Scrumptious Chocolate Layer Bars

This winter has been rough on all of us, health wise. Both Keith and Alex had the flu, which turned into pneumonia for Alex! I am still recovering from a bout of intestinal virus I caught more than a week ago although it would seem I have managed to fend off the insidious flu that has been going around. I jokingly mentioned to Keith that the flu virus is likely staying dormant in me and would not strike until my first paper for the semester is due, lol.

Anyway, Chinese New Year (CNY) is fast approaching and I haven’t made a single CNY treat! However, I did make this scrumptious chocolate layer bars today – while it’s not a typical CNY cookie, does it count? I got this recipe from mother-in-law who brought some of these deliciousness over when she and my father-in-law visited during the holidays. The bars are decadently chocolaty…in our opinions, the almond flavoring elevates the cookies to the next level! Enjoy.

{Assuming the original recipe came from Hershey since it calls for Hershey’s chocolate chips but I could be wrong}

Filling:
2 cups (12 ounce package) Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use eight 1.44 ounce Dove dark chocolate bars instead)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
2/3 cup (5.3-ounce can) evaporated milk
1 cup chopped walnuts (I would consider using chopped almonds as well but this time, I opted out on the nuts)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Top/bottom layer:
3 cups unsifted flour (I use unbleached all-purpose – fill the measuring cup without packing or shaking and level with the back edge of a knife)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold from the fridge, cut each stick into 8 pieces
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 13” x 9” baking pan with nonstick foil (if using regular foil, coat lightly with vegetable spray), allowing the ends of foil to extend over two sides of the pan about 2-4 inches; set aside. Place chocolate chips (if using chocolate bars, break them into smaller pieces), cream cheese, and evaporated milk in a large bowl and microwave for two minutes, stirring at the one minute point and every 30 seconds after that until melted. Stir in walnuts or almonds (if using) and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix well and set aside until needed.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter, eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and blend on low speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press lightly two-thirds (I just eyeballed it) of the mixture in the baking pan and spread with chocolate filling. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over filling. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on the cooling rack, then refrigerate until cold if a cleaner cut is desired. Remove from pan by using the ends of foil to lift it out. Carefully peel the foil away and cut into bars.

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2 Replies to “Scrumptious Chocolate Layer Bars”

  1. I want to eat these every day! So delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. When I make this I will take pictures. Ha! Then you will see how an average person does it. ;-)

    1. What do you mean? I am positive it will turn out fantastic! :)

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