I’m back! This pesky flu is starting to unwrap it’s spindly fingers from my well-being. While I’m not 100%, I’m clearly well enough to get back to some simple baking projects for your reading/viewing/eating pleasure. Maybe 85%.
Do you remember when I made those Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars for Tuesdays with Dorie? Remember how I said I thought these would be really good with
white chocolate and Fruity Pebbles a Milk Bar twist? Well, here you go. And they are every bit as good as I thought they would be.
Incidentally, when I was growing up, we never really had sugary cereals in the house unless it was a special occasion. We would always get the little travel boxes of cereal when we went out to Montauk every summer (for the rare mornings that we wouldn’t eat at Mr. John’s Pancake House), but otherwise it was Rice Krispies that I would douse in sugar and hope to somehow make them more palatable. THEN my dad started working for Philip Morris International. He had worked in their Manhattan office, but then transferred up to Rye Brook where they have a company store. For those not in the know, PMI not only sells cigarettes, but also owns most of the most famous household brand-name foods like Post, Oscar Mayer, Pepperidge Farms, Milka, Kool Aid, Kraft, and so many others. Some of my childhood food memories are similar to Christina Tosi’s because we got them on the cheap from my dad’s work. It was game on in our household. No bake cheesecake? Done. Marshmallow laden cereals? In the belly.
It turned out I really didn’t like the fake marshmallow-y cereal after all. But the fruity cereal? Sign me up. I always preferred to eat it with as little milk as possible, because in my opinion the milk made the cereal lose that fantastic sugary, fruity coating. With these bars we have most things that kids love: cookies, chocolate, and sugary cereal. You have the buttery goodness of the cookie base, followed by the creamy white chocolate middle, topped by the fruity cereal enrobed in a tangy glaze. Heaven. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did, and that it takes you back to a delicious moment from your childhood!
White Chocolate Fruity Pebble Cookie Bars
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars)
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- 50 grams (1/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 102 grams (3/4 cup sifted, spooned, and leveled) all-purpose flour
- 13 oz bar of Ghirardelli white chocolate, chopped
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) confectioner’s/powdered sugar
- juice from 1/2 small lemon
- 1 cup Fruity Pebbles
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F, and center a rack. Line an 8″ square pan (or round — it really doesn’t matter – whatever you have) with parchment paper or aluminum foil, making sure to leave overhang for easy removal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and salt on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla paste/extract. Add your flour, and then mix on slow just until the dough comes together.
Add the dough to your pan, and spread until it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. It will be sticky. I found that a quick outwardly-pushing motion was most effective, especially if you start with the dough at the center and work outward. Bake your base for about 20 minute, or until light golden brown. TURN OFF THE OVEN WHEN THEY ARE DONE BAKING.
Remove the base from the oven, add your chopped white chocolate evenly to the top of the cookie base, and replace the base in the oven that has been turned off.
Meanwhile, add your lemon juice to the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time, until the glaze comes together at a consistency of your desire. Spread your FruityPebbles on a quarter sheet pan and drizzle the glaze over the cereal, quickly tossing together with a fork or spoon until you have small clusters of fruity pebbles enrobed in the lemon glaze. The glaze will start to dry rather quickly, so you must work with haste.
While your cereal clusters dry, remove your cookie base from the oven, and evenly spread the chocolate with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon over the cookie base. Quickly add your cereal clusters evenly on the white chocolate, and gently press down to set them into the chocolate. Refrigerate the whole thing for about 20 minutes to set the chocolate and the cereal clusters. Once cooled, remove and cut into 9 even bars.