Happy Valentine’s Day ❤ If you are looking for holiday-appropriate treats, click here and here.If, however, you are over the heart-shaped baked goods—or, more likely, are looking for something to bake after Valentine’s Day is over—look no further than these very good, anything but boring, extremely square Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares.We’re talking about a thick, soft layer of cookie studded with miniature chocolate chips, topped with a blanket of chocolate buttercream, and scattered with more miniature chocolate chips. Always more chocolate chips, am I right?!These sweet squares are perfect for a multitude of occasions. They’re one of those recipes to keep in your back pocket for a game or movie night, class party, office break room pick-me-up, friend who needs a treat, picnic, casual birthday #stickacandleinit, or just…Saturday.And while they are not red, strawberry-flavored, rolled into truffles or cut into hearts, I know I’d be hard-pressed to pass one up on this fine, frigid Friday Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares
makes one 9-inch pan, about 16 squares
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
miniature chocolate chips, if desired
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square pan. Line with parchment, leaving overhang on two sides, and grease again. Set aside.
Make the cookie layer. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in light brown sugar, followed by egg and yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, beating just until combined. Add miniature chocolate chips. Dough will be thick.
Press dough into prepared pan with a silicone spatula. Bake 20 minutes, or until no longer wet-looking. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with only a few moist crumbs. Let cookie layer cool completely in the pan on a rack. Do not remove bars from pan.
Make chocolate buttercream. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in confectioner’s sugar, followed by cocoa powder and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla and heavy cream. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy.
Use an offset icing knife to frost bars. I like to do this in the pan so that the edges are clean.
Use overhang to carefully lift bars onto a cutting board. Gently peel back edges of the parchment. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice into 16 squares, wiping the knife clean between cuts.
Serve squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container with wax paper between layers. They will keep at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.