So my post today is of a decidedly unphotogenic recipe. I toyed with the idea of not posting it for a while, but I
ate the pan so quickly liked these so much that I figured I couldn’t keep them to myself! This recipe is pretty heavily adapted from Joy the Baker’s recipe for Candy Bar Cookie Bars. In my opinion, her website is one of the very best blogs out there. If you’re not familiar with it, clear several hours of time for yourself and go check it out!
The only real changes I made from the recipe were replacing the step where she has you make your own brown sugar by just adding regular granulated sugar. I made up for the lack of molasses later by adding 2 tablespoons of honey in with the wet ingredients. Why did I do this? Simple. I always have honey on hand, and I never have molasses on hand. I also went ahead and quadrupled (!!) the salt because the dough was spectacularly sweet, and I like my baked goods to have a salty kick whenever possible.
I can completely forgive these bars for not looking their best in pictures. Exactly what makes them delicious is also what makes for boring pictures….they bake up into a vrey-uniform deep golden brown, and they are gloriously gooey. These things did not dry out. Even on day three or four, they still had a great chewy center and perfectly crispy edges. Don’t even get me started on what happened when I popped them in the microwave. I could go on, but I don’t want to drool on my keyboard.
The recipe can pretty easily be prepared in one bowl if you have a big enough, microwavable liquid measuring cup. The dough is very soft and easily stirred with a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula. Next time you find yourself with a lot of candy on hand, definitely make them. They’re greater than the sum of their parts…which is saying a lot when the parts are M&M’s, Reeses, dark chocolate squares, malted milk balls, raisinets, butter, sugar, and honey!
Even if you don’t have a ton of candy on hand, these would be just as delicious with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, or any combination of the above. I have a sneaking suspicion I should make these again with chocolate chips, hazelnuts and a quick swirl of Nutella thrown in right before pouring the batter into the pan. Actually, its more of a conviction than a prediction. That needs to be done.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you the recipe to go crazy with. Let me know what add-ins work best!
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 cups chopped candy of your choice!
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan
2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. Melt your butter in a microwave safe bowl or large liquid measuring cup.
4. Add honey and vanilla to the butter and stir to combine.
5. In a small bowl, whisk your eggs lightly until just combined. Add a small amount (about a 1/4 cup) of butter to the eggs while whisking constantly. This will temper the eggs so they don’t scamble when your pour them in with the warm butter.
6. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, continuously whisking as your pour them in.
7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. The mixture will be very wet and shiny.
8. Stir in the candy.
9. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to gently smooth the mixture evenly in the pan.
10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until deep golden brown. I baked mine for exactly 25 minutes, which resulted in super gooey cookie squares…just the way I like them.
11. Allow to cool completely in the pan, then slice and store in an air-tight container.