Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet Treat for a Cutie Patootie

I appear to be on a chocolate chip baking kick lately - first it was the chocolate chip cookie dough brownies and then Alton Brown's "The Chewy" cookies.

This time, I stuck with an old favorite recipe - Chocolate Chip Cookie bars.

The occasion? I was meeting up with a friend and her adorable baby Olivia and I didn't want to show up empty handed!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
1 1/2 cups of packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine melted
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla (I dropped this to 1 teaspoon and added a teaspoon of almond extract)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (I used kosher salt)
2 cups of chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13" x 9" pan (I used my Pyrex pan).
  2. Beat together brown sugar, white sugar and butter in large bowl; beat in eggs and vanilla (and almond extract). Add flour and salt, beating until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips; spread batter in prepared pan.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the surface is lightly browned. Cool completely; cut into bars.

I think using kosher salt helps develop a glazed top, similar to the sheen that "The Chewy" cookies had:

But enough about the bars - now onto the really sweet topic of my post!

Walking into Bertucci's, I found that Olivia had grown A LOT since I had first seen her months ago and had grown into a little person. Also, I had to laugh, since she still looks so much like her father Rob. I told Jen that meant that their next child was due to look exactly like her!

Olivia was a sweetheart all through lunch, and enjoyed a healthy lunch of avocado and sweet potato while we chomped down on pasta and sandwiches:

That's her saying, "Umm, Umm, good! I love sweet potatoes!"

Although she may look serious in some of her pictures, I swear she was laughing and smiling the whole time. But for some reason, I wasn't able to capture it on film until I took like 15 minutes straight - it was so worth it!
She even let me hold her for a minute (truthfully, she was fine when she was facing her Momma and I quickly handed her back once she started to fret):
The piece de resistance? Her strawberry hat! I told Jen that now I understood why people say "I can eat you up" to small children - scary, yes, but oh so appropriate when they are this cute!
I told Jen we have to start meeting for monthly lunch dates so I can get my baby fix.


Jen said...

almonds! doh! Rob had to tell me what that sweet sweet taste was!

bcallegra said...

Rob was right - I can't resist adding almond extract to the chocolate chip cookie type desserts. It's something I picked up from Z.