I'd like to pretend that I had a reason for making these cookie bars, like a birthday or a party in the office, but I just wanted something sweet. I'd also like to pretend I didn't eat the whole batch myself, but it happens. Sometimes you just need a lot of cookie bars...
These particular cookie bars are pretty low maintenance as far as cookies/bars go because you get to just press the dough into the pan - no rolling and no scooping. I like to eat them plain or top them with whatever I happen to have at home!
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 24 small cookie dippers or 12 cookie bars
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or granulated sugar, see note below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips, melted (optional, see note below)
- 5 saltines, crushed (optional, see note below)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8x8 pan with parchment paper (or foil) and grease.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 mintues. Mix in vanilla and yolk until well combined. Slowly mix in flour and salt.
When dough is fully mixed, lightly flour hands and turn dough into prepared pan. Using fingertips, press dough into pan until evenly distributed. Baked until golden around the edges but soft in the middle, 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Note: You can use light brown, dark brown, or granulated sugar in this recipe. I personally like the molasses taste of brown sugar but using granulated sugar allows the vanilla flavor in these cookie bars to shine through.
Another note: You can top these bars with whatever you want but I included ingredients to make chocolate and saltine bars. Simply spread the melted chocolate across the top of the bars and sprinkle with saltines. Allow to set in the fridge before cutting and serving. I'm all for throwing whatever you have at home on top - milk or dark chocolate and anything salty, sweet, or crunchy (potato chips, pretzels, M&Ms...).