Wednesday, June 13
When I was little, my mom would constantly warn me about the dangers of raw cookie dough and someone called "Sally-Mella." I was never allowed more than a nibble. (A ridiculously small amount that was barely distinguishable...a teaser, really.) Thanks to a childish belief in immortality, I always took a spoonful when she left the room to answer the phone. (In the 80's and 90's, phones were bulky contraptions that sat on telephone seats, or clung to the wall like koala bears. People had to physically walk over to them when they rang.) To me, a ringing phone meant that it was time to spring into action.
Luckily, I never got sick on cookie dough. But now that I'm a paranoid adult, I try to curb my dough consumption. So I was elated when I saw this recipe floating around...everywhere. These bars are the answer to every cookie dough lover's dream. Cookie dough without the eggs! Cookie dough without the worry of Sally-Mella growing in your tummy.
The original recipe calls for a layer of caramel. I didn't have any caramels on hand, or heavy cream to make my own, or the willingness to wait that long. So I forged ahead and ignored the caramel completely.
You simply must try this recipe. The cookie dough filling tastes like real cookie dough! The base is a buttery shortbread, and the topping is chocolate and butter, melted in holy matrimony. I think that base and topping are included in the recipe just to salvage some dignity. Because without them, we would all be sitting on the couch in our stretchy pants, watching The Bachelor and eating straight from the bowl.
This recipe has definitely lunged itself into my top five. (Lemons, I still <3 you!)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
1/3 cup tightly packed, brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold, and cut into bits
Cookie Dough ingredients
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup tightly packed, brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini chips are the best option. Regular chips were a bit too clunky, and the bars were difficult to slice)
Chocolate Glaze ingredients
4 oz of chopped bittersweet chocolate (semisweet will work too...if that's the way you roll)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang along the edges. (For easy removal later on.) Lightly spray or grease the foil.
Prepare the shortbread: Place the brown sugar, salt, flour, and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the cold bits of butter over the mixture. Pulse several times until well combined. (It will look like crumbly, wet sand, and that's okay. It will come together beautifully in the oven.) Press the crumbly mixture firmly into the bottom of prepared pan. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the surface of the dough. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. [Note: My crust was ready after only 13 minutes, so keep a close watch.] Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding the cookie dough layer.
Prepare the cookie dough! In the bowl of a stand-mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (a hand-held will work too), beat together the butter and both sugars on medium speed, until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla. On low speed, add the flour and salt, beating only until just combined. Use a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough over the cool crust. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.
Prepare the chocolate glaze. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter. Heat at 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring well after each trip through the heat. Once the mixture is melted and smooth, pour it over the chilled cookie dough, and spread it out into an even layer. [Note: Try to work fast because it doesn't take long for the chocolate to harden.] Place the pan back into the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Use the foil overhang to remove the bars from the pan. For cleaner slices, dip a sharp knife in hot water before cutting the bars.
Recipe adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook (via Brown Eyed Baker)
Yields about 12-14 bars