Confession: I am not good at baking cookies. I know, I know... pretty scary to hear the e-wife utter such words. But it is true. I'm sorry to let you down.
It's really kind of funny, because quite frankly I can whip up a homemade pie with a perfectly flaky crust and you would think that would be much harder than simply baking cookies. You would think. But for some reason, my cookies are notoriously flat and disappointing. I have great equipment and a great oven, have tried countless recipes and followed others' tips. Emma can turn out great cookies with all the same stuff (and has been doing so since age 11). So I have concluded, it must be me - I just don't have the touch. It's okay, I've come to peace with it.
So, all that said, it's with excitement that I share this cookie recipe that even I can make!
My neighbor Alana always gives these bar cookies to us each Christmas, and they are absolutely amazing. I have hinted for years that I'd love the recipe and this year she came through and dropped it in my mailbox! YES. I can do cookie bars. I can layer things and even cut them in straight lines! I couldn't wait to try them. Rich needed a treat for a meeting, so I had a great excuse to bake these.
The recipe title as given to me was simply "Cookie Bars." Ha. I think I'll entitle them "The World's Best Cookie Bars" instead. They are so very good - think Magic Cookie Bars (aka 7 layer bars) but MUCH better. A lovely flaky crust, a beautiful chocolate fudge layer, these just MELT in your mouth. They taste great at room temp and they are even really yummy chilled or right out of the freezer, too (not that I'd know..). If you like chocolate chip cookies, wait until you try these babies! They are so WOW.
And, the great thing is, they couldn't be simpler. Only 6 easy, on hand ingredients. The recipe calls for a can of sweetened condensed milk, but I'll show you how to ditch that nasty Eagle Brand stuff and make your own with 4 simple ingredients in 2 minutes flat in the blender. Scroll down below the cookie bar recipe for instructions.
Alana's Cookie Bars (aka World's Best Cookie Bars)
2 cups flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups chocolate chips, divided (I used semisweet for all, you can use milk chocolate or flavored chips such as peanut butter for the topping part if desired)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (or homemade)
¾ cup chopped nuts (I used pecans - betting macadamias would be amazing)
Mix flour, brown sugar, and butter in a bowl. Set aside 1/3 for topping and press the rest evenly into a greased 9 x 13 pan. I like to line my pan with parchment for easy removal and cutting later.
Mix 1 cup chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan. Melt on lowest heat. When completely dissolved, spread evenly onto crust.
Combine remaining topping, remaining chips, and nuts and sprinkle over the fudge layer in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into small squares.
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
In a blender, combine 1 cup powdered milk, 3 Tbsp. melted butter, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup boiling water. Blend until smooth and creamy. Equals 1 can store bought sweetened condensed milk (and it's cheaper and less junkier).