Category Archives: chocolate chip

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsFor a short week, this one has seemed endless. There has been change and growth and letting go and construction and a migraine that began on Tuesday night and continued well into Wednesday afternoon.Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsWhat I’m saying is that I could use a treat. Luckily, I have a refrigerator full of these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars, which are the perfect chewy, gooey, crispy-edged, chocolate-studded sweet to counteract all the negative energy in my immediate vicinity.Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsIn addition to being a perfect flavor and textural combination, these bars are super easy to make. The cookie layers are simply a chocolate chip cookie play on the crumb I used in my Sweet Cherry Sugar Cookie Crumble. It comes together in five minutes and only requires one bowl—score!Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsA little more than half of the cookie mix gets pressed into the bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Then comes the salted caramel, which is simply a bag of soft caramel candies that are melted with salt and heavy cream.Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsSalted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsThe remaining cookie mix is scattered over the top of the caramel and then everything is baked until the edges are crisp and the caramel is starting to bubble up through the cookie crumble.Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsLet your bars cool completely before slicing. If you try to cut them before they’re cool, you won’t get the satisfaction that comes with clean edges and beautiful layers (if not perfect evenness).Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsAnd that’s to say nothing of the buttery chocolate chip cookie layers and the gooey, salty caramel filling, which are a match made in dessert heaven. So, so delicious.Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsI logically know that dessert is not going to change the world, but I can’t seem to look at these and see anything but goodness. Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars can’t solve my problems, but four bites of salty-sweet caramel sandwiched between layers of crisp cookie can certainly help soften the blow, am I right?!Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars
makes about 16 bars

Chocolate Chip Dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 reaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Salted Caramel Filling:
1 11-ounce bag caramel candies, unwrapped
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and grease with butter. Set aside.

Make the chocolate chip dough. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add vanilla and melted butter and whisk until combined. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in mini chocolate chips. Set aside. Dough may seem crumbly.

Make the salted caramel layer. Combine caramels, heavy cream, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Firmly press about 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chip dough into a thin, even layer at the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour caramel over the top and smooth to the edges. Scatter remaining dough mixture over the top. Try not to leave any huge areas of caramel uncovered, lest it burn.

Bake full pan for 23-26 minutes, or until turning golden at the edges. Caramel will be liquid straight out of the oven, but will set as bars cool. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Slice bars with a lightly greased chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Do not try to slice bars until they are completely room temperature.

Bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. Layer them with wax paper to keep them from sticking together.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsSalted Caramel Chocolate Chip BarsSalted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

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One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

One Big Chocolate Chip CookieI know I’ve been keeping it savory and vaguely healthy this month, but I like to live on the edge. Especially on Saturday nights while wearing my softest/oldest/ugliest/best pajamas and a sweatshirt only the person who bought it in college (12 years ago!) could love.

(With a wardrobe like that, it’s a wonder that I’m single.)One Big Chocolate Chip CookieMy partying days are well behind me now. I don’t drink or smoke anymore. I quit Diet Coke completely and have cut my seltzer intake to a maximum of two a day. My coffee…well, that’s neither here nor there.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieThe point is that my list of vices is pretty short these days, but making myself One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie on the occasional late night is one that I have no intention of parting with. Sometimes you just need a cookie the size of your face. Sometimes it’s the answer to all your problems.

Well, a big cookie and acceptance. Acceptance is a pretty important important part of solving problems.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieBut this is a baking blog so…back to this big, no-sharing-required dessert for one (or two, if you’re feeling benevolent). It requires miniscule amounts of 8 ingredients that you likely already have, and only about 25 minutes start-to-finish.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieThis recipe differs drastically from that of my usual Chocolate Chip Cookies. For one, there’s no egg. I have tried many of the single big cookie recipes out there and have always been frustrated by the fact that they require you to scoop one tablespoon of a beaten egg. Have you ever tried to measure a spoonful of beaten egg? It’s stupidly difficult. Also, what do you do with the leftover two tablespoons of beaten egg?!

This is the sort of baking silliness that infuriates me (clearly), so I found a way around it. This recipe mitigates the egg-measuring problem by swapping in one teaspoon of water, and it works incredibly well. I wouldn’t try this for any large-batch cookie recipes, but it works here.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieThe other differences from my regular recipe are less…scientific. I use melted butter here because creaming one tablespoon of butter is ridiculous and unnecessary. Oh, and there’s no need to chill your dough. This recipe is meant to be made on the fly and enjoyed while the chocolate is still melty.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieMelted chocolate + soft centers + chewy caramelized edges = ❤ ❤ ❤ One Big Chocolate Chip CookieA quick word about leaveners before I get to the recipe. I tested this recipe seven times (!) with both baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda, which I use in my large-batch recipe because it produces browner cookies with more surface area, won out, but just barely.

Generally speaking, baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable, but this is one recipe where you can use either one (in a 1/8 teaspoon volume) and still have a quality cookie. The baking powder version will be a bit thicker and won’t have the same dark, buttery edges as the baking soda version, but it will still be delicious. This soda/powder swap will not work for many (if any) other recipes, but it works here. I thought about leaving this information out of this post, but I don’t want a lack of leavener to come between you and a cookie the size of your face.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieThank me later.One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie
makes 1 large cookie

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon water (not cold)
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda*
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for optional topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Mix in water and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt, and whisk until a dough forms. Use a silicone spatula or spoon to mix/fold in chocolate chips.

Use your hands to form dough into a ball and place on parchment. Dot with additional chocolate chips (for aesthetic purposes), if desired. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until edges have darkened to a golden brown color and center is still a bit pale.

Let cookie cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes before using a spatula to remove it to a plate. Enjoy.

Note:

An equal volume of baking powder will work in place of baking soda. The cookie it produces will be a bit thicker and paler, but still delicious. I do not recommend swapping baking soda and baking powder in any other recipes.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

Cheesecake Blondies

Cheesecake BlondiesI have been debating for three days whether or not I should post these Cheesecake Blondies or use Independence Day as a “free pass” to take a rare blog day off.Cheesecake BlondiesCheesecake Blondies won out though, because they are the perfect treat to sink your teeth into while you watch the fireworks. Creamy cheesecake and chewy brown butter blondie in near-equal layers? Sign. me. up.Cheesecake BlondiesAnother great thing about these blondies? They are super easy to make and bake up in just 25 minutes!Cheesecake BlondiesThe most difficult part of making Cheesecake Blondies is waiting for them to chill. Those three hours can seem eternal, but they are completely necessary—nobody likes warm cheesecake.Cheesecake BlondiesOnce the chill time is up, slice up the blondies and revel in their cuteness. Chocolate chips have a way of making things more adorable, don’t they?Cheesecake BlondiesMake a batch of Cheesecake Blondies for your holiday cookout or pack a box into a cooler and take them on the go! You and your friends and family will love the combination of tangy cheesecake and sweet, brown buttery blondie ❤ Cheesecake BlondiesHappy Fourth of July!Cheesecake Blondies

Cheesecake Blondies
makes one 8- or 9-inch square pan, about 9-16 blondies

Blondie Batter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips + more for scattering

Cheesecake:
8 ounces (1 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with foil and grease lightly. Set aside.

Brown the butter. Place butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Let butter melt. Butter will bubble and crackle as the water content evaporates. Swirl the pan frequently for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. When the solids are turning brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant, remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a large mixing bowl.

Add brown sugar to the brown butter and stir to combine. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Use a silicone spatula to stir in flour and salt, scraping down the bowl as needed. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared pan. Set aside.

Make cheesecake. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Pour on top of blondie batter and smooth to the edges of the pan. Scatter additional chocolate chips over the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, tenting with foil at the 15 minute mark or if anything begins browning too quickly. Blondies are ready when the cheesecake just barely jiggles when the pan is jostled. Let cool in the pan on a rack until they reach room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until completely cold.

Use foil overhang to lift blondies out of the pan. Carefully peel off foil. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice bars, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Serve.

Leftover Cheesecake Blondies will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For best storage, separate layers with wax paper.Cheesecake Blondies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip SconesI put a poll on my Facebook page late yesterday afternoon because I couldn’t decide which of two brown butter chocolate chip recipes I should post to the blog today. The options were Cheesecake Blondies and these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones, and while it was a tight poll, Team Scone ultimately reigned supreme.

For those who might prefer cheesecake over scones, don’t fret—that recipe will make its debut soon. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine ever being tired of brown butter and chocolate…Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
…especially when they’re folded into a simple dough, sliced into wedges, and baked into the very best chocolate chip scones I’ve ever had. Y’all, these are ridiculous. Ri-di-cu-lous.Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
They’re soft and fluffy with crunchy edges and crispy caramelized sugar on top! Oh, and the depth of brown butter and just the right amount of mini chocolate chips ❤ I’m not much of a chocolate for breakfast gal, but these scones could easily convince me otherwise!Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
The idea for these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones has been floating around in my head and my “to bake” list for some time now—probably since I made the biscuits for last summer’s Brown Butter Strawberry Shortcakes. In fact, this recipe is quite similar to that one. It starts with brown butter that’s chilled until solid before being cut into dry ingredients.Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
Half-and-half is the main liquid ingredient here; its extra fat helps make up for any moisture the butter may have lost during the browning process. An egg yolk helps with this, too. It may seem like an afterthought—what can one lone egg yolk really do in a scone recipe?—but it makes a huge difference in terms of texture and shelf-life. Where most scones begin to dry out by the end of the day they’re made, these stay surprisingly tender and fluffy into day two. I love how the tops lift right off!Brown Butter Chocolate Chip SconesBrown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
Other things to look out for in this recipe? Brown sugar and vanilla. I have seen many chocolate chip scone recipes with citrus zest and/or warming spices, but I wanted mine to have flavors more reminiscent of a chocolate chip cookie. Neither of these ingredients is particularly prominent—instead, they allow the brown butter and chocolate to shine.Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
Alright, that’s enough for a Wednesday! Now, go brown some butter and make yourself some scones. Or better yet, hold onto this recipe and make them for Father’s Day this weekend 🙂 Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
makes 8 scones

Brown Butter:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

Brown Butter Biscuits:
2/3 cup half-and-half, very cold, plus more for brushing
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup brown butter, solid, very cold
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coarse sugar (like turbinado), for sprinkling

Brown the butter. Place butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Let butter melt. Butter will bubble and crackle as the water content evaporates. Swirl the pan frequently for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. When the solids are turning brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant, remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a small bowl. Let the butter cool to room temperature before refrigerating until solid and very cold, several hours or overnight.

Brown butter may be made up to a few days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

Make the scones. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup, use a fork to whisk together half-and-half, egg yolk, and vanilla. Refrigerate.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and salt. Add cold brown butter. Use a pastry blender or clean fingertips to cut the butter into the flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in half-and-half mixture. Fold in miniature chocolate chips.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat it to 1-inch thick circle. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice circle into 8 wedges. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Brush with more half-and-half and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 14-16 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let scones cool on the pan on a rack for a few minutes, or until they can be handled.

Scones may be served warm or at room temperature. They are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I’ve eaten a lot of desserts in my life—A LOT—but as far as sheer enjoyment goes, I still think it’s pretty hard to beat homemade chocolate chip cookies. The combination of caramelized brown sugar cookie and semisweet chocolate chips is about as perfect as it gets, don’t you think?Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is in the archives along with a chocolate chip cookie cake that’s bigger your face <—make that! I’ve been working on another iteration of this classic for about a year, too. I wonder if the people I work for have noticed that every batch of cookie dough I’ve made for the last year has been just slightly different than the last…

But enough about old favorites and the cookies to come—today is all about Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}That’s right—these delectable chocolate chip cookies are made with creamy cashew butter in place of a traditional flour base, making them gluten-free. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I have a bit of an obsession with reimagining classic cookies with a cashew butter base. The smooth, buttery flavor of cashews is a perfect jumping off point for revamping all sorts of cookie jar favorites! I posted Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles about a year ago and Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies around Christmas, but I think this is my favorite so far. I mean, hello—melty chocolate chips, y’all!Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Another great thing about these Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies? They’re vegan! The natural oil in the cashew butter negates the need for butter, and the usual egg is swapped for a few tablespoons of aquafaba AKA the cooking/canning liquid from chickpeas. Sounds weird, but it totally works, it’s inexpensive and readily available, and no, it will not make your cookies taste like beans. If you’re still skeptical, you can use a flax egg. Either way, you’ll end up with a batch of spectacular vegan, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}You’ll notice that these cookies don’t have the slightly raggedy edges of my other forays into cashew butter cookies. That’s because I finally figured out that these cookies bake up in a more aesthetically pleasing way if you flatten them before they go in the oven.Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}*cue “The More You Know” jingle*Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I’m going to gush a little more about these cookies and then I swear I’m done 😉 This recipe doesn’t require anything beyond a whisk, a silicone spatula, and a bowl. There’s no required chill either–if you turn on the oven right now, you can have an entire batch of cookies ready to go in just about an hour!Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Seriously, there are so many good things to say about Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Their shockingly-close-to-the-real-deal flavor and soft & chewy texture are enough to capture just about any cookie-loving heart ❤ My favorite thing about them though is that they’re vegan and gluten-free, so I can share them with more friends. I’m pretty sure that the only thing better than a fresh homemade batch of chocolate chip cookies is having people to share them with.Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 2 dozen small cookies

1 cup creamy-style cashew butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea canning liquid) or 1 flax egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/4 cups dairy-free chocolate chips + more for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cashew butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Mix in aquafaba (or flax egg) and vanilla. Use a silicone spatula to fold in cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Fold in dairy-free chocolate chips.

Scoop dough by the tablespoon and form into balls. Place dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared pans and press down to flatten. Bake 10-11 minutes, just until no longer wet-looking. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Press more chocolate chips onto the tops of the warm cookies, if desired. Repeat baking process with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Cashew flavor will mellow slightly over time.

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}