Ruth Wakefield's Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
If you are ever in a position where your child tells you shortly before bedtime that he has to bring a baked good to school tomorrow or it’s 8:30 AM and you decide, as I did this morning, that two mini-loaves of banana bread and some 3-year old animal crackers aren’t enough to put on the refreshment table after church, then this is the recipe for you, from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion cookbook. It literally took me 15 minutes to mix up, even toasting the nuts, a step not called for in the original recipe but one I almost never skip any more because it makes such a difference to the flavor.
I actually put extra nuts in these, thinking that might have a slight deterrent effect on the children and steer them toward the animal crackers. I had to take myself off the church refreshment committee a couple of years ago because I found myself feeling so uncharitable towards the children, who tend to descend on the food in the manner that the Assyrians do in the famous poem—“like a wolf on the fold, with their cohorts all gleaming in purple and gold.” Now I handle it by not watching, or I find myself muttering things like, “Don’t your parents give you breakfast?”, or “Just take one, now!” and before you know it people are looking at me strangely. Somehow I don’t think that’s the proper spirit in which to volunteer this type of service.
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 1/4 cups brown brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used pecans), toasted
- 2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 10X15 inch jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. (I substituted self-rising flour so was able to skip this step.) In large mixing bowl combine melted butter and brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Allow mixture to cool slightly. (I didn’t find this necessary, as adding all this sugar to the butter cooled it enough.) Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour mixture, then vanilla, chips, and nuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the bars for 24 to 26 minutes, until the top is shiny and golden. Don’t overbake, or the bars will be dry; a cake tester inserted in the center will not come out clean. Remove the bars from the oven and cool to room temperature before cutting.
These were done in 20 minutes in my oven, the temperature of which you may remember from an earlier post, I have to guess at. Sometimes I feel like Alice Kramden from The Honeymooners, cooking in FrontierLand…