Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

I was so in love with the bars I made two weeks ago and couldn’t get them out of my mind. So I made them again.

Chocolate style with Milky Ways instead of peanut butter cups. And I’m in love all over again.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Sometimes I go through dessert phases where all I want is cookies. And for weeks, I make batch after batch of cookies.

Right now I’m in a gooey bar phase. I’m loving this phase.


Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

I just couldn’t get those Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars out of my head.

Soft and squishy centers with chewy edges. Dense, buttery, and full of gooey creaminess from the sweetened condensed milk. Not to mention, mini peanut butter cups in every bite.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

 Rather than remaking the exact same thing, although I was tempted but that doesn’t make for an interesting blog, I made chocolate cookie dough and baked in Milky Ways. If there’s a way to improve on something, adding chocolate is always good start.

Now I have two new favorite bars. I can’t pick which one I like better because they’re both ridiculously good.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Prep and assembly takes 10 minutes, no mixer is needed, and you can stir everything together in one bowl. The less dishes a recipe generates, the better.

Begin by melting one stick of butter. Stir in an egg, sugars, optional splash of coffee, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. The coffee brings out the chocolate flavor and it’s recommended. It doesn’t make the finished bars taste at all like coffee.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Transfer the thick dough into an aluminum foil-lined and cooking sprayed baking pan and press it down to form the base layer. Reserve about two-thirds cup dough for crumbling on top later.

I urge you to line your pan, leaving overhang, so you can just lift the bars out, and it makes cleanup a breeze. The sweetened condensed milk caramelizes, the Milky Ways melt, and without foil you’ll be cursing as you try to chisel glued-on bars out of the pan.

Sprinkle diced Milky Ways over the dough, or use another favorite candy such as Rolos, Snickers, Three Musketeers, or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Then lightly crumble the reserved cookie dough in chunks before baking.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Pour just over half of one can of sweetened condensed milk over the top.

Use the other half to make 7-Minute Microwave Caramels or Chocolate-Covered 7-Minute Microwave Caramels. You can make them in the microwave while the bars bake in the oven, and your house will smell like a bakery with caramels in the microwave and chocolate baking in the oven.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

The hardest part of the recipe is that you must let the bars set up for about 3 hours before slicing or you’ll have a hot mess. Let them cool on the counter for an hour, then place the pan in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight. Lift out with the foil overhang and slice, making clean, pretty squares.

Alternatively, just dig in with spoons as soon as they’re cool enough from the oven if you don’t care about clean and neat squares. Your stomach doesn’t care if the bars were neat or not as you shoveled them down.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

The chocolate cookie portion is brownie-like in texture and taste, especially the centers. Rich, dense and fudgy.

The edges are chewier and denser and more like chewy-cookie edges. The perfect balance of soft and chewy.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

The Milky Ways provide texture and another dimension of chocolate flavor. Between the nougat in them, and the creamy, rich, sweetened condensed milk that thickens while baking, I was in gooey nougat heaven.

I adore sweet milk, especially baking with it in layered bars. It takes on creamy caramel and vanilla tones while baking, accentuating the caramel in the Milky Ways.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Supremely rich, intense, bold, dark, and perfect for impromptu chocolate cravings. So many layers of textures and flavors, all in one bite from chocolate to caramel to vanilla.

Layered bars are where it’s at. Definitely a new favorite.

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

A new favorite layered bar that’s a chocolate cookie dough base, topped with Milky Way bars, chocolate cookie dough crumbles, and drenched with creamy sweetened condensed milk. The chocolate cookie portion is brownie-like in texture and taste, especially the centers. Rich, dense, soft, and fudgy. The edges are chewier like a cookie, creating a balance of soft and chewy. So many layers of flavors and textures from caramel to vanilla to chocolate in each bite. Less than 10 minutes to make without a mixer.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (leftover from the morning brew is fine), optional but highly recommended
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I don’t sift)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Milky Way Bars (or substitute with Snickers, Peanut Butter Cups Butterfinger, Heath, Rolos, 3 Musketeers)
  • about 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (just slightly more than half of one standard 14-ounce can)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. Allow the butter to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the egg. Add the egg, sugars, coffee (water may be substituted but coffee is highly recommended to bring out the chocolate flavor; the bars do not taste like coffee at all), vanilla, and stir or whisk vigorously to combine, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, optional salt and stir until just incorporated. Dough will be quite thick and dense.
  4. Reserve about 2/3 cup dough; set aside. Turn remaining dough out into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle the Milky Ways over the dough. Using your fingers, lightly crumble the reserved cookie dough over the top in irregular, marble-sized chunks. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top (just eyeball slightly over half of the can as you pour slowly).
  5. Bake for about 27 to 30 minutes, or until center is mostly set. The sweetened condensed milk should nearly be set in all places, but possibly a little loose in the very center of the pan is okay. Edges will be firm, raised, and darker than the interior. Bars firm up more in pan as they cool; don’t overbake because you want these to stay soft and gooey, and cocoa powder is prone to turning dry.
  6. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving (use foil overhang to lift out). I recommend cooling for 1 hour on the counter, and at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight. This ensures clean, pretty cut marks. If you don’t care about that, bars may be consumed as soon as they are cool enough to eat; grab a spoon and dig in. Extra bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  7. Bars may be kept gluten-free by replacing the flour with your favorite gluten-free baking blend. Take care any ingredients used are suitable for your dietary needs.
Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars – A soft and chewy, dense, buttery cookie dough base, topped with peanut butter cups, and creamy, rich, sweetened condensed milk. A new favorite and an absolute must-make

White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars – All the decadence of cheesecake, minus the work. Ready in less than a half hour

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars – All the taste and texture of cookies, minus the work of making individual cookies. Bar cookies are so much faster and these are soft, chewy, and loaded with chocolate chunks

Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars – One of my favorite desserts of 2011, and similar to Seven Layer or Magic Bars, but a cake base is used instead of a graham cracker crust. Soft, dense, rich, chewy, tons of textures and flavors, and so easy

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars – Soft, chewy and moist from the cookie butter and all brown sugar dough base that’s topped with crunchy streusel bits

Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars – No need for campfires, make s’mores at home. These smores have three layers, including a cocoa-crispy cereal top layer that’s made with peanut butter

Caramel and Chocolate Gooey Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation) – The hardest part of this recipe is unwrapping the caramels. Easy, loaded with texture from the oats, and dripping with chocolate

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Squares (No-Bake, Vegan, GF) – A fast, easy, and texture-filled bar pairing two of my favorites, chocolate and peanut butter

Nanaimo Bars (No-Bake) – A triple layer bar that’s incredibly rich and satisfying. A chocolate-almond base, topped with a gooey middle, and finished with a layer of chocolate

Do you like Milky Way bars? Making pans of bars?

For straight up eating, I don’t generally reach for Milky Ways, but they’re wonderful to bake with because of their soft, malleable, texture compared to harder and crunchier Butterfinger or Heath Bars.

Pans of bars are one of my favorite things to make. Fast, easy, and I can be as creative as I want and not have to worry about something rising too much or not enough or spreading. No dough to chill, roll, knead or worry about. Just slap it in a pan and bake.

Thanks for the entries in the 24 Hours of Peanuts Cookbook and Prize Pack Giveaway and the Bestowed Healthy Care Package Delivery Giveaway

147 comments on “Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars”

  1. Oh. My. Word. I can take my eyes off of these bars. Yum!

  2. OMG….you made them chocolatey….


  3. I am in love with these .. made the peanut butter ones (except I used snickers), then have just thrown these ones in the oven. the choc ones are awesome! so awesome.
    a couple of notes, in case they are of use to anyone.
    in the choc one you pour the condensed milk over the ingredients instead of placing them on top (or at least thats what I did). this is a definite tick. it makes it all swim together pleasingly.
    i happened to add just a tinge more butter than was necessary this time (i was combining a few ends of butter, a stick of butter is strictly 113g, i had 127g. This made the dough a little more moist and subsequently, easier to squish into the pan.
    snickers i find are easier to handle and don’t fall apart in the oven.
    in my oven, i stuck them in for 20 minutes, only b/c last time i went for 25, and they came out a little dry. less is more when it comes to heat and the brownie family, it seems.
    averie, as always, a butter and sugar bomb of pleasure.

    • Yes you noticed that the PB ones and the choc ones, I poured the milk over at different phases of adding the crumble pieces. I honestly don’t think it matters too much but perhaps this version has a slight advantage.

      And good for you for not baking too long! If I write bake 20 to 35 minutes, or until done, people would hate me. But with a recipe like this, there can be HUGE variance with people’s ovens, ingredients they used, etc so it’s a ‘bake til done’ recipe :) And yes, less is more when it comes to heat and the brownie family! Cocoa powder dries out SO FAST. I always am super careful with taking it out, pronto! I baked the choc ones less than the others, even though I had a slightly larger mass of dough based on the ingredient amounts used.

      Great comment & thanks for making these and writing about it all in detail. So appreciated!

  4. I think the gooey bar phase is the best phase to be in! I hope you stay here for a while because I’m loving these recipes!

  5. “Gooey bars” is an awesome phase to be in, if you ask me! Think of all the delicious possibilities with different candies and fillings you can use. I haven’t had a Milky Way bar in over a decade – you’re making me want to run out and buy a bag so that I can make this. I wish I had read this post earlier – I made a cookie bar last week and I didn’t wait long enough for it to set. When I cut it, it was a big gooey mess, nothing like the perfect, beautiful little squares you get. Next time, I’m popping it into the fridge, cause Lord knows I can’t wait long enough to start digging in ;)

    • The only way to get clean cuts on gooey bars is to let them set up overnight or at least put them in the fridge. It sort of defeats the principle of them being gooey to keep them neat for the camera but I find that neat gooey bars look better than gooey gooey bars on camera. One of those weird little food nuances. I’m sure your bars tasted fabulous!

  6. Usually PB cups are my weakness, but I think I’d like these bars just as much as the other ones. Because: chocolate! And caramel! In. Sane. You need to do a baking with candy bars book next. :)

  7. This looks fabulous! I’d love to have you link it up with our Wednesday link party at The Hopeless Housewife.

  8. Absolutely love the look of these! Pinned for future reference.

  9. oh my gosh these look so good too…I would have a hard time deciding between these bars….and i would have a hard time trying to patiently wait for the 3 hours to go by….i probably should make them before I goto bed….they’d be good for breakfast right? :-)

  10. Absolutely gorgeous! And I think I want one of each of the other goodies at the bottom of the post too :) Thanks for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  11. Oh my goodness, count me as one of the ‘droolers’! Pining, for sure – thank you so so much for posting this on Facebook so I could find you. New follower!

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  13. Oh my goodness, these look dangerously good :) I love milky way!

  14. Oh my gosh! All of these fabulous bars are absolutely killing me! These look so good!

  15. These bars look absolutely scrumptious!!!

  16. oh my goodness! I am at a loss for words – these look SO good!

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  18. Milky Ways are one of my favorites, and in a chocolate bar cookie with sweetened condensed milk? Oh, my! That looks down right amazing!!!

  19. Hi,

    nice greetings from Germany (Berlin :-)
    I´m Lisa and ich like this recipe. It sounds very good and I will try it out next time, because I´m an chocoholic ;-)
    Please, excuse my terrible english..

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  21. Finally made these and they were very good. I used strawberry flavored 3 Musketeer bars, which did go well with the batter. While I can say I enjoyed these a great deal (eating 1/2 the pan is a big sign), I also think I prefer the peanut butter version they were based on. That is likely my personal taste preference showing, so now have to wonder if I shouldn’t try these again with the PB cups! Keep up the great recipes.

    • Wow, I didn’t even know they made strawberry flavored 3 Musketeer bars. That was quite a jump in terms of adapting the choice of candy bar from a regular Milky Way bar to a strawberry 3 Musketeers bar and that may have been why you didn’t like this version quite as much as the PB version, but as you said, you still found them very good! I think all-chocolate based candy bars are the way to go – and for me, I love the PB version as well. Almost nothing can trump PB for me :) Thanks for LMK you made these!

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  25. your desserts are delish!!!question:do you prefer the rolo’s or milky way in the candy bar and why? i love caramel but wondering if the milky way more interesting as it has different components besides caramal and chocolat. also, i bought the minis so i don’t have to chop,have you tried this?

    • I really don’t think you can go wrong with either Rolo or Milky Way. I personally prefer the Peanut Butter Cup version of this recipe that I linked to in the post. It’a a lighter base (not chocolate like this one) and something about it and the PB cups just really work so well for my tastebuds! That’s not to say I didnt love the chocolate version, too! But PB is my true love.

      Use whatever candy you have on hand (that’s what I do!). I dont go buy candy just to bake with it – I use the random stuff I accumulate. And if you want to leave the mini size whole, feel free. Or chop. Either way will work!

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  28. yummy, that looks delicious…..Thanks for sharing this recipe….


  29. Made these with mini Hershey bars and caramel bits (that’s what I had). So good. Thank you for the great recipe. Will have to try the original bars next. What are your thoughts on doubling the recipe? Do you think a 13 x 9 would work and if so any ideas on how long to bake? Thanks again.

    • Glad they worked out great for you and yes you could double and bake in a 9×13. I would start with the same amt of baking time and just watch closely and evaluate and see how things are looking.

  30. Why is there a river of blue goo on the top?

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  32. Just made these tonight with my daughter and her friend and they were a HUGE hit. Made the chocolate w the milky ways. Can’t wait to try these with snickers. Thank you for sharing such an awesome recipe.

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  34. Thanks for the recipe! I used Twix bars and doubled the recipe and my lucky coworkers will have a great treat tomorrow. (I may have snuck a taste and it may have been delicious.) I love your blog!

    • You have super lucky coworkers! I looooove Twix. I was having a major craving for them and raided my daughter’s leftover Halloween stash the other day :) I know they’d be great in the bars! Thanks for trying the recipe!

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  36. I’m not sure if you’ll see this message (it’s been a couple years since the last comment) but I’ve just got these out the oven, had a sneaky bit as I couldn’t resist, and the condensed milk is still completely liquid underneath (not on the surface though). Should I cook them for longer or is that going to set during the cooling? Thanks

    • Should I cook them for longer or is that going to set during the cooling? = I would say both. All ovens, climates, pans, etc vary so baking a little longer could be helpful in your situation. Some of it does ‘soak up’ upon cooling, but use your judgment.

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  41. Hi Averie!

    Love these…I am including them as part of my new post- a Milky Way Cupcake recipe- to share more Milky Way recipes and I just had to include these! They look scrumptious :)

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  43. Could I enjoy these warm out of the oven with ice cream or is it better to let them set for 2 hours before consuming?

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