Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Some days, you just need a recipe that requires minimal effort but produces optimal results. On Super Bowl Sunday, I found myself pacing the kitchen like a lion. I was torn between making a grocery store run and using what was on hand. It was already the afternoon and we needed to drive down South to watch the game. In my heart, there were key lime bars! In the kitchen though... there was just enough goodies to make cookies. 

As my hands reached for the car keys, I felt Mike's challenging gaze from across the living room. It's like that awkward moment when two cats (God... I've become a cat lady and I'm still in my 20's) stare at one another for too long then one suddenly flips out. You cannot hear the dialogue- but you know sh*t is going down. The subtle ear twitch... tails swooshing at the slightest breeze... the dilated pupils. That gaze conveyed a myriad of valid points such as: 

1) Don't spend the extra dinero;
2) You're on a time budget;
3) Exactly how angry will you be with me when I say it's time to go and the bars haven't sat in the fridge long enough;
4) Are you going to cry in the car ride if the visual aesthetic is compromised in any way due to sharp turns, other drivers, or traffic;
5) You realize this is unnecessary stress- right?
6) If they don't come out picture perfect, I don't want to deal with a salty Michele; and
7) Just make cookies woman

Needless to say... I scurried back into the kitchen. Cookies it will be!

In keeping with the time budget, rolling out individual cookies and letting the dough sit in the fridge for a couples hours wasn't in the cards. Bars were the perfect compromise of flavor and sanity. Make the dough and slather it across a greased baking pan- done! I have made a Chocolate Cookie Cake in past, and though delicious, they do not fill out a 9x13 pan. The title of favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe still goes to Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. If only the came in a pan version! These bars needed to be chewy, soft, and thick. I didn't want cardboard sprinkled with chocolate chips. 

Then I saw The Cutting Edge of Ordinary and there stood the image of cookie bar perfection

These bars fulfill their promise and deliver a cookie-like bar. All the usual suspects are there: chocolate chips, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. They were promptly attacked and enjoyed! Mike made sure a few snuck there way back to our house. As the recipe recommends  I strongly encourage adding nuts to the mix, even if it's a handful for added dimension. I added a drizzle of melted chocolate on top... just to be a lil extra evil. Next time, I may add a dash of almond extract because I am such an almond fiend. 

My sole gripe was they were not as thick I was wanted them to be. The Cutting Edge's versions looks so much more yummy because they're thicker and have a pillowy look. *drools* Maybe I needed to add more flour? Heck now that I'm re-reading the directions... I may have set the oven to 350 instead of 325! User error? Ohhhhhh darnnnn.... looks like I am going to have to make them again to check! (moo ha ha ha) 

For the full recipe, check out The Cutting Edge of Ordinary