Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


 Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2½ cups all purpose flour

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

10 ounces soft caramels (unwrapped) -- this is about 40 caramels

1 teaspoon flaked sea salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil and coat liberally with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and both sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt and baking soda and continue mixing until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the speed to low and add the flour until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Press three-quarters of the dough into the prepared pan.

In a medium saucepan, combine the condensed milk and caramels and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the caramels are melted.

Pour three-quarters of the caramel mixture on top of the dough in the pan and drop the remaining dough evenly in teaspoon-size amounts on top of the caramel. Save any remaining caramel for another use (it's great over ice cream!)

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center is just set.

Sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars.

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