living the sweet life

Salted Brown Butter Milky Way Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

It’s funny. With a baking blog, sometimes I have ideas that have been stewing in my head for weeks at a time and then other times I have ideas that I will promptly start to bake about 1 hour after having the initial thought. There’s not much grey area in between.

These cookie bars, or at least a version of these, have been rolling around in my head for weeks. When I made my homemade salted caramel sauce, I was trying to think of all the different ways to use it up and I thought that swirling it into cookie dough batter would be delicious. I still think it would be delicious, and that recipe will be coming soon, that’s for sure. Anyway, around that time I was in a Rite Aid and saw the fun size packs of candy were on sale, so I instinctively grabbed a few of the milky way ones. I figured I would add them to the salted caramel bars and create something delicious. It’s dangerous finding candy on sale though.. Mostly because I just want to eat it all.

Fast forward to this week and I needed to get rid of the Milky Way bars because, well, they were taunting me. I had slowly but surely worked my way through most of the milky ways and was only left with two packs. I didn’t have any salted caramel sauce, but after making brown butter cookies two weeks ago, I figured the brown butter would be a great way to get the caramel flavor into the cookies. Plus, a sprinkling of salt would help cut through the sweetness of all those milky way chunks and chocolate chips.

I brought these to my acting class on Tuesday. There were only 6 of us in class with our 2 instructors, and we demolished these bars. They were so good. The brown butter with the melty chocolate chips and chewy caramel milky way pieces made for a great cookie bar with no threat of being dry. They were rich enough that one or two (or 4) were satisfying, but not so rich that you felt sick after. Perfect combination, I would say.

Oh, and sorry for the lack of good pictures. I was trying to take pictures in the lobby before class, before we ate them all, but the lighting was just no bueno.

Salted Brown Butter Milky Way Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

makes 1 9×9 pan

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons brown butter, cooled to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped Milky Way bars (I used about 8-9 fun size bars)
Additional Sea Salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium size sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Once it has just melted, begin whisking and don’t stop. The butter will begin to bubble and get foam. Once the foam starts to subside, you’ll notice brown flecks forming on the bottom of the sauce pan. Once the butter has a nice medium brown color, remove from heat and continue to whisk for another 30 seconds. The butter will have a caramel smell. Set butter aside and let cool to about room temperature.

While butter cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown butter and sugars until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until smooth and well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and milky way chunks.

Take a 9×9 inch baking pan and spray it with a non-stick cooking spray. Empty the dough into the pan. Use your fingers to spread the dough evenly and to pat the dough down.

Sprinkle top lightly with sea salt. Bake bars for 20-25 minutes, or until the top of the bars are a light golden brown color. Let the bars cool for 5-10 minutes on the stove top and then transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let cool completely and then cut into squares and serve.

[source: adapted from my cookie bars, which came from Two Peas & Their Pod]



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