Saturday, December 17, 2011

Recipe: Easy, Fudgy Chocolate Streusel Bar Cookies with (or without) Roasted and Salted Almonds

Quick and easy fudgy chocolate streusel bars with roasted and salted almonds - FarmgirlFare.com
This quick and easy dessert recipe is great for holiday get togethers & goodie tins.

I've been making these fudgy and foolproof chocolate streusel bars for years. They're perfect for holiday munching and gift giving because they look good, travel well, and stay fresh for several days. You can also freeze them. The 9"x13" pan makes plenty, and you can cut them large or small. When packing them with other sweet treats in gift tins, I wrap each bar individually in plastic.

Like my Quick and Easy Raspberry Almond Bars, people always get so excited over these it's almost embarrassing to admit how easy they are to make. The top and bottom layers are the same batter, and the rich, fudgy middle is simply chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk melted in the microwave.

Recipe below. . .

Easy Fudgy Chocolate Streusel Bar Cookies with Roasted and Salted Almonds 2 - FarmgirlFare.com

Easy, Fudgy Chocolate Streusel Bar Cookies
Makes one 9"x13" pan, up to 36 bars — Adapted from Hershey's


When making these bars for other people, I use chopped walnuts, which I don't care for, and if I'm baking them for us I simply leave out the nuts. For this batch I decided to try using roasted and salted almonds, which I love. Now that was a good idea. I also tried using dark cocoa powder, which was tasty, but I like the regular cocoa powder better.

As always, I urge you to seek out organic ingredients. Organic butter, flour, and organic sugar are becoming mainstream, and even organic cocoa powder and organic sweetened condensed milk are now available. Look for real farm eggs at farmers' markets or search for a farmer near you on Local Harvest.

1¾ cups organic all-purpose flour
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) organic butter, softened
1 or 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (see note in directions below)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 cups (12-ounce package) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts, such as walnuts or roasted & salted almonds (optional)

Heat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9"x13" pan (I love my Chicago Metallic commercial bake and roast pans). For easier cutting, you can line the pan with greased, unbleached parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edge of the pan on two ends, and simply lift the whole cooled pan of cookies out in one big piece and onto the counter.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and cocoa. Using a fork, pastry blender, or your clean fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the egg and mix well; the batter will be dry and the egg won't seem to go very far. Note: because flours vary, there's a slight chance your batter may be too dry to form the crust or top streusel layer; if you think this might be the case, simply add a second lightly beaten egg.

Reserve 1½ cups in a small bowl. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl (I use a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup). Microwave for 1 to 1½ minutes on high, or until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth when stirred.

Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the partially baked crust. Add the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and the nuts (if using) to the reserved crumb mixture, and sprinkle over the top. Press lightly into the melted chocolate layer.

Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze.

More easy Farmgirl Fare sweet treats that are perfect for holiday giving and munching:
Christmas Cranberry Scones (tasty any time of year!)
Easy Chocolate Biscotti Cookies (a great recipe for first time biscotti bakers)
Quick and Easy Raspberry Almond Bars (made with raspberry jam)

Can't survive on cookies alone? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and chocolate is a way of life.

10 comments:

  1. Oh my, those look sinfully good with the fudgy center and I like the idea of the almonds! Thanks for another great recipe! :)

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  2. Made these as soon as I saw the recipe, turned out great and were a big hit at dinner with family. I always get rave reviews with your recipes.

    Thanks, and happy holidays,
    Kate

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  3. I'm gonna have to eat some chocolate now!

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  4. I can't eat this sort of thing, but I made a pan of them last night for my son and his friends on their "Bad Movie Night." They cleaned them out with smiles on their faces.

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  5. Hm, I made these the other day but they did not turn out well. The batter was VERY dry and the part that became the topping just falls off the top along with the chocolate chips. I may have to try again or try another recipe (all the others I've made from your site have been awesome).

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  6. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for the comments! :)


    Kate and Jan,
    So glad they were a hit! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

    Hi Katiedid,
    I'm so sorry these didn't work out for you. I've gone back and amended the recipe directions to add two things - because flours do vary (by moisture content, etc.), it sounds like your flour mixture, which is very dry, was probably a little too dry. If you want to give the recipe another try, I would simply use two lightly beaten eggs instead of one.

    Also, when you sprinkle the streusel topping on top, you can press it lightly into the melted chocolate layer, helping it 'stick.' Depending on the texture of the streusel (sometimes mine is finer, sometimes it has bigger crumbs), it may not want to meld into the chocolate on its own.

    I hope this helps. So glad you've had delicious success with my other recipes! :)

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  7. Thank you, I definitely think that will help! I should have figured that out at the time but sometimes I blindly follow recipes without logic. They were delicious with a glass of milk but pitiful-looking enough that I didn't want to serve them to anyone but my son and I. ;)

    I will try again! Have a great new year!

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  8. I read this recipe (sounds yummy) and have the urge to make candied orange peels, chop some up and add them to the topping. This from someone who NEVER messes with recipes! Will also use nuts, not sure which kind.

    The plan is to do it this weekend.

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and photos!

    Diane

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  9. Made these last year the recipe was definitely not a keeper. I think it was the condensed milk that made them weird. Unusual for me to not like something chocolate.
    diane

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