Queenie Cooks: Crunchy-Fudgey Oreo-Topped Dessert Bars

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: Oct. 12, 2017 | 1:07 p.m. 

Here they’re arranged for a nice Sunday brunch, but the’d be just as pretty – and tasty – in a picnic basket or lunch box

As we say in the South, Lord-ha-Mercy these Crunchy-Fudgy Oreo-Topped Dessert Bars are GOOD!  They’re also simple to make and require only five ingredients – chocolate chip cookie dough, white chocolate morsels, sweetened condensed milk, pecans, and Oreos – four if you omit the nuts.  And there’s a pretty special story about how this recipe came about.

Last week, my very dear friend Wanda called about the Caregiver Dinners that she and her husband plan, prepare, and deliver to virtually housebound people who are tied down due to taking care of others too ill or infirm to care for themselves. She has personal experience of how difficult and isolating this can be, and has very strict standards for how special – and homemade – each meal must be. I really enjoy preparing the desserts for the meals, but as the list has grown from a few dozen to nearly 200 (thank goodness for volunteers from her church!), coming up with menus that are special enough – yet affordable – has become pretty challenging.  On this day we were so stumped that I finally said, “Let me just think on it a bit and I’ll call you back.”

Immediately I began searching my files, my notes, my memories, my brain – nothing seemed “just right.”  In desperation, I resorted to a random google search, and almost immediately up popped several recipes for dessert bars topped with crushed Oreo cookies.  Now Wanda LOVES Oreos, so I settled on one that sounded “almost” perfect – that I knew I could make even better with a little tweaking – and called her back. Sure enough, I didn’t get any farther than “topped with  Oreos” before I could almost hear the wheels turning in her head. And between some recent donations to help with the cost of the meals and a bit of finagling with the recipe, the proposed Dessert Bars were just workable in the budget.

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So this week I got busy making a test batch. To save time (it does take quite a while to make 200 desserts) I used refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough for the base, and – in deference to potential folks with nut allergies – I reluctantly omitted the pecans. Well, by the time I had poured on the caramelly (well, if it’s not a word, it should be!) middle layer and pressed in the crushed Oreos, that pan of potential bars was looking mighty pretty and the house smelled wonderful! It was all I could do to wait for everything to cool.  Finally, FINALLY time was up.  I retrieved them from the fridge, sliced them, took a bite…  BLISS!  In fact, they were so good that by the time I had Wanda and her husband and a few other people “just taste” them – and, ok, I may have eaten “one or two” myself – my plan to freeze the bulk of that batch was out the window!  So I still have 200 bars to make and freeze over the next couple of weeks.  But you know what?  I really don’t mind.  Sure, it’ll take awhile. But if I get frustrated with that, I think I’ll just remind myself of how really fortunate I am that staying in is a choice – not a necessity.  And then I’ll go back to making “Wanda’s Cookies” JUST right.

Bet you love them, too! Warning: I’d recommend having a big glass of ice-cold milk – or a nice cup of coffee – ready before you cut into them. And – news flash – I’m also thinking that with a few substitutions – like changing the topping just a bit – you could open up a whole new world of dessert-making.  My brain is already whirring.  Next time, I think I’ll try the mint Oreos, and please let me know what you do with them.  Enjoy!

Queenie Cooks: Crunchy-Fudgey Oreo-topped Dessert Bars

  • 1 (30 oz) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 ½ Cups coarsely chopped pecans (may be omitted – but why?)
  • 1 (11 oz) package white chocolate morsels
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (14 oz) package (14oz) OREO’s, crushed

Line a 12” x 17” baking sheet with 1” sides with parchment paper and set aside.  Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.

Mash down cookie dough on parchment paper in prepared pan, pressing to ½ inch from sides, and sprinkle with pecans.  Press pecans down into mix.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, until lightly browned.

As bars bake, mix together white chocolate morsels with sweetened condensed milk in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for one minute, stir thoroughly, then microwave another 30 seconds.  Stir until smooth. Keep warm.

Remove cookie bars from oven carefully – they will separate at first if pan is tilted and let cool for 10 minutes. 

Spread caramel mixture over bars and press in crushed Oreo cookies immediately.

Chill for at least 30 minutes, then cut into bars. Serve cold.  Enjoy!

Look for Queenie Cooks weekly for recipes that are generally simple to prepare, require relatively few (and easy to find) ingredients, and usually budget friendly as well. We all have to eat. Let’s have some FUN with it!  

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