50 Bar Cookies

Bake for a crowd: We came up with dozens of new one-pan treats. 

Categories:
Cookie, Baking
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Bar Cookie Basics
  • Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; coat the foil with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (unless making no-bake bars, Nos. 44 through 50).
  • Prepare your batter or dough. Spread in the prepared pan or press in using damp or oiled fingers.
  • Bake as directed, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pan. 
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1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Beat 2 sticks softened butter and 1 cup each granulated and light brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy; add 3 eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Reduce the speed to low. Add 3 cups flour and 3/4 teaspoon each baking soda and salt; beat until combined. Stir in one 12-ounce bag chocolate chips. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

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2. M&M Bars Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (No. 1), replacing the chocolate chips with 1 1/2 cups M&M's and 1 cup mini chocolate chips.

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3. White Chocolate–Macadamia Nut Bars Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (No. 1), using 1 tablespoon vanilla and replacing the chocolate chips with 1 cup each white chocolate chips and crushed salted macadamia nuts. 

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4. Glazed Cappuccino Bars Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (No. 1), adding 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder with the butter. For the glaze, whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth; drizzle over the cooled bars. 

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5. Maple-Cinnamon Bars Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (No. 1), replacing 1/2 cup of the brown sugar with pure maple syrup. Add 1/4 teaspoon maple extract with the vanilla and replace the chocolate chips with one 10-ounce bag cinnamon baking chips.

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6. Banana-Chocolate Bars Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (No. 1), adding 1 mashed large overripe banana with the eggs; omit the baking soda and chocolate chips. Dollop 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread onto the batter in the pan and swirl. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

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7. Chocolate-Mint Bars Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (No. 1), replacing the chocolate chips with crushed chocolate-mint sandwich cookies. 

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8. Cherry–Chocolate Chunk Bars Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (No. 1), adding 1/4 teaspoon almond extract with the vanilla and replacing the chocolate chips with 1 1/4 cups each chocolate chunks and chopped dried cherries.

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9. Sugar Cookie Bars Melt 2 sticks butter; let cool slightly. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Stir in 2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake until the edges are set but the center is soft, about 25 minutes. 

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10. Birthday Cake Bars Make Sugar Cookie Bars (No. 9); fold 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles into the batter before baking. Spread vanilla frosting over the cooled bars; top with more sprinkles.