Bake Sale Trifecta Bars are a decadent chocolate brownie, classic chocolate chip cookies, and buttery soft rice krispies treat all in one. It is three favorite treats all in one bar!
Sometimes I dream big. Real big. And if you're like me, most dreams start in the kitchen.
I discovered cooking contests in 2010 and after my first trip to the Pillsbury Bake-Off, I found a new passion. I love the challenge of creating new and unique recipes, so contests became my favorite hobby! However, when I started Modern Honey, something had to give and I didn't have the extra time to compete in contests.
One night this past April, my passion for cooking contests was reignited. It was a typical night - late evening, falling into bed exhausted, trying to figure out how to balance my mom, wife and church responsibilities with Modern Honey. My ever-growing to-do list was getting the best of me!
Choosing instead to distract myself from reality, I opened a website I hadn't looked at in a while--a site that listed all of the upcoming recipe contests. As I scrolled through, one contest immediately caught my eye. Food Network Magazine, my favorite magazine of all time, was having a contest! A baking contest! What?! The contest was to create the most delicious and creative bake sale item for their upcoming September issue. Suddenly re-energized, I jumped out of bed, grabbed a notebook, and started jotting down ideas.
I thought about the best sellers at any baked sale and guessed they would probably be a brownie, chocolate chip cookie, and a rice krispie treat. Then came my idea--could I combine all three of them into one bar? I then thought of the name--Bake Sale Trifecta Bar--the word my Dad uses all of the time in sports analogies to describe three winning things.
Excited, I woke up at 5:46 am, drove to the grocery store, and had all of the ingredients ready to go before I got the kids ready for school. As soon as they were out the door I got to work--I couldn't wait to see if my vision would be as good as I imagined.
First I mixed the layer of the perfect chocolate brownie https://www.modernhoney.com/better-than-a-boyfriend-brownies/ on the bottom and spread it in the pan. Then I made the ultimate chocolate chip cookie and spread that dough on top. I put the pan in the oven to bake and crossed my fingers that they would stay in their lanes and not become one big chocolate chip cookie brownie. So far so good--they came out just as I envisioned!
Now the wildcard: the rice krispie treat. Not just any hard, run-of-the-mill rice krispie treat. All three layers needed to meld together into one so the rice krispie treat had to be extra gooey and soft. Here we go extra marshmallows! When I was sure it was extra gooey and soft, I poured it on the top of the cookie brownie layer. After chilling the Bake Sale Trifecta Bar for 30 minutes, it was ready to eat.
Now the big test, did it work? I couldn't get it into my mouth fast enough! One bite was enough to know the Bake Sale Trifecta Bar was everything a decadent dessert bar should be--I was so happy!
I grabbed an orange sharpie and started scribbling on a white sheet of paper... "I am going to be on the cover of Food Network Magazine." Maybe, just maybe, the power of positive thinking would get me on the cover. I tried not to be overly optimistic but I allowed myself to dream. I felt that I had created a winning recipe, and although I couldn't even imagine winning, I really, really wanted it to happen.
I will always remember the moment when I got the news. I was in a long line at Ross and I decided to check my email. I could see a line that read, "Congratulations from Food Network." I am not going to lie, the tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't stop smiling. I couldn't believe it...utter disbelief...but I was overcome with immense gratitude and excitement. I sat in my car, said a prayer of thanks, then called my husband to share the good news.
I soon found out the details--I was in the top 3 and the folks at Food Network Magazine would spend the next few months deciding who would get the cover. They interviewed me and then... I waited. Just last week I found out I won the GRAND PRIZE -- First Place!
The magazine is on the shelves and my Trifecta Bars are on the cover! Unbelievable! I am humbled and so, so grateful for this opportunity. Sometimes dreams do come true. Even when they're born out of exhaustion!
Tips and Tricks for making Bake Sale Trifecta Bars:
- Make sure that your pan is 9 x 9. There are so many cake pans out there that are 8 x 8 and even though they look similar, several inches make a difference. This recipe will not fit in a 8 x 8 pan.
- I use the following pan which works perfectly - click HERE for link to pan.
- Always chill it first so that it has time to set up before cutting into bars.
Don't waste any time getting to the store to get ingredients to make these Bake Sale Trifecta Bars. They are everything that a decadent treat should be and more. Share with your friends....they will love you even more for it. xoxo
Ever since we saw this recipe in the Food Network magazine, these have been our favorite for birthday treats. Every year the kids request this to take to school. This year we can't take treats to school because of COVID, but that's not stopping me from making them for their special day. I was in a panic when I couldn't find the recipe so I thought I'd try looking it up on the web. I was pleased to find the original creator of this masterpiece! Thank you for creating this family favorite and for posting!! We would have had a very disappointed birthday child without it!
I love this story!! Thank you so much for sharing. It made my day!
It’s May 17 2020, and I’m searching for the very best of the BEST, bar recipe!
My best friend, she’s a Brilliant Co-Director of Nurses at the Milwaukee Hospital on the NICU floor...but are helping with the care of the Virus Patients.
My love of baking is how I want to express my gratitude and Love towards that Nursing Staff..
I found it. Right here. The triple layered trifecta bars are perfect! They will be just fine being shipped through the mail, and thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!!!
If I get a photo of them eating these, I’m sending you a pic!!
I have made five patches of tryout cookie recipes to send the Staff, and nothing got me excited. But just looking at your bars is definitely making me excited because I have a feeling they will be delicious! Award winning! Oh wait, they ARE award winning! ????????????
Okay, tell me what I did wrong! Cooked exactly per directions, and brownie layer was like fudge, so undercooked. Cookie layer was fine. Should I pre-cook the brownie first?
Do you think I should double the recipe to make in a 9x13 pan?
I baked these in a 9x13 pan for 32 minutes, and they turned out great! Also used peanut butter in place of regular butter in the rice krispie treat layer, it all turned out wonderful! Thank you so much for the recipe!! 🙂
My daughter made these for her high school soccer team bake sale. I cut them big and sold them for $2 each. They sold out and we made 4 dozen. They were fantastic and we got many compliments and requests for the recipe. We’re making them again for another bake sale. Thanks!!!!!
How long are these good for after baking?
Hi Aimee! I would say they would be good for about 1 day. After that, the Rice Krispie treats can become hard and dry. I hope that helps!
Melissa, I actually got teared up when I read this post. What an incredibly sweet and inspirational story. I'm brand new to your blog. and so far I Just love it! Congrats on your big win! Good for you honey! God Bless....
So sweet of you to say, Natalie! Your comment made my night. Thank you so much for your kind words! -- Melissa
Would it be possible to make these a day in advance or are they best eaten the day of?
Hi Vi! That's a great question. I have made them a day before and tightly sealed them and they were still perfect the next day.
Congrats! I love and read the magazine monthly. I new follower and pin a lot of your recipes! Look forward to making these.
Hi Maria! It's the best magazine, right? It's my favorite as well. Thank you for following and pinning my recipes. I truly do appreciate your support. - Melissa 🙂
These bars fit perfectly in a 9x9 pan and cut easily into squares. The hardest part of making these is not eating the entire pan in one day....they are so so good!
Yay so glad to hear that you love them so much! Thank you for your sweet comment.
Love your blog and can't wait to try making this recipe with my daughter! Glad you are blazing a path for us Gilbert moms to go for our dreams
Hi Cara! So sweet of you to say. Love that you are a fellow Gilbert mom! Let me know how you and your daughter like them and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and say hi 🙂 - Melissa
Way to go Melissa!!!! Can't wait to try these!!!
Thank you so much, my friend! Always so great to hear from you, Karie. Let me know how you like them! xo
Will this recipe got into a 9x13 pan?Thanks.
They work best in a smaller pan because they become nice and thick. I've never tried the larger pan and it may work but the layers may be quite thin. It still makes quite a few bars in the smaller pan just because they are so thick. I hope that helps, Eileen! 🙂
I'm very very happy for you!!Im going to get the magazine and start making them.They sound heavenly!!Everything all works out.I tell Mom how wonderful you are and love your blog and recipes.You make my day when I hear from you.
Hi Eileen! You are so sweet, thank you so much. I love to hear from you too! Thank you for taking the time to comment. xo Also, let me know how they turn out! 🙂