Do you guys have friends who suddenly invite you to events the day they happen? I was lucky this year that I didn’t receive such an invitation, since finding something to bring to an impromptu potluck can be difficult. This is especially true for where I live — everyone’s vegetarian/health nut/anti-Walmart-bakery, so trying to figure out what won’t insult the host(ess) has been a problem for me.
I’ve found that desserts kind of slide, especially if they look simple — and what could look simpler than bar cookies? I can whip up a batch of these bar cookies in the same amount of time it takes my sister to get ready (approximately an hour), so it’s our go-to recipe when a party suddenly pops up. The original recipe was from my family’s landlady when I was growing up, but we’ve edited it through the years.
Chocolate Chip Bars
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened or melted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, edit volume as per your taste)
1/2 cup dark/milk/white chocolate chips/chocolate pieces/raisins/dates/other dried fruits (edit volume as per your taste)
1/3 to 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional, sweetened or unsweetened)
Heat oven to 375*F. Grease and lightly flour 13″x9″x2″ baking pan.
Mix granulated and brown sugars, butter and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat in egg.
Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt (can be sifted together beforehand).
When dough is formed, mix in nuts/chocolatechips/raisins/cocount/other add-ins.
Spread mixed dough throughout pan evenly and bake 12-14 minutes or until light brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting into roughly 2″x2″ squares.
Makes about 3 dozen, store in sealable container.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can edit the mix-ins to whatever suits your tastes, since the dough has a good balance of salty and sweet. I’ve found dark chocolate, pecans, and unsweetened coconut shavings really taste good together.