Monday, December 15, 2014

What's Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars


Today I am featuring the cookies I baked for the 2014 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This event, which is in its fourth year, brings together food bloggers from around the world with one mission -- to swap delicious cookies. This year, the swap again partnered with Cookies for Kids' Cancer to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Each participant was matched with the names and addresses of three other food bloggers. Our instructions were to send each of our matches a dozen cookies; in return we'd receive a dozen cookies from three different bloggers too. I received delicious orange cranberry chocolate chip cookies from Aly of Cooking in Stilettos, tasty Kris Kringles (sugar cookies rolled in crushed almonds and topped with a cherry) from Ace at The Toasted Sprinkle, and the most adorable gingerbread men from Teri at The Freshman Cook. The cookies were all delicious and I have to admit, they didn't last very long in our house.

My three batches of cookies went to Heather of Join Us, Pull Up a Chair; Meagan of A Zesty Bite, and Donna from dang that's delicious. Like last year, I again had a hard time deciding what cookies to bake for this year's swap. I experimented with a couple of shortbread recipes, but I wasn't too excited by the results. With time ticking down to the cookie shipping deadline, I decided to bake up a double-batch of my favorite cookies from last year -- the chocolate chip cookie dough billionaire cookie bars that Christina of Stracciatella sent me.


These cookies actually originate from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook written by Lindsay Landis of Love & Olive Oil, who also happens to be the co-founder of this cookie swap. These cookie bars are truly decadent. And while they may take a bit of time to put together, the end result is totally worth it.

I made a few simple changes to the original recipe. First, since I had some caramel sauce already on hand, I used it for the caramel layer rather than melting together 7 ounces of soft caramel candies and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream that the original recipe calls for. And because the cookie bars aren't rich enough (ha ha!) I also added a white chocolate drizzle to the dark chocolate topping. Go big or go home, that's what I always say. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars (printer-friendly version)
makes 20+ bars

For the shortbread layer:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

For the caramel layer:
1/2 cup easy bourbon caramel sauce (see separate recipe post)

For the cookie dough layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the chocolate coating/drizzle:
4 ounces (1/2 cup) dark chocolate melts
4 ounces (1/2 cup) white chocolate melts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper (it should overhang the dish on at least two sides) and set aside.
2. To make the shortbread, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars at high speed until light and fluffy.
3. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Add the flour at stir at low speed until just combined. The dough will be very crumbly. Turn the dough out into the prepped baking dish and press the dough firmly into the pan. Use a fork to poke holes across the surface of the dough. Bake the shortbread for 18-22 minutes, or until the sides are golden brown and the surface is firm to the touch. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.
4. Pour about 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce over the (still warm) shortbread layer. Use a spatula to evenly coat the shortbread layer with the caramel.
5. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator and allow the caramel layer to set, this should take about one hour.
6. Meanwhile, make the cookie dough layer. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then add the flour mixture to the mixer and stir at low speed to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Use a spatula to evenly spread the cookie dough on top of the hardened caramel layer. Place the baking dish back into the refrigerator to allow the cookie dough layer to set slightly.
7. Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate melts in separate bowls in the microwave (melt in 15-30 second increments). Use an offset spatula to spread the melted dark chocolate over top the cookie dough layer. Then use drizzle the white chocolate over top the dark chocolate, using whatever pattern you choose. Place the baking dish back into the refrigerator and allow to set completely.
8. Carefully remove the cookie bars from the baking dish and place onto a cutting board. Then use a sharp knife to cut the bars into one or two inch squares.

(lightly adapted from a recipe in The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook by Lindsay Landis)
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2 comments:

  1. OMG, your cookies were amazing!!!! I seriously ate 2/3 of it and I shared a few. ;) Thank you so much!!! This recipe is a keeper. I also have Lindsay's Cookie Dough cookbook too!

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