I came across this recipe a few weeks back as I was looking for a kid-friendly treat to bring to a holiday party. The recipe is by Sally Sampson, a friend of mine, and the founder and President of Chop Chop Magazine which aims to inspire and teach kids to cook and eat real food with their families. If anyone knows what appeals to a kid's palate, its Sally!
I modified her original recipe by substituting bittersweet chips for both the gooey chocolate layer AND the cookies (her original calls for semisweet for the melted chocolate layer and either semisweet or white chips for the cookies layer) because that's what I had in my pantry. I'm glad that I did. If you've got a wicked sweet tooth then follow her recipe to the T, if not, substitute the bittersweet chips for a more adult friendly treat…..don't worry, they're still plenty sweet this way. This makes a lot of bars and they are pretty rich, so it is the perfect recipe to bake for a gang. They keep well in an air-tight container on the counter for up to a week, not that you're likely to see them hanging around for that long!
This recipe is what we call a two-fer, or two recipes in one. You see, the cookie dough recipe can be made into cookies without taking the extra steps involved in making the bars with the gooey chocolate layer. To make cookies, just prepare the cookie dough, spoon heaping teaspoons of it onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake in a 325℉ oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown at the edges. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Made this way the recipe yields 3-4 dozen cookies.
Cheers – Steve
Gooey Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars
for the gooey chocolate middle layer:
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the top and bottom cookie layers:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (or semisweet or white chips if you really like sweet)
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- Heat the oven to 350℉. Lightly butter a 9 x 13" baking dish. Line the dish with parchment paper, leaving 1" of overhang along the sides.
- In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips in the sweetened condensed milk over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. remove from the heat stir in the vanilla and let cool to room temperature.
- To make the cookie dough; in a medium bowl, mix the flour with the oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg followed by the egg yolk and vanilla, beating well between additions and scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the dry ingredients, then add the chocolate chips and cranberries and beat until incorporated.
- Press half of the cookie dough mixture into the prepared baking dish. Pour the cooled chocolate mix over the dough and spread evenly. Top with small dollops of the remaining cookie dough; don't worry if the dollops don't completely cover the chocolate mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. let cool completely before cutting into bars.