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  • Mary Kay

Chocolate Chip Rolo Caramel Cookie Bars for National Cookie Day, December 4

Save yourself a lot of time and still enjoy the Holiday flavors - make bars instead of cookies! A Great Holiday Favorite!

Chocolate Chip Cookies are the some of the most popular cookies around, so why not honor them on December 4, National Cookie Day? That’s what I’m doing today, but I’m upping the ante by turning them into easy to make bars…and adding Dark Chocolate Oreo cookies, Rolo caramel candies and caramel sauce. MMM…mmm…mmm...there's a Rolo treat inside!


Dark Chocolate Oreo Cookies set the base for these delicious Chocolate Chip Rolo Caramel Cookie Bars. The combination of the Oreo crust, Rolo chocolate caramels stuffed inside, drizzled caramel on top and chocolate chips all over in the cookie dough make these cookie bars a special treat for everyone during the Holidays. It's also a wonderful way to celebrate National Cookie Day!


First, crush the Oreo cookies, melt the butter and bake the crust. When the crust has cooled a bit, set up the Rolo chocolate covered caramels in rows of 5 x 5 so you get 25 bars with a caramel in the middle of each one. Make the chocolate chip cookie dough and carefully plop dollops between and over the Rolos. Even out and pat down a little. Bake again, then drizzle with your favorite caramel sauce.


These will be nice thick bars full of chocolate and caramel, so they don’t need to be cut very large.


Gather your besties around to dig in and eat them out of the pan or add some whipped cream on top of each bar for a more elegant, civilized dessert and eat with a fork…with your pinky pointed out. Have fun with them!


This recipe will make 25 deliciously chocolate bars for a party or for freezing for a special event. If you need a larger number of bars, double the recipe to bake in a 9”x 13” pan or in two 9”x 9” pans.


Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.


Prep your 9”x 9” baking pan:

- Lightly brush the sides and bottom of the pan with soft butter.

- Line it with two sheets of parchment paper so that you have a 2” overhang on all four sides. This will make it easy to lift the bars out for cutting after they have cooled.


Gather your Oreo crust Ingredients:

2 C Oreo cookie crumbs (dark chocolate variety)

1 T Sugar

2 T Butter, melted



Gather up Rolo layer:

25 Rolo chocolate covered caramels


Gather up the cookie dough Ingredients:

½ C Butter

½ C Shortening

¼ C Sugar

½ C Brown sugar

1 Egg

2 t Vanilla extract

2 ¼ C Flour, divided

½ t Baking powder

½ t Baking soda

¼ t Salt

1 1/4 C Chocolate chips, semi-sweet, divided


Drizzle layer Ingredient:

¼ C Caramel thick sauce


Make the crust:

- Crush the Oreo cookies in a food processor to equal 2 cups of crumbs. I find the food processor works much better since it can crush the cookies much finer than when I crush them by hand. (First, I tried making fine crumbs by pounding them with a rolling pin in a plastic bag, but the crumbs just don’t get small enough. I think it’s due to the moist frosting inside the sandwich cookies. They tend to stay in larger crumbs, falling apart when cutting the bars. That’s when I found I can get a much finer crumble by using a food processor.)

- Add the sugar and stir well.

- Add the melted butter and stir well to combine.

- Press into the pan with the bottom of a mug or your hands.

- Bake at 350F degrees for 8-10 minutes.

- Take out of the oven to cool on a rack.

- When the crust has cooled, place the Rolo chocolate covered caramels in 5 rows of 5.

- Set aside until the cookie dough is ready to add.


Mix the cookie dough layer:

- In an electric mixer, beat the butter, shortening and sugars until combined and there are no lumps.

- Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

- Sift the 2 cups of the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the wet mix. Beat until all combined. If the mixture is too wet, add the extra ¼ cup of flour.

- Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips until well distributed.

- Place dollops of the cookie dough between and around the Rolo chocolate covered candies so they don’t move around too much, and cover them with dough. Pat the dough down just a little to make it even over all.

- Bake at 350F degrees for 20-25 minutes. It should be a light golden brown.

- While the bars are still warm, warm up your caramel sauce and drizzle over the top.

- Cool before cutting.

- Cut into 5 rows by 5 rows (for 25 bars) so that a Rolo candy appears in the middle of each bar.


Other flavor options:

- Cut back on the deep chocolate flavor - substitute regular Oreo cookies for the dark chocolate frosted Oreos in the crust.

- Make mint flavored bars by substituting mint flavored Oreo sandwich cookies for the dark chocolate Oreos in the crust, and substitute mint chocolate chips for the regular chips in the cookie dough layer. Then substitute Andes Mint candies for the Rolo caramels in the layer that goes on top of the crust. You’ll have a nice bright minty flavor with every delicious bite!


Storage:

- I have kept these bars well for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Normally I leave some out in an airtight container, and put the rest in the freezer so we have fresh bars for later.

- You can keep the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or so. Keep in mind that the chocolate chips and Rolo caramel will be hard. You might want to set them out on the counter for a few minutes before eating.

- I have frozen them for up to a month, in air tight container. Thaw them by taking the container out of the freezer and placing it in the refrigerator or on the counter.


Try these easy to make bars. No matter how you mix the flavors in the layers, have fun with them and “Bake your own Memories!”

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