Monday, April 16, 2018

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares from What's Gaby Cooking

I have a soft spot for chocolate chip cookie recipes, chocolate chip bar cookies, you name it. I"m always willing to try a new recipe to see how it varies from others. Will it replace my favorite? When I came across this recipe in What's Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food by Gaby Dalkin, I knew I'd have to try it.

The hardest part with these cookies is waiting for the cooling time, but they are worth it! (I guess it makes up for the time saved by melting the butter to start with.) Even my co-worker who loves chocolate chip cookies more than anything demanded the recipe. 

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate discs*
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt*

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the melted butter and brown sugar and mix with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment for 1 minute, or until combined. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until fully incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and slowly mix until just combined. The batter will be a bit stiff, but that's normal. Fold in almost all of the chocolate discs, leaving a few for sprinkling on top.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan, sprinkle with the remaining chocolate discs and Maldon sea salt, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. The top should be golden brown and still have a slight jiggle when gently shaken. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving. If you want to speed up the cooling process, transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes and then slice and serve.

*Notes from JennyBakes - I had leftover gluten free mini chocolate chips from my sister's visit, so I used those instead. Rather than sprinkling on sea salt, I added 1/2 tsp of regular salt to the batter, and felt this was a good choice (I'd just rather have salt throughout than as an accent.) I also baked the bars at least 10 more minutes than the recipe calls for, and still didn't have the dark golden brown that is in the cookbook picture. So mine may have been a bit more gooey, but after being overnight in the fridge, that turned into the kind of caramel-like middle that you can see in the first picture. These are thick, and I wonder what would happen in a 9x13 pan.

This post is sponsored by ABRAMS Books, as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party.

I have my eye on some other recipes in this book, but they felt more summery than our weather has prepared for, even in the south. Those include "Breakfast Flatbeard with Ricotta and Strawberry Basil Jam," "Chicken Larb and Coconut Rice Bowl," "Summer Chipotle Cobb Salad," "Chocolate Chip S'mookies,"and "Green Goddess Dip.

Bring on the summer!


Thomas Hogglestock said...

I'm not sure I have ever seen a picture that has inspired more food lust than this one does. When I was a kid my mother would make Toll House Cookie Bars because she found making cookies tedious. However, in a cost saving measure she skimped on chocolate chips and they were truly boring. Even when executed well, though, those bars would never live up to that picture. Also, back in the early 1990s Norstrom had a "Nordy Bar" that was moist and had cut up candy bars in it. They were good, but not as gooey as these look. I'm with you not wanting sea salt as an accent.

My plan is to bake them in an 8x8 pan so I can eat the differential in raw dough.

The rest of the cookbook looks yummy too. I just ordered my copy from my local indie.

Jenny Colvin said...

I hope you enjoy them! My family buys chocolate chips in bulk from Costco so basically there are giant tubs of them in the house at all times... so... opposite issue I guess! Ha. I just think chocolate chip cookies are the best creation and I will never pass up a chance to make a new version.

Unknown said...

I took them on a camping trip so didn't want them super gooey. I made the recipe to the T, put them in an 8 1/2 x 11 pan, baked for 25 minutes and they were perfect! Happy Campers!

Jenny Colvin said...

I think that's great, just bake them until they are right for you!