I really don’t know what to call these. But crack cocaine didn’t seem appropriate, so I went for “cookie butter cookie dough caramel bars” instead. I made these weeks ago in the middle of summer when I knew there was no way I was turning on my oven but wanted to make something special for a friend’s birthday (hi, Tyla!). In an attempt to also clean out my pantry, I decided to layer ridiculousness on top of ridiculousness until these bars were born. The theme throughout the layers is cookie butter (aka Speculoos or Biscoff spread) – melted into the semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, and cookie dough throughout. The taste is subtle since there’s so much sweetness going on, and you could definitely swap out peanut butter or any nut butter if you’d prefer, but I love the slight spiciness of the ginger cookies. And if it were up to me, I wouldn’t mess much with this masterpiece.

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This recipe was loosely based off a mouth-watering creation by Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest – her salted caramel pretzel cookie dough snickers bars. Seems like she had a tough time narrowing the title down as well! She loves mashing together so many great things into one meal/dessert, but since I wasn’t up for making nougat, I simplified mine and added the cookie butter spin. There’s just something about layered desserts that make them so appealing to me – so pretty and so many tastes in one bite! Plus, who can so no to caramel oozing out the sides of each piece?? I just used storebought caramel this time around, but since this recipe is so easy, making a homemade variety wouldn’t have been ridiculous if I didn’t hate my stove so much at the time. No bake treats for the win!

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Since these required such minimal effort, I wasn’t really expecting an overly fantastic reception of my contribution to Tyla’s birthday party, but OMG her friends went crazy for them! I felt like a celebrity and all I did was melt some chocolates together and layer them in a dish. Everyone kept asking me what was in this “crack”, and once I listed all the layers I had to follow by exclaiming how could they NOT be good – the components are all heavenly! I mean seriously, when you put two kinds of chocolate, cookie butter, cookie dough, salted caramel, and bits of crushed up cookies throughout, there is no way things can go poorly. Make these!!

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Cookie Butter Cookie Dough Caramel Bars

Ingredients:

for the bottom chocolate layer:

3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup speculoos cookie butter

for the white chocolate layer:

¾ cups white chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely crushed Biscoff/speculoos cookie crumbs

for the caramel layer:

8 oz storebought caramels
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
(or use your favorite homemade caramel recipe)

for the cookie butter cookie dough layer:

1-1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup speculoos cookie butter/Biscoff spread
1 -1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips

for the top chocolate layer:

3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup speculoos cookie butter
Extra Biscoff/speculoos cookie crumbs for decoration

Directions:

for the bottom chocolate layer:

Line a 8x8" baking pan with tinfoil, leaving extra foil on all sides to make "handles", and spray with non-stick baking spray. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and cookie butter and melt in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, until completely smooth. Pour melted chocolate mixture into your prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth it out into an even layer. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to set while you prepare the next layer.

for the white chocolate layer:

Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, until completely melted. Mix in the crushed cookies crumbs and pour mixture on top of the first chocolate layer. Smooth it all out again with the offset spatula and return to the fridge to set.

for the caramel layer:

Unwrap all your caramels and combine them with the cream in a saucepan over low heat. Let melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Mix in the salt and then pour over the white chocolate layer. Return to the fridge to allow caramel to cool.

for the cookie butter cookie dough layer:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and cookie butter until light and fluffy on medium-high speed, about 2-3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and continue beating for another 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and milk and continue to mix. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula then transfer the cookie dough on top of the last layer and smooth flat. You might not use all of the cookie dough depending on your preference of how tall you'd like your bars to be. Set aside whatever's leftover for your next baking/binging endeavor.

for the top chocolate layer:

Once again melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each interval, until smooth. Pour chocolate over the cookie dough layer and smooth with an offset spatula. Microwave the cookie butter for 30 seconds to make it drippy, then drizzle lines of melted cookie butter over the chocolate. Use a toothpick to draw perpendicular lines and make a pretty design. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs and put the pan back into the fridge. Let it set for at least one hour before cutting. Once cooled, cut bars with a sharp knife and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

As if you needed more convincing, here’s a closeup shot of that oozing caramel I mentioned earlier…

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