Gooey Caramel Cookie Bars Are Irresistible

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These caramel cookie bars are ooey, gooey, delicious, and ridiculously easy to make. This recipe takes the shortcut of using store-bought refrigerator dough as a base, layering it with a rich caramel sauce, pillowy marshmallows, and a sprinkle of crunchy peanuts.

They are a dessert you can make with just five simple ingredients, even if you don’t have much baking experience. These are one of my family’s favorites, and they will reawaken your inner child and satisfy your sweet tooth in equal measure.

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It’s perfect for whipping up a quick treat, a potluck dessert that’ll steal the show, or simply a sweet escape from the everyday. And everyone will think you spent hours in the kitchen, so go ahead and take all the credit!

In this post, I’ll walk you through turning store-bought dough into decadent cookie bars. We’re talking minimal prep, simple ingredients, and maximum flavor!

Looking for more easy dessert ideas? Try frozen lemonade pie, chocolate caramel cookies, or polar bear claws.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Refrigerator sugar cookie dough
  • Caramel bits
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Peanuts: You can use almonds, cashews, or your favorite nuts.
  • Mini marshmallows
Ingredients for a caramel cookie bars

🥣How to Make Caramel Cookie Bars

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper so it comes out easily later.
  2. Take your sugar cookie dough and slice it into rounds. Then, lay them flat in the dish, pressing slightly to form a seamless base. Pop the dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  3. While the base cools a bit, grab a microwave-safe bowl and add the caramel bits and heavy cream. Microwave them in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until they are completely melted.
  4. Pour that golden caramel layer over the cookie base, spreading it to the edges. Sprinkle with peanuts and marshmallows, and put it back in the oven for another 12 minutes.
  5. Let it cool before cutting it into bars.
A square of yellow cake in a baking pan.
Bake the cookie dough.
Caramel Cookie Bars in a pan.
Add caramel, peanuts and marshmallows.
baked Caramel Cookie Bars in a baking pan.
Bake for 12 minutes.

🍴Serving Ideas

These Peanut Caramel Cookie Bars are perfect with a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee. To add a bit of extra flair, drizzle them with melted chocolate or a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.

Hosting a party? Cut these bars into bite-sized pieces and watch them become the star of your dessert table. They’re perfect for little fingers and make for easy mingling snacks.

A slice of Caramel Cookie Bars on a plate with a glass of milk.

💭How to Store

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll stay fresh and delicious for up to 3 days, ready to be snacked on at a moment’s notice.

These bars also freeze beautifully. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer bag or container.

When the craving hits, thaw them at room temperature, and it’s like you’ve baked them fresh all over again. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Caramel Cookie Bars on a plate.


Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • When you line your baking dish, leave some parchment paper hanging over the edge. This acts as a sling, making it super easy to lift out your bars once they’ve cooled—because the only thing we want sticking is the memory of how delicious they were.
  • When working with refrigerated cookie dough, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes for easier slicing and molding.
  • Melting caramel can become a sticky situation if rushed, so take your time with those microwave intervals. Stirring it well before microwaving it again to ensure a smooth, creamy caramel layer.
  • Consider toasting those peanuts before sprinkling them on. A quick toast in a dry pan or oven can amplify their nutty flavor and add an extra crunch to make your bars the talk of the town.

📝Reader Questions

Can I double the recipe for a larger crowd?

Absolutely! Just switch to a 9×13-inch pan and double up on the ingredients. You may need to adjust the baking time slightly, so keep an eye on the cookie base as it bakes.

My caramel is too thick to spread. What should I do?

Caramel can be temperamental. If it’s too thick, gently reheat it, adding a teaspoon of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency.

Can I use a different type of nut or omit them entirely?

Of course! Feel free to swap in almonds, cashews, or even a mix of nuts. And for those with allergies or preferences, leaving the nuts out won’t compromise the deliciousness of these bars.

How do I cut the bars without making a mess?

Let the bars cool completely. Then, use a sharp knife. For extra precision, dip it in hot water and wipe it clean between cuts.

Can I make these bars ahead of time?

You bet! These bars are a great make-ahead option for parties or after-school treats. Just store them as directed, and you’ll have a sweet snack whenever the craving strikes.

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Caramel Cookie Barson a plate.
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Caramel Cookie Bars Recipe

Published By Anne
These homemade caramel sugar cookie bars are packed with gooey caramel, fluffy marshmallows, and salty peanuts. Easy to make with store-bought dough, they're perfect for an easy dessert.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Servings: 12
Print Save Rate Pin


  • 16 ounces refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 11 ounces caramel bits
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ cup salted peanuts
  • ½ cup mini marshmallows


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Place the parchment paper over the edges of the dish to make it easy to lift it out when it’s done.
  • Slice the cookie dough and lay it on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Press it together to cover the bottom.
    16 ounces refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Put the caramels and heavy cream in a microwaveable bowl.
    11 ounces caramel bits, 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
  • Spread the caramel mixture over the cookie dough layer.
  • Immediately sprinkle with the peanuts and marshmallows all over the top.
    ¾ cup salted peanuts, ½ cup mini marshmallows
  • Bake again for 12 minutes until the marshmallows are just golden brown.
  • Let cool before slicing.


  • You can switch out the nuts for your favorite kinds, like cashews, almonds, or pecans.
  • You can make these with chocolate chip cookie dough too.
  • Try drizzling melted chocolate chips over the top.
  • Leave some parchment paper hanging over the edge when you line your baking dish. This acts as a sling, making it super easy to lift out your bars once they’ve cooled.
  • Melting caramel can be a sticky situation if rushed, so take your time with those microwave intervals. Stirring it well before microwaving it again.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 12g | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Caramel Cookie Bars on a plate.

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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