becomes Her.” Anytime I eat frosting from a can, my husband reminds me of that scene. So, I tried it with apple slices. I love apple slices with peanut butter. Now, I love apples slices with cookie butter. It is better. Trust me.


And because I am a hoarder with OCD, I rushed out the next day and bought another jar. It tastes like condensed thick creamy spice cookies. Amazing!


I made a cookie butter cake. Um, this is what it looked like for a week. Not my finest creation. How could I ruin my cookie butter this way?


Then I made cookie butter oatmeal cookies. Now we’re talking. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of my thighs clapping. Recipe for this to come. You will be oh, so happy.


I have also learned that Trader Joe’s carries cookie butter. There is a rumor on the internet that they only allow the purchase of two jars per customer. Is this true? I have not stalked the shelves here, yet. They also make a chocolate version and a crunchy version. Oh! The choices. The possibilities. The dirty spoons.

It’s the little things: it’s creamed cookies! Creamed cookies! Dreams do come true.

Have you tried this yet? Do you hoard it? I am scared they are going to run out.