Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

My husband is committed to chocolate chip cookies. He is also precise and thus an excellent baker. He has tinkered with this recipe over the last 8 months and has permitted its public debut here. . . in time for Valentine’s Day, which corny as it is, is also the anniversary of our first date in 1993.

 

My son now prefers these bars to chocolate chip cookies. They get crispy and a bit cakey around the edges and the middle stays gooey and chewy if you don’t over bake. The bit of oats–in two forms–dark brown sugar and finely chopped chocolate are all part of the symphony here. I like larger bits of chocolate just fine so skip that step if you’d like. If you like thin, crispy chocolate chip cookies these are not going to do it for you but if you’re more in the chewy, gooey camp, make them!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Brian’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup rolled oats, chopped up a quite a bit so that it’s like a course flour almost (omit in a pinch and use 2 1/4 cups flour)

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened at room temperature, plus more for the pan

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, not packed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (he uses Ghiradelli 60%), chopped up a bit (see headnote)

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup rolled oats

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

 

1. Generously butter a 9″ x 9″ pan (8 x 8 will not work well) and set aside.

 

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and chopped oats together in a medium bowl.

 

3. In a large bowl cream butter with sugars until well combined. Stir in eggs, one at a time and then vanilla. Beat well.

 

4. Stir in flour mixture until well combined, then add chocolate and oats.

 

5. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Level with an off-set spatula if you have one. Brian bakes these on convection for about 24-25 minutes. The baking is a little tricky. They should be well-browned around the edges and have puffed up in the center. A tester should not come out dry though. It will still seem moist in the center though they might look over baked. As they cool they will deflate in the center and still be chewy/gooey after this amount of baking time, in our oven and with our pan. Darker pans tend to bake more quickly and ovens vary so you may have a little trial and error and test after 22 or 23 minutes if you have a dark pan.

 

6. Let cool in the pan on a rack for at least 5 minutes, if you can restrain yourself. Cut into bars and enjoy. These bars keep well, better than cookies. Store fully cooled bars in the pan with a plastic bag tightly over it on the counter for up to 3 days. Or remove bars from pan and put in a sealed tin.