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Junk Food Magic Bars

  • Author: Nancy Gotta Get Baked
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Sweet and delicious, this is a loaded magic bar recipe that you will love!



For the brown butter chocolate chip cookie base:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (browned)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the toppings:

  • 1/2 can condensed milk  (I used a full can which I think is too much.  Next time, I would only use 1/2 can and I recommend you do the same)
  • Toffifee or any other chocolatey/caramelly candy you want wavy regular potato chips  (I used Ruffles because they're thick 'n sturdy)
  • pretzels
  • caramel  (you can make it or use storebought)
  • sea salt for sprinkling over top  (optional)

For the caramel:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp)


For the brown butter chocolate chip cookie base:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper, cutting the paper long enough so that it sticks out over the side.  This will allow you to pull the bar easily out of the pan.  Set it aside.
  3. To brown the butter, cut it into pieces and melt it in a small saucepan or pan over medium heat.
  4. Whisk constantly - the butter will start to foam and you'll see little brown bits form at the bottom of the pan.  As soon as the bits turn amber, remove it from the heat (I made the mistake of keeping it on the heat and the butter burned *smacks hand on forehead*).
  5. Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl and let it cool.
  6. Once the butter is cool, add in the sugars, vanilla and egg.  Whisk to combine.
  7. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt into the wet ingredients.  The dough will be very thick.  Add in the chocolate chips.  Press the cookie dough into the parchment paper lined pan.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan and pour in the condensed milk.  Top with your candy of choice.  Place back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

For the topping:

  1. Remove the pan from the oven and add the pretzels and potato chips.  I didn't put any measurements for these items because you should use as much as you want.
  2. Drizzle liberally with caramel.  Place back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Watch to make sure the topping doesn't burn (I didn't have any trouble but I can see it happening if your oven is very hot).  If the topping is starting to look a bit dark, cover with tin foil and continue baking.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Sprinkle the top with sea salt if you want (I did because I really love the sweet and salty contrast).
  5. I started cutting into it way too early (about two hours after it came out of the oven) and it hadn't fully set yet, meaning I mangled the inside of the bar.  I'd say wait at least four hours.

For the caramel:

  1. Place the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan.  Stir to combine.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high.  Heat, without stirring, until the caramel turns a deep amber.  This will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes (I must've had my heat on lower than I thought because it took me about 20 minutes).
  3. As the sugar caramelizes, use a wet pastry brush to wide down the sides of the pan so that any spatters don't burn.
  4. As soon as the sugar is a dark, deep, golden amber color, turn the heat down and slowly add the cream and butter.  The caramel will sputter like crazy so be careful as you're stirring.
  5. Stir to calm the caramel down and make sure all the lumps are dissolved.  Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool.


This recipe makes a lot of caramel, approximately 1 1/2 cups.  You likely won't use all of it for this recipe.  I suppose you could cut the ingredients by half and make less, but who ever complains about having too much caramel?

Keywords: junk food magic bars