Monday, May 18, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

There are so many events worth celebrating this time of year: weddings, baby showers, mom and dad's day, recitals, end of year parties, and of course graduations. And even though my little ones are learning at home, I've never been one to turn away an opportunity for a potential party. My sister Heidi suggested that we come for a weekend visit and have a mini homeschool graduation together for our pint-sized scholars. Decked out in black construction paper graduation hats with yarn tassels, the students solemnly marched forward to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance. My Westy-boy gave a report on ancient civilizations focusing particularly on Ancient Egypt and China, followed by my Sailor-girl's study on World War II and post war communism. Heidi's little girl explained the importance of the -at family for reading words like cat, rat, bat, and even that, which is always good to remember so you won't get stuck when plowing through Dr. Seuss. And for a little comic relief, Heidi's little boy shared a collection of his favorite riddles. He has a strand of hilarity woven into his DNA from his dead-on witty dad, so it's good to know he is honing his skills to entertain us for the rest of our lives. After receiving their diplomas, rolled into a tube and tied with yellow ribbon which led West to falsely believe it was a pirate map, we gathered the group into the car and headed to an indoor bouncy warehouse. We saved treats for last, because speaking from experience, it is always better for everyone to bounce before eating treats. Because I said so, that's why.

And now, these treats will see you through all of your important events. They require less active prep time then a batch of cookies, but they have all the chewy appeal of a gooey chocolate chipper, plus a caramel- like richness from the brown sugar. They pack up perfectly, without any messy melted chocolate chips, and if you don't slice into them you can even make them a day ahead. Best of all, kids from one to 92, will find them inexpressably delicious. And that makes any kind of party a success.
Money Saving Tips:
This is one recipe that doesn't bake well in a half batch, so don't be tempted to halve it. You can freeze any extras, or better yet, wrap them up and take them to a neighbor or co-worker that could use a little pick me up. Leave out nuts on this one to make it more universally appealing at a party, plus it's cheaper that way. Look for butter on sale (or buy in bulk from a warehouse store) and be sure to stock up when you find it.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Estimated Cost: $4.00
1 cup butter, softened
1 and 3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup granulate sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with no stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream butters and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring well. Stir in powder, soda, and salt. Add flour and gently stir until just incorporated. Add chips and scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 38-42 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Let cool before slicing...if you can wait.
Coming Tomorrow:
Miniature Mango Snack Cakes

20 comments:

Mandi said...

I love your blog!!

I (finally) got around to making the tamales you posted in December. Oh, how I love tamales. Yours really were easy, and SO DELICIOUS. I stuffed mine with imitation Cafe Rio pork, and impressed my family (especially my dad who loves all things Mexican food, and gets authentic tamales from work all the time). I even pawned some off on a brother-in-law, and he shoveled them down. So, thanks so much for your recipe. We will be having these again.

Not to be pushy, but you mentioned a tortilla recipe to use some of the corn flour. Any chance we could hear about that?

Prudence (really!) said...

I am loving your blog too!

You have a way with words and I can relate to so many of the things you write about. I am enjoying the recipes too!

Patsyk said...

I love chocolate chip cookie bars! What a cute graduation ceremony! I'm sure the kids all had a great time.

Cristine said...

What a fun graduation party! :) And your cc bars look great!

Marjie said...

Looks like a good time was had by all. And how wonderful that your sister also homeschools, so all of the kids have someone with a common experience!

We make chocolate chip cookie bars often; I also love Blondies, which are similar.

Heidi said...

These cookie bars look great! I always enjoy all your recipes :)

Alyssa Griffeth said...

Oh my! I have been "blog stalking" you for quite some time now, and to be honest, I'm not even sure how I found out about your blog (I sure do love it though!).

Anyway, as I was reading through today's post, I happened to see "Mrs. Brisco" written on the banner in the background of a photo. "Hmmmm..."I thought. "My mom is a Brisco! I wonder if I know them?" And then, all of a sudden, I put two and two together, and realized that you mentioned your sister's name being Heidi! And as soon as I saw the names Reeve and Ivy on the banner, I knew I couldn't be mistaken. :) I am Michael's cousin, Alyssa. It's SUCH a small, small world!

Anyway, just wanted to say hello and let you know that I love reading all of your yummy recipes! I, too, have a cooking blog- cookingalamode.blogspot.com

wileyfamilyof5 said...

We must be on the same page, I just posted my fabuleous chocolate chip cookie recipe. Your bars look fantastic.

Alyssa Griffeth said...

Oh, hey! I wondered if this was Erin's blog! (My mom STILL always talks about how you and my sister are both named Erin Elizabeth!) So great to hear from you!

Alyssa

Mary Ann said...

I love cookie bars more than cookies! They are so much easier and I think they taste better somehow. I love your kids and their reports. how cute is that! Great recipe Prudy- I might have to fit it in this week before we head south!

Stefanie said...

Those chocolate chip cookie bars look delicious! You made me remember that as I child I liked bar cookies better than regular cookies! I'll have to give this recipe I try, and soon!

Michal said...

yummy! i wish i could have come to your graduation. we just had a little open house last night to which grandparents and an aunt an uncle came. the kids each recited a poem, sang 2 songs in russian plus another favorite song, and performed on the piano. we displayed some of their artwork and enjoyed treats (chocolate dipped strawberries and mini-cheesecakes with blackberries). it was fun and we are heading into more casual school days with a little bit of schoolwork and a lot more swimming!:) wish we could be together.

Leslie said...

Oh yum..I love anything chocolate chip. And to put them in a bar form is even better!
Cutie pie kiddos!

Prudy said...

Thanks Mandi, I'll post those tortillas next week. Thanks for keeping me honest and I'm so glad you loved the tamales. Now you're giving me a craving.

gigi said...

What a way to celebrate! You always make everything so fun! Love cookie bars!
Congratulations little children.

Emily said...

Congrats kids! The bouncy house looks fun and the cookie bars look delicious.

Tanji said...

We made them ysterday after school ~ sooo yummy! Thanks Prudy! I love that you homeschool. I think it's great! You're kids are so smart, funny, and enjoyable to be around. I thought about homeschooling, but then I decided that no one with ADD should homechool their kids. The world would not be a better place. So, the lovely public school across the street is blessed with their presence. :)

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