26 decadent brownies & bars

From classic fudgy brownies to zesty lemon squares, you can't go wrong these decadent treats

Mexican Chocolate Streusel Brownies

Photo by James Carrier; written by Elaine Johnson

Mexican Chocolate Streusel Brownies

Almonds and cinnamon are what make Mexican chocolate special, and they flavor both the brownie and the streusel in these bars.

Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Streusel Brownies

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Chewy, and big enough to share—though you may want every bite. For the richest flavor, use dark chocolate and cocoa such as Scharffen Berger.

Recipe:  Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

 

Dark Chocolate-Chunk Brownies

Photo by James Carrier

Dark Chocolate-Chunk Brownies

Michael Recchiuti, a San Francisco chocolate visionary, prefers to make these moist brownies with a distinct chocolate such as L'Harmonie, a 64 percent dark chocolate blend available from E. Guittard consumer sales (800/468-2462). Serve wedges or squares topped with lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream, chopped fresh mint, and fresh raspberries; or crown pieces with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate-Chunk Brownies

Caramel Brownies

Photo by Christina Schmidhofer

Caramel Brownies

We couldn't decide which we liked better, the crunchy outside pieces or the gooey inside ones. Leftovers are unlikely, but you can store the brownies airtight up to 1 day.

Recipe: Caramel Brownies

Brownie Ice Cream Mini-wiches

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Brownie Ice Cream Mini-wiches

Store-bought ice cream works fine here, or you can make your own; our classic Vanilla Bean recipe would be a good place to start.

Recipe:  Brownie Ice Cream Mini-wiches

Triple-Chocolate Brownies

Photo by Sheri Giblin

Triple-Chocolate Brownies

If you like super-chocolatey, fudgy brownies (and who doesn’t?), then these are for you.

Recipe:  Triple-Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate-Fromage Blanc Brownies

Photo by James Carrier

Chocolate-Fromage Blanc Brownies

Lord have mercy, are these ever good. Tart yet rich fromage blanc cheese gives these fudgy brownies a fun Western twist.

Recipe:  Chocolate-Fromage Blanc Brownies

Chocolate Espresso Brownie Cake

Photo by Paul Moore

Chocolate Espresso Brownie Cake

One reader called this decadent dessert “dangerous” because you won’t be able to stop eating it―we couldn’t agree more.

Recipe: Chocolate Espresso Brownie Cake

Peppermint-Topped Brownies

Photo by Leigh Beisch

Peppermint-Topped Brownies

These rich chocolate brownies are topped with a delicate layer of peppermint candy. They're perfect for the holidays.

Recipe:  Peppermint-topped Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

Photo by James Carrier

Rocky Road Brownies

Mini marshmallows melt into this walnut-topped brownie during baking, giving it a gooey, fudgy texture. 

Recipe:  Rocky Road Brownies

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Photo by Quentin Bacon

Dark Chocolate Brownies

These classic chocolate brownies can be stored airtight for up to 2 days.

Recipe:  Dark Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

Photo by Jim Henkens

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

We can't quite call these dessert bars "health food," but with whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, and rolled oats mixed in, they're much more respectable.

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

Cran-Raspberry Streusel Bars

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Cran-Raspberry Streusel Bars

These sweet-and-tart treats are great for a winter holiday party.

Recipe: Cran-Raspberry Streusel Bars

 

Peanut Butter-Oat Bars & Cheesecake Bars

Photo by James Carrier

Peanut Butter-Oat Bars & Cheesecake Bars

Peanut butter and chocolate top an oatmeal cookie base in our Peanut Butter-Oat Bars, while our cheescake squares get a streusel topping.

Recipe:  Peanut Butter-Oat Bars

Recipe:  Cheesecake Bars

Royal Raspberry Bars

Photo by James Carrier

Royal Raspberry Bars

Phyllis Ciardo of Albany, California, developed her own rich and chewy version of the meringue-topped bars she remembers her mother baking every Christmas.

Recipe:  Royal Raspberry Bars

Buttery Lemon Squares

Photo by James Carrier

Buttery Lemon Squares

With a buttery crust and custard-like filling, these lemon squares taste as good as they look. A dusting of powdered sugar completes the bar cookie recipe.

Recipe:  Buttery Lemon Squares 

Hazelnut Shortbread Bars

Photo by Yunhee Kim; written by Stephanie Spencer

Hazelnut Shortbread Bars

Even when we almost burned the crust of these buttery bars, we still couldn't stop eating them and ended up with a new crunchier variation. We hope you'll enjoy them as much as we did.

Recipe: Hazelnut Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Crisp Bars

Photo by James Carrier; written by Elaine Johnson

Cranberry Crisp Bars

Don’t worry: The mixture looks too dry, but it will come together as a dough.

Recipe: Cranberry Crisp Bars 

 

Swirled Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars

Photo by James Carrier

Swirled Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars

These spiced pumpkin bar cookies with a creamy, tangy swirl are perfect for Halloween or any autumn get-together.

Recipe:  Swirled Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Photo by James Carrier

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Our favorite chocolate chip cookie gets a bar-shaped makeover.

Recipe:  Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars

Combine four whole grains with peanuts and peanut butter for a bar that's filling as well as delicious.

Recipe:  Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Photo by Quentin Bacon

Nanaimo Bars

Named after a town in British Columbia, this popular Canadian bar cookie has a creamy topping and a graham cracker-pecan crust.

Recipe:  Nanaimo Bars

Fruit and Nut Chewy Bars

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Fruit and Nut Chewy Bars

Medjool dates, cranberries, and apples keep these nice and moist.

Recipe: Fruit and Nut Chewy Bars

 

Florentine Bars

Photo by Leigh Beisch

Florentine Bars

The colorful mixture of fruit and nuts makes for a festive presentation atop rich shortbread.

Recipe:  Florentine Bars

Honey Caramel Nut Bars

Photo by Leigh Beisch; written by Amy Machnak

Honey Caramel Nut Bars

The buttery shortbread is heavenly with the honey caramel that’s baked around this salty nut mixture. Cut them into various shapes and set out with coffee or a cool weather cocktail.

Recipe: Honey Caramel Nut Bars 

 

 

Lemon-Lime Macaroon Bars

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Lemon-Lime Macaroon Bars

A two-citrus filling and a toasted-coconut base make this version of the traditional lemon bar both bright and rich. For bars with flecks of zest but no foamy top, whisk the egg mixture just enough to blend.

Recipe: Lemon-Lime Macaroon Bars

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