I revamped this old recipe to use my favorite plain blondie recipe as a base, then topped with melted Hershey’s Symphony bars.
Have you heard of Symphony Bars?
Amazingly, I had never heard of them before receiving an email from a reader, Cathy, who shared her recipe with me but said she found the base layer to be dry and wondered if I could improve upon them. When I Googled “symphony bars”, I found no shortage of recipes, and realized how in the dark I had been! Which is such a shame because oh my gosh, these are amazing!
I went ahead and did some troubleshooting of the base, and came up with an awesome bottom layer to support that top layer of melted chocolate. You’re going to LOVE these!
The original recipe for the base layer had butter, sugar, flour, egg and vanilla, with no leavening – sort of a soft shortbread. I wanted to make it more moist and chewy, but in keeping with the lack of leavening, I didn’t want anything too fluffy or cake-like.
A stripped-down version of my favorite blondie recipe. It’s super chewy, light but not cakey, and is a great complement to the melted Symphony chocolate bars that adorn the top.
I love, love, LOVE these! Such a simple but amazing combination of a soft, chewy cookie with a slight toffee flavor adorned with a layer of amazing milk chocolate. These are an easy treat to whip up spur of the moment, so keep it on hand if last-minute visitors are stopping by, or you have a hankering for something sweet.
Three years ago: Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Four years ago: Filled Raisin Cookies
Nine years ago: Egg Muffins
- 1½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1½ cups (330 g) light brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 14 ounce (396.89 g) Symphony Bars, broken into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking with foil, allowing overhang on all edges. Spray the foil-lined pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together in until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Turn the batter into prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer with a rubber spatula (it will be a thin layer).
- Bake until the top is shiny and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle with broken up Symphony bars all over the surface and let sit for 1 minute. Using an offset spatula, begin to spread the chocolate; it will continue to melt as you spread it around. Once all of the chocolate has melted, smooth into an even layer.
- Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Gently touch the chocolate - if it is still soft and not set, refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes to allow it to firm up. Remove the bars from the pan an cut into squares. The bars can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. If your home is warm, store them in the refrigerator.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Had the Symphony bars in my pantry since mid-summer waiting for an opportunity to make these. I define “opportunity” as a reason to get them out of the house and not eat them all myself. :) So, they’re cooling and I’ll be plating them soon. Just wanted to share a little trick. After distributing the chocolate bars over the top, I started to use my offset spatula to spread it around and it wasn’t going as easy as expected. I was afraid I would gouge the bar layer. So, I inverted a cookie sheet over the top of my 9×13 pan for about three minutes, which was just enough time to hasten the melting of the chocolate and make it very easy to spread. If I had gouged the bars, well…I would be in the kitchen now scarfing down the ruined bars.
Just made a test batch of these and all of the people at work are raving about them. Thank you for another great recipe!
Forgot to comment that the cookie base is terrific…it turned out rich, moist and chewy (I baked it for exactly 23 minutes), and has almost a caramel flavor. A couple people asked if there was caramel in the bars. Delicious!
These look delicious! Just wondered – if I halved the recipe, what size pan would I use? Maybe a 9 x 9″? Thanks!
Hi Janet, 8×8 or 9×9 would work!
Made these bars for book club… sooo good! Hubby said they are a keeper! Only complaint is the price of the Symphony bars – at $2.50 each x 4, the delicious top layer was a little bit pricey, oh well.
wow love this..hope to try this on weekend.Already got print of this page. Thanks
Thanks for a delicious recipe that translates to gluten-free with ease! I used my special blend of gluten-free flour…even the “gluten eaters” raved over them.
Symphony Bars is so much delicious; I will definitively try this at home and give surprise to my wife. Honestly, I am always thought store bought pumpkin pies were far better tasting than any homemade one. I am definitely willing to try this though because I feel like buying the pie is not much excitement.
The picture shows two 4.25 oz. Symphony bars; however, the recipe calls for two 7 oz. bars. I couldn’t find this larger size. What size did you use? Thanks:-)
Hi Sheryl, I actually addressed this in the recipe note above, but to reiterate, I bought four of the 4.25 bars and used almost all of them (weighed out 14 ounces for the recipe).
Hi, Michelle! Of course, I had to make this recipe immediately! And they are absolutely delicious. Two little observations. One, the base came out more cakelike rather than blondie-ish. Tasty nonetheless. Two, when I cut the bars, the melted chocolate bar top cracked, almost shattered. I had put the pan in the fridge overnight because we weren’t eating it yesterday. Any suggestions to avoid breaking the chocolate when I try to cut? I’m afraid that if I just leave it out, the treats will just get old quickly (we couldn’t eat it fast enough to avoid that catastrophe!). My first thought when the top started breaking was that I should have just made a traditional ganache – heat cream and pour it over the chocolate, then top the cake. I will absolutely make this again because it is easy and really delicious. So thank you very much.
Mine cracked a bit too, but didn’t shatter so much that they were inedible or unable to be served. You could certainly do a ganache on top if you’d prefer. I used a really long (9″) sharp chef’s knife and cut in one quick motion for each pass, which seemed to minimize breakage.
This looks really tasty – I have seen the bars but haven’t eaten one in a while – they are pretty good.
These look yummy! I have also done a similar idea with a chocolate brownie and then you put the small peppermint patties on top out of the oven, let sit, and spread for a simple mint frosted brownie. So good.
I am looking for a recipe similar to this but the bottom part is an oatmeal peanut butter bar with a thick, soft, fudge layer on top. Any ideas?
Hi Julie, You could try the base for these monster cookie bars, maybe up the peanut butter a bit and omit the chocolate chips and M&Ms:
As for the soft fudge layer, I LOVE the fudge frosting in this recipe:
This looks yummy and like it could easily be halved. My husband and I are empty nesters and could never eat a 9×13 batch.
I remember symphony bars from my childhood but I don’t remember seeing any in my area for quite a while. Maybe I’ve just been overlooking them.
These look so incredibly good!
You’re definitely right; there is no shortage of Symphony bar recipes! My mom has a recipe for one that is slightly different, but she loves it so much that she put it in our family cookbook! This version looks delicious, and you definitely could get a different dessert every time depending on which Symphony bar flavor you use.
Thanks Michelle. I can’t wait to try the new and improved version.
Will definitely be trying these, they look so good
First of all: Wowwwww a recipe from 9 years ago?! I’m already proud of my achievement to keep this blogging up for more than half a year, haha!
I love anything with chocolate so of course this one suits me. I’ll pin it for when I get certain cravings again :D
Haha, it IS crazy! I can’t believe it will be 10 years in February!