RECIPES:
Dec 16, 2022

Soy Caramel Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
This cookie recipe has a secret ingredient: SOY SAUCE!

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These soy caramel cookies are inspired by a Japanese milk flavored ice cream I had topped with a sweet and salty soy caramel sauce. This combination is also used in cooking as a sweet contrast to rich meats or seafood. 

The base of this cookie bar is a basic shortbread dough. The buttery, crumbly cookie dough pairs well with the ribbons of soy caramel. Press them into a pan and cut them into bars though they can also be rolled and sliced then baked like this recipe here

Soy Caramel Cookie Bars

slices of Soy Caramel Cookie Bars

Key Ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Sugar – Granulated sugar is melted and caramelized as the base of the caramel. 
  • Butter – Butter is both added to the caramel and used to create the soft and crumbly sugar cookie base. 
  • Cream – After the sugar is caramelized, cream is whisked into the caramelized sugar to give the sauce the nice creamy texture. 
  • Soy sauce – Soy sauce adds a savory depth of flavor to the caramel and adds a unique umami twist. 
  • Vanilla – A little vanilla extract goes a long way to enhance the other ingredients in this recipe.
caramelize sugar for Soy Caramel Cookie Bars
Step 1: Caramelize the sugar. 

Add the sugar to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown, about 15 minutes. Be patient while the sugar melts. It will clump before it melts then it caramelizes quickly, so keep an eye on it so the sugar doesn’t burn.

Step 2: Add the butter. 

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the butter (it will bubble).

caramelize sugar with butter for Soy Caramel Cookie Bars
cream and soy sauce on a jar
Step 3: Add the cream and soy sauce.

Slowly stir in the cream, stirring constantly until completely combined. Stir in the soy sauce. Let cool completely and use right away or add to an airtight container and store refrigerated until ready to use.

Step 4: Make the shortbread dough. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, flour, sugar, vanilla and kosher salt until the crumbs form and the mixture just comes together, about 1 minute. 

short bread for Soy Caramel Cookie Bars
mixing the caramel sauce with the short bread mixture
Step 5: Add the caramel. 

Add ½ cup (87g) of the caramel sauce and mix again until just combined but the caramel is still visible, being careful not to over-mix.

Step 6: Add the dough to a prepared pan. 

Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line an 8” x 8” (20cm x 20cm) pan with buttered parchment paper. Press the cookie dough evenly into the pan (if the dough is too sticky, top with another piece of parchment paper or coat a spatula in flour).

dough in a baking pan
baked dough for Soy Caramel Cookie Bars
Step 7: Bake the cookie bars. 

Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 8: Serve. 

Let cool for 10 minutes then drizzle with 2 tablespoons (56g) of the remaining caramel. Cut into bars and serve. 

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

Can I Substitute Store Bought Caramel? 

While I like making my own caramel because you have more control over the flavor and consistency, 1 tablespoon (16g) of soy sauce can easily be added to your favorite store-bought caramel for an easy shortcut. 

What Happens if My Caramel Crystallized? 

As you stir the butter into the caramelized sugar sometimes crystallization occurs. If small chunks remain even after adding the cream and soy sauce they can easily be strained out. This can occur more frequently if an unrefined sugar is used. 

How to Store Cookies 

Let cookies cool completely before adding to resealable containers. Store at room temperature for up to a week or frozen for up to a few months. 

Serving Suggestions 

I particularly like these cookies warmed and paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They can even be rolled flat, then baked and served as an ice cream sandwich. 

Other Recipes to Try 

If you enjoy this soy caramel cookie recipe, give these a try and follow me on Instagram

Soy Caramel Cookie Bars

Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Serves 12

Ingredients:

For the soy caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

For the soy caramel:

  • Add the sugar to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown, about 15 minutes. Be patient while the sugar melts. It will clump before it melts then it caramelizes quickly, so keep an eye on it so the sugar doesn’t burn.
  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the butter (it will bubble).
  • Slowly stir in the cream, stirring constantly until completely combined. Stir in the soy sauce. Let cool completely and use right away or add to an airtight container and store refrigerated until ready to use.

For the cookies:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, flour, sugar, vanilla and kosher salt until the crumbs form and the mixture just comes together, about 1 minute.
  • Add ½ cup (87g) of the caramel sauce and mix again until just combined but the caramel is still visible, being careful not to over-mix.
  • Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line an 8” x 8” (20cm x 20cm) pan with buttered parchment paper. Press the cookie dough evenly into the pan (if the dough is too sticky, top with another piece of parchment paper or coat a spatula in flour).
  • Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes then drizzle with 2 tablespoons (56g) of the remaining caramel. Cut into bars and serve.

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