[I just got to use the word "Wowie!" so I can tell you that things have been looking pretty good 'round here.]
Around this time of the year I always have a little moment where I reflect on the summer and tend to feel just a tiny tinge of sadness that I will have to tuck away my sandals soon for yet another fall-slash-winter. BUT any warm weather remorse doesn’t last long because you guys, FALL IS THE BEST. Well, mostly fall baking and scarves are the best. Summer pies are awesome and all, but I totally get it, no one wants to spend time around a hot oven during the summer months (and one could make the argument that the streets of New York are pretty much like a hot oven anyways) since they should be spent at the beach, or camping under the stars or laying on a patch of grass with a popsicle – all of which I was lucky to have taken advantage of this summer.
But without a doubt whenever the weather starts to change ever oh so slightly – as it is starting to do here in Brooklyn – I have an internal honing device and without trying I find myself with a wooden spoon in my kitchen with my mixing bowls practically yelling about how much they’ve missed me. I may have hugged my muffin tin yesterday. In my defense, me and the muffin tin, we go way back and it’s been a minute since we’ve had a hang.
So I made these bars and I got mah groove back. They are the perfect way to ease yourself back from a short baking hiatus. They are not at all fussy and use only pantry ingredients which is perfect if due to summer travel your kitchen has not been kept fully stocked OR if you use vegan chocolate then they are a perfect vegan dessert. A win-win either way and the melted chocolate dip and sprinkles make them look super fancy. These bars also travel well and they would be the perfect thing to bring to that last al fresco picnic!
Dipped Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie (Almost Vegan!) Bars
Makes about 2 dozen bars
Adapted from VegWeb
For the cookie bars:
2 1/4 cups (281 grams) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped dark chocolate*
1/3 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped milk chocolate*
1/2 cup (110 grams) brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (118 ml) canola oil
1/2 cup (118 ml) water
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the dip:
2/3 cup (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) coarsely chopped dark chocolate (I used 72%)*
sprinkles, highly recommended
Preheat the oven to 350 and line an 8×8 pan with foil or parchment. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and milk and dark chocolate chunks. In a medium bowl stir together sugars, oil, water and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached. The top of the bars will not brown so be careful not to overbake. Let the bars cool in the pan for 10 minutes then lift out and let cool completely on a rack. When the bars are cool, slice into squares or rectangles.
Meanwhile make the dip. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside. One at a time, dip the top of each bar into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared pan. Alternatively, you can drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of each bar. Top each bar with sprinkles. When all the bars have been topped, transfer to the fridge for 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
*Or use 2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips to make these bars truly vegan!
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