I love bar cookies because not only are they delicious, they are just so darned easy to prepare. And I needed an easy treat to serve the guys who would be rehearsing in our home later that afternoon.
So having just returned from Hawaii where macadamia nuts are considered a staple, I decided to include them with a couple of my other favorite tropical ingredients to create a simple bar cookie that would remind all of us of warm and sunny places. I also wanted to be able to leave my stand mixer in the pantry and while I was at it, make the cookies GF (gluten free). (I sometimes ask a lot of myself!)
So I started with a basic Blondie (a butterscotch or vanilla flavored bar cookie) recipe and went from there.
Now I know what you are thinking. Not an inexpensive cookie to make. And of course, you are right. But these are quite rich so you really don’t need to eat a very large bar to feel like you have just eaten a rare treat.
So if some day you find yourself short of time, but need a really good cookie to serve your family or friends, I would recommend you give this recipe a try. If you want to fancy up your bars to look like an expensive dessert that just came from the kitchen of a fine restaurant, place 1 bar on top of (at an angle) a second bar placed on a lovely small plate. Surround the bars with 2-3 small scoops of vanilla ice cream, dollop with a small amount of real whipped cream, sprinkle with finely chopped macadamia nuts, and finally top with a shave or two of dark chocolate. If that doesn’t impress your family and friends, I don’t know what would? Komoika (enjoy)
- ¾ c. unsalted butter
- 1½ c. GF flour (I use Cup4Cup) or unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 1½ c. brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 c. lightly salted macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1½ c. toasted coconut
Melt the butter in a large glass bowl. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool. Meanwhile whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Set aside.
When the melted butter is cool, stir in the brown sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until combined. Do not overmix. Gently stir in the chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut. Scoop the batter into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan and level with an offset spatula.
Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven (for glass) or 350 degree oven (if using a metal baking pan) for 30 to 40 minutes (takes longer when you use GF flour) or until the bottom is a nice golden brown and the top feels set when touched.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled and the chocolate chips have once again hardened, cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.