Chocolate French Silk Pie Bars with Graham Toffee Crust
Creamy and decadent, these Chocolate French Silk Pie Bars have all of the elements of the beloved pie on top of a delightful graham toffee crust. Pretty enough for holidays and special occasions, but easy enough to make year-round, these dessert bars are a guaranteed hit!
Easy, Decadent Pie Bars
This recipe for Chocolate French Silk Pie Bars with Graham Toffee Crust is out of this world delicious! It began as a Thanksgiving dessert recipe, but our family fell in love with it so much that we can’t resist making it throughout the year as well. It’s rich and creamy and perfect for holidays and special occasions, while also easy enough to make any time.
I’ve been a fan of French silk pie since I was just a kid. And these dessert bars were inspired by my French silk pie recipe with a delicious salted pecan crust. I opted for a graham cracker and toffee crust this time – and I truly can’t decide which one I like better! They’re both so good!
Bonus! For those of you who get frustrated with making traditional pie crust (pick me!), this press-in crust is a surefire way to create a dessert to be proud of. The slices of bars come out crisp and clean. No stress necessary!
What You’ll Need
The graham toffee crust is made with just a handful of ingredients, while the chocolate pie filling is made with two kinds of chocolate, a little espresso powder, and a few other common baking ingredients.
FOR THE GRAHAM TOFFEE CRUST:
- Graham cracker crumbs – You can either buy the crumbs or crush some graham crackers yourself.
- Kosher salt
- Toffee bits – I use Heath Bits ‘O Brickle Toffee Bits. This adds delightful flavor and texture to the crust!
- Unsalted butter – Melt the butter for the crust.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE FRENCH SILK PIE FILLING:
- Chocolate – Use equal parts bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate.
- Unsalted butter – Soften the butter for the filling.
- Powdered sugar – Sweetens the filling and helps to make it light, soft, and creamy.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Espresso powder – Enhances the chocolate flavor. Don’t worry, it won’t make your bars taste like coffee!
- Eggs – Use pasteurized eggs since the filling does not get baked.
- For serving – I like to top these pie bars with freshly whipped and sweetened cream and some chocolate shavings. Pretty and delicious!
How to Make Chocolate French Silk Pie Bars
These dessert bars are easy to make and come together in about 30 minutes!
- Make the crust. Combine everything but the butter in a food processor, pulsing just enough to break down the toffee bits. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened by the butter.
- Bake. Pour the mixture into a 8″ x 8″ pan and press into an evenly layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
- Melt the chocolate. Melt the chocolates in the microwave, being careful not to scorch. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Make the filling. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then drizzle in the chocolate. Add the vanilla, espresso powder, and salt. Beat to combine. Whisk in one egg and beat for 5 minutes. Repeat with each egg, 5 minutes with each one.
- Chill. Pour the chocolate filling over the cooled crust, spreading evenly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before enjoying.
Tips for Success
To make these bars as decadent and silky as possible, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Use quality chocolate. For both the semisweet and bittersweet chocolate, it’s important to use a quality chocolate. You will taste the difference! I most often use Ghiradelli chocolate baking bars.
- Beat for the directed time. 20 minutes of beating may seem like a lot but that full five minutes per egg is important. Otherwise, you won’t get the appropriate silky, fluffy texture.
- How to achieve clean cuts like in my photos. Line your pan with a strip of foil first. Simply fold a 16” long piece of foil into an 8” x 16” strip and place in an 8” square baking pan, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Press the graham toffee crust mix into the bottom of the pan that is lined with foil and bake. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe as usual. Once the bars are chilled, run a knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen it, and then carefully lift the bars from the pan by pulling up on the foil lining. Place bars on a cutting board and then slice into squares. To get clean cuts, dip a long, thin, non-serrated knife into a tall, warm glass of water and then wipe knife clean after each cut.
- Fully chill the finished dessert. It’s important to thoroughly chill the French silk pie bars. This not only makes the bars easy to cut into clean slices, but also gives the filling the optimal texture.
- Serve the bars chilled. I believe that French silk pie should always be served chilled. This will give it the best texture and flavor!
Waiting for these silk pie bars to chill properly is the hardest part of making them! But it’s important to let the dessert fully chill in the refrigerator until it’s time to enjoy.
Top individual pieces of dessert with whipped cream (I REALLY recommend homemade whipped cream here!) and chocolate shavings. I like to use bittersweet but semisweet or milk chocolate works too. Then dive in and savor every bite!
How to Store Leftovers
- How to store leftovers. Leftover chocolate French silk pie bars will last in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Cover tightly or place in an airtight container.
- Can I freeze French silk pie bars? Yes, you can freeze these dessert bars for up to a month. Store in an airtight container and allow to defrost before serving.
More Dessert Bar Recipes:
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Bars
- Easy Chess Pie Bars
- Lemon Bars
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
for the graham toffee crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup toffee bits (I used Heath Bits ‘O Brickle Toffee Bits
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
for the chocolate French silk pie filling:
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 4 large pasteurized eggs, at room temperature
- freshly whipped and sweetened cream
- bittersweet chocolate shavings
- For the graham toffee crust: Preheat oven to 325° F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and toffee bits. Pulse a few times to combine and to break down the toffee bits just a bit. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times, until mixture is combined and evenly moistened by the butter.
- Pour mixture out into an 8” x 8” pan, and firmly press into an even layer onto the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and slightly golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.*
- For the chocolate French silk pie filling: In a small microwave-safe bowl, gently melt chocolates in the microwave, taking care to not scorch. Set aside and let cool until chocolate mixture is at room temperature.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixture, using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle chocolate over butter/sugar mixture and beat on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla, espresso powder, and salt, and beat until combined.
- Switch to the whisk attachment. Then add one egg and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed. Repeat with remaining three eggs, beating the mixture for an additional 5 minutes with each egg addition, for a total of 20 minutes of beating.
- Pour chocolate filling into cooled graham toffee crust, spreading evenly with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until thoroughly chilled before serving.
To serve, top with freshly whipped, sweetened cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
*Note: to achieve ultra clean cuts of bars like you see in my photos, line your pan with a strip of foil first. Simply fold a 16'' long piece of foil into an 8'' x 16'' strip and place in an 8'' square baking pan, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Press the graham toffee crust mix into the bottom of the pan that is lined with foil and bake. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe as usual. Once the bars are chilled, run a knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen it, and then carefully lift the bars from the pan by pulling up on the foil lining. Place bars on a cutting board and then slice into squares. To get clean cuts, dip a long, thin, non-serrated knife into a tall, warm glass of water and then wipe knife clean after each cut.
The filling portion of this recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s French Silk Pie.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published in 2015 and then updated in 2021.