Sunday, July 27, 2014

These are the bars you're looking for...

In honor of this weekend's Lazy Movie Weekend post, I'm sharing two of my favorite bar recipes. Call them what you will - dessert bars, cookie bars, squares - no matter the name, they're delicious. As portrayed in Drop Dead Gorgeous, bars are the perfect dessert for any occasion; American Teen Princess Pageant sign up day, funerals, awkward moments in the gym with the wrestling team, and right before your daughter meets her fate on a glistening swan float. Bars are the answer to all of our problems.

I like to call my two recipes "classic" bars - nothing showy (just like our physical fitness outfits). The recipes have similar bases but are slightly different so don't go crazy and make them the same way.

Butterscotch Pecan Bars
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-11 oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped pecans (technically optional but they really do enhance the bar flavor)

Preheat over to 350. Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in butterscotch chips and pecans. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and the center is set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes about 24 bars (depending on how large you cut them.

The Only Chocolate Chip Bars You'll Ever Need to Make (I need a shorter name)
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1-12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional; I prefer walnuts with chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10 jelly roll pan*.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a larger mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Gradually add in the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen bars.

*A jelly roll pan is similar to a cookie sheet except that the sides of the pan are usually an inch high so the pan is designed for baking sheet cakes and sponge cakes. These work really well for bars recipes too.

Waiting patiently to be cut - my apartment smells like butterscotch and chocolate.

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