Wednesday 16 June 2010

SHF Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

When I read that Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook was hosting the Sugar High Friday event (created by Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess) with a theme of cookie bars, I saw a window of opportunity open. I grew up with 'slices' not tray bakes or bars but have embraced choc chip cookies with a passion. I was interested to see how they would work as a ‘bar’.

I searched the internet for a recipe that would make bars that tasted just as good as choc chip cookies. I found a recipe for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars on My Kitchen Café which had come from Cook’s Illustrated and been tried by a few other bloggers.

I even had a need for them. I had decided I would take some food when I visited my brother’s new baby Ashton because I had appreciated those who had brought me food when I had Sylvia. I thought they would love these. I also made some zucchini slice that wasn’t very popular in my household. However it is something that my mum would make for us when I was little so I thought it was good comfort food. (Recipe to come.)

It was the choc chip cookie bars that was the winning recipe. The mixture looked right and when it came out of the oven in the evening I exercised some self control but decided to try them warm before I went to bed. It was so so so good. I gave E a taste and he said I should just give Andy and Erica the zucchini slice.

Of course I took them most of the choc chip cookie bars as well as the zucchini slice. Ashton was so tiny and all swaddled up in a rug against the winter cold. She lay in my arms sleeping for most of our visit. Her big brother, Cooper, and Sylvia weren’t too fussed about the baby. They were more interested in sitting at the little table and sharing food. Once Cooper saw the bars he wasn’t happy until he got one. But he did give Sylvia a small piece. They both devoured them enthusiastically.

I am sold on making choc chip cookies in bars. Though they take longer to cook and longer to cool this is not necessarily a bad thing. I often forget about cookies because their cooking time is so short and I often struggle to find room for a big batch to cool on a wire rack. It also saves time on spooning out individual cookies and having to bake in a few batches as they usually don’t all fit in my oven's top shelf. So I think the bars are more convenient although once sliced into bars they are a little more fragile.

But the most important thing is just how good these taste. They are indeed chewy, buttery and packed with chocolate. I think I could just about call these blondies, especially if I used butterscotch chips or white choc chips. Alternatively you could see it as a giant cookie. But whatever they are called, this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Banana, cranberry and raspberry smoothie
This time two years ago: The pitfalls of pumpkin bread
This time three years ago: Presto Pasta Night - Red Russian

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Adapted very slightly from My Kitchen Café
Makes a 9 x 13-inch tin of bars

170g butter
1 cup (lightly packed) brown sugar
½ cup castor sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups and 2 tbsp white plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 cups chocolate chips (I used dark choc chips but other types are fine)

Preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F). Grease and line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan (lamington tin).

Melt butter in a large mixing bowl and stir in the brown sugar. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour, salt and bicarb of soda and gently mix until almost combined. Add choc chops and stir in until just combined. It will be a stiff mixture.

Spread mixture into the lamington tin and use the back of the spoon to smooth down. Bake for 24-28 minutes or until top is light golden brown and the mixture edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Cool in the tin and then cut into small squares or rectangles in the pan. (The suggestion from My Kitchen Café is 2 inch squares but these are quite filling so I cut smaller squares.)

On the Stereo:
Epoche Eclipse 30 year anthology: Hawkwind


  1. I'm so glad SHF converted you, Johanna! These look marvelous. I grew up with brownies b/c they were much, much easier for my busy mom than creaming butter and sugar, rolling dough, then using a cookie cutter.

    Thank you for your sweet contribution!

    (P.S. - I'll try the zucchini slice. ; ))

  2. Such a great idea!!! Yum!!!

  3. Yes please absolutely yes hands out nom nom nom. (Sometimes I devolve a little when faced with something that looks this simply-deliciously-yummy.) You can really tell from the texture that they aren't brownies but cookies! As I, too, often skip cookies because of the trickiness in timing and the tediousness of portioning them out, these are a winner winner.

    (But I do very much want to see the zucchini slice too!)

  4. These look so perfect - nice and squidgy as well as chocolatey. I just made some very disappointing brownies at the weekend and would far rather have had your bars.

  5. What can I say - these look scrumptious!!

  6. That looks so good! I really want a piece, or two.

  7. sugar high fridays!! I love it....and those chocolate chip bars look incredible!! count me in on that sugar high!!

  8. Ooh they look great and it's much easier to make a slice! I like how abundant the choc chips are! :D

  9. Thanks Susan - I would think that brownies taste so good that that is reason enough to make them - but I agree they are easy too - glad to have a little SHF inspiration in my baking :-) PS I know need to know if any cookie recipe can convert to a cookie bar????

    Thanks Vicki - highly recommend it

    Thanks Hannah - oh now I really wish there were a few left then I would have one for you and one for me and a few for 'ron - these are so good you wont even mind a little devolution and your knuckles dragging along the ground :-)

    Thanks Choclette - they are quite solid when cooled but when warm have that wonderful soft just out of the oven squishiness! I know what you mean about disappointing brownies - had my own batch of disappointment recently

    Thanks Lorraine - the choc chips seemed almost decadent because there were so many - but I love them that way!

  10. thanks Cakelaw - oh they are!

    Thanks Anh - me too - I wish I had a piece or two left :-(

    Thanks Chef Dennis - you are most welcome to join in this sugar high!

  11. Shucks, chocolate chips ... always good. These look super good.
    I gave E a taste and he said I should just give Andy and Erica the zucchini slice. ... that's pretty funny!

  12. I often used to make my favourite choc chip cookie recipe as a cake at university and it came out looking as thick and soft and lovely as yours did (yum!). I wonder if the recipe needs tweaking to make it succeed as a bar - mine certainly worked ok untweaked.

  13. Oh my Johanna - talk about YUM! I see a batch of thesebeing made in the not too distant future :)

  14. The picture of the raw cookie dough looks so divine, I don't think I would have had any left to bake in the oven ;) DEFINITELY making this sometime soon!

  15. They look lovely Johanna - I like the idea of cookies as slices as I too always misjudge when cookies are done.

  16. Thanks Tanna - I am a sucker for anything with choc chips

    Thanks Lysy - that is good to hear that cookie dough works as a cake - am sure it would work as a bar in that cake

    Thanks Lisa - I hope they make an appearance in your life - you wont regret it

    Thanks Christine - the cookie dough did look tempting because the choc chips were so glossy (and yes it tasted delish)

    Thanks C - oh good to know I am not the only one to find it hard to judge when cookies are done

  17. "Chewy, buttery and packed with chocolate" why didn't I think to make bars tonight? I just baked up Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies and they were oh so good but for some reason, I am now craving Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars! A girl can never have enough chips you know:)

    Thanks for sharing, Johanna. The zucchini slices sound mighty intriguing...

    P.S. Have you ever played the Picnic Game? Drop by my blog, we're playing again this year...

  18. I cannot express how entirely delicious those look! I, too, am a big fan of choc chip cookie bars or slices, for the same reasons you mention. And don't forget that the middle cooks less than the edges, resulting in a more chewy, gooey, yummy bar!

  19. I've never had a proper cookie bar either - traybakes in my family too. These look divine, thick and chewy. yum

  20. Thanks Louise - I love oatmeal in choc chip cookies - would love to marry your cookies and my bars! And yes I love picnics - so will have a look at the game

    Thanks Ricki - love the gooey chewy middle!!!!

    Thanks Katie - you should try it - I am sure you would love it

  21. I am having these, there is no two ways about it. Wow, the look good. I did laugh at E's suggestion, I could imagine Graham saying something similar :)

  22. I made a batch on the weekend. It was so nice, needless to say the slice did not last long.

  23. Thanks Jacqueline - I think they are definitely have-to-have baking

    Thanks Katt - glad you enjoyed - I understand why they disappeared quickly

  24. I remember when I was really young, we used to ALWAYS make chocolate chip cookies in bar form instead of as regular cookies. And I just wanted to make regular cookies instead of rectangular ones haha. But now I really miss chocolate chip cookie bars so will be saving this recipe. I love how thick they are!

  25. Nice to see you got this same recipe from
    the Lizzygoesdutch blog , they make a great slice and very tasty


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