These irresistible little Crack Pie Bars are based on the famous Milk Bar Crack Pie ~ but mine are so much quicker and easier to make. And don’t worry, they’re equally as addictive!
Crack Pie Bars are utterly irresistible
They’re inspired by NYC eatery Milk Bar’s famous Crack Pie, which caused quite a stir when it debuted several years ago. I’ve made that pie and I can tell you that the recipe is almost absurdly complicated, so even though the restaurant posts it on their website, you hardly ever see it done.
I’ve winnowed it down to a more manageable process for you, without losing any of that infamous charm. If you’ve never had it, it’s a little tough to describe…the experience is chewy, toffee-sweet, wet-moist…sticky, silky, and yes, addictive. To be honest I wouldn’t recommend making the pie, it’s more trouble than it’s worth, but these pie bars are a solid go for it, if only to see the look on your family’s/friends’/guests’ faces when you tell them what’s for dessert.
what makes these crack pie bars so darned amazing?
Well, they’re a perfect storm of buttery sweet taste and sensuous ‘mouth feel’, for one thing. It’s what we’re all programmed to crave, it’s in our dna, so no use resisting. They’re a little different than your ordinary sweet dessert, too. None of the usual suspects…no chocolate, or caramel, or marshmallow — they’re kind of a hipster version of chess pie, and chess pie, if you’re not familiar, is a kind of pecan-less pecan pie. Only the crust in this case is made from crushed oatmeal cookies. I told you it was tough to describe, you’ll just have to whip up a batch to see for yourself.
I can attest that these truly are impossible to resist, I just ate 3 full squares, one quarter inch sliver at a time…at least I got my exercise going back and forth from the kitchen.
If you try these, let me know what you think — do they live up to the hype?
Crack Pie Bars
- 15 plain oatmeal cookies (to make 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar do not pack
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp milk powder
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks, well broken up with a fork
- powdered sugar
- Set oven to 350F
- Lightly spray a 9×9 square baking pan. You can line it with parchment for easy removal later for cutting, but this is optional.
- First make the crust. I crushed my cookies in my food processor. I wanted them to be super fine. You can do them any way you like, as long as you end up with 1 1/2 cups finely crushed cookies.
- Mix the crumbs with the melted butter and sugar and blend well. I do this right in the processor.
- Pat the crust firmly into the bottom of your pan.
- To make the filling,, cream the butter and sugars together until well combined. Work out any lumps in the brown sugar as you go.
- Blend in the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325F and open the door until it gets there.
- Close the oven door again and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the filling is golden and no longer very jiggly. (It can be a little jiggly in the center, but not all over)
- Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until completely chilled. Dust with powdered sugar, slice into small squares and enjoy.