I have noticed a trend in bar cookies lately. The recipes are even a bit ridiculous for someone like me who loves sweet and chocolate. The recipes are starting to look like my creations at the local pile-on-the-toppings frozen yogurt shop. I can’t control myself at those places. I start with at least three flavors of yogurt and then I add the fresh fruit, a few pieces of brownie, a bite of cookie dough, some peanut butter cups, a waffle cone piece, and then just a touch of chocolate syrup and maybe a bit of whip cream? The creation does taste pretty good, and definitely better than my kids who can’t stay away from the gummy worms. My husband on the other hand? Cory can exhibit control, and as a result, his frozen yogurt invariably tastes better. He just sticks with the cream cheese flavor of yogurt and then adds fruit when he feels fruity and peanut butter cups when he is in a sweeter mood. Consistent, under control, and it tastes delicious.
This bar cookie recipe stays where bar cookies should stay. It starts with the basic blondie recipe from Mark Bittman, “How You Cook Everything,” and then I added chocolate chips and bananas. I kept it simple. There is a theme. My husband approves.
The basic blondie recipe is delicious. It is the gooey inside of a chocolate chip cookie magnified. It is fast when you don’t have time to scoop out the cookie dough. And last but certainly not least, it only dirties one saucepan. My kids get all excited when I make these for a treat because it is what they call, “a cookie and a brownie!” They even debated what the combo name should be and they settled on Brownookies — which I approve of because the sound of the word reminds me of my favorite Kauai beach, Brennecke. The basic recipe doesn’t need to be altered, but when you are looking to be creative it is the perfect place to start. I only added bananas to mine and the hint of banana flavor was simple, fun and a nice change from the usual treat.
I remembered forty minutes before my son’s neighborhood computer programming class that he was in charge of treats. I didn’t have enough chocolate to make the go-to-brownie, and I didn’t want to run to the store, so I made these without the bananas, and he was only five minutes late.
This is the one blondie recipe you need to start creating the best bar cookies. I have made these gluten free and the brown sugar does a good job hiding the sometimes bitter taste of the gluten-free flour mixes. A definite win in the GF baking world.
I should caution here that I like my chunky monkey with a light banana flavor. You can up the banana a bit if you like a stronger flavor. I would have loved to added walnuts but my kids wouldn’t have eaten them. Not into bananas? Omit them. You can add peanut butter, coconut, white chocolate, milk chocolate, raisins, just be careful to not go too overboard. I’d stay away from the gummy bears.
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups flour (gluten-free flour works well here)
1/2 cup banana, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces chocolate chips
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 X 13 pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the brown sugar and take the pan off the heat. Stir in the white sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Add the flour one cup at a time. Stir in the banana if you are using it. Stir in the vanilla and the salt. Add the chocolate chips. I like to reserve about 1/2 cup and sprinkle them on top of the batter once it is in the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and just a touch golden-brown around the edges.
- 1 cup of unsalted butter
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup banana, mashed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces chocolate chips
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 X 13 pan and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the brown sugar and take the pan off the heat. Stir in the white sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Add the flour one cup at a time. Stir in the banana if you are using it. Stir in the vanilla and the salt. Add the chocolate chips. I like to reserve about ½ cup and sprinkle them on top of the batter once it is in the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and just a touch golden-brown around the edges.