A friend of mine was commenting on my Peanut Butter Cut-Out Cookie recipe the other day and said she plans to make those for her kid’s class party this week. First and foremost, I was thrilled that she wanted to use my recipe. However, my second thought was complete shock. I was shocked that any kind of peanut product was allowed in her daughter’s classroom. I was also shocked that homemade treats were allowed. Here in San Antonio, I don’t know of any schools that allow nut products of homemade treats in the classrooms. This is true even at the daycare level. I understand the risks to those with nut allergies, and I’m not necessarily complaining here. I think it just makes me realize how much things have changed since I was a kid. Most people brought homemade cupcakes or cookies to class when we had parties back in the day. There is a part of me that is sad I’ll never be able to bring my daughter’s favorite homemade treat to her class. But you know what? Part of me is also relieved. There will never be that pressure to create some fancy homemade treat at the 11th hour the night before a class party.
When my daughter’s current classroom has parties, they ask us to sign up to bring something off of a premade list of foods. This week, our contribution is Valentine colored m&m’s. Perfect. Easy. Done. But for home, I still wanted my daughter to have a fun treat made by mom. Inspired by pink m&m’s, and my daughter’s love for chocolate chip cookies, I’ve created these chocolate chip cookie bars. Mixing up the dough is easy and adding m&m’s along with sprinkles adds a festive flare. I also love that you end up with two dozen servings all done at once. No scooping. No swapping out baking sheets. It is all in one pan and then you simply cut it as you’re ready to serve.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips (whichever you prefer – you just want variety from the semisweet you'll be adding in)
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Optional toppings: 1/4 cup candy coated chocolates such as m&m's, 1 Tablespoon jimmie sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and granulated sugar with butter.
- Add eggs and vanilla.
- Mix in dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, until all ingredients are fully combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Press cookie dough into pan. If adding candies and sprinkles, spread them evenly and press into the top of cookie dough.
- Bake 35-38 minutes or until a test toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before cutting.