While I was measuring out the sugar, this little guy got sneaky and rolled off the counter in an attempt to avoid being baked into a delicious dessert. Luckily my foot was there to break its fall (which actually hurt more than you’d think) and I was really surprised to find the floor NOT covered in eggy mess. So that was nice. I also only cut my finger open on a tin can once while making this recipe, so all in all, a very lucky day indeed.
This meme really reminded me of my boyfriend’s mindset on dessert sharing… Luckily *I’m* the baker of this relationship, so I always do get a taste anyway, mwahaha. 🙂 Yesterday I brought dessert to his family’s house for their weekly family night! I volunteered because I really need people to eat up all the things I bake for this blog! In his family, if it’s not chocolate, it’s not dessert (which is totally fine with me)! So, I’m sharing this simple chocolatey bar dessert with you all today. This recipe is originally from Crazy for Crust.
We’ll be browning some butter for this recipe! So butter is basically your really reliable friend who’s always there for you — he’ll give you a ride to work if your car breaks down and he’s not bad to hang out with on a regular basis. But brown butter, man, he’s deep. He prefers Victorian satire over CollegeHumor articles and always has something interesting to say. He blows your mind. He smells like autumn, but tastes good all year round. Okay, I don’t know that you’re tasting your friends on a regular basis, so maybe the metaphor stops there.
I made a video of the brown butter process so that you can see it the whole way through! I could have actually cooked it a tad longer than I did, but I was a little nervous about filming with one hand and stirring hot butter with the other. It still worked out great in the recipe! The video is 9 minutes long, so you can skip through it just to see the different stages of browning butter. However, the constant stirring motion and the French music I was listening to in the background really is peaceful, so I suggest watching the entire thing on repeat for a few days straight or so.
The little brown specks in there are normal — you can strain them out, but I actually like to keep ’em! It’s easier that way too.
When you start to combine the flour into the sugary brown butter mixture, the dough will resemble thick caramel ribbons in look and taste. Be sure to not eat too much dough! Not because of salmonella, but just because you need that precious dough for the bars!
Have a Charlie Bucket moment when you unwrap your XL chocolate bar of choice — dark chocolate here.
When you pour the sweetened condensed milk on, try to not get it too close to the edges. You will learn that this is nearly impossible to do. It just wants to get everywhere and I eventually just let it. But next time, I will make the edges of the bottom dough a little higher to help avoid that!
Nestle your chocolate rectangles into the condensed milk, and top with nuts, marshmallows, coconut, candy cane pieces, caramels, peanut butter cups…. I considered adding more of these things but I think that may be what they call “excessive” in some schools of thought. I just stuck to dark chocolate and walnuts for now, but I’m already scheming up a s’mores variation with marshmallows and graham cracker pieces!
The second half of your dough may not be enough to completely cover the milk layer, but it should spread enough in the oven anyway. Is this because you sampled too much dough before…? Worth.
Still gooey even after chilling on the counter and then in the fridge for ~45 minutes!
Gooey Brown Butter Cookie Bars
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3 1/4 cups flour (I used about half AP, half white whole wheat)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- (if needed) 1-3 Tbsp. milk
- 1 1/2- 2 cups chocolate chips ( I used mini semi-sweet plus butterscotch chips leftover from last week’s Grapefruit Brûlé Bars)
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1- 2 XL size chocolate bar
- (optional) nuts, caramels, coconut, marshmallows, or other fillings
- Melt and brown the butter in a light-bottomed pot or pan over medium heat over 5- 10 minutes. It is done after the foam has reduced some and the butter is light tan with a nutty scent. Stir often. Let sit to cool ~5 minutes.
- While it’s still warm, transfer the brown butter to a mixing bowl. Add both the sugars and mix. Set aside to cool it slightly before adding other ingredients.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix eggs and vanilla into the butter/sugar bowl with an electric or stand mixer.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture. If the dough seems too dry and hard to combine, add milk by small amounts. I used ~2 Tbsp.
- Stir in chocolate chips and/or other flavor of chips.
- Coat a 9×13 pan well with cooking spray. Press about half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Make the edges a little higher so the sweetened condensed milk and fillings will stay in better.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the bottom dough layer, trying to keep it away from the edges of the pan. Break up your chocolate bars and press the rectangles on top. Sprinkle nuts or other fillings over the milk and chocolate.
- Flatten the remaining dough to cover most of the milk, chocolate, and nut layer. Some blank spaces are okay as the dough will spread.
- Chill the pan in the fridge at least 30 minutes.
- Bake the bars about 35 minutes at 350 F. The top dough will be slightly browned when done, but still look slightly doughy. Cool on a rack before slicing into neat(er) bars (if that’s something you care about).
Luckily the bars were enjoyed by all for dessert last night. I hope you all enjoy them too, friends!