Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I'm starting to think I have some sort of affinity for putting candy into already perfectly good desserts, as evidenced by my Cadbury Creme Egg BrowniesCandy Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies, and now...Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars!

Sometimes I get hit by this super urge to bake (but if we're being honest here, it's more like always), and that happened this past weekend, so I trolled my Pinterest baking board and picked these! I love chocolate chip cookie bars because they're a little more cakey than a typical cookie, and I love the cool flavors of peppermint patties, so this seemed like an ideal combo! I'm going to take the fact that the ones I brought to the office on Monday disappeared within about 3 hours as a sign that they were a hit! And I may or may not have found myself eating these for breakfast since I've been too lazy to go out and buy more milk after running out...I always like starting my days on a ridiculous sugar high, don't you?

There are a few different sizes you could make with this. You could do 8x8 if you want really thick bars, 9x9   for a tiny bit thicker (I found this fit the peppermint patties best, so it's the size I made), or if you're making them for a large crowd and want a thinner bar, go with 11x9 and double the amount of patties. Either way, you'll want to line the pan with aluminum foil generously sprayed with baking spray (I love Baker's Joy. It's a miracle in a spray can).

In a separate bowl, combine three cups flour with 1 teaspoon baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

In your mixer, you'll combine 2 sticks (1 cup) of room temperature butter with 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar, until light and fluffy. I think my addiction to baking is evidenced by the fact that I love the smell of butter and sugar mixing together (and I would have used a different phrasing, except it sounded super dirty, and I'm trying to not be gross...but $5 if you can guess what I would have said!)

Once the butter and sugar is well combined, beat in 2 eggs and 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Then you'll veeeeeeeeeerry slowly add in the dry ingredients. The easiest way to do that is probably keeping the mixer on the lowest speed and pouring in the flour mixture a little bit at a time. You definitely don't want to add it in all at once because otherwise it'll be more difficult to get everything well combined and not have huge flour pockets at the bottom of the mixer bowl.

Then you'll add in a 12oz bag of chocolate chunks. I actually used the chunks, but you could also just get regular chocolate chips too if you want.

Once the batter is completed, you'll press half of it into the bottom of the pan, making a solid layer of cookie bar. Then you'll unwrap lots and lots of peppermint patties (I used a 12oz bag which had 24 patties) and place them to get maximum coverage.

Look at all those wrappers!

Then you'll take the rest of the batter and press it down on top of the patties to finish the patty sandwich. I thought this would be more difficult to get the batter to really spread out how I needed it too, but it proved to be very easy!

And then after baking at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, I had some deeeeelicious bars!!!

There really is something about that shock of peppermint coolness, that even though you know it's there, it still kind of surprises you. And all that melted chocolate and cakey texture of the bars! Definitely another hit in my book. 

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