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Stack of chocolate caramel streusel bars on a white plate

Chocolate Caramel Streusel Bars~

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Stack of chocolate caramel streusel bars on a white plate
A piece of cake sitting on top of a table
Side view of a stack of chocolate caramel streusel bars on a white plate

I’ve been on a roll with caramel recipes…caramel is one of my guilty pleasures.  So when some friends shared this Nick Malgieri recipe, I knew I’d have to bake these tempting bars.  Most of my caramel recipes involve the somewhat intimidating  method of heating sugar to a very high temperature, then adding cream and praying it does not seize up into one giant blob. Instead you simply boil together butter, brown sugar, a bit of corn syrup and a can of sweetened condensed milk. It makes a sweet gooey filling for this simple, delectable treat.  I added a bag of chocolate chips to appease the chocoholics in this household, but these would be equally as wonderful without that addition.

Chocolate Caramel Streusel Bars…adapted from Nick Malgieri

2 sticks (1 cup) butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour

Filling:
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 9 x 13 pan with non-stick foil or regular foil (spray with non-stick spray).  Buttered parchment will also work.  Preheat oven to 350º.

Beat the 2 sticks of butter with the sugar till light and fluffy, about two minutes.  Add vanilla, then slowing add in flour, scraping sides of bowl till dough is smooth and flour incorporated.

Put 3/4 of the dough into the prepared pan and pat firmly to form bottom crust.  Set aside remaining dough and chill crust as you prepare the caramel.

Combine all filling ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Then allow the mixture to boil gently, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, till it starts to darken and thicken.  Remove from heat, add vanilla and allow to cool about 10 minutes.

When caramel has cooled slightly, spread evenly over prepared crust.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips, then reserved crumbs.

Bake for about 30 minutes, till filling is bubbly.  Cool in pan, then remove using foil to cut.  Store at room temperature up to a day.  Wrap well and freeze any you will not eat within a day.

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