Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

on January 30, 2015

One of my fears as a child—yes, I had several—was tornadoes. I called them “tomatoes” and thought they would sweep me up and carry me away from my family. And I was certain, at some point, I would see Miss Gulch riding her bike before morphing into the Wicked Witch of the West on her broom.

So, I dreaded hearing there was a tornado watch or warning—I could never remember which was worse—and since I grew up in Iowa, whirling clouds of destruction were always a reality.

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Before baking. This is some yummy cookie dough so I recommend grabbing a spoonful before sticking it in the oven!

But one year, the tornado warning sounded just as my mom was stirring her special cookie bar dough. She herded my brothers and sister and me down to the basement, taking the dough and a handful of spoons with her, and let us nibble on the chocolate-chip-filled goodness while we waited for the storm to pass. (This was long before the raw egg scare.)

At one point, I went upstairs to get something to read and, as I passed the front door, I noticed a sky colored with reds and golds and blues. I opened the door and stepped out onto the porch. The air was still, hushed and peaceful, and my heart sighed. From that moment on, I was never afraid of tornadoes again. I headed back to the basement, where we ate cookie dough, played ping pong and waited for the all-clear.

I’ve hung onto Mom’s chocolate chip cookie bars recipe for over 30 years now. My youngest sister and I still make them fairly regularly. In fact, I took them to a singles game night just last weekend because this is the kind of love you have to share. They’re chewy inside with a paper-thin crispy layer on top and a slight butterscotch flavor. And so easy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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After baking. I had some white chocolate chips so I threw those in there too.

One yellow cake mix
½ cup oil (coconut oil works as does unsweetened applesauce—though Mom never would have imagined using either!)
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
A splash of milk (optional; makes stirring easier)
1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine all the ingredients. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, depending on your oven. I would check after 20-25 minutes.

Also, you can have fun with the flavor of cake mixes and chips. In the past, I’ve tried:

* Strawberry cake mix with white chocolate chips
* Chocolate cake mix with peanut butter chips and walnuts
* German chocolate cake mix with milk chocolate chips, coconut and pecans

Be creative! But, in my experience, the original is still the best.

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Cookie selfie.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get a glass of milk.




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