Kitchen Sink Bars
Have you ever tried to bake one thing, only to find that your end product barely resembled your original intention? That pretty much sums up what happened with me when I made Kitchen Sink Bars.
I came across a recipe that a babysitter had shared with me about 17 years ago. I decided to give it a try. Sounds simple enough except that I started tweaking and playing with the recipe before I even finished the first round.
Her non-bake recipe called for an egg in the bottom layer. As I have blogged before, I am very salmonella phobic and do my best to avoid raw eggs. So the first change was to semi-cook the egg on the stove with the sugar and chocolate. But, I found myself wondering if I had really cooked it long enough to cook off the disease that I was convinced was hidden deep within my egg.
Not feeling confident with the egg results, I eliminated the egg completely in round #2. I thought the other ingredients would make the base moist enough sans the egg. For my tasters who only tried round #2, they loved it. For those who tried both rounds, they found the base to be too dry in #2.
Round #3 nailed it in terms of the consistency and I felt like I was heading in the right direction. The final trick was deciding just what kind of frosting I wanted on top; white frosting with a chocolate drizzle, light chocolate frosting by itself or a deep dark chocolate frosting.
I am sure you can figure out which option won…the deeper and darker the chocolate, the better. Because the base of the bar is not too sweet, the frosting truly complements it.
Kitchen Sink Bars are aptly named because I felt like I was throwing everything into them except the kitchen sink….think coconut, chocolate wafers, pecans, and chocolate chips to name a few ingredients.
So the next time you want to make a really quick dessert (or one with the kids) that does not require baking in the oven, these bars are a must. Best of all, you will not have to tweak the recipe one little bit.
|Kitchen Sink Bars|| |
- Bottom layer:
- 9 ounces chocolate wafer cookies (i.e. Nabisco)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ¾ cup miniature chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Frosting layer:
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
- For the bottom layer:
- Line 8” x 8” baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Place wafer cookies into a food processor. Process until fine crumbs. Set aside.
- Microwave butter and unsweetened chocolate together until melted. Stir to blend. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Add sugar followed by vanilla extract. Add cookie crumbs. Stir in coconut, pecans and chocolate chips. Lastly, blend in milk.
- Transfer to prepared pan and push evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate while preparing frosting.
- For the frosting:
- Place butter, confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Beat for several minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add melted chocolate and beat until completely incorporated.
- Use a small metal spatula to spread the frosting evenly over the bottom layer.
- Allow the frosting to set (30-45 minutes) before cutting.
- Lift the foil out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Peel the edges down. Cut into the bars.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- The bottom layer is delicate. I find that once I cut the bars and they are set, it is best not to cut them further. Biting works beautifully, cutting not so much. Go figure!