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Bars & Brownies Chocolate

Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

November 19, 2020

These brown butter pecan toffee chocolate chunk cookie bars are loaded with all the good stuff and then some! Add […]

These brown butter pecan toffee chocolate chunk cookie bars are loaded with all the good stuff and then some! Add a sprinkle of flakey sea salt on top for the ultimate one pan cookie bar you’ll make again and again.

These brown butter pecan toffee cookie bars are not your typical Thanksgiving dessert. But since there is nothing typical about this year’s turkey day festivities (thanks Covid), I’d say these cookie bars fit right in. They’re simple and fall-ish and super easy to make. All good things in my book. This is the bar I’ll be making on Thanksgiving day and since there are no rules this year, you bet I’ll be sneaking a square for breakfast, lunch AND dessert! I can’t wait to tell you all about them. 

To make these cookie bars we start by browning the butter. Don’t skip this step my friends –  this stuff is liquid gold! Next we mix together the brown butter and sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla. Just like regular cookie dough, we’ll add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine. In comes the real stars of the show….toffee bits, chopped pecans and plenty of dark chocolate. The real magic happens when you add an extra sprinkle of flakey sea salt to the tops of the bars to help offset the sweetness of the sugar and toffee. The flavor is perfection and I wouldn’t change a thing about them.

WHAT MAKES THESE BROWN BUTTER PECAN TOFFEE CHOCOLATE CHUNK BARS SO GOOD?

There are few things that I love more than a good cookie bar. There’s no chilling or scooping required which means I don’t have to put my cravings on hold. These bars are made with simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry – all baked up in one pan in under an hour. What’s not to love? This is one of those recipes you’ll make again and again and is easily committed to memory. For these bars, I’ve paired up two of my favorite crunchy treats, toffee and pecans. Add the magic that is brown butter and heaps of chopped dark chocolate for an irresistible combination. 

THINGS YOU NEED TO MAKE PECAN TOFFEE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE BARS 

Flour. This recipe calls for regular, all purpose flour. Spoon and level the flour to measure correctly. Too much flour can make the bars dry.

Butter. We’ll use brown butter to make these bars for the most delicious, slightly nutty flavor that elevates these bars from good to great!

Brown Sugar. Just a scoop of brown sugar adds sweetness and moisture to these cookie bars. I use light brown sugar but dark brown will work just as well.

Oats. For the best texture, be sure to use instant (or quick) oats, not whole rolled oats. 

Egg. Just one large egg does the trick. Be sure it’s at room temperature for best results. 

Baking soda. Helps to give these cookie bars a bit of rise and the perfect texture. 

Salt. I use kosher salt in 99.9% of my cookie recipes. It’s just what I do. Don’t forget a pinch of flakey sea salt (I love Maldon) for sprinkling over the top of the finished bars.

Pecans. Don’t skip toasting the pecans –  the flavor is so much better. I like to roughly chop the pecans for added crunch in every bite but you can chop them more finely if you prefer smaller bits. 

Toffee. Chop up Heath bars or use storebought toffee bits for this recipe. Or, if you happen to have gobs of time on your hands, whip up a batch of Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee and set aside a few squares to chop up for these bars. 

Chocolate. These bars are super simple so it’s important to use quality ingredients. Chop up your favorite dark chocolate bar (I like to use 72% cacoa) to make these cookie bars extra special.

 

DO YOU REALLY NEED TO BROWN THE BUTTER?

Yes and no. Truth be told, plain melted butter will work for this recipe but the extra caramely, slightly nutty flavor that the brown butter lends to these bars is totally worth the extra few minutes it takes to brown the butter if you ask me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….everything is better with brown butter! If you are new to browning butter, don’t worry one bit. Follow the steps in this post and you’ll be a pro in no time. 

TIPS FOR THE BEST COOKIE BARS

One pan cookie bars are one of my favorite things to bake, especially when I’m short on time. These bars require minimal skill and zero scooping. Just mix the ingredients, pour into the pan and bake. It’s that easy! Follow the tips below for the very best cookie bars.

Do not over mix. Only mix the cookie dough until the ingredients are barely incorporated. No need to over do it. Once you add the toffee, nuts and chocolate, just give the mixture a couple of quick stirs to combine before transferring to the baking pan.

Add extra mix ins. I love an ooey gooey cookie bar filled with nuts and toffee bits. And don’t even get me started on those pools of melted dark chocolate. Once you’ve added the dough to the prepared pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula and then add extra pieces of chopped pecans, toffee and chocolate chunks for tons of flavor in every bite. Feel free to use your imagination for your own version – try ingredients like shredded coconut, mini peanut butter cups, chopped walnuts or milk chocolate chips. Anything goes!

Do not over bake. I repeat. Do not over bake. These brown butter pecan toffee chocolate chunk cookie bars are loaded with all the good stuff (and then some!). But if you bake them too long they will turn out dry. Keep an eye on your oven and only bake until the center is set and the edges are golden brown. 

Serve warm. Waiting for cookie bars to cool completely before slicing is not my idea of a good time. The good news is these bars are best served warm from the oven (hello chocolate puddles!) so I grant you permission to slice these babies up and dig right in! Top a warm cookie bar with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a seriously dreamy dessert.

HOW TO STORE BROWN BUTTER PECAN TOFFEE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE BARS

If those bits of toffee, chunks of pecans and pools of dark chocolate don’t tempt you to finish off this pan in one sitting, store any extras tightly covered at room temperature for 2-3 days. These cookie bars are best served warm the day they are made but they also freeze well and defrost quickly when the craving strikes.

If there ever was a cookie bar you want to try, it’s this one.  These brown butter pecan toffee chocolate chunk cookie bars are just as perfect for a last minute family gathering as they are for a random Thursday night on the sofa. They’re nothing fancy but they sure are delicious!

If you love these Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars, you’ll also love:

Chocolate Pecan Pie Cookie Bars

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Espresso and Rye Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee

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brown-butter-pecan-toffee-chocolate-chunk-cookie-bars

Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

  • Author: Heather
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 16 1x

Description

These brown butter pecan toffee chocolate chunk cookie bars are loaded with all the good stuff and then some! Add a sprinkle of flakey sea salt on top for the ultimate one pan cookie bar you’ll make again and again.


Ingredients

Scale

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled (125 g)

⅔ cup quick oats, scooped and leveled (60 g)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅓ cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

1 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped

⅓ cup toffee bits

flakey sea salt for sprinkling (optional)


Instructions

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and pre-heat oven to 350˚ F.

Line the 8×8 pan with parchment paper for easy removal and give it a quick spray with cooking spray.

Place pecans in a medium skillet over low heat until lightly toasted. Set aside.

To brown the butter, the butter in a large saucepan on medium high. Melt butter, stirring only occasionally. Once melted, begin stirring often. Butter will crackle and pop as it browns and it will start to foam slightly. Once sizzling sound stops, continue stirring often until golden brown bits begin to collect on the bottom of the pan. The butter will smell slightly nutty and aromatic.

Remove from heat, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and allow to cool slightly –  about 20 minutes

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Add brown sugar and vanilla to the brown butter and mix for 1 minute on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg, whisk until fully incorporated.

Add chocolate, toffee bits and toasted pecans to the dry ingredients, reserving a few pieces of each for the tops of bars. Stir gently to incorporate the add-ins.

Transfer the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined with a sturdy spatula. Be careful not to overmix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. The batter will be thick so make sure to push the batter into all of the corners of the pan with a spatula. Smooth the top and add the extra bits of toffee, chocolate and pecans, pressing gently into the batter.

Bake for 23-25 minutes, depending on your oven. They are done when the edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake or the bars will be dry. Let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing them for the pan and cutting.

Serve warm.


Notes

Store bars tightly covered in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.

May be frozen.

 

 

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