There are so many reasons why this is the perfect recipe for December. First of all, it is cookie making time of year, so this is a great way to incorporate our Recipe Swap group recipe with a food item that can be shared with the special people in our lives. Another reason is that my friends at Allrecipes.com are participating in Cookies Across America which is a national campaign that Allrecipes and Nestle Toll House are launching where groups host cookie exchanges to bake and donate cookies to shelters, food pantries, schools, etc. in order to share the holiday spirit with the community. You can click on the highlighted word above, and see the Facebook page for more details if you are interested in participating with your friends. So it is synchronicity that both the Recipe Swap group and Allrecipes would go hand and hand with the Toll House cookie this month.
I was really scanning my brain's Rolodex of recipes and consulted with my mom (the family baker) on my walk to work the other day and came up with a cookie bar topped with my favorite three ingredients: peanut butter, chocolate and coconut. What a better way to enjoy a cookie, than to be smothered in a melted peanut butter cup type topping. These flavors warm my cheeks and make me rub my hands together in excitement. I don't know if it is because I ate a lot of peanut butter for dinner as a kid, or frequently slurped down peanut butter cup blizzards after soccer practice or still dip my chocolate bar in the peanut butter jar after dinner...but this is my idea of a perfect dessert. I also added some oats into the bar portion to make it even more of a comfort food. So after whipping these babies up and making my kitchen warmly scented with chocolate, I sliced them into small squares, sampled the coconut and 'plain' ones, and promptly wrapped and froze them so I can take them to the Allrecipes.com Cookies Across America event next week. So if you are looking for an easy, rich dessert for your cookie making this year, try these or take a look at the other Recipe Swappers' take on the recipe below. I can't wait to see what everyone else did with the original cookie recipe.
Yields 16 servings
Adapted from The Second Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places
This recipe gives you the freedom to add or omit a sprinkling of coconut on top of the chocolate. I opted to leave half of the pan 'plain' and half sprinkled with coconut. I sampled both, and maybe like the coconut one 55% more. The chocolate portion ended up being as thick as the cookie portion, so you could flip them over and call them 'oatmeal-chip-chocolate-chip-cookie-coated chocolate bar'. I think it depends on your mood, whether on not to add the coconut...either way, you will bring a smile to anyone who bites into these little squares of heaven.
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp hot water
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips (bittersweet or semisweet)
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (bittersweet or semisweet)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the butter and the two sugars. Beat them together until smooth and airy. Add in the egg. Combine the baking soda and hot water in a small bowl. Add this into the sugar mixture. Slowly pour in the flour, oats and salt. Stir in the 1/3 cup chocolate chips and vanilla until every ingredient is fully combined in the batter. Spoon the batter into a parchment lined (or buttered) 9x9 pan. Spread into an even layer. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cookie bar is fully cooked. Remove from oven and let cool.
While the cookie is cooling (keep it in the pan for chocolate pouring purposes), in a double boiler (or in microwave), combine the remaining 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips and peanut butter. Heat until the they fully melt, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate and peanut butter is fully melted, pour on top of the cookie bar, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cookie bar in the pan. Sprinkle with coconut if you so choose. Place the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once it has solidified, move it to the refrigerator until the bars have a solid layer of chocolate on top. Remove and cut into small squares. Serve as a dessert with coffee, milk or dessert cocktails.