Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Imagine a chocolate chip cookie sitting under a rich layer of chocolate with a light, crunchy meringue topping it all off and you have Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  It’s a multi-textured (and taste) extravaganza.  It’s also a multi step prep process as you need to make a batch of cookie dough and make the meringue.  So, if you’re not ready to work hard, then don’t attempt this recipe.  But if you’re feeling a little ambitious, this may be just the weekend project you’re looking for.     Meringue Chocolate Chip Bars-kitchn1

Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

(from the kitchn)
Makes 25 Bars

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, separated
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 large egg white, optional if you’d like a thicker meringue layer

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut 2 pieces of aluminum foil, and fold them to match the width of the pan. Press one piece into the pan lengthwise and the other into the pan crosswise with the ends hanging over the sides of the pan, like this. This makes it easy to lift the bars out of the pan once they’re cooled. Spray the foil with nonstick coating.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter,  granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until it looks like smooth frosting.
  5. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites.
  6. Mix the egg yolks into the butter-sugar mixture one at a time until they are completely absorbed.
  7. Stir in the water and vanilla.
  8. With the mixer at a low speed, add the flour mixture and beat gently until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough looks crumbly.
  9. Press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.
  10. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep them from moving when you add the meringue.
  11. Using a stand or hand mixer with a clean bowl and a clean whisk attachment, start whisking the egg whites. (Use 3 egg whites if you’d like a thicker meringue layer.)
  12. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy and look like loose foam, start adding the remaining cup of brown sugar a little at a time. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds a soft peak. It should look like glossy, soft-serve ice cream.
  13. Scoop the meringue down the middle of the pan. It will be very sticky! Use a spatula to gently spread the meringue from the middle to the edges. It’s helpful to skim meringue from the top and gradually push it outward.
  14. Lightly press a piece of parchment or wax paper on the top of the meringue (this makes an even layer and protects the meringue from scorching). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment. Continue baking for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  15. Wait until the pan is completely cool before lifting out the bars and cutting them into pieces.

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Whole Grain)

I don’t bake often with 100% whole grains, but when I do, it’s delicious.  These soft whole wheat chocolate chip cookies are super chocolatey (due to the addition of some espresso powder and a mountain of chocolate chips) with a slightly chewy texture from the whole grain flour.  I wouldn’t go as far to say that these are healthy, but you could give yourself a pat on the back for incorporating more whole grains in your diet.

Soft Choc Chip Cookies- KAF1

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Whole Grain)

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
(From King Arthur Flour)

[My notes are in parentheses below]

Ingredients

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (3 3/4 0unces) brown sugar, lightly packed
3  tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (12 ounces) cider vinegar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups (8 ounces) White Whole Wheat Flour
2 2/3 to 3 cups (16-18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions 

[I changed the order of mixing ingredients from the original recipe as I prefer to mix my wet and dry ingredients separately.]

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, honey, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Beat in the vinegar and egg to the wet ingredients.
  5. In a separate, large bowl stir together then flour, espresso powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined (don’t overmix the dough to ensure tender cookies).
  7.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
  8. Drop the dough, by tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well as the dough will be quite soft and somewhat sticky.  I like to press the tops of the cookies down slightly so that they spread a little more  during baking.
  9. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes until the bottoms barely start to brown . It’s OK if the cookies look a little light and “undone”; make sure not to overbake so that they’ll stay soft.  Darker cookie sheet without parchment may need to bake for slightly less time time.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them to cool for 10 minutes.  Then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chunk & Heath Cookies

These Chocolate Chunk Heath cookies are made to be eaten Cookie Monster style.  Even though they’re thin and delicate looking, the cookies pack a huge flavor punch with the addition of almond extract, big chunks of milk chocolate, and crunchy Heath toffee bits.

Chocolate Chunk Heath Cookies- smittenkitchen

Chocolate Chunk & Heath Cookies

(Adapted from smitten kitchen)
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (165 grams) packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 heaping teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (225 grams) milk, semi-, bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup Heath toffee bits

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 360°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and beat until incorporated,
  4. Scrape down the bowl, and add the vanilla and almond extracts, beating until thoroughly combined.
  5. In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda until well combined.
  6. On low speed, combine the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until until just mixed.
  7. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks and Heath toffee bits.
  8. Scoop the cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds, spacing them a few inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside, and remove from oven.
  10. Let the cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Yin Yang Chocolate Chip Cookies

For those times when you just can’t decide if you’d rather have a regular cookie with semi-sweet chocolate chips or a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips, I present to you a cookie that seamlessly melds both worlds.  These perfectly balanced Yin Yang Chocolate Chip cookies consist of a regular chocolate chip cookie on one half and a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips on the other.   They’re thin, yet sturdy with a soft center and crispy edges.  So no need to go to yoga to get centered; go get your Zen on by baking these cookies!Half and Half Chocolate Chip Cookies-KAF3

Yin Yang Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from King Arthur Flour)
Makes about 40 cookies.

Ingredients

2/3 cup (5 ounces) light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces) soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 (3/4 ounces) cup Dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate mini chips or regular chips
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate mini chips or regular chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, vanilla and almond extracts, and vinegar, beating until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the egg, beating again until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Then mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
  5. Divide the dough in half (if you have a scale, each half will weigh about 14 ounces or 396g.)
  6. Mix the cocoa, milk, and white chocolate chips into one half of the dough.
  7. Mix the semi-sweet chocolate chips into the other half of the dough.
  8. Use a spoon (or a teaspoon cookie scoop) to scoop the chocolate dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ clearance on all sides.
  9. Rinse off your spoon or cookie scoop, then scoop balls of lighter dough right next to the balls of chocolate dough.
  10. Using your hands, press the two doughs together and roll them into a ball, being sure not to blend them.  Press down lightly on the balls to flatten slightly.  Note, in order to get the “yin yang” look to the cookies, make sure that half of the regular dough and half of the chocolate dough is visible when you place the dough ball on the cookie sheet.
  11. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, until their edges are set and the middles are still slightly soft.
  12. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them on the pan until they’re set enough to move without breaking.
  13. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with M&M Minis

I’m just passing along a quick public service announcement about the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.   I blogged about this recipe a while ago but recently made a batch with M&M minis (sometimes called baking M&Ms) instead of chocolate chips.  If you need a little reminder about the brilliance of these cookies, just know that the oatmeal provides a hearty, chewy texture, but the cookies are also balanced out by crispy edges. The recipe is really easy to make (without using any “fancy” equipment), and the cookies bake up quickly (and make a big batch).  Using mini M&Ms (instead of chocolate chips) added the perfect amount of crunch and pop of fun color to these cookies.  You should bake these…now… Here’s the link.  No excuses… Don’t tell me that you can’t find the link to the recipe.

IMG_4015

Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies (ala Alice Medrich)

When I was a kid, one of my favorite snacks was to layer two slices of American cheese on top of a piece of Wonder bread and microwave it until the bread transformed into the texture of a crouton and the cheese bubbled up, hardened, and was slightly brown around the edges.  You could say that I have an affinity for things to be crispy and well done.  So, it’s no surprise that Alice Medrich’s recipe for Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies has catapulted itself into my top 10 favorite cookie recipes.  These cookies are surprisingly sturdy yet very thin, they hold their perfectly round shape during baking, and they’re snappy with their crisp.  An interesting thing to note with this recipe is that it does not have any eggs or vanilla extract.  And the cookies are easy to make as they don’t require a mixer.  You should set aside a little time for the dough to rest before baking.

Ultrathin Choc chunk cookies- A Medrich 3

These cookies are so fantastic that even when I accidentally overbaked a batch (cookie on the right), they still tasted delicious.Ultrathin Choc chunk cookies- A Medrich 5

Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich – http://alicemedrich.com/books/; My notes are in italics between [   ] .)
Makes 15 5-inch cookies

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp salt
10 tablespoons (5 oz) unsalted butter, melted [I melted the butter in the microwave]
½ cup (1 ½ oz) quick-cooking oats [not regular oats]
½ cup (3 ½ oz) granulated sugar
¼ cup (1 ¾ oz) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (2 ounces) light corn syrup
2 tablespoons whole milk [I didn’t have whole milk so I used a mixture of heavy cream and 2% milk]
1 cup (6 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chunks [I used semisweet chocolate chips]

Directions

  1. Position the racks in the middle and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookies sheets with foil, dull side up, or parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together through with a whisk.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter, oats, sugars, corny syrup, and milk in a large bowl. Mix in the flour mixture.  Mix in the nuts, if using.  If the dough is warm from the butter, let it cool before adding in the chocolate.  Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks.
  4. If possible, let the dough rest for at least several hours at room temperature, or, better still, overnight in the fridge. The rest makes for an especially crisp and flavorful cookie.
  5. Divide the dough into 15 equal portions (each a scant ¼ cup, or about 1 ¾ oz). Arrange 5 pieces of dough (4 to make a square and 1 in the center) well apart on each of the lined cookie sheets, keeping in mind that the cookies will spread to 5 inches.  With the heel of your hand, flatten each piece of dough until it is about 3 ½ inches in diameter.  Flatten the remaining 5 pieces of dough on another large sheet of foil/parchment; set aside.
  6. Bake the two sheets for 18 to 24 minutes, until the cookies are thin and very brown- if they are too pale, they will not be crisp. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.  If the cookies are not baked enough, they will not be perfectly crispy when they are cool.  If this happens you can return the cooled cookies to the oven for a few minutes.
  7. Slide the sheets of foil onto the racks to cool completely before removing the cookies. Bake the third batch; you can even slide the sheet of foil/parchment and cookies onto a hot cookie sheet, as long as you immediately put the pan in the oven.

The cookies keep in an airtight container for at least 3 days.

© 2015 eatsweetsandbemerry.com

Finally! THE Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

This recipe made me realize that I was going about finding the perfect oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe all wrong.  I had spent too much time looking for oatmeal cookie recipes that I could add chocolate chips to, but those tended to be too dense and lumpy.  All along I should have been looking for chocolate chip cookie recipes that incorporated oatmeal.  This recipe from King Arthur Flour covers it all with the perfect texture of crispy, chewy decadence.  The search is over, love is definitely right here before my eyes.

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies- 2

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 20 to 100 cookies, depending on size.
(from King Arthur Flour – http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies-recipe)

Ingredients

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth.
  3. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each.
  4. Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl.
  5. Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix briefly.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Decide what size cookies you want to make. A muffin scoop (1/4 cup) will make 20 large, palm-sized cookies. A tablespoon cookie scoop (4 teaspoons) will make 50 medium (2 3/4″ to 3″) cookies; and a teaspoon cookie scoop (2 teaspoons) will make 100 small (2 1/2″) cookies.
  8. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2″ to 2″ between cookies.
  9. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, with slightly darker edges. Their middles may still look a tiny bit shiny; that’s OK, they’ll continue to bake as they cool on the pan.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven, and as soon as they’re set enough to handle, transfer them to racks to cool.