Milky Way Walnut Cookie Bars

Oh, hi there – I made you some cookies, Milky Way walnut cookie bars to be exact.  Why you ask, well, just because.  Just because I like you guys.  And just because everyone likes cookies, right?

Everyone should have a just because cookie recipe and this one’s mine.  You make them just because a friend is coming over or just because it’s Friday and you know everyone at work would love a cookie.  You don’t even need a reason really, you’re making them just because cookies seem to brighten the day somehow.  A little bit of cookie goodness should be part of everyone’s day.

Milky Way Walnut Cookie Bars | Green Valley Kitchen

These are firm cookie bars with a chewy, caramel, chocolatey, nutty center.  The caramel and chocolate from the Milky Way melts into the cookie bars and the walnuts give them a crunchy, nutty flavor.

Every Halloween I always seem to buy too much candy.  This year I had lots left over – so I just chopped up a bunch of Milky Ways and added them to these cookie bars instead of regular chocolate chips – what a difference.  Melted chocolatey caramel goodness inside a cookie bar – what’s not to like.

Milky Way Walnut Cookie Bars | Green Valley Kitchen


Milky Way Walnut Cookie Bars | Green Valley Kitchen

A couple of notes:

The batter was very thick.  I found it easiest to spoon it into the baking dish and then to pat into place with my hands.

I chopped up about 12 mini “fun” sized Milky Way bars – which equals about 4 regular sized Milky Way bars.  When they were chopped up, it measured about 1 1/3 cups of Milky Way bar pieces.

I added 1 cup of Milky Way pieces to the batter.  After baking the cookie bars for 15 minutes, I took the pan out of the oven and sprinkled the remaining 1/3 of a cup of Milky Way pieces over the top – then put the pan back in the oven to continue baking for final the 15 minutes.

Don’t overcook these.  Start testing with a toothpick at 25 minutes.  Mine took 30 minutes to cook but all ovens are slightly different so start testing at 25 minutes so they don’t overcook.

Adapted from this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.


Milky Way Walnut Cookie Bars

A chewy Milky Way walnut cookie bar filled with carmel, chocolate and nutty flavor.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x


  • 1 stick of unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of regular sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups of chopped Milky Way Bars


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 baking pan.
  2. Using a mixer (I used a hand mixer) beat butter, brown sugar and regular sugar for 3 minutes until well blended and creamy.
  3. Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1 egg and beat until blended – about 1 minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture a bit at a time to the batter (I added it in thirds) and beat until all the flour is incorporated in to the batter.
  6. Add 1 cup of Milky Way pieces and all the walnuts. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  7. Spoon the mixture into prepared baking pan and pat (I used my hands) it evenly into the pan.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan and scatter remaining 1/3 cup of Milky Way pieces over the top – I used about 20 pieces that I evenly placed on top in a grid form.
  9. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and test for doneness with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean (it may have melted chocolate on it which is okay – you just don’t want to see wet batter).
  10. Cool in the pan and then cut into 16 pieces.

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26 comments on “Milky Way Walnut Cookie Bars

  1. Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen

    Anything adapted from Ina is bound to be delicious, and I love how you added a twist with the milky ways! It’s so nice that there aren’t many ingredients involved and that all you need is one baking dish (as opposed to a huge batch of cookies, where you can’t fit them all into the oven at the same time!). Your coworkers must love you, Geraldine!

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Traci – I still have twix and hersey bars to use up – wonder what I can make with those? Thanks for the compliment on the photos – much appreciate from you – the master of sharp!

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks, Kathi! I’m a big fan of all cookies but the bars are definitely easier to manage. I like that you can cut them up into whatever size you like too – some days you need a small piece and some days you need a big piece :).


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