Hello from New York! I just arrived late last night from Florida, and, well, aside from the lack of palm trees, it pretty much feels the same. Gotta love a classic summer heat wave! I think it’s best to embrace the warmer temperatures, because we all know it’ll change soon enough. Nonetheless, I see lots of iced coffee, swimming, and ice cream in my future.
Speaking of ice cream, I’d say a big scoop of vanilla (or cookie dough) would be the perfect accompaniment to these perfect chocolate chunk cookie bars. What makes them so perfect, you ask? Well, if I had to name 3 ingredients that make them perfect, they’d be:
Brown sugar. And only brown sugar, no white. It makes the bars chewy and soft. Even better, using brown sugar exclusively means the bars will actually be softer the day after you bake them. Love baked goods with staying power!
Cornstarch. It’s one of the secrets to my Levain Bakery copycat cookies, as well as one of my more recent chocolate chip cookie recipes. Like the brown sugar, cornstarch helps soften the cookie bars. And the great thing about these bars is they still have crispy edges, but the cornstarch ensures they have that soft, doughy-like interior we all know and love.
Chocolate chunks. Slash chocolate disks, or whatever larger chocolate piece you can get your hands on. I actually used these Hersheys baking melts I found at the store a couple months ago, but any thing would do — you could even chop up a couple chocolate bars. Using larger chocolate pieces instead of chocolate chips means more melty chocolate. I’m pretty sure melty chocolate never does any harm.
Must. go. find. ice. cream.
[print_this]Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
Super-soft cookie bars loaded with semisweet chocolate chunks. If you can, prepare the dough a day or two before baking and refrigerate until baking — this enhances the flavors of the cookie dough, and also makes for a “doughy” cookie bar.
Makes about 16 bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (if using regular AP flour, add 1/4 cup)
- 2 cups semisweet (or dark) chocolate chunks
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla; mix until smooth.
In a separate mixing bowl, stir the salt, baking soda, cornstarch, and flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
Place the dough in a large plastic bag or container. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours, or up to 48 hours.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown (the bars may seem “doughy” when you remove them from the oven, but trust me, this is a good thing!). Allow the bars to cool before cutting. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days, or freeze extra.[/print_this]