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Monthly Archives: August 2011

One Bowl Cookie Bars

Why bake?  I think this is an excellent question and one with many possible answers (the most obvious being that we bake in order to enjoy delicious treats).  It really is a lot of work when you think about it.  First there is finding the right recipe (but WHICH cookie recipe is the BEST cookie recipe?), then the gathering of ingredients (it’s difficult to find cream of tartar when you don’t realize it’s NOT a cream at all), then the arduous task of perfectly measuring each ingredients (but, my batter looks NOTHING like the picture), and finally the painstaking decoration process (which on occasion has resulted in sprinkles ALL OVER my kitchen floor).  So with all of that work, why bake?

To me, that’s like asking a marathoner, why run?  Sometimes there is no reason, but you do it because sometimes you just feel an uncontrollable urge to bake banana cupcakes with a mocha cream filling and banana butter frosting.  Some people would call it an addiction I suppose, but then I say give my sugar filled IV and point me towards the kitchen.

My husband is always telling me that I need to slow down and do less.  He usually tells me this after I have descended into a flour covered heap on the kitchen floor, moaning about everything being ruined because I only had time to make three different flavors of cupcake!  The fourth would have made all the difference and two dozen cupcakes might not be enough for nine people!

My most recent encounter with this has to do with my intense need to bake something for every important occasion in my office (birthdays, retirements, holidays, and sometimes just because).  One of my assistants was leaving (she got a much better job) so I wanted to bake something for her last day.  Her last day happened to coincide with our kitchen being renovated, a trip to Las Vegas, and a bridal shower looming over the horizon.  So I was just a little bit busy (not to mention kitchenless).  But I was not to be deterred – this girl deserved my baked goods, so I was going to give her baked goods!  I am a baking machine!

The original of this picture belongs to the creative mind of Allie Brosh - click on the photo to go to her blog site Hyperbole and Half and I promise you won't be disappointed.

So there I was on a Tuesday afternoon, desperately scouring the internet for a decent recipe for cookie bars that required one bowl, one pan, and ingredients I already had (which were technically packed away in a plastic tub, location undetermined, but I would worry about that later).  I found a lot of recipes that were close, but not close enough!  So I scoured my baking brain and prepared to do something that is no easy task for an untrained baker – I was going to have to create my own!  I used some of the recipes I did find to create a basis for proportions and came up with this recipe for these cookie bars!

The result had a hint of butterscotch taste to it that was unexpected but delicious!  I added a few sprinkles just for fun.  It’s a very easy recipe to change depending on what you have in your kitchen – I think next time I will make it with all peanut butter chips!

One Bowl Cookie Bars


½ box of unprepared yellow cake mix (can substitute vanilla or white)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter (melted)
1 egg
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease an 8×8 pan and dust with a tbsp of the cake mix
  3. Mix together the remaining cake mix, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs
  4. Add the melted butter and egg and mix well
  5. Add in the chips
  6. Press the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown