1cup(227g)salted butter, softened to room temperature
1 ½cups(318g)packed light brown sugar
2cups(about 200g)crushed graham cracker crumbs, about 18 rectangle crackers
Caramel PB Layer:
10-12ounces(283-340g)soft caramels, unwrapped
⅓cupcream or milk, see note
½cup(128g)creamy peanut butter, I use a heaping 1/2 cup
1 ½ to 2cups(255 to 340g)semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the longer sides for easy removal of the bars after baking. Grease evenly with cooking spray and set aside.
In an electric stand mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.
Add the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. On low speed, mix until combined.
Press half (or slightly more than half) of the dough evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and cream (or milk) and microwave in 1-minute increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until well-combined.
Spread the caramel/PB mixture over the layer of cookie dough in the pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the top in small pieces.
Bake the bars until golden brown but still soft (don't over bake!), about 20-25 minutes. The caramel may seem runny but if the cookie dough part is golden and soft-set, take the bars out. Cool completely. Cut into squares and serve (chilled, room temp or warm).
Caramel: if you're using homemade caramel, you most likely don't need to add the cream (you'll want about 1 1/2 cups caramel).Milk or Cream: if using milk with the caramels (instead of cream) the mixture will be quite a bit thinner and runnier. I've made it both ways and it's delicious either way - just richer and creamier with the cream rather than the milk.