Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

My sisters and I all had unconventional weddings. None of us had big fancy wedding receptions or big groups of people in attendance. Instead, we chose small ceremonies surrounded by family and a few close friends. Later we celebrated by inviting friends over for a backyard BBQ that was casual and fun for everyone. This allowed us to save some money (hubby and I traveled around Europe for our honeymoon instead of having a big wedding reception) and enjoy time with good friends to celebrate our marriage. My dad manned the grill, while my mom cut up fruit for salads and I was in charge of all the baked goodies. You better believe that these chocolate chip cookie bars were on the menu!

These cookie bars are a crowd pleaser

Chocolate chip cookie bars are quick and taste amazing. They are a major crowd pleaser and they couldn’t be easier to make. Using melted butter in this recipe means that these cookie bars can come together super fast. These cookies bake up beautifully in a 9 by 13 pan instead of dropping spoonfuls of cookie dough onto a baking sheet. They cut up nicely into smaller squares to serve for a crowd. I’ve also made these ahead of time and frozen them with great success.

Crispy Edges, Gooey Middle

Are you a fan of crispy edges? Or do you choose the bars in the middle of the pan? The gooey middles definitely went first at our latest family gathering, but that didn’t stop the whole pan from being devoured in about 30 minutes flat. These bars are the perfect amount of chewy, gooey and crispy. Basically they have something for everyone to enjoy.

Use a parchment sling for easy cleanup

Do yourself a favor and please use a parchment sling for these bars. Non-stick parchment paper makes these bars so easy to lift out of your baking pan and cut into beautiful pieces. It also makes clean-up a breeze and while I wouldn’t fault anyone for eating these out of a pan with a fork (or fingers), parchment paper makes these bars so much easier to handle.

If you’re anything like me with my sweet tooth, you’ve got to try these gooey chocolate chip cookie bars. They are so delicious and so easy. The hardest part is waiting for the bars to cool!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Yield: One, 9 by 13 pan of cookie bars

Time: 10 minute mix, 30 minute bake

Ingredients:

  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, semisweet are my favorite but you can use any chocolate chips here

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare a 9 by 13 pan, lining it with a parchment paper sling (check it out here).
  3. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar. Use a fork (or a hand mixer) to mix the sugars and butter together. 
  4. Add vanilla and eggs. Mix until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. To the center of the bowl add the salt and baking soda. Mix.
  6. Add the flour and mix until combined. 
  7. Mix in the chocolate chips. Spread evenly into the pan.
  8. Bake about 30 minutes until crispy around the edges but still a little gooey in the middle. Let sit for 20 minutes in the pan before lifting out with the parchment paper. Cool before cutting into bars. Enjoy!

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Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Amazing Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have been searching a long time for the perfect chocolate chip muffins. I often think, “Would I want to serve these muffins to a friend or bring them to a brunch?” Sometimes I can answer yes. Other times, my kids gobble them up anyway and I move on to a different recipe. This recipe is one of those that needed to be shared. It is the kind of chocolate chip muffin recipe that everyone needs in their arsenal. One that will sell-out at a bake sale or get rave reviews at bible study…or just you know anytime when you are craving a bakery-style chocolate chip muffin. These are a little bit dangerous because they are so good.

What makes these muffins Stand out from other muffin recipes

This muffin recipe differs from a lot of recipes because it uses both melted butter and vegetable oil which gives you the benefit of both. It uses buttermilk which makes the muffin taste light (not dense and heavy). This muffin also has a small amount of cornstarch in the batter. Cornstarch, when used in small quantities, helps “soften” the flour resulting in a very tender muffin. All of these things work together to make an absolutely knock-your-socks-off delicious chocolate chip muffin.

Just a spoonful of Sugar…

Crunchy, sweet topping

This muffin recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar sprinkled on top of the muffins before baking them. You could use any type of sugar here. I chose granulated sugar for my muffins because that is what I usually have on hand. Sprinkling the sugar on top and baking it gives the muffin a crunchy, sugary crust that makes for the perfect bite of muffin.

I also love that these chocolate chip muffins do not need a liner when baking in my favorite non-stick muffin pan (affiliate link). Muffin liners are very useful when making muffins with berries, fruit that gets sticky or these cinnamon chips so the muffins don’t stick to the pan. These muffins are not overly sticky and if you have a non-stick muffin pan and you grease it with some cooking spray before putting the batter in muffin tins, you won’t need to use a muffin liner. Score!

Quick, easy and Amazing

Another thing I love about these muffins is how quickly you can make them. Then come together in about 10 minutes and only take 15 minutes to bake. You could accept an invite to someone’s house last-minute, whip these up while you’re getting ready and basically look like a rockstar in the kitchen. Or if you’re like me and need a quick after-school snack you can throw these in the oven right before the kids get off the bus and you have instant “awesome mom” status.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Time: 10 minute mix, 15 minute bake

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (reserved for the top) granulated sugar 
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Waiting for the muffins to come out of the oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large liquid measuring cup (affiliate link) or small bowl. Add vegetable oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Mix in 1 cup granulated sugar and stir to combine.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. 
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and stir gently a few times. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and stir until just combined. A few streaks of flour are okay!
  5. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin, (my favorite one here, affiliate link) and fill tins mostly full with batter.
  6. Sprinkle the reserved 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar on top of the muffins before baking.
  7. Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 10-12 more minutes. Check that muffins are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of one and making sure it comes out clean (there may be some melted chocolate–that’s okay). Let muffins cool and enjoy!

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Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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Chocolate Chip Scones

I always love finding new bakeries when I travel or go somewhere new. The idea of a storefront devoted to baked goods is my kind of place. When we first moved to our small town in Kentucky I spent some time searching for yummy bakeries. We stumbled upon a little spot in downtown called, Granny’s Goodies. “Granny” made an array of delicious cookies, cakes and treats but my absolute favorite were her blueberry scones. They were very moist, flavorful and gave me a whole new appreciation for an American-style scone. Typically the scones I’d tried seemed to dry out quickly and were more bread-like than cake-like. “Granny” made everything with an extra helping of sugar, but before I knew it, her little business was gone and I had nowhere to get a delicious blueberry scone…just the distant memory of a delicious scone.

Scone dough…don’t overmix!

After many years of trying many scone recipes, my daughter and I stumbled on this one. Thanks to our current quarantine situation I’ve given my kids free reign over a few fun breakfasts for the next few weeks. Of course my daughter chose to substitute chocolate chips for berries (because she’s a chocolate lover at heart–can’t blame her with the genes she has), and she proceeded to make the most delicious scone that brought me straight back to “Granny’s” shop. I knew these scones were too good not to share. 

They are decadent, delicious and the chocolate chips push them into the “treat” category more than a “breakfast” category. The glaze puts them over the top, though I wouldn’t complain about eating them plain either. I can’t wait to try different combinations…lemon blueberry being a favorite of mine. If you are looking for a luxurious treat to splurge on during this quarantine or just something fun to make with your kids, this is it! I hope you love these sweet scones as much as we do.

Ingredients:

Scones

Use your thumb to check for scone height before cutting the dough into triangles
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 8 Tablespoons (half cup) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓  cup heavy cream 
  • ⅓ cup milk
Cut dough into six rectangles and then cut those rectangles into triangles

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk in a pinch)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it forms small, pea-sized chunks and is finely incorporated. Alternatively you can grate the cold butter directly into the mixture. There should be no big lumps of butter.
  2. Add the chocolate chips to the flour mixture and mix together. 
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla, milk and heavy cream. 
  4. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and stir together with a fork or spoon until moistened and sticking together. If you have a lot of flour leftover in the bowl, add a little extra cream a teaspoon or so at a time until it comes together. Scone dough will resemble pie dough more than cookie dough. The key is to not overmix it.
  5. Pull out a sheet of parchment paper and flour it. Turn the dough out and pat into a rectangular shape, about 1 inch thick. You can use your thumb as a guide to thickness. Put your thumb nail-side down next to the dough and the height should be about to your first knuckle.
  6. Using a sharp knife or a bench knife, cut the scones into six rectangles. Cut those six rectangles into triangles. You will be left with twelve triangular shaped scones.
  7. Using the same parchment paper (or a new one), lay the scones on a 12 by 18 baking sheet. Bake the scones for 11-14 minutes (depending on how crispy you want the edges). You can also freeze the scones before baking if you want to bake them later.
  8. While the scones are baking whip up the simple glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream. Add a little more cream as needed until you reach a pourable consistency.
  9. Let the scones cool a bit before pouring on the glaze (if you can wait that long!). Each scone should be topped with about 1 Tablespoon of glaze. Enjoy!

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread or like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook for more baking ideas.