Once I was driving by Best Buy during the holiday season, and a young couple were playing guitar and singing with a cup out for tips. I gave them a loaf of ginger-banana bread. They were happy, and that made me happy, too.
Cooking and baking are, for most of us, about sharing with others. If it’s just me at home, I’m happy with a bowl of salad or a grilled cheese sandwich. But if somene’s with me, I want to do more.
It’s nice when ‘doing more’ can also be simple and quick, isn’t it?
This recipe is just that; it’s simple to put together, then you stick it in the oven while you go visit with your friend or whomever is so blessed to be in your kitchen with you, and then the timer goes off! Ding! Time to eat together!
This recipe is also really versatile. It’s got a great cookie dough base, and you can change up the additions as often as you like.
To make these “All-American,” for example, I added dried fruit: blueberries, cherry-infused cranberries, and white chocolate chips. Red, white and blue for all our patriotic holidays: Memorial Day, Presidents Day, Veterans Day, Election Day, Independence Day, and any other day that makes you feel patriotic. Like Monday. Or your day off.
You could make them with red and pink candies for Valentines Day, or white chocolate chips and green candies for St. Patrick’s day; you get the idea. The sky is the limit.
Here’s the video my awesome friend Matt Egelhoff and I made of how to make the cookie bars; let me know what you think! My first how-to video ever!
Mama Steph’s “All-American” cookie bars
* 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon vanilla
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup white chocolate chip
*1/2 to 1 cup dried blueberries
*1/2 to 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 9×9 or 9×13 baking dish with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
3. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
4. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries.
5. Use a spatula to press the dough into the 9×9 or 9×13 baking dish. Smooth evenly across the top of the dough.
6. Bake for 25-35 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still soft, being careful not to overbake. (time will vary based on the size of your pan)
(I have accidentally overbaked these before, and they still taste great, they just we more crispy than I would have preferred. I like cookies and bars soft and chewy.)
7. When cool enough to touch, remove bars by lifting foil, and place on cutting board. Use a sharp knife when somewhat cooled to cut into squares.
Copyright 2012 by Stephanie-Hill Frazier. All rights reserved.