Coffee-toffee caramel cookie bars are the adult version of a magic bar–gooey, dreamy, and perfectly sweet.
All the best things in life start out with an Oreo crumb crust. Amiright?
You don’t have to respond. It’s clearly true. The only way to improve upon an Oreo crust is to top said crust with toffee bits, caramel, pecans, and–oh yes–sweetened condensed milk with plenty of espresso powder mixed into it.
The result when you pop those layers of goodness into a hot oven is an ooey, gooey, decadent, crunchy-creamy, caramel-y cookie bar with just enough coffee flavor to make your eyes roll back in your head.
I am not exaggerating here, people.
After I took my first bite my eyes rolled back and I moaned loud enough for Cookie to come running into the kitchen to make sure I was ok. Then she threw herself at my legs several times to get my attention, just in case I wanted to share. Even if she could eat chocolate I still might not have shared. Am I a selfish mom?
(Speaking of being a selfish mom, Cookie’s birthday is coming up and I’ve been experimenting with birthday cake recipes. But they’re all for humans. I don’t think she’s going to be excited to blow out the candles on a cake I won’t let her taste. . .even if it’s totally adorable and covered with sprinkles. I just can’t come up with a pup-cake recipe that thrills me, and I have to be thrilled with everything I post.)
Fortunately, that’s not a problem with today’s recipe. The only way I could be more excited about my coffee-toffee caramel cookie bars is if I’d added peanut butter to them. But I thought you might be getting a leetle bit tired of all the peanut butter-y recipes that have been popping up around these parts of late.
(Huh? Did I just type tired of PEANUT BUTTER?) OK maybe that’s not possible.
But just in case I’ll lay off for a few days. Coffee-toffee caramel cookie bars are sort of a grown-up (read: caffeinated) version of the magic bar. They have that gooey sweetness that reminds you of childhood and summer break and wearing your Brownies uniform to second grade. They’re fun like that.
And they freeze beautifully so I recommend sticking a few in the back of your freezer and forgetting about them for a few months. That way you can find them hiding back there and surprise! It’s a party. (I live for frozen cookies.)
I also recommend cutting these cookie bars into itty-bitty pieces because they are uber-rich so a little one goes a looooong way.
Oomph. They’re ridiculous.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 14 Oreos (to make 1 1/2 cup crumbs)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
- 3/4 cup caramel bits
- 3/4 cup toffee bits
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 4 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray then line with foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang around the edges. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray and set pan aside.
- Process Oreos in the food processor until they form fine crumbs. Pour melted butter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the cookie crumbs. Pack the crumbs into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the pecans, caramel bits, toffee bits, and chocolate chips. Stir the espresso powder into the condensed milk until the powder dissolves, then pour in an even layer over the cookie bars.
- Bake until the top is golden and the edges bubble, 25 to 28 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour. Once cool, use the foil to remove the cookies from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Remove foil, slice into bars, then serve and enjoy. (They are very gooey so I recommend refrigerating before slicing and serving.)
Adapted from Baking Unplugged.