Caramel cheesecake cookie bars are a delicious salty & sweet dessert that’s super easy to make!
Easy Cheesecake Cookie Bars
One of the best things about the winter season is that there are ample opportunities to indulge in delicious treats! It’s not that you can’t make treats year round, but the whole family gathering together gives a perfect reason to whip out that amazing dessert recipe you’ve been saving!
These caramel cheesecake cookie bars would make a wonderful dessert for any gathering! They look (and taste) fantastic, but they are surprisingly simple and quick to make, which makes them a lifesaver during the hectic holiday season.
They start with a simple and delicious cookie base, which gets a fantastic flavor boost from Jello cheesecake flavored pudding mix right in the dough. I love baking with pudding mix because the cookies always turn out soft and moist, with the perfect texture. In between the layers of cookie dough is a luscious caramel layer that makes them over-the-top amazing!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Brown sugar
- Egg & an egg yolk
- All purpose flour
- Jello cheesecake flavored instant pudding
- Kraft caramels
- Half and half
- Sea salt (optional)
How To Make Cheesecake Cookie Bars
Prep – Before you get started, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You’ll also want to line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment or foil, and then set it aside.
Dough – To make the cookie bar dough, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Next, add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Finally, add the flour and instant pudding to the mixture and then stir until you form a thick dough.
Bottom Layer – You’ll want to divide the dough in half. Take half and pat it into the bottom of the pan. Make this layer as even as possible.
Melt – Take the caramels and melt them in the microwave. I like to do this is in 1 minute intervals and give them a good stir each time.
Caramel Layer – Next, pour the melted caramels over the top of the cookie dough layer.
Salty Sweet – 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, they’ll be delicious!
Top Layer – To make the top layer, you’ll want to roll out the remaining cookie dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Once flat, 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 your dough isn’t too sticky, it should work great.
Cook – Next, place the caramel cheesecake cookie bars in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The cookie bars should be golden brown when they’re done.
Cool – As tempting as it is to cut right into them, it’s best to let the bars cool all the way before serving. As they cool, the caramel will firm up a little to a luscious soft consistency, which will help the bars stay together and slice easily.
Dough Consistency – You’ll want your dough to be thick (like chocolate chip cookie dough) so it’s easy to spread in the baking dish. If it’s too wet, mix in an additional 2 tablespoons of flour.
Storage – Be sure to wrap these cheesecake cookie bars tightly with plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container when you’re not enjoying them. You don’t want them to get stale before you can polish off the pan!
More Caramel Dessert Recipes
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cups
- Easy Caramel Apple Dip
- Chocolate Caramel Brownie Recipe
- Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
These caramel cheesecake cookie bars are honestly one of my favorite desserts ever! The cookie layer is crisp on the edges and tender and moist in the middle.
The cheesecake pudding mix adds a subtle and rich flavor to the dough, and gives them a great texture. The gooey caramel layer complements the rich cookie dough well, and makes the bars a truly special dessert. This is definitely one dessert recipe to try this year!
Caramel Cheesecake Cookie Bars Recipe
- 12 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour, all purpose
- 3.4 oz jello cheesecake pudding
- 11 oz caramel candy
- 1/4 cup half and half , or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment or foil, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the flour and instant pudding, and stir to form a thick dough.
- Divide the dough in half, and press half of the dough into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Place the caramels and half and half in a medium microwave safe bowl. Cook on high for one minute, stir, then cook at 50% power for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Pour the caramel over the layer of cookie dough in the baking dish, and sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
- Roll the remaining cookie dough out to a 9 x 13 rectangle between two pieces of plastic wrap. Remove one side of the plastic wrap, place the dough on top of the caramel layer, then remove the remaining piece of plastic wrap.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove and let cool completely before slicing and serving.
This post is sponsored by Kraft. All opinions are my own.