I know what you’re thinking. These look like brownies. But they’re not — they’re crispy, chewy, chocolate cookie bars. Strange when food fools you like that, you know?
…sort of like this past weekend when I was in a frozen yogurt shop in Orlando and sampled butter popcorn flavored froyo. Seriously! What will they think of next? I wasn’t a fan, but I can see how the movie theater popcorn fanatic could be.
Anyway… back to these bars. A couple weeks ago, I had what I planned to bake as chocolate chip cookie bars in the oven, when, half way through baking, I had the urge to run a knife through the half-cooked bars, marbling the melty dark chocolate chips right into the cookie dough. Good decision Liz, good decision!
In addition to swirling the melted dark chocolate chips mid-bake, these cookie bars are also uniquely crisp, crunchy, and chewy — thanks in part to browned butter, walnuts, and oats, respectively.
You certainly don’t have to brown the butter if you don’t have time, but I highly recommend trying sometime (see my instructions on how to brown butter here). It lends a nutty taste to whatever you bake or cook that you really can’t achieve any other way.
The quick cooking oats were a last-minute addition to this recipe, but I love the way they added texture to the bars. They give the cookie bars extra chewiness, contrasting the crisp edges of the bars perfectly.
And if I haven’t convinced you to make these yet — the best part of making cookie bars? In my opinion, it’s being able to take the cookie dough straight from the bowl into the pan — no need to roll out individual cookies! It doesn’t get much simpler. 🙂
[print_this]Dark Chocolate & Walnut Cookie Bars with Browned Butter
Melted dark chocolate is swirled through these crisp, chewy cookie bars as they bake, lending a rich flavor to every bite. Walnuts are an optional addition for crunch, but you can substitute any other nut or dried fruit.
Makes about 24 bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup unsalted butter, browned*
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs; mix until blended. Add the baking soda and salt; mix until blended. Add the flour and oats; mix until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and use a knife to cut through the dough, swirling it in the process (the chocolate should be melting into the dough). Bake an additional 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out nearly clean. Allow the bars to cool before cutting into bars.
*If using browned butter, allow it to cool slightly before making the cookie dough. If not using browned butter, be sure your butter is softened before making the cookie dough.[/print_this]