Thursday, August 5, 2010

Interruptions of a Parenthetical Nature: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Pin It Now! When I'm feeling particularly on top of things (which is almost never) I craftily solve the problem of curbing the "must write a blog entry NOW" bug by typing it into my email as a draft to post later.

So I did that. On July 8th. I'll give you a moment to think about what the date is today. At least it wasn't an entire month? Just almost...

Either way, I am happy to finally give you the following recipe, and promise that my next one will be posted in a much more timely fashion :o)

Want to know more about the recipe I chose? Click below!

I was in a baking quandry. Which is less stressful than other quandries, but not by much. I knew that I wanted something dessert-related, because it's delicious and, well, honestly, it's that special time of the month when chocolate is necessary. But I wasn't sure what form it should take. My sister suggested gingerbread (she's been longing for it ever since Christmas). I thought maybe Alton Brown's delicious chocolate chip cookies. My stomach said brownies! My brain then spat out Larry King declaring "Boooooring!" (I blame 97.3, which I listen to every morning, for that particular earworm). I desperately looked through my cookbooks for inspiration.

To make a long story short (too late!) I figured I'd pull out my cookbook by Dorie Greenspan (she of the amazing awesome brownies) and make blondies! However, because we don't have any butterscotch chips in the house (my house in not exactly the most gourmet, let's face it) and I don't like nuts in my cookies (sorry!)

Chocolate Chip Bars (aka Blondies)
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients (aka Got Your Mis En Place?)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 ounces/1 cup chocolate chips
**1 cup butterscotch chips
**chopped walnuts
**grated coconut


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and put it on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best you can.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert onto a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.

So, I was a little skeptical about these when they came out of the oven--as I hadn't put in all the "exciting add-ins" that Dorie prescribed, they became very dense, very gooey bars. With 40 minutes of cooking time, they're done but very wet (which is kind of an oxymoron, but will make sense when you break one open still warm from the oven, as they have a distinct crumb texture but still goo), so let them rest like I didn't (it doesn't help when the smell has your entire household standing raptly in front of the stove while they bake and practically dancing with impatience while you let them momentarily rest on a rack).

I had one this morning before work (what? chocolate for breakfast is the breakfast of champions!) and they are exactly what I wanted: a dense, chewy bar of chocolate chip cookie-goodness. Yum.

While I'm sure they're amazing when you actually have all the ingredients, they were exceedingly delicious and a definite repeat recipe. Yum.

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