Chocolate Chip-Pistachio Bars

May 22, 2011

Chocolate chips, long time no see! It's frustrating when, as a food blogger, you fail to capture how spectacular something is. It's like picking a bouquet of flowers for someone, dropping them in heavy traffic, getting a few caught in a doorway, and then trying to explain how beautiful they looked at one point. I made David Lebovitz's chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago, but the pictures are sitting in my camera, waiting for me to release them. They were good, very very good (I'm speaking of the cookies here, not the photos.) Until I started this blog, I had no idea how fussy cookies can be when it comes to getting their picture taken. I've over done the cookie in a cup, and I always fall back on just plopping them on top of each other, so I wanted to try something different. After reading about taking pictures using the manual settings, I attempted to be cute by placing a glass of milk in the frame. However, not only does whole milk and half & half taste better in cereal, I'm sure they're much more photogenic than transparent-blueish skim milk. It looked like dingy dish water, plus I didn't have a tripod to help alleviate the effects of too much coffee and frustration. So my plan is to go back to my fall-back cookie settings (i.e. cookies in a cup), and redo the recipe soon...eventually.

Non-food bloggers, are you bored stiff right now? Sorry. I had to vent a bit about food photography. Onto the actual bars!

It's been long, far too long, since there was an actual chocolate chip cookie recipe here, So I thought I'd make one of the few remaining recipes that I've yet to try. Halfway through making the dough, I realized that I was too antsy to go through the scoop, remove, cool, lather-rinse-repeat routine, so I decided to make bars instead (or as I like to call them, the lazy-man's cookie.)

Even though I used pistachio pudding, I couldn't really taste any actual pistachio. But the pudding mix gave these bars a rich, soft texture. You can definitely tell that these are not the usual Toll House bar cookies, they have a deeper flavour that people, unless they know you used pudding, can't quite put their finger on. If I make this recipe again, the only thing I would do differently would be to add more pudding (maybe half a packet), and perhaps try coconut instead of pistachio. Feel free to use whatever pudding you prefer, the actual recipe called for vanilla, but I think that would be too subtle. Vanilla, I ♥ you, but only in your pure form. But at least you're easier to spell than pistachio (spell-check had a hissy fit over that second little 'i'.)

Chocolate Chip-Pistachio Bars (adapted from Allrecipes)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 + 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
2 egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract
2 cups of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang for easy removal. Lightly spray the foil. [Note: for thicker bars, you can use a 9x9-inch square pan, but you will need to increase the baking time accordingly.]
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking Soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment (or any large bowl, if using a hand held), beat the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy(about 3-5 minutes.)
Add the pudding mix and beat until blended.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well (about one minute) after each addition and scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the almond extract.
Stop the mixer and add a bit of the flour mixture. On low speed, beat until the streaks have just disappeared. Slowly add the remaining flour mixture.
Using a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
Spread the dough into the prepared pan, trying to make an even a layer as possible.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending upon what size pan you used (the thicker the bars, the longer the baking time.)
Test the middle using a toothpick, there should just be a few wet crumbs left on it. [Note: if the edges are browning too quickly, use the foil overhang to cover them, or use strips of cut-out foil.]
Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before cutting into small (or large), bars. :)


  1. Your photos are always gorgeous, Valerie. These bars look great, and I love the idea of using coconut pudding instead of pistachio (with or without that second i).

  2. Those look just to die for! I love chocolate chips. Your pictures make me drool.



  3. YUM! Pistachio pudding? Who knew!? But now that I am that much the wiser, I will need to be making these pronto! :)

  4. Sounds delicious! I've tried a similar recipe with butterscotch pudding, but I never thought of pistachio!!! I must make these soon...

  5. I get super tired of photographing the same things on the same dishes all the time! These, however, look chocolaty and wonderful!

  6. Valerie!!! You just won my giveaway of the Nespresso coffee machine. CONGRATS! Please email me at with your address.

  7. Pistachio pudding? I would have never thought of that! They look so chewy and wonderful--I love anything with pistachio, no matter how you spell it.
    It is hard to photograph the same foods in different ways. I have a very small repertoire, and sometimes realize I'm just doing the same thing again. I've borrowed your cookie in a cup technique once or twice too.

  8. I made these yesterday and they were a HUGE hit. I took your advice and used coconut pudding. I added in 1/2 tsp. Coconut Extract and added in 1 cup of chopped walnuts along with the chocolate chips! super moist and delicious! thank you :)

  9. I want to make these but I'm confused by the brown sugar it 1/2 or 1/4 cups?

    Let me know! Thanks!

  10. Hi, Mollie
    I just sent you an email, but just in case...You will need 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, AND 1/4 cup. I know 1/2 + 1/4 must equal something, but there's a reason I was an English major. :P

    Happy baking! :-)

  11. Yay. A chocolate chip cookie recipe. They're the ones that make me happiest. And you know my approach to photography.. just don't bother :P

    Your pictures look amazing though.


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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