Monstrosity Bars

 *This is a vegetarian recipe*

My dad and I decided to go watch a movie together. I chose “The Wolf of Wall Street” because, well. I

love Leonardo DiCaprio. Then again, who doesn’t?  Now, if you’ve seen the film, you can imagine the situation we were in for. Definitely not a movie to see with dads, and we left half way through. Too awkward. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see it again! Only, I’d watch it with someone else.

But enough about the awkwardness of watching an R-rated movie with your father, because I have a dark recipe that’ll scar you far more than the “Wolf of Wall Street”.

 Just kidding. But you should be scared, really. I had trouble coming up with a title for these because they are literally a monstrosity. Not a monster cookie, a monstrosity bar- the richest, most decadent baked good I have ever feasted upon. I could also call it the “Brownie Caramel M&M Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Dough Chocolate Bar,” But I decided it was too long of a title, and probably too hard to remember anyway. The longer title says it all. This creation consists of a dense, chewy layer of dark chocolate brownie, a layer of sticky caramel, a layer of peanut butter-M&M cookie dough sealed together with a layer of chocolate. Seriously.

The first time I made this recipe, I was a bit repelled by the use of flour in raw, eggless cookie dough. These bars don’t contain any egg, so I guess it’s probably safe to eat and all.  Just the idea of spooning mounds of flour into my mouth was sickening. Also, when I tried the mixture, it felt slightly grainy when chewed because of the sugar. So I decided to bake it, resulting in a filling that comes close to perfection- not as shapely and firm as a cookie- soft, kind of chewy- but slightly firmer than cookie dough, omitting the grittiness.

I distributed these among my friends and was a bit hesitant about the reception. I wasn’t sure how all the flavors would taste together, but they were devoured. I left a couple pieces at home. When my sister opened the empty plastic box where these were formerly stored, she was like, “What happened to all of them?” She couldn’t believe they were all gone- especially considering how incredibly rich these are.

If you feel like baking, make these. They’re gooooood.

Ingredients:

For the brownie layer: 
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (you can also use oil)
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup flour

For the caramel layer:
3/4 cup thick caramel sauce (I like to use the kind you get after boiling condensed milk for a long period of time- it’s similar to dulce de leche- Masa Krówkowa in Polish)
*NOTE* this layer is optional, but it makes the bars all the more decadent.

For the cookie dough layer: 
-1/3 cup butter, softened
-1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 tbsp heavy cream
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup M&Ms
-1/4 cup peanut butter chips (optional)
-1/4 cup rolled oats
*NOTE* you can add other things like chopped up Oreos, nuts, chocolate chips- I wouldn’t suggest white chocolate as these are sweet enough as is. But if you like that go ahead. You’re the artist in this masterpiece.

For the chocolate layer: 
200 g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp heavy cream

Method:
Preheat the oven to 160 C or 325 F and line a 9×9 (or 8×8) inch baking pan with foil. Then butter it or spray with cooking spray.
1. In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar, mixing until well combined.
2. Blend in the eggs, vanilla extract and salt.
3. Next add in the cocoa and flour, beating to combine. The batter is incredibly thick at this stage.
4. Spread the mixture evenly onto the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Take the brownie base out of the oven and spread the caramel on top evenly. Let it sit while you make the cookie dough.
6. To make the cookie dough, combine the butter, peanut butter and sugars.
7. Add the cream, vanilla and salt.
8. Next incorporate the flour. Make sure there are no air pockets.
9. Fold in the M&Ms, chips and oats.
10. Take mound-fulls of the batter, flatten them out in your palm and place them onto the caramel layer until it is covered completely. Using a knife, gently smooth out the cookie dough.
11. Pop this into the oven for 15-20 min.
12. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate and heavy cream, cooking till all the chocolate has melted. Pour on top of cookie mixture and cool completely before eating.

This recipe is very loosely adapted from Creme de la Crumb