The first time, I made them because I needed something easy and transportable for a graduation party and I knew I wouldn't have time to wait for the butter in my freezer to soften, or to make multiple batches of drop cookies. I googled 'melted butter cookie bars' and voila! Bloggers to the rescue, as usual.
The recipe was super simple and I had all the ingredients, plus some pecans I thought would enhance the flavor of half the bars (we have a friend with a nut allergy so I wanted to leave half plain), and nobody was expecting cookies so the pressure was off. I gave it a go and an hour later my companion and I were burning our fingers trying to 'test' the batch.
Once we were able to try a bite, we agreed: these things are good. So good that I ate three that night, which is unusual for me – often when I bake something, no matter how tasty it is, I tire of it quickly and am obliged to convince someone else to eat the rest. It's no coincidence that I favor tall boyfriends with hollow legs ;)
In this case, though, not only did I eat a bunch of the baked good in question but I also started thinking about making them again almost immediately upon leaving the party (I nearly brought home a couple bars but I stopped just short of embarrassing myself that much). So when I was gifted two glass jars of Nutella from Italy and was antsy to use one as a wine glass, I knew exactly how to put the Nutella inside to good use.
The point is this: these bars are infinitely adaptable. They were delicious with pecans, indulgent with Nutella, and likely would be even more toothsomely tasty with oats – that's my plan for next time! In other words, make these. As soon as humanly possible.
Chocolate Chip (Etc) Cookie Bars Adapted for pecans/Nutella from Em's Bytes (I doubled the recipe the first time and used an 8x13 pan – ain't nothin' wrong with twice the amount of this goodness) Preheat oven to 350F/175C and grease an 8" pan, square or cake, whatever you have.
Mix together in a large bowl: 1/2c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 1/4c sugar 1/2c brown sugar Beat in: 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla Add and stir until combined: 1 c flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt Stir in: 1c semi-sweet chocolate chips 1c chopped pecans (optional – you can also place them on top of the dough once it's in the pan, if you fancy the look or want to limit their reach) Spread into prepared pan, pausing to top with blobs of Nutella if desired, and bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. (Side note: mine never got as golden as I'd like, but I'm glad I pulled the first batch out when I did anyway, as they were getting close to dry. I suggest using the cake tester method if in doubt, and remembering that gooey cookies are always better than dry.)