Friday, October 11, 2013

Loaded Caramel and Chocolate Monster Bars

Monster bars are what you make when you find a bunch of half used bags of yummy mix-ins in your pantry.  I feel compelled to make them every once and a while so that I don't feel guilty for buying new bags of mix-ins.  Plus, they taste delicious.  Any cookie base will do and then just go to town combining as many of those leftover handfuls of this and that--caramel bits, leftover Twix eggs from Easter (I'll admit--those things must have been hiding from me), milk chocolate chips, Hershey's Cookies and Creme Drops, and fudge brownie goldfish graham crackers.  Yes, that will do for a full on chocolate and caramel experience.

The idea is to make a blondie and stuff it full of as many leftover goodies as you can, about 2 to 2 1/2 cups worth.  You'll likely have a bar made mostly of candy and other goodies that is slightly held together with some batter, and really, what's wrong with that?  My version of these bars were inspired by Averie's loaded bars at Averie Cooks.  These are amazing.  I left Averie's base the same, but instead of Oreo cookies and M&Ms, I used a bunch of other caramel and chocolate goodies.  I like the addition of the goldfish grahams to give that cookie consistency like Averie must have gotten from the Oreos.  The point of these bars, ultimately, is to make something delicious with what you have on hand.  Don't have Twix bars, but have some Rolos kicking around?  Great.  Wanna substitute the goldfish for teddy grahams?  Awesome.  M&Ms for the Cookies and Creme drops?  Why not?  Use what you have, change the flavors and textures around, and create your own loaded monster bar.  The possibilities are endless.

Loaded Caramel and Chocolate Monster Bars


1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup Hershey's Cookies and Creme Drops
1/2 cup Fudge Brownie Goldfish Grahams
1/4 cup caramel bits
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
2 Twix eggs (or regular sized bars), chopped

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter, then cool slightly.  Add egg to cooled butter, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling.  Whisk in brown sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in flour until just combined.

Stir in all the candy and cookie bits until distributed throughout.

Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Transfer batter to lined pan and press to an even layer.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, edges are firm and the top is set.

Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from pan using foil as handles and let cool completely on wire rack before cutting into bars.

Makes 16 bars.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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