These Gluten-Free Rolo Cookie Bars are rich, decadent, and deliciously dangerous.
Growing up, we didn’t celebrate halloween. Yup, that’s right. Not once did I ever go trick-or-treating. Ok, maybe I went once (MOM: EARMUFFS) when I was in 6th grade, halloween was on a Saturday, and my older brother took me out with him to “hang out with his friends” but really dropped me off at a Halloween/trick-or-treating party at my friend’s house. I dressed as a boy, and it was surprisingly anti-climactic.
While I was always super jealous of my friend’s massive leftover candy stash, many of them were kind enough to bring some to school to share with me afterwards. They didn’t always share their “best” candies (I hear those king-sized Snickers bars are precious) and I remember wondering why I always got a plethora of Rolos from them. I would have never given up my Rolos! But hey, if they felt that Rolos fell in the B squad of candies, I was NOT about to tell them how much they were missing out on. More for my halloween-deprived self!
Fast forward to being an adult, and while I should be thinking about all of the adorable treats I could be whipping up for tricker-or-treaters or coworkers, I’m still stuck in the mentality of only thinking about AFTER halloween. Hence these gluten-free Rolo cookie bars, which are the PERFECT way to use up the Rolos that the little one in your life is completely uninterested in. Sure, you could let said little person know about what they are missing out on orrrrrrr you could just hoard them for yourself.
Hey, no judgement here. I’m definitely with you on option #2.
These Rolo Cookie Bars are a spin on one of my absolute favorite oldie-but-goodie recipes. I’ve been making these bars, sans Rolos, for years and years but, after a serious caramel/chocolate/cookie craving the other day and thoughts of post-halloween Rolos dancing in my head, I KNEW what had to happen: Rolo meet cookie bars, cookie bars meet Rolos.
And woooo boy it was lights.out.
These cookie bars are so rich and delicious to begin with – thanks to melted butter and loads of brown sugar being cooked down together – but the addition of the creamy, velvety caramel from the Rolos takes these bars to a whole new level. DANGEROUS doesn’t even begin to describe them.
And when I say dangerous, I am not exaggerating or using that term loosely. Not in the slightest! You’re going to want to make these when you can share – a birthday party, a board game night with friends, a potluck at work – as they are a bit habit forming, are nearly impossible to walk away from, and have a tendency to disappear in 15 minutes flat. Yes, even if you are the only one home. So a word to the wise: SHARE. (Or, you know, don’t. That was just a friendly PSA from your skinny jeans. 😉 )
Seeing as how I have absolutely ZERO willpower, I took my own advice and sent these to work with Anthony (but only after I polished off 5 of them by myself in 20 minutes – DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU) and they received rave reviews from his colleagues.
And, funny story – despite my coaching: “These are Gluten-Free Rolo Cookie Bars! Share them at work and make new friends!” Anthony had no idea what to call these when he shared them. They are so rich and chewy and packed with heaps of sugary goodness (chocolate and caramel and marshmallows, oh my!) that they don’t really look like a traditional “cookie bar,” which I think was hard for Anthony to get over. I believe he referred to them as “some type of gooey cookie-ish brownie-ish bar-ish thingie” and while that might be the worst description ever, it might actually be the most accurate. It’s impossible to put these squares of deliciousness into any one category, and I think I’m okay with that.
For recipe title’s sake, though, I’m still going to roll (Rolo? ha!) with Rolo Cookie Bars, but feel free to call ‘em whatever you’d like. My guess is they might go down in your house as OhMyGoshTheseAreLikeCrack bars. Not sayin’, just sayin’.
So, who’s ready for some (post) trick-or-treating? Thanks to these babies, November 1st might just be the best day ever.
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon xanthun gum (if not included in flour blend)
- ½ teaspoon banking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup Rolos, halved
- ½ cup mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Thoroughly grease an 8x8 baking pan.
- In a bowl, combine gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- On the stove in a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and then add brown sugar, stirring constantly until fully combined. Remove from heat, and allow the mixture to cool.
- Add vanilla and egg to the pan, mixing well.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until fully incorporated.
- Spread the dough into the greased pan. Sprinkle the chopped Rolos and mini-marshmallows evenly over the top.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until golden brown.
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