Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I can inhale caramel corn by the handful. And the more I eat, the more I want.

Rather than just inhale it as fast as I can chew, I baked it into layered bars that are bursting with texture.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

That at least slows down the rate of inhalation because the caramel corn is perched on top of squishy, gooey marshmallows, which are on top of dense, rich chocolate chip cookie bars. They’re quite a mouthful in the best possible way.

I have a real fondness for marshmallow-based bars and cereal bars. I’ve never met a Rice Krispies Treat variation that I didn’t love. The same can be said for pans of bars. Love them for their quick and easy prep.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

These bars are a hybrid using some of my favorite elements. Rather than using cereal, I caramel corn. A nice trade-up.

And get a load of all that gooey marshmallow. I’m pretty proud of this one-handed shot. My camera and lens weigh a good 8 or 9 pounds, no joke. But marshmallow gooey shots are worth it.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

The bars are fast and easy to make, and the dough for the chocolate chip cookie layer is the easiest chocolate chip cookie dough I’ve ever made.

I used the recipe I created for the Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups and you don’t need a mixer. Chocolate chip cookie dough without dragging out a mixer is a major feat in my kitchen.

After stirring together the dough and pressing it into a pan, bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or just until the top is set. It’s okay if it’s quite pale, light, and possibly a touch underdone in the center because the pan goes back into the oven for another 8 minutes. Don’t overbake now or they’ll be dry and overdone later.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

Top the baked cookie layer with marshmallows and then with Werther’s Original® Caramel Popcorn.

Werther’s just launched this caramel corn and it’s buttery, caramely, light, airy, with just the right balance of salty-and-sweet. If I didn’t bake most of an 8-ounce bag into the bars, I would have inhaled said 8-ounce bag in no time. Really good caramel corn.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes or so, just long enough so the marshmallows have puffed slightly and have softened, but don’t bake to the point they’re browning because you may scorch the caramel corn.

The marshmallows are the ‘glue’ that trap the caramel corn into their sticky web so that it becomes anchored and doesn’t just fall off.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

After pulling the pan from the oven, drizzle with melted chocolate, and then set it aside to cool for at least a couple hours. You don’t want to slice into the bars until they’ve had a chance to properly set up or you’ll have a literal hot mess on your hands.

If you love a lot of diverse textures and flavors going on in your bars like I do, you’re going to love these.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

The chocolate chip cookie layer is soft and tender, with just slight chewiness near the edges. The chocolate chips add nice bursts of chocolate flavor, without overpowering the buttery, flavorful dough that complements the buttery caramel corn.

The marshmallows are like soft little pillows, and make the perfect squishy, tacky perch for the caramel corn. I love bars with surprise layers of marshmallows, and this layer reminds me of the Peanut Chewy Payday Bars and Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

The caramel corn stays crunchy, crispy, and makes a wonderful contrast to the fluffy marshmallows and soft cookie base.

Something for everyone. Chocolate chip cookies. Marshmallows. Caramel corn. Melted chocolate.

All in one very easy bar.

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - 3 Layers of flavor & texture in these fast, easy, no-mixer bars from averiecooks.com

Print Recipe

Caramel Corn Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The bars are fast and easy to make, and the dough for the chocolate chip cookie layer is the easiest chocolate chip cookie dough you'll ever make - you don't even need a mixer. The chocolate chip cookie layer is soft and tender, with just a slight amount of chewiness near the edges. The chocolate chips add nice bursts of chocolate flavor, while not overpowering the buttery, flavorful dough. On top of the cookie base, the marshmallows are like soft little pillows, and make the perfect squishy perch for the caramel corn. It's crunchy, buttery, crispy, salty-and-sweet, and makes a wonderful contrast to the fluffy marshmallows and soft cookie base.

Yield: one 8-by-8-inch pan, 9 to 12 generous squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 21 minutes + about 8 minutes

Total Time: about 2 hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

Cookie Base
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

Topping
2 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups Werther's Original® Caramel Popcorn
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cookie Base - To a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, add the butter and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power. Allow the butter to cool momentarily so you don't scramble the egg.
  3. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don't overmix
  5. Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
  6. Turn dough out into prepared pan, pushing it into the corners and smoothing it with a spatula or pressing into place with your fingers to form an even, flat layer.
  7. Evenly sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips over the top, pressing them very lightly into the dough with your fingers.
  8. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. It's okay if it's quite pale, light, and possibly a touch underdone in the center because the pan goes back into the oven for another 8 minutes or so; don't overbake now.
  9. Topping - Evenly sprinkle marshmallows over the cookie layer.
  10. Evenly sprinkle the caramel corn over the marshmallows.
  11. Return pan to oven and bake for about 7 to 9 minutes, or until marshmallows have puffed slightly and have softened, but don't bake to the point they're browning because you may scorch the caramel corn.
  12. After removing pan from oven, using a hot mitt or being extra careful and using your palm, gently press the caramel corn down into the softened marshmallows to encourage it to become anchored and stick; set pan aside.
  13. In a small microwave-safe mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power. Stop to stir. Heat in 15-second bursts until chips can be stirred smooth. 15 seconds is likely all they'll need.
  14. Using a spoon, evenly drizzle melted chocolate over the bars. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 2 hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving; do not slice into bars that haven't cooled and set up because they will be exceedingly messy. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Cookie base adapted from Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Related Recipes

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies averiecooks.com

 Vanilla Cake Batter and White Chocolate Chip Caramel Corn

Vanilla Cake Batter and White Chocolate Chip Caramel Corn

Peanut Chewy Payday Bars (almost no-bake)

Peanut Chewy Payday Bars (almost no-bake)

Biscoff Marshmallow Chocolate Bars (no-bake)

Biscoff Marshmallow Chocolate Bars from | @Averie Sunshine {Averie Cooks}

Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars (almost no-bake)

Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars (almost no-bake)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cereal Bars (GF)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cereal Bars - Easy 5-Minute Recipe at averiecooks.com

Marshmallow Caramel Oreo Cookie S’Mores Bars

Marshmallow Caramel Oreo Cookie S’Mores Bars

Smores made with Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Graham Crackers

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Graham Crackers Smores averiecooks.com

Do you like caramel corn? Do you have a favorite recipe if you make it yourself?

75 comments

  1. I am definitely making these! Caramel corn and marshmallows are two of my guilty pleasures. :)

  2. Dude, I LOVE caramel corn! I’m sure I could inhale it too. And these bars – yeah, I’d have no problem inhaling these too. PINNED!

  3. I love a good traybake – they make such good study buddies (can’t revise on an empty stomach!). Looks delicious :)

  4. Man! you got me craving these bars before breakfast time!

  5. I can eat caramel corn until I’m sick…but I still don’t stop once I reach the point of sickness! I love it! These bars look prefect!! YUM! Pinning!

  6. Wow–lots of good stuff going on in these bars! I thought your caramel corn cc cookies looked pretty awesome too! I had no idea Werthers makes caramel corn now–I bet it’s good stuff and I am a little relieved it comes in an 8 oz bag. Less damage that way. I made popcorn balls 20+years ago but I don’t recall ever making caramel corn (which I love). I did sample a pretty good caramel and cheese popcorn mix at Costco last weekend.

    • I quit my Costco membership about 5 yrs ago b/c of things like what you just said….and I don’t need a 5-gallon drum-sized vat of it! lol So good but portion control and storage space, not great for me. ha!

      I’ve been meaning to post a caramel corn recipe (scratch) on my site but never have b/c there are just SO many recipes out there but maybe I should :)

  7. We just got a huge amount of all kinds of popcorn that we bought from the Boy Scouts at my school… this looks like a perfect way to use up that caramel corn!!

  8. The layers in these bars look incredible! I’m actually not a huge fan of caramel corn on its own but I think I could eeeeasily eat one (or more!) of these bars.

  9. Baking with caramel corn is SO cool! There is nothing cooler in my opinion. I love the flavor and crunch factor it adds.

  10. Omg! These look amazing! Love all the different textures. I’ve been searching for that Werther’s popcorn but I can’t find it :(

    • Try a few different groc store chains (sometimes chains vary widely in what they stock) or maybe Target. They have an online locator feature on their website I think too!

  11. Brilliant and beautiful! Gotta try

  12. That gooey shot is incredible!! The bars are incredible! I need more marshmallowy treat in my life! I need these bars! Love them, Averie! PINNED!

  13. Yes, yes & yes!!!! Love everything about these bars :) Pinned!

  14. I absolutely love bars with melty marshmallows on top. And with the caramel corn I am in love for sure! Caramel corn literally disappears when it is around me…can’t get it in fast enough!!! Pinned!

  15. Inhaling caramel coated popcorn is what I do best. These bars look beyond delicious. That gooey mallow layer is calling my name.

  16. There’s a gourmet popcorn shop in Door County and they sell Cookie Dough Caramel Corn! I could toally see myself eating this in crumble form. Snaking on it while sitting on the couch and basically inhaling it without thinking.

    Best desserts are those that you can do that with.

    • Cookie Dough Caramel Corn <---I think that sounds like a great blog recipe :) And my parents used to go to Door County every summer. Hello sour cherries (so my mom could bring them home to can). They'd leave my sister and I at home with our grandma and get away for the weekend. I always thought they were going 'so far' but it was just over the state line. As a parent, I can totally get those parent getaways now!

  17. I absolutely love caramel corn, and in fact last night I had these toffee chocolate covered popcorn treats that were so, so good. I love the idea of throwing them onto chocolate chip cookie bars, I bet these guys are texture crazy!

  18. These look incredible! I love how ooey and gooey these are. And that marshmallow goo photo- I would have never guessed that it was shot without a tripod! (Really, all your photos lately have been incredible!)

  19. Can I just say, yum! I love caramel corn. And on top of bars? Stop it. So good!

  20. Wow these look incredible! I love Caramel Corn, and I normally get mine at Kernel’s in the mall. I didn’t know Werther’s started making it as well. Their candies are sooo good I can just imagine how awesome their caramel popcorn would be! And on top of a cookie bar with marshmallowy goodness.. mmmm *drool* … thanks for the great recipe! :)

  21. Those photos are incredible! I just want to reach in and grab one!

  22. Seriously!!!!! I have been dying to try the werthers popcorn, it looks SOOO GOOD! I always take werthers with me when I fly! Chocolate chip cookie, marshmallow and caramel corn..girl you have outdone yourself! LOVEEEEE all the flavors and textures too!!

  23. My eyes are as big as saucers after seeing these incredible scrumptious treats, Averie! I bet they are mind blowing delicious – I want a dozen!

  24. Oh Lord, I was in love with this just by looking at the title. When I was growing up, my grandparents would buy these HUGE tins of caramel corn. I don’t know where to get them anymore, but they were the bomb. :) I absolutely love the third picture with the gooey marshmallow! And I cannot believe you put all that on top of cookie bars.

  25. caramel corn and marshmallow sounds yummy together!

  26. That gooey marshmallow one-handed shot is stunning Averie! You must have some superpower muscles to hold the camera steady AND perfectly vertical with one hand. So impressive! I can never keep caramel corn in the house; between me and my guy, we inhale those bags in a matter of minutes. But’s it’s so worth it!

  27. Every creation you come up with amazes me. These look incredible! Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  28. OMG I’m sitting her at Panera wishing the clock would fast forward to theatre pick-up time and OMG I want one of these! GOOEY HEAVEN! :)

  29. OMG!!! I want one right now! Have I told you lately that you’re my hero Averie?! Caramel popcorn and marshamallows …amaaaazing!

  30. Oh my goodness! Sounds delicious. You think of the best combinations!

  31. Interestingly, even when I didn’t know I had an allergy to corn, I didn’t really dig caramel corn. I know, weird, huh! Seraphim and Simeon love it, however. Although, Seraphim has an allergy to corn so he can’t have it either, poor guy! If we could eat them, we would try them! That shot of you holding the marshmallow gooey stuff? Brilliant!

    • I bet that you could use rice cakes that you chop up the size of popped popcorn and then pour over homemade caramel sauce (same protocol that most online recipes for DIY caramel corn start out). I bet a hearty rice cake would hold up fine and if it’s that or nothing, if he really had a huge craving, it would probably be better than nothing.

  32. WHAT THE WHAT?! We’ve got caramel corn, marshmallow, and cookie bars all in like one yummy package??!!! I cannot get overrrr it!

  33. These look like Heaven in bar form! I need!

  34. I love everything about these bars. I’ve never tried baking with caramel corn, but I think I just got inspired!!

  35. Caramel corn and marshmallow!? LOVE the idea of this–a twist on rice crispy bars with chocolate chip dough thrown in!

  36. I’m typing this comment right now with sticky fingers. Because I’m eating Werther’s caramel corn as I type.

    Caramel corn is my favorite kind of popcorn. Don’t get me wrong, I love a giant bowl of the buttery stuff (oh, and kettle corn too) but caramel corn steals my heart every time. My grandmother made it from scratch and I use her recipe often!! But the Werther’s brand caramel corn is so good!! Anyway, I love these dessert bars so much. One of my favorites from you.

    That one-handed shot. Dear lord girl. You are talented! I need my tripod for that!

    • Girl I had to hold my breath and focus every yoga bone in my body to get that one-handed shot. As you know, with our camera body and the 24-70, it’s a beast. And so awkward, too. And then I had this weird translucent light coming thru. Yeah. FUN! But I actually love that pic :) Thanks for noticing!

      And yes buttery popcorn is nice but let’s face it, caramel corn will always win! And homemade, the best :) With your nana’s recipe no less! nice!

      Thanks for saying you love this dessert…it hasn’t really popped so far. We shall see.

  37. Averie you are amazing, how do you come up with all these ideas? These look beyond delicious, if I cooked everything of yours I liked the look of I’d be the size of a house!

  38. I’m totally dying over how much goodness is packed inside of these!!

  39. Love the idea of using caramel corn on bars like this! they look amazing!

  40. Melted marshmallows make the best/stickiest glue! Not very fun to wipe off the counter, but so tasty! These bars look amazing…what’s not to love? :D

  41. Three little wonders right on top of each other!!

  42. I’m quite sure that I’ve never seen a mountain of anything more lovely than these bars – spectacular! So creative Averie! Pinned too, of course :)

  43. *DROOL* Is there a more glorious combination of sweets?! I love this!

  44. Chocolate hunker Reply

    The crunchy cookie base with explosions of chunky chocolate chips to add to a simply heavenly topping of gooey marshmallows and double crispy popcorn coated with creamy caramel is a promising combo of tempting indulgence ideal for a sweet fanatic!Bliss…keep posting stuff like this Averie!

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