Celebrate National Caramel day in style with these Vegan Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. What a day to celebrate, am I right? I mean, especially as a vegan, because caramel may seem like kind of a stretch (pardon the pun), but this recipe proves it is possible. If cookie bars are your thing and you’d love to see some more vegan options, be sure to check out my Vegan Neapolitan Bars. They’re colorfully delicious! Or then there’s my Vegan Magic Brownie Bars. They disappear…like magic!
I guess you’ve noticed by now that I have a sort of sweet tooth. You can cross your arms now, tilt that one eyebrow up suspicially and say…a little?
I will laugh with you on that. OK. I have a lot of a sweet tooth. I love making and baking sweets. And so when national caramel day rolled around I just thought making a vegan caramel chocolate chip cookie bars recipe would be so perfect. I think you might agree.
You’ll Love Vegan Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
I used an old chocolate chip cookie recipe of mine, updated it a little for the transition to bars, and voila. A super easy chocolate chip cookie bar base. Of course I could have put the caramel on the inside of the bar, but the idea of it glistening and oozing across the top was just too hard to resist.
These vegan caramel chocolate chip cookie bars are dense with flavor and the caramel topping adds a nice creamy, moist touch. I highly recommend a scoop (or two) of vegan ice cream on top. I used almond milk ice cream with these. I’d love to tell you how much the flavor of the almond milk ice cream complements the chocolate, but in reality? The almond milk ice cream was on sale. It’s a big driver of activity in our grocery cart. 🙂
You’ll also love that these vegan caramel chocolate chip cookie bars are pretty easy to make. Simply put together the batter (I use one bowl for that), pour that into a greased square baking pan, and bake. And the caramel sauce? It takes around 10 minutes to make. All-in-all, it’s not too bad…and way better than making a batch of cookies which can at times be laborious. I don’t know why, but I have a tendency to burn at least one tray of cookies (usually the last one…a sign that my patience has run out).
Playing With Your Food
I’m a big proponent of playing with your food. It just needs to be done. I recommend you give it a try too. When you look at a recipe, think to yourself, how can I make this more…ME? It can be a little touch and go at the beginning, but I promise, after awhile it’s like second nature.
One caveat: If you’re working with a highly complicated recipe like pastries, it might be a good idea to go word-for-word, step-by-step (unless you’re a pastry guru). But this is not one of those recipes. You can play with it and have some fun. Here are some ideas I have for getting you started:
- Add some cocoa powder to the crust for extra chocolate goodness
- How about some chopped walnuts or pecans in the cookie bar base?
- I could see adding some butterscotch flavoring to the batter
- Or, how about go in a completely different direction by adding some raspberries?
- If you want to go even healthier, try using half whole wheat flour and top with my Vegan Date Caramel Sauce (see link below)
There’s a lot of directions to go with these vegan caramel chocolate chip cookie bars. I highly recommend serving them with a cup of Tea Infused Hot Cocoa or even a cup of almond milk. I love serving this sweet dessert on a Saturday afternoon and sharing it with friends who stop by. But it can also make a great dessert for your next family gathering. You’ve got options!
We hope you love this Vegan Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars as much as we do. If you decide to make the recipe, take a photo, share it with us using #namelymarly on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your creations!
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine 2 sticks, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons water
- 3 - 6 tablespoons plant-based milk
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Vegan Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
Heat your oven to 375F. Spray a square baking pan with vegetable spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the vegan butter, peanut butter and sugars with mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla, ground flax seeds, cornstarch, water, and 3 tablespoons of plant-based milk. Stir to combine.
Push the wet ingredients to one side of the bowl. In the other side, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients together. Then incorporate the wet ingredients. If the batter is too crumbly, add additional plant-based milk until you achieve a cookie-dough like consistency.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Then pour into your prepared baking pan.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden on top.
When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.
Make the Vegan Caramel Sauce by adding brown sugar and plant-based milk in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil while stirring. Then reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally until a desired thickness is achieved, usually around 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the tablespoon of vegan butter, stir to incorporate.
You can use half whole wheat flour
The Vegan Caramel Sauce will thicken as it cools. Just reheat in the microwave before serving to get a more pourable consistency.
Guess what? My national food day food blog friends and I plotted to help you celebrate National Caramel Day. That means today I’m sharing with you lots of fun caramel recipes! Now, I realize some of these recipes may not be vegan or even vegetarian. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like ideas for veganizing them.
Are you a caramel lover? Then I have a feeling you are going to love this National Caramel Day celebration with over 21 caramelized recipes!
Vegan Cinnamon Caramel Poke Cake via Namely Marly
Chocolate Dipped Caramel Marshmallows by Ashlee Marie
Coconut Chocolate Caramel Nests by Life Made Simple
Vegan Caramel Date Sauce by Namely Marly
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars by Baking with Blondie
Turtle Cake via the Real Kitchen Mom
Vegan Flourless Salted Caramel Cookies by My Whole Foodie Life
Vegan Caramel Donuts by Namely Marly
Caramel Pretzel Brownies by by The Baker Upstairs
Vegan Caramel Apple Pie by Healthy Happy Life
Caramel Banana Bread by The Yellow Bliss Road
Vegan Caramel Snack Mix by Namely Marly
Caramel Sauce via Creations by Kara
Caramel Stuffed Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies by Heart of a Baker
Instant Pot Caramel Dipping Sauce by 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Smoky Salted Caramel Creme Brûlée by Hey Grill, Hey
Vegan Gluten-Free Caramel Pecan Rolls by Namely Marly
Vegan Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies by Bakerita
Iced Caramel Macchiato by Gather for Bread
Chai Caramel Cream Brûlée by Foodie with Family
Vegan Chocolate Caramel Cookies by Namely Marly
Whatever pie you’re drooling over, enjoy!