Monday, August 12, 2013

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chunk Toasted Walnut Cookie Bars

This is a great basic recipe for Cookie Bars (aka Blondies). When you don't want to spend a lot of time preparing cookie sheets, scooping cookie dough and going back and forth to the oven, the Cookie Bar is the way to go. You just spread the batter in the pan and bake, all in one shot!
This recipe can be adapted using any of your favorite ingredients - M&M's, White Chocolate Chips and Cranberries, Mini Peanut Butter Cups, I've even thrown in some chopped up pretzels with the chocolate for a sweet/salty combination. But my all time favorite combination has to be chocolate chunks and toasted walnuts. If you're short on time, you can skip toasting the walnuts, but the toasting process adds a lot of flavor.
I hope you enjoy this easy recipe as much as I do!

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chunk Toasted Walnut Cookie Bars
Makes approx. 12-16 bars

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup golden brown sugar (or you can substitute light brown)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted walnuts (see how to below)
12 ounces dark chocolate chunks (I like to use Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips because they're larger in size than standard Chocolate Chips. Each bag is 10 ounces so I use a little more than 1 bag)


Preheat oven to 350f

Line a 13"x9" baking pan with nonstick foil or spray regular foil with nonstick spray.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (approx. 2-3 minutes).

Mix in the vanilla, then mix in the eggs one at a time mixing until combined after each addition and scraping down the bowl after each addition to ensure eggs are properly incorporated.

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix at low speed just until combined. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chunks.

Spread batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350f for approx. 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan.

When the bars have cooled and set, remove from pan and cut into bars.


Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.

How to toast nuts: With oven at 350f, spread nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven, check and shaking pan often, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Alternatively, you can do this in a skillet over med-low heat, just be sure to check and shake the pan every now and then to prevent burning. The nuts are done when they're lightly toasted and fragrant.

Adapted from: Barefoot Contessa

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