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”
This looks so good. It’s a winner. 🙂
Dear Lizzy, These look terrific. I like the addition of the chocolate chips. Blessings, Catherine xo
I love caramel so much that I might eliminate the chocolate chips just so they didn’t interfere with the caramel-y goodness.
Just lovely. I can imagine how great these must be. I just love the combination.
Making caramel has never really bothered me, but sometimes I’m lazy and do love a good cheat!
I suppose I must make this now… and my ass is getting LARGER! X
These bars are magnificent with the gooey caramel, chocolate and streusel. Pure genius! I’m loving all of your wonderful desserts lately.
Have a great weekend!
“Wrap well and freeze any you will not eat within a day.”. Not a chance!!! These will be gone in a couple of hours.
Going to have to pass on this one. I don’t like caramel that much.
Very very sweet….too full of sweetness :p
That is the PERFECT treat to bring to a holida get-together!
caramel sounds good delicious looking streusel bars to snack
WOW! I cannot wait to try these! They look sinfully delicious. Thanks for yet another great recipe!
Liz, these look irresistible! So pretty and I’m sure so scrumptious!
Oh – this is fantastic! I love peanut butter and chocolate and I love caramel and chocolate!
Who am I kidding?! I love peanut butter and caramel, too!
This one is a winner, Liz….as usual!
I love caramel! These are another winner!
Oh my! Being German, I love Streuselkuchen (in fact I’m making an apple one this weekend!), but being me, I love caramel. Should I ever bake this dish, I will snarf it up in one day and gain a ton of pounds! 😉
I too have a thing for caramel… and paired with chocolate… mmmm this is irresistible for a chocoholic like me… SIGH!
Ooh – these look amazing!
Yum! Caramel is one of my favorite sweet treats too. This looks fantastic (and a little simpler too…double win!)