View Full Version : Chewy, gooey chocolate bar cookies

07-22-10, 03:43 PM
No measurements or timers needed--just a reason to be hanging around in the kitchen. My friends are always asking me to make this, but my husband doesn't want me to have it in the house anymore, since we keep on eating it. This is great if you are cooking something else at the same time, since it goes in and out of the oven--it will wait for you to come back to it. I've made these in 30 minutes and I've made them in 5 hours. It's not complicated, but I apologize if my explanation is. The next post is the simplified recipe.


butter (or margarine), melted - have 1/2 cup (about 100g) ready, but you may decide you want some more
flour - whatever kind you want--whole wheat, gluten free, all-purpose
sugar - white, brown, Splenda--but what's the point when the next ingredient is:
sweetened condensed milk* - at least one can, but it might be safer to have 2 on hand, or even 3 if your pan is huge
chocolate chips - if you have a bagful, that should be enough
nuts - again, whatever you want, just make sure they're shelled
coconut - optional extra nut, shredded or flaked, leave it out if you hate it


baking pan - whatever size you want, as long as it has sides at least an inch high
spoon - any size larger than a teaspoon
hands - two clean ones, but you could manage with one
oven - preferably with a window and a light, but not a microwave
chest freezer (if you're in a hurry) - so you can stick the whole pan in and cool the cookies faster


1. Turn on the oven. Any normal baking temperature will do, between 300 and 375 F (170? to 210? C--I don't know. The oven just goes on and it gets hot enough to cook.)

2. Pick a pan. I use a rectangular baking pan. Spoon flour into the pan until the bottom is covered. Look at how much flour you put in, and put in about the same amount of sugar. (If I shake the pan to make the flour go flat, I usually have about 1/4 inch of flour. Sometimes more, sometimes less.) If you decide it's too much sugar, that's fine, too. I once ran out of sugar and these still came out fine. Mix the sugar and flour together with your hands.

3. Pour some butter over it, mixing with your hand as you go. This is easier if the butter isn't scalding hot, obviously. There should be enough butter to moisten all the flour and sugar. You might not need all that you melted.

4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, covering it. Does it make you think of the crusts for Jell-O instant pudding pie mixes?

5. Put the pan in the oven. You could just leave it there until it's warmed to the touch, or you could leave it until it goes golden-brown and you can smell it. This might take 5 minutes or 15, depending on a lot of variables.

6. Take it out of the oven.

7. When you have time, open a can of sweetened condensed milk, and just pour it over the whole thing. You can use your spoon to spread it out a bit, or you could open another can and pour it over the bald spots in the pan.

8. Stick it back in the oven. If I have the broiler (grill) on, I can take it out after a couple of minutes. If not, I might leave it in for 10 minutes or longer. Wash some dishes or unload the dishwasher. Look through the window into the oven occasionally. Stay in the kitchen. The goal is to have the top go all bubbly and caramelized in places.

9. Take it out of the oven. If you only took it out because you could smell burnt sugar, do not panic. Golden is good. Dark brown is not as good, but entirely salvagable. As long as it isn't black smoldering rock, just pour another can of sweetened condensed milk over it to cool it down.

10. Break up nuts and sprinkle them as liberally or stingily as you want over the goey mess.

11. Put the pan back in the oven and sit down in front of it and watch. After a couple of minutes, take the pan out and smell the nuts. If they don't smell like toasted nuts, stick it back in. But don't leave them alone. Burnt nuts taste very bad.

12. Take the pan out. Pour chocolate chips over the top, enough to cover. Let them sit a minute or so to melt slightly, then smooth them over with your spoon (or a clean spatula if you licked your spoon already and don't have any more spoons). (Why don't you have any more spoons?** Didn't you wash dishes earlier?).

13. If you want coconut, sprinkle this over the chocolate, as thick or thin as you like. Press it down slightly, so it sticks to the soft chocolate.

14. Let cool. If you don't want to wait forever for the chocolate to solidify again, put the whole pan in the freezer for an hour. Better for your freezer if the pan's cool enough that you don't need potholders to put it in.

15. Remember that you've left the oven on, and go turn it off

16. My husband thinks it's better to cut it into bars before it's cooled, and I think it's better to cut it after it's cooled, so do whatever you like.

I made this up years ago, when I wanted my friend Karleen's multi-layer bar cookies, but I couldn't get several of the ingredients. It's a bit different every time, but it's always good.

* Every country I've been to has sweetened condensed milk, and it always comes in exactly the same size cans. Don't get confused and use evaporated milk. You will miss the point.
** Or is it a Jasper Fforde thing?

07-22-10, 03:44 PM
And here's the simpler, much less detailed version (but it only makes sense if you've read the complicated one):

Melted butter
Sweetened condensed milk
Toasted nuts
Chocolate chips
Coconut (optional)

1. Turn on oven. In baking pan, mix flour, sugar, and melted butter. Press into bottom of pan. Bake until set.
2. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the cookie base. Return to oven and cook until bubbly and golden
3. Remove from oven. Sprinkle toasted nuts evenly over the caramel layer. Then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the nuts.
4. Wait a few minutes for chocolate to melt, then smooth out with a spatula.
5. Sprinkle coconut over the top, pressing slightly to adhere to chocolate.

Let cool and cut into squares. Serve.