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Rocky Ledge Birthday Bars

When cut into ragged shapes and stacked in a staggered fashion on top of one another, these chunky bars resemble a rocky ledge.

  • Yield: Makes 15
Rocky Ledge Birthday Bars

Source: Martha Stewart Living Special Issues, 2005


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup toffee chips
  • 18 square individually wrapped caramels, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the pan and overhang the longer sides by about 2 inches. Line pan with parchment; brush parchment with butter, and set pan aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl using a wooden spoon, mix the butter and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in half the marshmallows, white and semisweet chocolates, toffee chips, and caramels.

  3. Using an offset spatula, spread batter into prepared pan. Scatter remaining marshmallows, chocolates, toffee chips, and caramels on top. Bake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool. Using overhanging parchment, lift bars out of pan, and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.

  4. Remove from refrigerator, and peel off parchment. Using a serrated knife, cut into 15 irregular-shape bars, and stack them vertically, as desired.


Substitute toffee chips with butterscotch chips.

Cook's Note

They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Reviews (42)

  • brandy bora 2 Dec, 2013

    I made these for my boyfriend's father years ago for Christmas and he drops hints about them every year just in case I forget. He loves caramel and butterscotch. I love marshmallows so I add more of those. I do not like a crunchy texture so the softness of these were perfect for me.

  • babyblueblankie 16 Feb, 2013

    Thanks to everyone's comments, I made the following modifications and baked them in cupcake liners. Turned out as easy breakfast cookie bars. Smell great too.

    1) add one teaspoon of ground instant coffee and quarter to half teaspoon of ground cinnamon to batter, cut salt to 1/4 tsp
    2) just 1/4 cup semi sweet chips, 1/4 cup peanut butter chip - none on topping
    3) 3 little pieces of Werther's caramel and 3 little pieces of pretzels at the top
    4) option to add whole oats to batter

  • janesays 11 Mar, 2012

    This recipe was disappointing. I was expecting more texture. All of it was soft and sweet. I thought there might be some crunch from the toffee bits. I should have added pecans.

  • TheRunningBaker 30 Sep, 2011

    These are easy and incredibly delicious. I did however find it to be an overload of sugary ingredients (my teeth were shivering), so I left out the caramels and toffee chips and they turned out amazing! It's great that you can add in (or take out) anything you want!

  • hannahlj 16 Jan, 2011

    These are so easy and so versatile. I never add butterscotch chips and normally add peanut butter cups and chopped chocolate and large marshmallows instead of chocolate chips and small marshmallows.

  • carasays 18 Oct, 2010

    I make these all the time, but I leave out the caramels. Also, it's a great base, so it's easy to substitute things to make them not as rich.

  • jennland2001 19 May, 2010

    I made these and substituted the butterscotch chips for pecans. I also cut back on the chips. These are yummy, next time I'll try liquid caramel, it was a MAJOR pain, cutting the caramels.

  • sWeDiShFiSh818 21 Jul, 2009

    These were incredible!!!! I ended up having to bake mine for 45 minutes and did not use the caramel cubes. Instead, I drizzled some caramel sauce (I used Smucker's ice cream topping) on top of the unbaked bars before layering on all of the other toppings. This gave the bars a nice caramel flavor without making them difficult to chew.

  • betsyjustis 16 Jan, 2009

    These are awesome! Especialy warm with vanilla ice cream or even Irish Cream Liquur poured over the top.

  • azarvand 23 Aug, 2008

    okay, I GIVE UP! my comments are getting cut!

  • azarvand 23 Aug, 2008

    what happened to the rest of my comment?!! Hahaha! Well, in summary, i loved it. quick

  • azarvand 23 Aug, 2008

    I also liked how easy

  • aimee_peterson 8 Aug, 2008

    I liked how quick and easy this recipe was. I baked these bars for my team at work who loved them! I left out the marshmallows. Mine were slightly over-baked at 35 min. FYI. So just check your oven since times always vary.

  • geeekygirl 7 Aug, 2008

    Mine ended up needing to be baked for 40 minutes. They're VERY sweet!

  • cookinmamaof2 28 Jul, 2008

    These are crazy good! But very, very sweet as you could probably guess by the ingredients. I used the Werthers Chewy Caramels as someone had suggested on here and they were really good. The ultimate bar recipe!! Perfect for potlucks and picnics.

  • ausiecupcake 26 Jul, 2008

    These look delicious, will definitely make them. Great to be able to tap into all of this from down here in Australia. I am looking for a recipe for white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies. Can anyone help me here.

  • bidisha1 25 Jul, 2008

    I made these and I used Valrhona chocolate, homemade caramels, hand churned butter, Madagascar vanilla, and sea salt that I made myself and they turned out FABULOUS! My friends and family raved about what an amazing baker I am and this post is just to brag about it. Ha ha ha ha ha! Seriously, these look awesome and I can't wait to make them. I may cut back a bit on the caramel as advised by the other posters. It seems like a lot, plus I can eat the caramels I don't use in the recipe

  • leaavon 25 Jul, 2008

    Oh my goodness...these are amazing!!! They answer ever single one of my cravings and I even let my kids...28, 24 and 20....have a few of them!

  • soapylulu 25 Jul, 2008

    A someone who is new to baking I appreciate finding out what works as substitutions in recipes.

  • liokee 25 Jul, 2008

    Does anyone suppose I could leave out the marshmallows and still have the recipe work? I'm really not a fan of them, but the rest of the recipe sounds great!

  • laurelsue 25 Jul, 2008

    I have been making these for a while - she had them in a magazine over a year ago - and I LOVE them. I recently found bags of caramel "drops" intended for melting, which I think would work great in this recipe. The bars are VERY rich, so you will need a glass of milk! First couple of times I made them, my boys wouldn't try them, but this last time, they finished them off. Girlfriends love them, of course. I don't do the parchment paper, and they come out fine as long as I greased the pan well.

  • asbmom 25 Jul, 2008

    Anyone can look at the ingredients and know if you are concerned about calories move on. Do you really need the calories listed? It sounds like a great cookie that many people have made and enjoyed. If calories are a concern make them, eat one, and pass the rest on to a friend.

  • rosetide 25 Jul, 2008

    Great recipe and fun to make with the kids. For the topping I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl first and the sprinkled it all over the top.

  • mimi311 25 Jul, 2008

    agree how many c alories, ?

  • Champagne 25 Jul, 2008

    Where is the nutritional information, content?

  • chefjanet 25 Jul, 2008

    These bar cookies are terrific. I use them as part of an assortment of cookies for my clients. After the Lemon Bars, they're the next to go!

  • dovecanyon 4 Jul, 2008

    This is one of those great basic recipes that can be altered easily to suit anyone's taste. We don't care for butterscotch, so I used peanut-butter chips, chocolate chips, marshmallows and chopped walnuts. Left out the caramels, based on other's comments. Good thing I made a double batch! Took them on our family camp-out, and they disappeared the first night! Too bad... would have been a good high-energy snack on the next day's long hike.

  • rjewett 27 May, 2008

    We liked it. But based on others comments I made changes. I used light brown rather than dark brown sugar because it's all I had; that might have helped with the richness. I also used only 1/2 cup of the butterscotch chips; and only 4oz bars of the white and semisweet chocolate. I used half of the carmels inside the bar only and would omit them the next time. They don't add much flavor and not only are they chewy, but sticky and hard to eat.

  • tpocock 23 May, 2008

    Has anyone tried this with Oatmeal, to help with whole grains?

  • mrboyton 19 Apr, 2008

    Update: I needed to bring something to a knitting party today. Since I had leftover ingredients and frankly wasn't too crazy about these the first time around, I thought they'd be perfect (I just started a diet). Well, fortunately (unfortuanately for my diet) omitting the caramels improved these 100% in my opinion. They are still mighty rich, but delicious. I also omitted the marshmallows.

  • mrboyton 7 Apr, 2008

    Not that this will come as a surprise based on the ingredients list, but these are extremely rich. I honestly found them to be a bit much, and I didn't add the marshmallows!! I made these for a get together with friends and the kids didn't seem to like them. If I do make these again, I will also omit the caramels, which were too chewy.

  • d dangerfield 31 Mar, 2008

    I made this for my son's classroom at school and the students and teachers devoured it - who doesn't like a sweet treat?i

  • krmez 13 Mar, 2008

    Instead of the traditional wrapped caramels, try using Werther's Chewy Caramels. Cut them into halves or thirds. I think these are terrific in this recipe which is one of the best out there.

  • DawnBird 28 Feb, 2008

    Wonderful cookie. Had a delightful favor. Something for everyone.

  • dianadee 18 Feb, 2008

    It was easy to make once all ingredients were chopped and ready. My kids loved them because they were chewy and sweet. I found it a little expensive for all the toppings, so I would save it for family.

  • ionaperez 18 Feb, 2008

    I made a batch of these for Valentine's Day and took these to work. They were sooo good. Everyone loved them!

  • skelley1024 14 Feb, 2008

    these were very yummy - my kids loved them!

  • CourtneyFFox 10 Feb, 2008

    This turned out all right. Everything was ok except for the caramel. I wasn't sure what kind of caramel to use, so I bought caramel candy chews. After they cooked, they were hard as rocks, making it difficult to cut and very hard to eat. What kind of caramel did others use? Thanks.

  • sarahthoreen 7 Feb, 2008

    SO SO good!!!!!! I made them today and my husband loves them!!!!

  • branders13 6 Feb, 2008

    On the show, she added white chocolate chunks to the recipe. It's not listed here though.

  • krmez 11 Jan, 2008

    Caramels sold out at Christmas in my small town so the hubby bought Werther's Chewy Caramels instead...they were actually better in this recipe than the regular ones. These are chewy and dense, loaded with goodies, and freeze well!

  • damiller5516 7 Jan, 2008

    I selected this cookie as one of my Christmas ones to hand out. It was a really nice change of pace; as it was a cookie bar. It was moiste, had lots of flavor; and a winner for all children. I will make this again.

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