One of the best things about the holiday season is there are ample opportunities for serving up tasty treats like delicious twists on a cheesecake recipe! It’s not that you can’t make sweets year-round, but having the whole family gather together is a perfect reason to whip up that amazing dessert recipe you’ve been saving. These Caramel Cookie Bars are just that dessert. They’re wonderful for any gathering, and they look (and taste) fantastic. But they’re surprisingly simple and quick, which makes them a lifesaver during the hectic holiday season.
The dough should be thick (like chocolate chip cookie dough) so it’s easy to spread in the baking dish. If it’s too wet, add a little additional flour. I pat half of the dough on the bottom of the pan, forming as even a layer as possible. Next, I pour melted caramels over the top of the cookie dough layer. I chose to sprinkle mine with sea salt (since I love that salted caramel flavor), but if you don’t like the salty-sweet combo or don’t have any on hand, you can definitely leave it out. Either way, the bars will be delicious!
I roll out the remaining cookie dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, and place it on top of the caramel layer. I’ve definitely found this to be the easiest method for adding the cookie dough to the top. As long as the dough isn’t too sticky, it should work great. Next, the bars bake in the oven for about half an hour until they reach golden-brown perfection. As tempting as it is to cut right into them, it’s best to let the bars cool completely before serving. As they cool, the caramel will firm up to a luscious consistency that helps the bars stay together and slice easily.
These caramel cheesecake cookie bars are one of my favorite desserts! The cookie layer is crisp on top and tender and moist in the middle. The cheesecake pudding mix adds a subtle, rich flavor and gives them a great texture. The gooey caramel layer complements the cookie layers and makes the bars a truly special dessert. This is definitely one to try this holiday season!