These Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are seriously INCREDIBLE! Consisting of a soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookie bar base, a gooey, buttery caramel middle and a sweet white chocolate and cinnamon sugar topping, they definitely hit the spot!
So a few months ago, I started to make jewelry.
I was always curious about making polymer clay jewelry but finally went out and bought some supplies. And now I’m hooked and selling my creations on Etsy. It is so much fun and such a great creative outlet other than baking. For years I have been needing a hobby and I am so glad I finally have one. You know when something just clicks? That was me with jewelry making. It’s so peaceful yet challenging and boosts my creativity elsewhere as well. You wouldn’t think working with clay and metal would help in the baking department, but I often find when I’m working with jewelry, I’ll absentmindedly think of recipe ideas, too.
Anyway, this short story is brought to you by my newfound hobby. If you’ve been dreaming of starting a hobby – do it! Trust me, there have been many failed earrings, resin projects, and ugly looking clay creations so far. But it’s still fun, and the perfectionist in me isn’t as discouraged or let down as I thought I’d be by the failures.
And for a lot of you, I’m assuming baking is your hobby which is awesome! It started as mine too 🙂 This recipe is a good moderate recipe for bakers since it requires a few more steps than the average cookie bar but the payoff is *chefs kiss* seriously amazing. There’s something about the combination of cinnamon and sugar, white chocolate and buttery caramel that definitely clicks!
The Cookie Base
The cookie base is based off of my chocolate chip cookie bars but made with a few tweaks. Namely, we’re omitting any kind of mix-ins like chocolate chips and adding in some cinnamon for flavor. After all, these are snickerdoodle bars! This makes for a killer, super soft and chewy bar everyone’s going to love. We’ll bake up the bars and then add on our other layers!
The Caramel Layer
The caramel layer is one we’ll make from scratch using sweetened condensed milk as a small shortcut, some corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and a little salt. We’ll cook it on the stove and bring it to a boil, then a simmer and cook until it is golden brown, thickened and perfectly caramel-y. Then, we’ll pour it over our cookie bars.
The White Chocolate Ganache
The white chocolate ganache is a two-parter layer that first consists of the white chocolate ganache made from, you guessed it, white chocolate and some heavy cream to help it melt together. We’ll melt it and then pour the luscious mixture over the caramel layer and smooth it out. Then we’ll immediately top the white chocolate mixture with some cinnamon and granulated sugar, aka “cinnamon sugar” which you can buy pre-mixed at the store or mix up at home. This gives it that signature snickerdoodle/churro-esque flavor.
These White Chocolate Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are sweet, chewy, impossibly gooey and rich and you’re going to LOVE them!
*adapted from my Chocolate Chip Cookie Millionaire Bars recipe
White Chocolate Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars
For the Cookie Bars:
- 12 Tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Caramel Layer:
- 28 oz (Two 14 oz cans) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 12 Tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the White Chocolate Layer:
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350° degrees F. Line a 9x13 light metal rectangular baking pan with foil or parchment, extending the foil or parchment paper over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- For the cookie bars: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with the paddle attachment until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the egg and egg yolk, mixing well, followed by the vanilla, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Lastly, add in the baking soda, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, salt, and flour until a soft dough comes together. Spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake the bars for about 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, but not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
- For the caramel layer: In a medium saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk, butter, brown sugar and corn syrup together over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, so butter melts and mixture becomes well combined. As mixture comes to a boil, begin to stir it constantly. Once the mixture comes to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the caramel mixture, stirring constantly, for about 10-15 minutes or until thickened and golden brown. The mixture should almost pull away from the sides of the pan. Everyone's stovetop is different, so your mixture may thicken and brown sooner than 10-15 minutes, or take longer. Just keep your eye on it. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt.
- Pour the caramel layer evenly over the cooled cookie bars. Spread into an even layer. Cool completely at room temperature, uncovered, about 2 hours, or you can expedite the process by cooling it in the fridge for about 1 hour.
- For the white chocolate layer: In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside for now. Meanwhile, add the white chocolate chips to a medium bowl. Pour the heavy cream into a microwaveable glass measuring cup and microwave until hot to the touch, about 30 seconds. Pour the hot heavy cream over the white chocolate chips in the bowl. Let the mixture stand for about 3-5 minutes, then slowly whisk the mixture until fully smooth and melted.
- Pour the white chocolate ganache layer evenly over the cooled caramel layer and smooth it out into an even layer. Immediately top with the cinnamon sugar mixture and lay it on thick. Allow the white chocolate layer to harden and set, about 1 hour at room temperature, before cutting into squares to serve. You can also expedite this layer by refrigerating for about 30 minutes. For the cleanest cuts, I like to run a very sharp knife under super hot water, wipe the blade dry, and cut, repeating this process after each cut. A clean, sharp and HOT knife makes for super clean cuts.
I just adore the irresistible combination of sweet white chocolate, buttery caramel, sparkling cinnamon sugar and chewy cookie bars!
Have a super sweet day!