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The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe

Week 1 of our Gluten-Free Holiday Dessert Recipe

by Elyse the Gluten-Free Foodee
Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe

So, this officially kicks off our holiday baking posts for 2021. Every Tuesday, until December 21st, we will feature a new gluten-free dessert perfect for the holidays. Well, they will actually be good any time of year, but they are especially good for the holidays.

We will share an assortment of cookies, bars, puddings, and layered deserts that will compliment any meal. And we are starting with a gluten-free recipe that everyone will love. This recipe for the Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar combines a crisp cookie base with sweet caramel, and smooth, creamy chocolate. I’m drooling just typing this. It is everything a holiday treat should be.

Also, this is a great recipe to give to friends and family as they cut and travel well. Just pop the cut squares into a nice, covered container and dazzle them with your homemade goodies. Oh, and you can make them dairy-free too by using a nondairy butter alternative! YUM and YUM again.  

Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe 

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) butter or nondairy alternative, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup (50ml) brown sugar, packed 
  • 2 1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbs (30ml) water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob Red Mill 1 for 1 flour)

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 ml) butter or nondairy alternative
  • 2 cups (500 ml)  brown sugar, packed 
  • 2 packages milk chocolate chips (3 cups about 750ml)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 17”x11” (45cm by 29cm) baking sheet and line with parchment paper, overlapping the two ends for easy removal. 

Cookie

  1. Beat butter, sugars, vanilla, and water until smooth. You can use a hand mixer, but it works best with a stand mixer. 
  2. Add remaining 3 ingredients and beat until mixture is combined. 
  3. Spread dough in even layer to cover baking sheet. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes.

Toppings

  • Meanwhile, over medium heat bring butter and brown sugar to a boil. Stir to combined. A great tip for making sure your  sugar is fully dissolved is put a spoon in the freezer. Take the frozen spoon out and drop caramel mixture on the spoon. Let caramel cool then check to see if it’s grainy. If it is, let it cook a little longer. 
  • When caramel is complete, spread mixture over the partially baked cookie dough. Return to oven and bake an additional 8 minutes until the caramel is bubbling.
  • Remove from oven, immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over hot caramel. Wait 5 minutes and spread melted chocolate over cookie with an offset spatula. If using nuts sprinkle over chocolate, prior to hardening.
  • Next cool in refrigerator until chocolate is set. If you don’t have room in the refrigerator, put in a cool place. Keep in mind that by not placing them in the refrigerator, the bars will take longer to set (but they will set). 
  • Once chocolate is set, bring to room temperature (if necessary) before cutting. You can cut the bar into diamonds, squares, or cut with your favourite cookie cutters. 
  • You can store the cookies in an airtight Tupperware container separating the layers with wax paper. 

NOTE: These cookies freeze really well. Simply place them in an labelled Ziplock bag or air-tight container and they can stay up to six months in the freezer (not that they ever last that long). Also, feel free to substitute the chopped nuts for a sprinkle of finishing salt or even leave them plain. You can’t go wrong.

Be sure to come back next Tuesday for our next gluten-free holiday dessert recipe.

🎄 Happy holiday baking 🎄

Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe
Print Recipe/Tips
Serves: 90 2”X2” pieces Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) butter or nondairy alternative, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup (50ml) brown sugar, packed 
  • 2 1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbs (30ml) water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups Bob Red Mill 1 for 1 flour

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 ml) butter or nondairy alternative
  • 2 cups (500 ml)  brown sugar, packed 
  • 2 packages milk chocolate chips (3 cups about 750ml)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 17”x11” (45cm by 29cm) baking sheet and line with parchment paper, overlapping the two ends for easy removal. 

Cookie

  1. Beat butter, sugars, vanilla, and water until smooth. You can use a hand mixer, but it works best with a stand mixer.
  2. Add remaining 3 ingredients and beat until mixture is combined. 
  3. Spread dough in even layer to cover baking sheet. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes.

Toppings

  • Meanwhile, over medium heat bring butter and brown sugar to a boil. Stir to combined. A great tip for making sure your  sugar is fully dissolved is put a spoon in the freezer. Take the frozen spoon out and drop caramel mixture on the spoon. Let caramel cool then check to see if it’s grainy. If it is, let it cook a little longer.
  • When caramel is complete, spread mixture over the partially baked cookie dough. Return to oven and bake an additional 8 minutes until the caramel is bubbling.
  • Remove from oven, immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over hot caramel. Wait 5 minutes and spread melted chocolate over cookie with an offset spatula. If using nuts sprinkle over chocolate, prior to hardening.
  • Next cool in refrigerator until chocolate is set. If you don’t have room in the refrigerator, put in a cool place. Keep in mind that by not placing them in the refrigerator, the bars will take longer to set (but they will set). 
  • Once chocolate is set, bring to room temperature (if necessary) before cutting. You can cut the bar into diamonds, squares, or cut with your favourite cookie cutters. 
  • You can store the cookies in an airtight Tupperware container separating the layers with wax paper. 

NOTES/TIPS

  • These cookies freeze really well. Simply place them in an labelled Ziplock bag or air-tight container and they can stay up to six months in the freezer (not that they ever last that long).
  • You can substitute the chopped nuts for a sprinkle of finishing salt or even leave them plain. You can’t go wrong.
Did You Try This Recipe or These Tips?
How did it go? Let us know in the comments. Tag us on Instagram at @Gluten_Free_Foodee..

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