Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Is there anything better in life than scraping your finger along the inside of a bowl after you just made a batch of cookies?  I mean if I am being honest, can anyone wait until the bowl is empty before sticking a few fingers in to snag some dough?  Cookie dough fans rejoice at the recipe I am about to share.  If you don’t like cookie dough, well, I can assure you that you are missing out on pure bliss.  These cookie bars have a nice golden outside crust, but are equally as chewy on the inside.  You can easily interchange some ingredients if you do not want to make the vegan version (I will include below), but I feel they are immediately more healthy by being vegan.  I can eat four two of them and not feel as guilty.  It’s the little things in life…

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The elements that make the recipe vegan is the substitution of butter for Earth Balance spread and eggs for applesauce.  You can most certainly enjoy the cookies by making them the traditional way, but I promise that you will not notice a difference and fool everyone.  I should probably buy stock in Earth Balance because it is the staple form of butter in our home.  If you do decide to use butter in this recipe, I suggest a high quality pure butter.

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Begin by combining your butter, shortening, white sugar, brown sugar, applesauce and vanilla with an electric mixer.  You want to whip the ingredients 3-5 minutes until they are fluffy and thoroughly combined.  Add in the baking soda, salt and half of the flour.  Mix the ingredients until a wet dough forms, and then add in the rest of the flour.  The dough should be sticky, but not very wet.  Pour in the chocolate chips and stir them in with a spatula or spoon until everything is mixed together and there are chocolate chips throughout.  You can cheat and use an electric mixer to combine the chocolate chips, but you will still want to mix everything with a spoon to be sure the sides of the bowl are combined with the dough.

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Grease a 13 x 9 pan with more Earth Balance or Pam.  I use Pam for baking because it is mixed with flour and works like a charm.  Spread the dough out across the pan and fill it in until it reaches all the corners.

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Bake the bars at 375 degrees (F) for 16-17 minutes.  This is the MOST CRUCIAL step in making these cookie bars.  After 16-17 minutes, the edges of the pan will be a glorious golden brown, but the center will slightly jiggle and seem uncooked.  Take the bars out of the oven!  They will continue to cook in the hot pan and you want to be sure that they remain chewy and delicious.

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Now you can either slice up the bars after a few minutes and enjoy the ooey gooey chocolate chips cookie dough texture right out of the oven….

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…or you can wait 1-2 hours until the bars completely set and have a more solid consistency.

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The bars are perfect to bring to a work event, family dinner, or to make every single Sunday and enjoy through the week like I have the past 4 weeks.  I promise you that these cookie bars will not disappoint!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter spread (or high quality butter)

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use a mix of mini and regular sized semi-sweet)

 

The cookie bars will keep best covered in your refrigerator, or in an air-tight container on your counter for up to a week! Enjoy!

-Amanda

Questions For You

Are you a cookie dough person?

What are your favorite type of cookies?

 

 

 

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