Sweet & Salty Brown Sugar Bars

Sweet & Salty Brown Sugar Bars | Bakerita.com One of the best things about baking, one of the things that makes me love doing it so frequently, is being able to share my baking. Obviously, I can’t eat everything I make or I would be huge, so that means I am constantly sharing my treats with family, friends, coworkers, sorority sisters, and neighbors.

These bars in particular went to the Stanley Steamer workers who happened to be at my house when I was finishing photographing them. The two young men were slightly confused to see my set-up, taking pictures of cookie bars on the table with my big background board all set up. Of course, they asked what I was doing, and after we talked about my blog for a little (and they finished cleaning the carpet), I sent them away with a big plate full of these bars.

Sweet & Salty Brown Sugar Bars | Bakerita.com

They left the house, only to come back and knock on the door a minute later. When I answered the door the second time, they both just smiled and said “thank you so much! These are absolutely delicious, we really appreciate it.”

It’s the moments like those, sharing desserts that I’ve made with so much love, with strangers who I know will appreciate the little bit of added sweetness to their days, that remind me why I love to bake so much.

Sweet & Salty Brown Sugar Bars | Bakerita.com

These bars are so easy to make, and so customizable to whatever your favorite treats are. I wanted to go the sweet & salty route, and opted to add M&Ms, pretzels, almonds, Rolos, and Snickers Bites, but you can easily customize the add-ins to whatever you have on hand.

The bars are chewy, sweet, and delicious, and this base recipe never fails to disappoint me. It creates the perfect bar cookie, in my opinion. One bowl, 10 minutes, and they’re in the oven. What more can you ask for in a cookie bar?!

Sweet & Salty Brown Sugar Bars | Bakerita.com

Sweet & Salty Brown Sugar Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup of your favorite sweet and salty mix-ins (I used a mixture of mini pretzels, roasted almonds, M&Ms, Rolos, and Snickers Bites!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Place butter in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium-low to medium heat. Butter will melt, then begin to bubble and foam. Brown specks will begin to form in the bottom of the pan, with a white foam will appear on top of the melted butter. Stir the butter very frequently to prevent burning. It should smell very nutty and the butter in the bottom of the pan should have brown flecks in it. This process should take 2-4 minutes. Butter can go from being browned and nutty-smelling to burnt and inedible in less than one minute. Watch for the brown specks and once you see them, remove the pan from the burner, continuing to whisk for another 30 seconds. Transfer butter into large mixing bowl and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Add the brown sugar to the browned butter and whisk to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. Fold in your mix-ins. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bars are set. The edges will be slightly pulling away from sides of pan. Allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving into 16 squares. I like to refrigerate them before cutting to make them easier to cut. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Comments

  1. I used to run a small store here locally and once a week i gave out my baked goodies to all my morning customers. Sharing is the best part!!! These bars look awesome Rachel! (FYI: bring treats when you are getting work done on your car. It’s gotten me plenty of discounts!) Have a great week!

  2. OH MY YUM!!!! I love sweet & salty and alllll things brown sugar

  3. I love bar desserts! So simple and so satisfying!

  4. Such a cute story! I also love the feeling after giving away baking goods or making something for someone. Such an easy way to make someone’s day. And obviously, these bars look delicious and perfect for something like that! :)

  5. You always remind me that I need to make bars more often! I love the sweet and salty combo.

    And I love the story about the workers – I take all my photos next to this window right in the front of the house by the front door. We had one repair guy who came when I was shooting (and of course I was standing on a chair to get a shot) who I’m pretty sure thought I was nuts : )

  6. Aw, I love this story! It makes such a difference to see the results of your hard work be SO appreciated, by friends, family and complete strangers alike. Although from the looks of these bars, who could possibly resist them??

  7. Mmmm I love every bit of these bars, Rachel! Sweet and salty is MY JAM. ;)

  8. These look beyond amazing! I love the sweet and salty combo. Those Stanley Steamer guys were very lucky!

  9. Drool…

  10. You had me at salty – and giving away my excess baking is one of my favourite parts of blogging!

  11. I love bars like these when you can add little bits and pieces in them. They look great!

  12. So glad you were able to share your treats! You’re right — one of the best parts about baking is being able to share with others. These look fantastic — I love that the recipe is so versatile that they can easily be adapted to whatever you have on hand!

  13. Oh, so sweet! Love it when I can share goodies with people and make their day. :) These look amazing!

  14. sweet and salty bars are my fave!! And I just love sharing with people, makes me so happy too :)

  15. Found your blog via pinterest today and everything looks so delicious! I’m excited to try all your recipes, but I just need to decide which one try first. Keep up the great work because I can’t wait to see more! (:

  16. I love sharing my goodies, too!! Such a great feeling! And who wouldn’t love these bars?!

  17. Ah, so sweet, I bet that is the first time anyone gave those guys such a treat! They look delicious too.

  18. That is such a sweet story, I’m going to start to stop by to clean your carpets if it means these yummy bars! So nice of you, thanks for sharing!

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