Baking Chez Moi: Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars

Final Crispy BarsSometimes you come across a recipe that surprises you. I never thought something so simple as caramelizing cripsy rice could be so delicious. This simple treat had to be re-made several times for me to capture a picture of the end result. Somehow these bars kept disappearing before an image was taken.

Crispy Bar Ingredients

The ingredients are simple enough but it’s how they are put together that makes them special.  The trickiest part was caramelizing the rice but I enjoyed the taste so much that I did it for every batch I made.

Bubbling Sugar for Crispy RiceAdding Crispies

The first time I tried to caramelize the cripsies I threw out the batch thinking I had messed up.  When I went for in for a second attempt I learned I had to just keep going until the rice started looking wet and developed a caramel coating.  Every time I’ve made it since then I get the feeling things are going wrong and I just keep going.  The powdery sugar coating that develops is so unlike any other caramelization process that I find it a little disconcerting every time.  Well worth the effort though-I could munch on this treat all day.

Caramelized Cooling

The cookie base comes next and is about as simple as you can get.  A simple mixture of butter, brown sugar and flour with a little vanilla flavor.  The base was described as “chewy” but I made this several times with varying degrees of doneness and every time the base was more crispy and crunchy than chewy.  However, it was also amazing.  With all the taste testing that we and our friends did it was decided the the most done, almost a little over-baked version was the best.

Bar Base SpreadingCrispy Batter in Pan

The hardest part of the process was getting the batter into the pan.  It’s quite sticky and fights being spread.  I found that keeping a little cup of water nearby to occasionally wet my fingertips helped keep everything in check.

Crispy melting chocolate

Once the base is done chocolate pieces are added to the hot top and it’s all placed back into the turned-off oven for a minute or two.  Once the chocolate is nice and melty it gets spread across the base and you can add the caramelized crispy rice.

Cripsy Chocolate SpreadAdding Crispy Rice

The only problem is that the whole thing now needs to cool to room temp and then go into the fridge to cool.  It’s already warm in Phoenix this time of year so I kept the bars in the fridge even after they had been cut.

Stacked Crispy Bars

Cripsy Close Up

The bars are a wonderful mixture of brown sugar toffee flavor, earthy chocolate and a delicious crispy, caramel topping. The reminded me of the delicious saltine and brown sugar bars that I’ve found called both bravo bars as well as matzah toffee.  These were however elevated to quite another level while still maintaining the simple flavor ideas.



13 thoughts on “Baking Chez Moi: Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars

  1. Ah ha! You made it several times and still didn’t get to the chewy texture Dorie mentions. I wonder what she did? Regardless, I was happy with a more firm cookie and the end result was delicious! More of a candy than a cookie, but quite tasty!

  2. I agree that caramel icing the Rice Krispies was a bit nerve wracking. But it looks like you pulled it off quite well. Nicely done and beautiful bars.

  3. The topping was a surprise to me as well – so delicious and addictive. My tasters loved the bars and wished that I had made a double batch.

  4. I wanted a thicker base and used a loaf pan instead – alternatively, I will double the cookie dough ingredients next time if using an 8 x 8 pan. My base was soft and chewy…it was interesting how the rice caramelized when it didn’t seem like it was working 😉

  5. I never thought my krispies were going to caramelize – I even thought I may have cooked them to long, but in the end, they turned out perfect. I cooked my base for thirteen minutes, I did achieve a soft, chewy texture. I can’t believe you made them several times! To dangerous to have around in my house!

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