Baby Blondies

Rest assured everyone, I am not pregnant. I know you all recently enjoyed Nick’s engagement post, but trust me, it’ll be a few more years before you get a baby post. Our neighbor (Harvey’s mom), however, IS pregnant! Yay! We’re very excited for her, and I wanted to make her something fun and baby-themed.

A couple weeks ago, Melanie was over while I was making Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. We were talking about all our favorite kinds of cookies (not that I EVER talk about food), and Melanie mentioned cookie bars and how she loves them but can’t find the mix she used to use for them anymore. Pshhh… mix, shmix, I thought, I can make those from scratch! I told her I’d work on it. It took a while for me to get around to them, but I didn’t forget!

Of course I take any baking activity as an opportunity to use fun themes. I decided to spruce up the bars with some baby colors! I didn’t feel like going to the craft store to get pink and blue M&M’s, so yes, I bought a bag of Easter ones and picked through the entire bag to get the colors I needed. (I also placed each M&M carefully onto the bars by hand, so that none of them were bunny-side-up). Nick is currently working on polishing off a big bowl of yellows, greens and purples.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

(from Cate’s World Kitchen)

  • 2 1/8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • M&M’s (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Collect your ingredients.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.

In another bowl, mix together butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Once combined, add the eggs and vanilla and beat together.

Add half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Add the second half and mix well.

Fold in the chocolate chips. The original recipe called for 2 cups but I only used one because, well, that’s all I had! It seemed like there were enough, though!

Ok, this part is very important. If you don’t do this part, you’ll end up making a mess of your bars when you try to get them out of the pan! Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. SPRAY the pan (especially the sides) with nonstick spray, then lay the parchment paper in the bottom.

Spread the dough evenly in the pan, and decorate with M&M’s, if desired.

Bake about 24 minutes, until golden brown.

Let the bars cool in the pan about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Carefully flip the cookie out onto a cooling rack. Place another cooling rack on top, and flip so that the cookie is right side up. This worked really well, and wasn’t disastrous at all (I thought it might be).

Cool completely, then cut into bars.

Cut them any size you like, on a cutting board with a long, sharp knife.

I didn’t actually get to try a bar, as they weren’t cool enough to cut last night before I went to bed, and I didn’t think they were an acceptable breakfast. But let me tell you, the dough was fabulous. I really didn’t even need to wash any of my dishes, because I licked them clean. I’m happy to report that so far, I am salmonella-free.

I’m hoping Melanie is still in her chocolate cake craving phase… I’m thinking these might be a good substitute. 😉

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