Rolo Dream Bars

Jamie asked me to guest post a while back, and then slipped casually into conversation, “Oh, by the way, I’m thinking of doing a Rolo week, so can you include those in your post?”. Hah. Hahahaha. I just had to laugh, because Jamie didn’t know that we have Rolos in our house *all* the time. They’re my husband’s favorite chocolate candy. This would hardly be a hardship.

Developing a recipe around Rolos proved to be the best hobby I could ever take up as far as my husband was concerned. I knew I wanted to make some sort of bar cookie, because normal cookies are never going to top Jamie’s Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (which happen to be his favorite cookies ever – are you seeing a theme?).

I recently returned from a few days of taking classes at King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Center, and came back with their King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion Cookbook. If you love baking, I highly recommend this book. It’s full of tips and tricks every baker should know, such as the proper way to measure flour, and which flour is best for certain types of baked goods, as well as tons of yummy recipes.

In the cookie section of this book is a recipe called “Dream Bars”. Full of brown sugar, coconut, and the nuts of your choice, they certainly sounded like a dream to me! Add some Rolos, and I think we’ve got a party, people.

My first attempt at the Dream Bars were good – very rich, chocolately, and dense. I liked them, but for you guys, I imagined a different sort of dream, one that started with a base of shortbread. It turned out to be the right choice.

The near-savory flavor of shortbread matches perfectly with the Rolo-Dream topping. Think shortbread meets German Chocolate Cake. It’s pretty spectacular.


German Chocolate Cake is a favorite where I come from in South Texas, and I really enjoyed them with chopped pecans. You can use any nut you want to, or no nuts at all. Sunflower seeds would add a great crunch, and so would crisp rice cereal.

Make sure to make these at least a day in advance, because they get better when they have a chance to sit.

Thanks, Jamie, for letting me guest post today. I hope y’all enjoy the Rolo Dream Bars, and stop on by my blog, Bluebonnets & Brownies, when you get a chance.

Rolo Dream Bars

Yield: about 12 bars


For the Shortbread Base

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)

For the Dream Bar Topping

2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, well-beaten
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted (toasting is optional)
1 cup diced nuts: walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds or crisp rice cereal
26 Rolos, frozen and unwrapped


Start by freezing a bag of Rolos for 2-24 hours

For the Shortbread Base

Preheat oven to 300F.

Cream together the butter, sugar, and salt with a mixer on medium speed. Add flour and mix again until fully combined. Dough may be crumbly. This is okay.

Spray a 9" x 13" casserole dish with baking or cooking spray. Press dough into the dish, creating an evenly distributed crust.

Bake for 30 minutes, until cookie begins to look lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least an hour.

When cookie is cool to the touch, prepare the topping.

For the Dream Bar Topping

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and baking powder. Mix until evenly combined with a mixer on medium speed.

In a separate bowl, crack and then whisk eggs until yolks are broken and fully mixed into the whites. Add to brown sugar mixture and mix on medium speed again.

Add coconut and nuts, mixing until fully incorporated. Set aside.

Place 12-14 Rolos directly on top of Shorbread base in casserole dish. Spoon brown sugar-coconut mixture on top of shortbread/rolos, covering base completely.

Press the remaining Rolos into the topping. (By doing this separately, you'll get some Rolos that melt inside the topping, and others that stay intact, which adds great texture.)

Bake for 30-35 minutes until topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool overnight. When you first remove from the oven, the topping will be unset. It will set completely as it cools, and create an almost "brownie" like crust. Cut into bars once completely cooled.

These bars are incredibly rich, so small bars (2" x 2") are appropriate.


- Adapted from King Arthur Flour

by Amber

Amber Bracegirdle spends her days as the managing editor for Food Fanatic and mama. She started Bluebonnets & Brownies as a way to connect to her Texas roots and pay homage to her grandmother, Nanny. She's traveled all over with her Brit husband, James, and now lives in NJ with him, baby Evan, and their two giant Maine Coons, Milo and Connor. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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29 Responses to “Rolo Dream Bars”

  1. Paula — June 23, 2011 at 10:24 am

    These bars certainly look spectacular! Thanks for posting the recipe. I’m betting your husband will want these baked at least once a week!


  2. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — June 23, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I think we just might be sisters who were separated at birth, Amber… :)

    Rolos are one of my favorites and I almost always have them in the house, too! These look amazing! Strangely enough, that happens to be the one cookbook from KAF that I don’t actually own. I should probably pick up a copy… I love the other ones so much!


  3. Vimitha — June 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Looks so delicious and yummy…


  4. KAF Bakers — June 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    These sound like a wonderful riff on the Dream Bars. I love Rolos too, and used to make a stuffed chocolate Rolo cookie. I love the look of the concentric circles on the top of the Rolo in the field of cookie. We’ll definitely have to give these a try.
    ~MaryJane @ KAF


  5. Blog is the New Black — June 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    These look awesome! Love rolos! Haven’t had those in foreverrrr.


  6. Amanda — June 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Rolos were one of my favorite candies when I was child. I haven’t seen them in years! Where do you find them?


    • Amber — June 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Amanda, I found them at our local grocery store in the main candy aisle where the bigger bags of candy are. You should probably also be able to find them at WalMart and Target.

  7. Connie the Cookie Monster — June 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    boy those do look dreamy!


  8. Pam — June 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    The shortbread base with the yummy German chocolate type of topping (and yes, Rolos are a great candy!) sounds unbeatable. Not exactly health food, but certainly a marvelous special treat. Thanks.


  9. Katrina — June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Love this! Great recipe. Rolos are my favorite candy!


  10. Robyn — June 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    More rolos? I’m dying here! Darn. Gotta go get some now. :) Awesome looking bar recipe!


  11. Becca — June 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Mmmm. These look really good, especially if you’re going to bite into a huge chunk of Rolo. :D


  12. Maris (In Good Taste) — June 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I am like ticking the ingredients off in my head to see if I should make these tonight!


  13. Wenderly — June 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Oh dear. I must have these.


  14. Oh Amber, these are indeed dreamy! I’m having a serious rolo craving now.


  15. Susie — June 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I hadn’t thought about Rolos in ages! Thanks for posting this!


  16. Naina — June 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I have never had a Rolo before, but now I definitely have to try them! And bake with them!


  17. teri@thefreshmancook — June 24, 2011 at 2:13 am

    We can’t keep Rolos in our house for very long. They are my husbands favorite also. This sounds like a great recipe. I think I will surprise him with it. Thanks!


  18. Karen@Mignardise — June 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Perfect combination. My mouth is watering!


  19. angela@spinachtiger — June 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Oh my goodness, rollo’s are my all time favorite candy, so retro, so simple and perfect. Add to these the crunch of nuts and coconut into a bar and it’s sheer heaven that takes you back to childhood.


  20. apron Appeal — June 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Are those mini or regular sized rolos? It doesn’t really matter…I love rolos.


    • Hiya,

      I used regular sized rolos – I’ve never seen the minis. But I bet they’d work great too. You’d need more than 26 though!

  21. Cookbook Queen — June 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    These sound sooooo good :) And I love love love King Arthur everything!! So jealous that you got to go!!


  22. Kennedy — June 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    These look so yummy!!!


  23. Tracy — June 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    OMG, I NEED these in my kitchen. I totally want to make them with rice krispies since I’m allergic to nuts. Perfect!!


  24. shelly (cookies and cups) — August 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I don’t know HOW I missed these!! They look incredible!


  25. Ellie — September 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    These look delicious!! I love rolos. I am drooling, I must have these in my life!!


  26. Kate — April 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I made these last week for my family and they did NOT disappoint. If you follow these instructions exactly, you will wind up preparing rich, decadent, tiny morsels from chocolate-caramel heaven. SO worth making.


  27. Jodi — August 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

    All I can say is Thank You… this Rolo recipe looks fantastic. You are so right about freezing the Rolo’s first, as I learned the hard way (using Junior Mints in a brownie recipe) that candies bake into a hardened mess if they aren’t frozen first. The shortbread base will make a great foundation for what looks to be a wonderfully gooey dessert. I can’t wait to make it!


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