Loaded Rocky Road Caramel Crunch Bars 15.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2018 Nov 29, 2018

Assemble, pour, bake and eat: These steps are all it takes to produce these huge, decadent bars.

We recommend cutting them in half (to yield 30 total pieces).

Need more inspiration? Check out our Holiday Cookie Generator, featuring more than 300 recipes to suit any taste.

Make Ahead: The bars can be stored in airtight container between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper, for up to 10 days.


Servings:
15 - 30

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 15-30 servings

Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or safflower oil (neutral-tasting)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (whole or low-fat)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder (Dutch process)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup puffed rice cereal (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds (skinless)
  • 1 cup unwrapped soft caramel candy squares, each cut in half

Directions

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Use a little butter to grease the inside of an 8-by-11-inch baking dish, then line it with parchment paper so that two sides of it hang over (to use later for lifting out the slab).

Combine the butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until quite fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully blended before adding the next. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the oil, milk and vanilla extract; beat (medium) for 1 minute, then remove the bowl from the mixer.

Whisk together the bread flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl, then add to the butter mixture. Stir to form a blended dough, with a few streaks of flour, then add 2 cups of the mini marshmallows, 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips, all the puffed rice and 1/2 cup of the slivered almonds, stirring gently until evenly distributed.

Pour half the soft dough in the baking dish. Scatter the caramel candy halves over the top, then cover them completely with the remaining dough.

Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows, the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of slivered almonds. Dampen your hands with water, then use them to gently press those top bits into the dough, and make sure the dough goes into the corners of the baking dish. Bake (upper rack) for 20 minutes; the top marshmallows will be melted. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack to cool, which may take a few hours.

Use the overhanging parchment to lift out the brownie slab; cut into 15 or 30 pieces of equal size.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Cookie Book: Decadent Bites for Every Occasion," by Rebecca Firth (Page Street Publishing, 2018).

Tested by Richard Kerr and Diana Maxwell.

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