Homemade Cookie Bars with Pumpkin Spice Caramel Recipe

Not sure about you, but I’m ALL about making homemade Halloween candy. Sure, regular candy is great, but homemade is so much more fun! The perfect October weekend baking activity (along with carving pumpkins, of course).

These Cookie Bars are an obvious choice. What’s not to love about shortbread, caramel and chocolate? These are even better than the original because they’re made with a secret ingredient: Litehouse® Pumpkin Spice Caramel! It’s such a tasty seasonal treat, packed with warming fall spices that perfectly complement the sweet caramel.

The pumpkin spice caramel dip is delicious with plain old apples, but it’s also fun to incorporate into a few different recipes this fall. Drizzle some over your favorite ice cream (or popcorn!), spread onto French toast, waffles or pancakes, or make these Pumpkin Spice Caramel Chocolate Cups that we shared last fall!

Homemade Twix Bars with Pumpkin Spice Caramel Dip

These homemade chocolate caramel cookie bar copycats require a bit of patience, but they’re actually pretty easy to make. Here’s how we do it:

First up, we start with a simple shortbread layer. I used my dad’s family recipe for this. His family is from Scotland, and it’s a recipe that’s been passed down over the years! It never disappoints. So buttery and delicious!

Homemade shortbread is just four simple ingredients: flour, sugar, corn starch and butter. No eggs needed. To make the dough, be sure to soften the butter until it reaches room temp, otherwise it won’t fully incorporate in the flour.

Instead of using a mixer, my dad’s recipe instructs you to use your hands to work the dough into a ball. This prevents you from overworking the gluten in the dough, so you have a buttery, soft cookie.

Once the dough comes together, press it into an 8x8 or 9x9 pan in a flat layer. It’s important to prick the dough with the tines of a fork before baking. This prevents it from rising (and gives it that quintessential shortbread look!). Once the shortbread layer is baked, give it some time to cool before adding the caramel.

Big batch of Homemade Twix Bars

Once cooled, use a spatula to evenly spread a layer of pumpkin spice caramel over the shortbread. Transfer to the freezer for at least a half hour, then melt chocolate, spread over caramel and return to the freezer until solid.

You’ll need a pretty sharp knife to cut these into bars, but it’s totally fine if they get a bit messy! Unlike store-bought cookie bars, these just have a chocolate layer instead of being completely encased in chocolate. If you’d prefer, you can dip the entire bar in chocolate, but be warned, it gets pretty messy.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. (But we doubt they’ll last that long.) Happy Halloween!

Homemade Cookie Bars with Pumpkin Spice Caramel Recipe

Serves 12-14 | Finish in 2 hours
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These homemade cookie bars are made with a buttery shortbread cookie base, a one-ingredient pumpkin spice caramel layer, and covered in delicious milk chocolate for a Halloween treat you won’t forget!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 lb. butter, softened 
  • 1 container Litehouse® Pumpkin Spice Caramel Dip
  • 12 oz milk or semisweet chocolate, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300˚F and line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2.  In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to mix together flour, sugar, corn starch and butter just until it comes together. You don’t want any big pieces of butter, but you don’t want to overwork the dough.
  3.  Press into baking pan and use a fork to make indentations all over the dough (so it doesn’t rise). Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until very light golden brown on top.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, spread an entire container of pumpkin spice caramel over the cookie layer. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
  5. Melt chocolate and let cool slightly before pouring over caramel layer. Return to freezer until solidified, then slice into bars and enjoy! Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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