Oh boy. Last week was so hectic that… well it just wasn’t good. School has been in session for about a week and a half now and I’m still getting adjusted to my new school rhythm. Let me tell you, it has been hard, harder than previous years for some reason, and whoever said that your senior year in high school is a breeze, obviously flunked out because I am working my tail off here. The last week basically had me emotionally and physically drained, however, my weekend wasn’t as terrible as the week was. I even managed to find a little time for baking.
I knew I wanted to make something that was comforting because comfort food is geared to do just that: comfort. I know that there are tons of comfort foods out there, but to me, nothing says comfort like a warm chocolate chip cookie. To tell you the truth, I didn’t have to look very hard for this recipe. In fact, I obtained the recipe from a blog I have recently started following. Tara is the author of The Butter Dish. She is funny, witty, all of those good things, and it’s not just a food blog. Tara also writes about her day and little knick-knacks she finds, like the very adorable and coveted Mug Buddies - my gosh, they are so cute, I want one.
Anyways, one day Tara posted a recipe for Chocolate Almond Cookie Bark. When given a choice between a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie and a thin a crisp one, I will always and forever pick the soft and chewy. However, this cookie bark looked so delicious that I just had to try it. I did make a few adaptations to the recipe, like added butterscotch chips just because I needed to use up the little I had left.
I was actually pretty excited to make this bark because it is essentially one giant cookie, and who doesn’t love those giant cookie pies they have at the mall, am I right or am I right? However, this is a strange cookie because it requires no leavening agents or any eggs to bind it all together! Craziness. The cookie baked until it was a perfectly golden brown and it filled the house with the most amazing cookie aroma ever, seriously. My sister came home about an hour after the cookie had baked and she could still smell the wonderful cookie fragrance. (They should totally make a perfume that smells like chocolate chip cookies.) I had to resist eating the cookie for a little while because otherwise I would spoil my dinner, but it was totally worth the wait.
The most dominant flavor, I thought, was the butterscotch chips I added in. Whenever butterscotch is added into anything, that is the only thing I taste for some reason. But…I did taste the almond extract that went into the creamed butter and sugar mixture. It was subtle, but I think it made the cookie bark that much better. The bark itself was crisp, but it wasn’t thin, which, in my opinion, is the turn off point when consuming something as sacred as the chocolate chip cookie. This cookie totally saved my stressful week.
Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar
adapted from The Butter Dish
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
3/8 tsp vanilla extract
3/8 tsp almond extract
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup butterscotch chips
About ¼ cup extra semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9x9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Only do this step if you are paranoid, like me, that everything will stick to the pan and never come off. The original directions call for an ungreased pan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy looking. Add in in the two extracts and beat for another couple minutes. Slowly add in the flour in about two to three stages. Take the bowl off of the mixer and add in the chocolate and butterscotch chips.
- Plop the dough onto the prepared pan. If you are using parchment paper, this part will be a little tricky because the parchment will want to slide around and the cookie dough will not want to spread. Forming the cookie dough into the pan is not impossible, though; it will just take a little bit of elbow grease, persistence, and a lot of cookie dough placement.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top has just turned a lovely golden brown color. Take the cookie bar out of the oven. Cool on a cooling rack, while still in the pan. Once the cookie bark has cooled almost completely, place the extra chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 30 seconds and stir. If the chocolate still needs a little melting, heat again in 5 second increments until the chips have melted into a smooth consistency. Take a spoon and dip it into the melted chocolate and then, in a randomized fashion, drizzle and fling the melted chocolate onto the cookie bark.
- Take the cookie out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place on a flat surface. Cut into desired shapes and sizes. Now eat, be merry, have a glass of milk.