Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I tried something new on Monday night, for the first time in a while. We’ve been super focused on all things outdoors lately and I haven’t done much in the kitchen…even cooking. We’ve also had a lot of friends who are dealing with a lot of tough and sad stuff. On Monday night, I was feeling the way one feels when friends are hurting and there isn’t a way to help. So I baked.

If you had told me, even 6 months ago, that I would turn to baking as a form of therapy, I would have burst out laughing. But there I was, looking up a recipe I could try given the meager supplies in the house (shopping has been low on the “to do” list as well). I went to my go to favorite, Sally’s Baking Addiction and found her Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, with melted butter…lots and lots of melted butter.

I had some Trader Joe’s brown sugar hanging around that I hadn’t been able to use because it got hard and crunchy quite quickly after opening. I thought this could be a good time to use it because it would melt in the butter.

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Another attractive aspect is that you can easily do all of the mixing by hand. You can also easily miss the extra egg yolk in the recipe (or, at least I easily almost missed it). I subbed in one cup of wheat flour for white.

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It mixes up into a ball and, as Sally indicated might happen, it’s a little hard to get the chocolate chips to mix in because the butter makes it all pretty slick. I did add the extra chips on top for pretty, and a little sea salt.

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It baked up golden brown and smelled amazing. They are delicious, definitely buttery, nice chewy texture.

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I could taste the sea salt, and I thought it was a nice complementary flavor. Hubby didn’t notice the salt at all. I shared some of these with friends and got the thumbs up from them. I will definitely be making these again.

I also mixed up a batch of bread dough that night. I used “bolted wheat” flour that my parents found at a farmers market. It’s a much softer flour, for lack of a better descriptor. I added a cup of spent wheat and barley¬†grains from a day when my hubby made beer with a friend.

I found that when it was time to form the dough into a ball the next morning, it was some seriously wet dough, REALLY REALLY wet. It took a lot of extra flour to get it anywhere near looking like a ball of bread. To my surprise, it baked up beautifully, has a less dense texture and tastes great. I haven’t been too adventurous with the bread recipe because it has come out perfect every time I’ve made it, but I’m glad I stretched the comfort zone.

I often share the baked goods with friends, and when I share them with friends who are hurting, maybe it helps in some tiny way. I found that it helped me on Monday night.