Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cookie Bars

It started with boredom. My boyfriend Zach and I had nothing to do. We threw a few ideas around. We are both culinary students, but he's the cook, I'm the baker, though we're always eager to learn new techniques from each other. Finally, we decided to make cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. One GIANT cookie. But then we thought, 'What if we add peanut butter? And peanut butter chips? And...' the list went on and on. We made them and they were delicious! But we decided to make them again and tweak the recipe.

So like mad scientists, we experimented and came up with what we think is an AWESOME cookie bar recipe. Seriously, SO good. They're chewy, but still a bit crispy on the outside. With every bite, you get peanut butter, chocolate and white chocolate, and just a little crunch of pecan. But one warning before you make them- They have a tendency to disappear very quickly!

This recipe is very flexible and holds up well to additions of new ingredients. Our first batch we used chocolate and peanut butter chips, and no white chips, and added coconut and oatmeal. You could try adding toffee chips, dried cranberries, peanuts, anything you can find in your pantry! We photographed the first batch, hence the mini chocolate chips and missing white chocolate chips!

It's easiest to fold in the chips and nuts by hand, so they're evenly distributed.

Your hands are the best tools!

With the topping (it dries but doesn't harden, it's perfect!)

Without the topping..And the best part about baking?

Sharing is caring. These went to my boss!

Kitchen Sink Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cup Crisco (3/4 cup each Butter Crisco and Plain Crisco)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brewed coffee
4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon espresso powder
6 oz peanut butter chips
6 oz chocolate chips
6 oz white chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Topping (optional)
1/2 cup each chocolate and peanut butter chips
2 tablespoons butter
heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375. Cover a sheet pan with non-stick foil.

Cream together Crisco, brown and granulated sugars, and vanilla. Microwave the peanut butter for 20 seconds, or until softened. Mix in the eggs, peanut butter and coffee. Combine flour, salt, cocoa powder and espresso powder and slowly mix in. Finally, fold in 6 oz of chocolate chips, 6 oz peanut butter chips, 6 oz of white chocolate chips, and pecans.

Using your hands, evenly spread the dough on the sheet pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are slighty browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center is removed clean. Let cool, and remove from pan by lifting the foil.

For the topping, use a double boiler to melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter chips. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and enough heavy cream to make a smooth sauce, about 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and let cool. Spoon into a pastry bag, and drizzle on top of the bars (or at this point- GIANT cookie). Let the topping set, and cut into bars using a pizza cutter. Store the bars in a covered container.

1 comment:

  1. Well, that's just genius, I would say. Peanut butter, coffee, cocoa ... yeah, I'm totally diggin' these.