We’ve all had one of “those kind” of days, the kind that screams chocolate cookie… Not I want a chocolate chip cookie, but I NEED one… What makes a bad day worse, is opening up your tub of Earth Balance only to find nothing but some old buttery toast crumbs. Now what do you do?… Does this mean no chocolate chip cookies? :-( *sniff-sniff*
I suppose going to the store to buy a new tub is an option, but who really wants to go out when they’re having a bad day. Another (better?) option, improvise with cookie bars. These soft and slightly chewy cookie bars have all the chocolate chip cookie flavour, without needing half a tub of margarine, which is replaced with a mere quarter cup of oil.
Although my first choice is yogurt, don’t worry if you don’t have any. The bars turn out nicely using unsweetened applesauce instead. Also, I’ve called for both all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour, but if you were to use only one or the other for the full 3 cups needed, they work like that too… hmm, Can you tell I’ve made these once or twice? :-)
What is your mood boosting, “happy” food?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 cup Canola Oil
2 tbsp Non-Dairy Yogurt (I used coconut)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 3/4 cups Sugar
2 tbsp Molasses
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp Ground Flaxseed
6 tbsp Hot Water
1 1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, by lining it with aluminum foil and greasing the foil, or (my preference) lining it with parchment paper (no greasing required). Whichever method you choose, leave some overhang along the long edges, so you can use them for handles when removing the baked bars.
Stir together the flaxseed and hot water. Set aside to thicken into a gelatinous goo.
Stir together the two flours and baking soda. Set aside.
Beat the oil, yogurt, and salt until well blended. Mix in the sugar. Add the molasses, extracts, vinegar, and the flaxseed mixture. Beat until thoroughly combined (1 – 2 minutes).
Blend the dry ingredients into the wet mixture (you may need to finish mixing with a spoon).
Add the chocolate chips and stir in with a spoon. (I forgo the spoon and just use my hands, as I find it’s easier to get the chips into the dough this way)
Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the surface. (I place plastic wrap over the top to prevent the dough from sticking to my hands)
Bake for 30 minutes, the top should be golden and the edges should be pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Place the pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. (If you cut into it when still hot, the bars will look under done. They finish cooking as they cool, so allow at least 30 minutes)
Remove from pan and cut into bars. Drizzle with icing, if desired (recipe follows).
Store in a tightly sealed container.
Makes 18 bars.
Almond Flavoured Drizzle
1/4 cup Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
1 1/2 tsp Non-Dairy Milk
Stir all the ingredients together until smooth.
If needed, add additional sugar or milk (in very small amounts), until a drizzly consistency is reached.