My life is returning to normal in a world that is anything but normal. In a way, I’m thankful, but in another way, I long for the time when I had the time to bake. Even though my life being changed so quickly was scary at first, baking brought a joy to it all. Since I have been back to two jobs instead of one, I haven’t quite found my rhythm again. I’m still adjusting and it’s getting easier, but it still isn’t easy. I bake to feel calm and creative. It’s nice to do something you love that you are also good at. It’s even nicer to see your loved ones smile when they bite in. These bars were therapeutic for me to make and I was rewarded with compliments from my loved ones. They are a make again for sure! If you’re struggling too, I hope you find this process as calming as I did.
I knew I needed to bake, but I didn’t know what. Whatever it was, I wanted it to involve dough. Not batter, dough. I looked on Pinterest for quite some time before I stumbled upon a recipe for something unusual. I used the idea and completely adapted it to what I was craving. The result was a hit and I am even considering a double batch next time.
This had three layers and each one was quite a bit different, so I found this very entertaining. The texture of the layers was awesome and they came together so beautifully. The crust is almost like a shortbread. I even considered making the crust with refrigerated sugar cookie dough next time for a sweeter base, although this really complemented the other layers.
After the crust was most of the way baked, I put on the second layer. Layer 2 is basically a simple fudge that my mom and I have been making for years. I knew anything with condensed milk in it had some serious promise. I could have eaten layer 2 all by itself with a spoon.
The last layer is where I completely went off the recipe rails and made this dessert my own. Just looking at the topping in the mixing bowl, I knew this was going to be one of my personal favorites. I can’t lie, I had my fair share of topping straight out of the bowl, and it’s egg free so I don’t even have to try and convince you to do as I say, not as I do.
As you can see, it turned out absolutely beautiful! This dessert is aesthetically pleasing and it looks even better when you cut into it. It has to cool before you cut it and waiting was pretty hard, but believe me, it’s so worth it!
My dad is my favorite taste tester. He has a sweet tooth, but he won’t just “eat anything,” so I always trust his reviews. He told me there was nothing that he could compare these to since they were unlike most desserts I’ve made. The textures of the layers make these an unusual delight. I plan to take these to the next event I have to bake for and see how they go over with my ladies group.
I hope you have fun making these and just as much fun eating them!
Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bar Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 and line an 11×7 casserole dish with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper for best results. I didn’t do this and I definitely regretted it!
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
- 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 3/4 c. all purpose flour
- 1/3 c. quick cooking oats
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- dash of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. chocolate chips
- 1/2 c. white chocolate chunks (or chips)
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together all the ingredients for the crust until thoroughly combined. Press it evenly into the bottom of your lined, greased baking dish and bake it for 15 minutes. It’s okay if it isn’t baked all the way- it will be baked again soon.
While it’s baking, melt the condensed milk and chocolate chips in the microwave for 45 seconds. Remove, stir, and begin microwaving for 30 second intervals until the chips are completely melted and the mixture is smooth and completely combined after stirring.
For the topping, combine all the ingredients except the two kinds of chocolate chips and mix them together with a wooden spoon, or even by mashing them together with a large, sturdy fork. Once everything is combined and the topping is nice and crumbly, mix in both kinds of chocolate.
When the crust comes out of the oven, pour the fudge mixture as evenly as you can over the crust. Use a spatula to gently spread it out the rest of the way over the crust. With the crust being warm, this may be a bit challenging and take some extra time and patience. Top it with crumble and even it out as much as you can before putting it back in the oven for roughly 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Let the bars cool for about an hour before cutting them into squares. I am not sure if these need to be refrigerated or not, but I do just in case. They are absolutely delicious cold, but they are tough to cut, so make sure you do it before you refrigerate these!