You know those family recipes that are made over and over and remind you of childhood, good times and love all wrapped up in one little bite? This is that recipe for me.
When my parents were newly married, my mom found this recipe among one of her “newlywed” cookbooks and made it. My dad walked into the kitchen, saw these irresistible bars and proceeded to eat half the pan without even knowing the name (who knows if the “eating half the pan” part is really quite true, but you know how “family stories” go that have been told for generations…). Finally, in between bites, my dad asked my mom, “What are these things?!” and my mom feeling a little bit proud, a little bit irritated and mostly looking for a laugh told him, “Goat Milk Bars!” My dad sputtered a little bit, choked down his bite and then laughed about it later. Ever since, the bars have made an appearance at many family events and will forever be known to our family as “Goat Milk Bars.”
In preparing to write up this family favorite recipe, I actually asked my mom if she knew the real name for these bars and she remembered that they were known to the rest of the world as “Toffee Bars.” Whatever you want to call them, “Goat Milk Bars” or “Toffee Bars,” these are sure to be a hit with your family too. They are super simple, just a few pantry-staple ingredients, a little mixing, pressing the crumbly mixture into the pan and finishing the top with chocolate chips. They are the perfect treat to make with your kids or even better, have your kids make for you! The most difficult part of these bars is waiting for them to cool.
A pro tip, one I’ve learned from the many years I’ve been making these bars, is after taking them out of the oven and letting cool on the counter a bit, stick the pan in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes to help speed the cooling process up. These bars also freeze beautifully if you have any extras. If you are looking for the perfect, simple treat, this is it. I hope you love these as much as we do. Go ahead and try calling them “Goat Milk Bars” to your family and watch those reactions…priceless!
Yield: One 8 by 8 pan of bars, cut into 16 pieces
Time: 10 minute mix, 25 minute bake, 1 hour cool
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 by 8 pan
- In a mixing bowl mix the softened butter until creamy with a handheld or stand mixer. Add the brown sugar and cream together.
- Mix in the egg yolk, vanilla and salt and beat well.
- Add the flour a cup at a time and mix. The dough will look very crumbly but will be soft. Pour it into an 8 by 8 pan and press evenly into the pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes until the edges turn a very light brown and the middle is cooked. Take the pan out of the oven and turn the oven off. Pour the 1 cup of chocolate chips on top. Put back the pan back in the still-warm oven for 1 minute allowing the chocolate to melt.
- When the chocolate chips are melted (about 60 seconds), take the pan out of the oven and spread the melted chocolate evenly over the bars.
- Allow bars to cool and chocolate to set before cutting into bars. Enjoy!
Recipe notes: This recipe will also work in a 9 by 13 pan, though your bars won’t be as thick. You will want to decrease the bake time to 20 minutes.
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