June 10, 2015

Man Bars

If you’re anything like me, every time you hop on your favorite social media sites, you see lots of yummy food pics and recipes. I think I probably see more than the average bear because so many of my buds are food bloggers and foodies in general so I might be somewhat immune to all the food porn. So when something jumps up and grabs my attention, that’s really saying something.

And that’s exactly what happened the other day when these babies popped up in my news feed! My buddy, Kris, from Big Rigs ‘n Lil Cookies posted a photo and I was immediately intrigued. And then when I saw the recipe I was even more interested because I’d never seen anything like it.

At first I thought they were called ‘Man Bars’ because men must like them but now that I’ve made them I think they’re called that because they’re so easy, even a man can make them. HAHA!! Stop. Don’t send me hate mail. I’m kidding. Mostly.

When you make these, try to find good quality, traditional graham crackers (not cinnamon or chocolate flavored) because one of the things I liked most about these was the flavor from the graham crackers. I used walnuts because Husband is so over me putting pecans in everything but I think either would be delicious!

Reasons why these are my favorite right now:
- They’re crazy easy (so easy, a man can make them… taheeeeee)
- They travel well
- They’re not overly sweet (no, seriously, they’re not)
- Everyone I served these to LOVED them
- They’re just so different!

Hey, I just thought of another reason they might be called man bars! Maybe they're so good, if you have them you won't need a man! Oye. I seriously need to stop. My inbox will runneth over.

Man Bars! Crazy easy, unique cookie bars made with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips, cut and rolled in powdered sugar.


Man Bars! Crazy easy, unique cookie bars made with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips, cut and rolled in powdered sugar.

Man Bars! Crazy easy, unique cookie bars made with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips, cut and rolled in powdered sugar.
Man Bars
Recipe adapted from Big Rigs ‘n Lil Cookies
1 14-oz box graham crackers (3 sleeves), crushed into crumbs
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 14-oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Combine graham cracker crumbs (about 4 cups total), chocolate chips, nuts, condensed milk, vanilla and salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined to make a batter.

Line a 3-quart 13x9 baking pan (or 2 8x8 square pans) with parchment paper (or aluminum foil greased well) then spread batter into pan(s). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.

Cool completely in pan, remove then cut into squares. Add powdered sugar to a medium bowl then add squares to sugar and toss to coat. Store in an air-tight container.

Makes 48 squares.

This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!

PRINTABLE RECIPE


Man Bars! Crazy easy, unique cookie bars made with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips, cut and rolled in powdered sugar.


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50 comments:

  1. I never considered it, but I bet you are right.... Even a man could make these! And yeah... kidding... mostly ;)

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  2. These sound so simple! A man could make them but he would ask where the pan was; how do I crush the graham crackers?; LOL!!! Love these.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda

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    Replies
    1. I put mine in a plastic zip bag and roll with a rolling pen or u can use coffee cup and smash them up.

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  3. I think they're called Man Bars because 'Man, I gotta make these!'

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  4. They are Man Bars because I can't wait to make them! YUM

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  5. My stepmother makes these, but instead of powdered sugar, they have cream cheese icing on them! They are my favorite!

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  6. I just found your site today, and haven't laughed so much in a day. I love your articles and your recipes, I'm definitely book marking your site and hope to try several of your recipes, this is saying a lot, since I absolutely HATE to cook.

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  7. One of my pet peeves is a dessert covered in powdered sugar... it just makes such a mess! Have you tried them without coating them in sugar? Or maybe just dusting the tops? Oooh... and what about a salty addition? Crushed pretzels maybe?

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    Replies
    1. Mmmmm pretzels sound good for this.

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    2. Cover them with the graham wafer crumbs

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  8. These sound really good---I think even my "cooking challenged" husband could make these....or could he? Thanks so much for the fun read and the recipe....found you on the Weekend Potluck.

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  9. Can you make these without the nuts? I have nut allergies in the family

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    Replies
    1. I substituted mini-marshmallows for nuts!

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    2. I always make them without nuts and they are fabulous.

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    3. I substituted peanut butter chips instead of chocolate

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    4. How did this work for you? I want to make these, but I'm a little over chocolate at the moment. Were the peanut butter chips melty?

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    5. Then they wouldn't be Man Bars.

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  10. can you use cinnamon graham crackers?

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  11. how bout makers mark instead of vanilla, since they are man bars and all

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  12. These look similar to one of my favorite recipes (7 Layer Bars or Magic Cookie Bars), except easier to make! I might try this and add some coconut to make them a little more similar! Thanks for the recipe!

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  13. How about instead of powdered sugar, use fluffernutter for icing to make smores squares with pecans.

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  14. Just prepared and threw a batch of this in the oven! Thinking this is going to have to be a staple around the holidays. So easy to make! Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Hi,
    these sound so good and so easy to make, I have one question "Do you think I could get away with making them as cookies if I watched them very carefully and cooked them on parchment?

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  16. Has anyone tried mailing them in a care package? Do they survive the mail system well?

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  17. I noticed on your website that the man bars have baking chocolate in them. Is there a reason the chocolate isn't in this recipe. Made them this morning....the look delish.

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  18. Replies
    1. I make these in a 10x15 pan and cut them into 1" squares. They are a perfect size and it makes a LOT!

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  19. What amount of graham cracker crumbs would it be by cup measurement?

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    Replies
    1. the recipe says about 4 cups :)

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  20. This is a beloved recipe that my grandmother and I have been making for many years 45/49. We used to crush the graham crackers with a rolling pin. This recipe is a hit with everyone in my family and is considered a holiday treat. I know she had been making it since the 1950's.

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  21. The recipe calls for finely chopped walnuts or pecans, but the photos show
    nut halves, not chopped at all.

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    Replies
    1. Where do you see that? I didn't use nut halves and don't see anything that looks like it?

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    2. Photos 1,3,& 4 appear to have nut halves or something not mentioned in the ingredients on the left hand side of the piece being eaten.

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    3. Sorry, but I don't see what you mean. But, no, there's nothing in these not listed in the ingredients.

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    4. I think what you are seeing as a pecan half is actually a melted chocolate chip.

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    5. I agree it looks to me like a chocolate chip that is ooey gooey delicious looking.

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  22. These never set up for me. Even after 40 min, the outside edges got hard but the center was still mushy. I had to throw them out, sorry.

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    Replies
    1. You shouldn't have thrown them out, once you let them cool, they set up. You missed out and wasted great food.

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  23. Wow, these actually have a name! We have been making these cookies in my family since before I was born. A friend of my mothers gave her the recipe and her name was Kathy so they have been called Kathy's Cookies all my life. I have always been curious as to the original name, and where they came from. Christmas is not here until someone has made these in our family. Another thing about these cookies I love is after cooking and cutting them they can be frozen and defrosted later, just freeze before rolling in powdered sugar, makes it easy to bake a lot at once and defrost later as need for those holiday parties. So glad to see my favorite cookie out there and being shared.

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  24. I'll bet that even a professional chef from NYC could make these... even if he is a man. ;-)

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  25. just the perfect healthy treat for my husband! But, above, you say they are too sweet; we must have different versions of sweet! To me they are VERY sweet!

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  26. I just made these and I have to call you out--they are very sweet. I should have known since all but two of the ingredients contain sugar, but I tried them anyway. I have a huge sweet tooth and these were too much for me. I used half a bag of chocolate chips and only dusted the tops with powdered sugar and I have a sugar headache after one small bar.

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  27. We've been making these for over 40 years though we never had a name for them. They aren't overly sweet if you just change up the finish of these cookies. We make them in an 11 x 15 pan and barely let them cool before we start working with them.
    It's a little messy but if you get another person to help you it goes fairly fast and the results are worth it. We start by putting some powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. Then cut a strip about an inch and a quarter wide along every edge of the pan. Then cut them into squares another inch and a quarter.
    Put several of the squares of cookie into your bowl of powdered sugar. Begin smooshing the cookie together using the powdered sugar to form them until you get a nice firm square cookie shape. My aunt who gave us this recipe made hers into a log shape.
    I swear to you that we have gotten rave reviews on these cookies every time we serve them. People can't get enough of them and they aren't in any way overly sweet.

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  28. I am going to try a variation for my little Sunday School Class to make for Father's Day. I need to leave out the nuts and I'm going to change the vanilla to orange essence. (Their dad loves Chocolate & Orange!) Also, since we are currently in Wales, UK and my private stash of Graham Crackers will NOT be donated, I plan to use something that they call Digestive Biscuits (??). It will reduce the sweetness a bit, but hopefully retain the consistency. I'll let you know how they turn out. Thanks!

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  29. carb count? They sound like they might be too sweet. I don't know

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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