Quick & Easy “Crack” Cookie Bars
1. Do you ever have cravings for home-baked cookies but don’t want to dirty the entire kitchen?
2. Do you ever have events you need to bring something to, but don’t have the time to make something from scratch?
3. Do you have a bunch of chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, and other baking left-overs you need to use up and don’t know how?
4. Do you ever have a fresh-baked cookie craving you just need to satisfy (and quickly!)?
5. Are you lazy?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions (and even if you answered “no”), then this recipe is for you! I prefer baking goods from scratch, but sometimes I have to answer “yes.” Here is my quick fix. All you need is store bought (or home-made, if you have the time/preference) cookie dough, marshmallows, and any other toppings. The result? My friend, Katie, described it best: “These are like crack!” So good and so addictive!
Here are the directions to the QE cookie bars I made. The combination of butterscotch and chocolate pair perfectly but not as good as chocolate and peanut butter, especially with the sugary-crunch of the sugar cookie dough and the light bite of the marshmallow! This version is very sweet, but these can be made less sweet or even sweet and salty (one of my favorite combos of all time!) with other topping variations. After the recipe, I’ll give you tips on how to make your own variation!
Quick & Easy “Crack” Cookie Bars
Makes 16 bars (8″x8″ pan)
1/2 roll of store-bough cookie dough (I used 1/2 of a 16.5 oz Pillsbury (r) refrigerated sugar cookie dough)
1.5 cup marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Break up cookie dough into even pieces and lay on bottom of an ungreased 8″x8″ pan. Wet or flour your fingers/hands (to prevent sticking!), and use them to spread the cookie dough evenly in the pan.
3. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until light golden brown (and when an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean).
4. Take pan out of oven, and immediately and evenly cover dough with with marshmallows. Sprinkle evenly with rest of toppings. Lightly press toppings into marshmallows.
4. Bake bars for another 4 to 5 minutes or until marshmallows begin to puff. Remove pan from oven and cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. Cut into 16 bars (4 rows x 4 columns). Take out and ENJOY!
Tip: This recipe can be easily doubled! Bake in a 13″x9″ pan for equal time.
Use your favorite (store-bought) cookie dough, such as chocolate chip, peanut butter, etc.
Other possibly toppings (1/4 to 1/2 cup of each or to taste): Peanut butter chips, toffee chips, trail mix, M&M’s, nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc), broken-up cookies (sandwich cookies, chocolate chip cookies, etc), raisins, dried fruit, shredded (dried) coconut, crushed graham crackers, and more!
Next time, I’m trying this combo: S’mores “Crack” Bars = 1.5 cup marshmallows + 3/4 cup chocolate chips + 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
Note: The marshmallows act as a sort of “glue,” attaching the other toppings to the cookies. While toppings such as chocolate chips will melt and mold to the cookie dough, toppings such as nuts will not and will fall off the cookie without the “glue.” If you don’t want to use marshmallows (or don’t have any), here is a suggestion: When layering the toppings, put all the melt-able toppings (chocolate chips, pb chips, etc) on the cookies first and then layer the non-melt-able toppings on top. After baking for 4-5 minutes, remove pan and lightly press the top toppings into the melted toppings. Make sure there is enough melt-able toppings that cover most of the dough. Cool completely.
While my version isn’t necessarily healthy, yours can be! Just add any combination (one, a few, or all!) of these nutritional toppings to “healthify” this recipe: nuts (protein + healthy fats), dark chocolate [antioxidants + serotonin (anti-depressant) + stimulates endorphins (feel-good hormone)], unsweetened shredded coconut (sweet with no added sugar), dried cranberries (antioxidants + improves body circulation + reduces bad cholesterol + may decrease chances of getting cancer), raisins, dried fruit (including dried banana chips), and/or more!!
All packed up and ready to be taken to school to be enjoyed by my friends! (PS. These bars were made about two weeks, so they’ve already been devoured.)
Hope you enjoy my happy little invention! I hope you give them a try! If you try your own variation, I’d love to hear from you. Even better, I’d love to see photos of what you come up with sent to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please leave me comments. Have questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Let me know!