Treasure-Chest Bars

For the bars:


1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2/3 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries, apricots, cranberries, or other fruit of your choice


Preheat your oven to 350° and position a rack in the middle. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, draping the sheets over the sides (to make the bars easier to remove). Grease the foil with butter.

In the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large bowl, if you’re using a handheld mixer), cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat 1 minute.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk. Add the chocolate, nuts, and fruit, and stir to combine.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the top is golden brown and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides, about 30 minutes.

For the frosting:


about 20 bars

Preparation Time

35 Minutes

Total Time

75 Minutes

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