Chocolate Caramel Bars with Streusel
Chocolate Caramel Bars with Streusel are sweet, gooey, and irresistible. Don’t be intimidated as the homemade caramel layer is super simple to make!
This Caramel Bar Recipe was first shared in 2011 and drastically needed an update. I recently took a few samples to a small luncheon with some neighbors and these buttery caramel squares were a hit!
Why You Must Make
- These caramel squares have a buttery shortbread crust, homemade caramel filling, chocolate chips, and a marvelous crumb topping!
- The homemade caramel is easy to make!! The recipe is much less intimidating than standard caramel recipes and tastier than semi-homemade versions made with packaged caramels.
- There are four delicious layers in every single bite.
- This recipe comes from Nick Malgieri, the baking guru and cookbook author, though adding chocolate chips was my idea.
- PRO-Tip: I use salted butter in my recipes. Salt is a flavor enhancer and is needed for both sweet and savory recipes. There’s not enough salt in the butter to make the bars taste salty.
- For easy removal from the pan and simple cleanup, line your baking pan with nonstick foil. You can also use regular foil and spray with a cooking spray like Pam.
- PRO-Tip: Chill your crust before baking as the tiny cold butter pieces will release steam in the oven, making a lighter, less dense crust.
- When you make the crumb topping, take your time and pinch together some of the crumbs to make larger pieces for your crumble.
- I used Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips in this recipe, but you can also use bittersweet or even milk chocolate chips.
- Chill these caramel bars before cutting to make the cleanest slices, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Streusel is a German word meaning to sprinkle or strew. It’s a crumble topping made of flour, sugar, and butter that’s sprinkled on cakes, muffins, bars, coffee cakes, and more.
Many recipes used melted caramel candies and cream to make caramel as a shortcut, but the version in this recipe is easy to make from scratch. Butter, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, and sweetened condensed milk are mixed and gently boiled, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens and darkens.
It should reach 240° F if you prefer to use a thermometer to gauge doneness.
Since it’s summer here, they’re best kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. After that, they freeze well and will be good for up to 3 months. Just defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring what you plan to eat to room temperature before indulging.
You May Also Like:
- Strawberry Crumb Bars from Tastes of Lizzy T
- Caramel Apple Streusel Bars
- Ganache Topped Caramel Bars
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- Raspberry Streusel Bars
- More Easy Bar Cookie Recipes
Chocolate Caramel Bars with Streusel Recipe
Easy Chocolate Caramel Bars with a crumb topping!
Crust and Topping:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 ounces (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Line a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick foil or regular foil (spray with non-stick spray). Buttered parchment will also work.
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Beat the 2 sticks of butter with the sugar till light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add vanilla, then slowly add in flour, scraping the sides of the bowl till the dough is smooth and flour incorporated.
- Put 3/4 of the dough into the prepared pan and pat firmly to form the bottom crust. Set aside the remaining dough and chill the crust as you prepare the caramel.
- Combine all filling ingredients except vanilla and chocolate chips in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Then allow the mixture to boil gently, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until it starts to darken and thicken.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- When the caramel has cooled slightly, spread it evenly over the prepared crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, then reserved crumbs.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling is bubbly. Cool in the pan, then remove the bars to a cutting board using the foil and slice to the desired size.
- Store at room temperature for a day or two, then refrigerate. Wrap well and freeze any you will not eat within a week.
Adapted from Nick Malgieri.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 4g
Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.
79 Comments on “Chocolate Caramel Bars with Streusel”
You lumped the chocolate chips in with the filling ingredients. I put them all in with the filling.
I’ve edited the recipe. Thanks for letting me know and hope your version is still tasty.
This looks wonderful! Truly good stuff. Thanks!
BTW, just want to say we’ve just posted our last blog post. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and I’ll still be visiting. But we’ve got a lot of activities lined up that will be occupying my time, so my visits will be much more sporadic in the future. Best wishes to you.
I will miss visiting your blog (except when I need a cocktail!!). Congratulations on your retirement, John. Blogging is a lot of work and I hope you and Mrs. KR enjoy the coming years. XOXO
They sound really good, as do the other variations I see:@) I’d like to try making some more bar cookies, I like the idea of the whole treat getting baked at once.
Chocolate, caramel and struesel…wow, Liz, could a dessert richer and more tempting than this? They look sinfully delicious!
This has always been a favorite treat at my house! Always a blockbuster when I make it!
Ohh chocolate and caramel are my faves! These sound amazing!
These look so delicious and I love the simplified caramel process…it can be a touchy baby 🙂
Rachel, when I have so many goodies around, I find them easy to ignore. But when I do succumb, I make sure I keep up with my exercise routine 🙂
I do have a question…how do you stay skinny when all of this deliciousness is around? You must have some incredible will power!!
wow these chocolate caramel bars just sound heavenly!!! 😀 thanks for the recipe post :).
Lizzy, had to laugh at “freeze any you will not eat within a day.” Like that could happen with these bars.
You know how to appeal to my sweet tooth! These look so good, my friend! I wish I could be making these this afternoon instead of going grocery shopping! Thanks for sharing. I hope you are having a wonderful day!
These look absolutely heavenly. Is it bad that I want to eat them for breakfast???
I must admit that caramel is my guilty pleasure, too 😀 I love it in any form (thick, gooey, cold, hot etc.) and your bars look just like the perfect caramel treat!
Everything is definitely better with caramel! A wonderful fall treat. 🙂
I am so behind on reading your blog, Lizzy. Catching up! I LOVE the pattern it made when you cut your slices!
Just a bite, one bite of these and I would be a happy girl this morning.