Now that the hot summer days seem to be over and I can finally leave the windows open without racking up a $150 energy bill, Fall baking is underway at last. I really didn’t bake much this summer (who needs baking when there’s ice cream?), but there’s something about gloomy, chilly days that makes me want to pull the Kitchenaid out of hiding & put it back to use. This is also the time of year I usually go out and buy new running shoes, so it’s safe to say that Fall brings upon an identity crisis. It’s like if Betty Crocker tried to be Jillian Michaels. No matter how may sit-ups she does, the only 6-pack she’ll probably ever has is this one. It’s okay Betty, I feel ya girl.
Ever since picking up a jar of coarse sea salt a while back, I’ve been wanting to make some kind of salted dessert recipe. I don’t bake much with salt (because I can hardly taste the difference with or without it) so I figured I’d step out of my comfort zone and toss some good ol’ pretzel salt on top of these chocolate chip cookie bars.
And let me tell you, I think I’ll just throw it on top of every chocolate treat from now on. I know I’m behind on this trend, but I suppose it’s better late than never. The cookie dough from these bars tastes & looks like caramel, and after they’re baked, they have a nice & dense texture that is a little different than normal bars. They’re sturdy, yet soft – and also have a good amount of chew to it.
The perfect base to house a layer of chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle, and sea salt. I considered an extra drizzle of caramel on top, but figured I better wait until next time. My dish pile was already stacking up, and cleaning up caramel bowls just didn’t seem like something I wanted to do.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
The cookie dough from these bars tastes & looks like caramel, and after they're baked, they have a nice & dense texture that is a little different than normal bars. They're sturdy, yet soft - and also have a good amount of chew to it.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1-2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
In a medium sized saucepan, melt the sugar, brown sugar, and butter on low-medium heat until the butter is melted. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in eggs and vanilla.
Carefully pour the hot mixture into a heat-resistant mixing bowl and slowly add in the baking powder, while stirring on low speed. (I use a Kitchenaid mixer.)
Once the baking powder is incorporated, slowly add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time until all 3 cups are mixed in.
Line a 9x13 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Press the cookie dough mixture into the pan and use hands (or spatula) to flatten the dough until it covers all the corners of the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Immediately after removing from the oven, place the pan on a wire cooling rack and top with the 2 cups of milk chocolate chips. Gently press the chocolate chips into the bars so they stick.
Once the pan is cooled (30-60 minutes), place the pan in the fridge to allow the chocolate chips to harden.
Once set, melt the 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a saucepan at low heat and drizzle over the bars. Top with sea salt and place back in fridge until the drizzle hardens.
To serve, carefully cut the bars with a large sharp knife.
This bar base may be one of my new faves & I might try using it for a giant cookie cake this week for a family birthday. Not like I need another excuse to make them, but I first need to try to pawn this batch off on friends before my mixer manages to concoct anything else.