I enjoy recipes where you throw everything into one bowl, mix it all up and put it in the oven. Life is simple, clean up is easier, and you can do other things while the oven does the work. This is one of those recipes. I like to have homemade cookies on hand at all times, but sometimes its no fun to scoop out ball after ball of dough and wait for each batch to cook one after the other. Which brings me to these.....lazy cookie bars. Lazy because you barely have to measure anything and can have these ready to bake in 5 minutes. I think my 5 year old could make these. Seriously, no matter how awful a baker you may be, you can't mess these up.
How can a cookie bar be flourless, you may be thinking? The answer is NUTS. Nut butters are magical and happen to mix with eggs effortlessly. My new philosophy with baking is this.....I don't want to use any ingredient that I wouldn't eat plain on its own (with the exception of salt and vanilla extract, which are also pretty magical). So, this recipe includes: eggs, nuts, maple syrup, and dark chocolate. All things I would absolutely eat on their own, but mixed together they make something entirely different and exciting.
There is one more thing about these cookie bars that I absolutely LOVE. After you bake/cool and cut them into bars, they can store at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer. They are so versatile and portable! They are also much sturdier than a normal cookie (thanks to the bar shape) so they tend to travel very well. They taste like a chocolate chip cookie crossed with a brownie, which I believe is called a Blondie? They are not super sweet (by design). You could also mix in a number of other tasty things (shredded coconut, chopped nuts, etc). I happen to like them just as they are :)
These are gluten and grain free.....also dairy free if you use the right chocolate.
Step 1: Ingredients
1 (16 oz) jar cashew butter (almond butter would also work well here)
4 large eggs
5 oz pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (chopped chocolate would work well here too)
Step 2: Instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, pour all of your ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) into the bowl and "Stir" for 30 seconds. (Important, you have to start on the lowest setting so you don't get egg all over your kitchen).
3. Turn up the speed of the mixer to "2" for 15 seconds. Then turn it up to "4" for 15 seconds. Finally, raise the speed up to "6" (which is just above medium on my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer) and mix for 30 seconds. You want the batter to be completely smooth with no lumps of cashew butter.
4. Add in the chocolate chips and "Stir" until they are mixed in well. (about 15 seconds).
5. Pour your batter into a 9x13 glass pyrex baking dish. I don't even bother to grease it, they always come out just fine for me.
6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and cool completely on the counter. If you have a huge bubble looking mountain in the middle of your pan when it comes out of the oven, fear not! Just take a sharp knife and make a 1 inch slit into the top of the bubble. Gently push down on the top of the dough to let all of the steam escape from the bubble. It will cool perfectly and no one will be able to see the slit you made in the top.
Step 3: Storage
Once your bars are cooled, you can cut them and either eat immediately or store for another day. They store well on the counter, in the fridge, and in the freezer.
This recipe makes about 24 cookie bars.