|Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |
So, when it came time for my monthly girls get together, and therefore another excuse for me to bake, I chose to take the high road. I pulled out my Food and Wine Magazine, March 2011 issue and there was the perfect healthier recipe. It hit all my requirements; wholesome and yet totally quick and easy.
The cookies do have some butter for flavor but also a little canola oil, plus they are made entirely with whole wheat pastry flour. If you can't get that, I would suggest white whole wheat flour or half and half regular flour with regular whole wheat flour. You can choose to bake them as bars (as I did) or cookies (a little more time than I had available). The original recipe calls for toasted chopped pecans in addition to the chocolate chips but I didn't have any so added some cranberries.
My guinea pig buddies were enthusiastic and the recipe was requested; a good sign of success I think. They are really quite like a blondie with an extra bite.
Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used 60%)
1/2 cup cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Butter a 9 x 13" baking pan then line with parchment paper
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside
- Using your mixer, beat the butter, oil and sugar until creamy
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until smooth
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients until just incorporated
- Finally add the chocolate chips and beat on low again until just mixed
- Turn the dough out into the baking pan and smooth out the top evenly using a spatula
- Place the baking try in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden and just set in the center
- Cool the bars in the pan and then lift them out onto a cutting board
- Peel away the parchment from the sides and cut into squares
Alternative substitutions that I think would be tasty:
- white chocolate chips and chopped dried apricots
- Dark chocolate chips and cherries
You could successfully freeze the cookies in the pan prior to baking (if well wrapped) or after baking. After baking I would not cut them, leave them as a slab and triple wrap in cling film.