It’s been too long since the last time I created a new outrageously layered cookie bar, don’t you think?
Well, recently with all the holidays upon us I’ve been baking a lot for my family and it’s always fun to throw something new into the mix along with all the seasonal favorites. That’s why it’s pretty dangerous to leave any unwanted candy or baking ingredients around me for long, because they will inevitably end up in a dessert.
It’s been almost a month since Halloween but there’s always those stray candies left that didn’t get eaten by the hungry kiddos, or is that just in my house? Well, for some reason the Milky May candy bars from the fun size mix were not anyone’s favorite and they were still hanging around in the pantry the same day I was planning some recipes.
So I grabbed those but I also knew that I wanted to create something that focused on the balance between sweet and salty. I guess that’s because, growing up, my mother was always baking things to take to gatherings and parties for the holidays and one of the simple favorites were those little 3-ingredient pretzel/rolo/pecan bites. Wow, those things are addictive.
I think what makes them the best is the combination of chocolate, something salty and crunchy, and something sweet and chewy so tried to use that as a guide for creating these.
You’ve just gotta have the crunch so that’s why I used ritz crackers and the milky way bars with the rice crispies create another layer of on the top that’s both chewy and crunchy. Needless to say these were popular when I finished them and finally shared them.
So let’s break this down. You start by making a layer of my favorite brownies ever, but wait there’s more! You top those brownies with the crispy crunchiness of some ritz crackers baked on top, but there’s still more! Then you add a layer of rice crispy cereal coated in the fudgiest mixture of chocolate and milky way candy bars and a sprinkle of candy bar chunks with some marshmallows for good measure!
A crispy/crunchy explosion of a treat. Milky Way candy bars meet salty ritz and rice crispies to make create an addictive combo on top of a fudgy brownie layer.
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick+2 tbsp) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coffee grounds (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 small package ritz crackers (about 16)
- 3 1/2 cups rice crispies cereal
- 1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows, divided
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/4 cups milky way candy bar cubes (about 15 fun-size), divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 8x8 inch baking pan with butter. Whisk together the sugar, butter, cocoa, and coffee in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Add the salt, vanilla, soda, eggs, and flour and stir until evenly combined.
- Pour the batter into the pan and layer the top evenly with ritz crackers then place in oven and bake for 22 - 24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and coo for about 5 minutes while you prepare the top layer.
- In a double boiler or microwave safe bowl, melt the butter, chocolate chips, and about 1 cup of milky way bars. (If doing in microwave melt in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each until melted.) Add the marshmallows and stir in well and warm a little longer until they melt also. Once the mixture is completely malted together, stir in the vanilla and rice crispies and fold in well.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the rice crispy mixture onto to base layer and gently spread to even out. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of marshmallows and 1/4 cup of milky ways on top and place the pan in the oven for about 2 minutes allowing the marshmallows to melt onto the top.
- Remove pan from oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before covering and placing in refrigerator to chill until set (about 1 hour). Once chilled, cut into squares and enjoy!