Tag Archives: cookies

Ooey Gooey Oreo Brownie Sandwiches

15 Oct

The blogosphere is abuzz with recipes for Halloween parties and Fall goodies, because these big seasonal affairs are universally exciting. But for now at least, I would rather celebrate the small things. The things that belong to no one else but me (and Goose too).

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the massive commercial holidays, even when you hardly know their significance, or even if they have one. Celebrating the little things, like straight A report cards, loosing teeth, the first snow of the season, and monthly anniversaries can bring just as much, if not more happiness.

Just because the rest of the world doesn’t recognize how incredible it is to dating the same person for 39 months, doesn’t mean that it isn’t incredible.I have a habit of baking something for Goose for each of our monthiversaries, not because there is any societal custom that dictates that I should, but because I feel so incredibly lucky to shared another month with my best friend and favorite person by my side.

I challenge you, find something for you to celebrate with loved ones this month besides Halloween. Maybe you’ll end up with a new tradition, or simply a way to jazz up an otherwise ordinary day.

Today I’m not sharing jazzed up pumpkin pie or homemade candies, instead I am focusing on something classic and timeless, with a slightly modern update because that’s what life calls for. Something (or someone) who is dependable, but also adaptable.

I present to you my Ooey Gooey Oreo Brownie Sandwiches. The cookies are almost like the lovechild between a brownie and a macaroon shell. They are perfectly rich and chocolately to satisfy any intense cocoa craving. I prefer to devour the cookies plain, but for anyone who prefers sweeter desserts, whip up the oreo cream filling to balance out the intense chocolate flavor.

As with your  holidays, feel free to make these cookies entirely your own. Skip the filling and instead add white chocolate chips into the cookie batter, mix some salted caramel sauce into your filling, add a smear of peanut butter along with your filling to the sandwich. Try out anything that sounds good to you! Remember that this is your life, and you deserve to do whatever makes you happy.

Ooey Gooey Oreo Sandwiches 

Cookies adapted from Recipe Girl

Yield: 10-15 cookie sandwiches

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • nonstick cooking spray (as unprocessed as possible, like canola oil spray)

Filling

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray it with nonstick spray.
  2.  In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar with cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder. Whisk in two egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened. You’re looking for a brownie-like, thick and fudgy batter consistency. If it seems too thick, add another egg white. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds per cookie sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.
  4. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto wire racks. Let cookies cool completely. Because of the lack of flour, these cookies are very difficult to remove. You will loose some along the way, but don’t worry, the ones that refuse to make nice with you spatula are the gooiest, most delicious ones that should be going straight into your mouth!
  5. While the cookies are cooking, make the filling by creaming the butter in the bowl of a mixmaster, about 3 minutes, then slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla and the salt, mixing for another 30 seconds.
  6. Match up your cookies into similarly-shaped pairs. Spread the filling on one of the oreos, then smoosh the two halves together.

Warm and Cuddly Snickerdoodle Cookies

25 Sep

As fall finally starts to roll around, I want something warm and comforting to snuggle up with. This felt like the perfect opportunity to add fuel to the flame of my crazy cookie obsession.

They are perfect for eating warm with a nice glass of milk or a steamy cappuccino. Make these cookies and share them with someone you love. Turn the season premiere of your favorite tv show into a celebratory cookie palooza.

Snickerdoodles fall right behind chocolate chip cookies on the ultimate comfort food scale. These cookies are soft, chewy, and down right addictive. Because there are no overpowering ingredients, the focus is more on the light and fluffy texture.

These cookies are for Goose because not only is he sugar and spice and everything nice (just like the cookies themselves), he also ate them already and won’t complain about me posting a recipe from a few weeks back. Especially if I promise to make some more for him very very soon. Like this weekend soon.

In case you still weren’t already convinced, these snickerdoodles really are that good that they will disappear and force you to remake them again and again. And since they take less than a half hour to whip up, I’m sure you won’t mind filling your house with the scent of warm, cinnamony cookies again.

 

Healthier Snickerdoodle Cookies 

Adapted from ElleFirebrand’s recipe on Food.com

Yield: 24 cookies

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus two tablespoons, divided
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking power, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixmaster on medium-high speed, cream together brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white sugar, and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and egg white.
  4. Turn the mixmaster down to slow, then gradually add in the dry ingredients.
  5. Once combined, shape the dough into 24 balls and place them on baking trays in the freezer for about a minute to allow them to firm up. Meanwhile combine the remaining 1/8 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  6. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and roll each ball in sugar mixture, then place them two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use the palm of your hand to lightly flatten the cookie dough balls.
  7. Bake the cookies for about 6 minutes. Allow them to cool on the baking pan for 1 minute before transferring them to cooling racks to finish cooling.

 

Roommate Cookies (aka Momofuku Milk Bar Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies)

29 Aug

After three tedious mornings of taking the SAT, weeks of college essay revision, and months of waiting for college acceptance letters, I am finally a university student at my dream school. For the past week I’ve been living in the arts and humanities building with my incredible suite mates, and I’m loving every minute of it.

What did I do my first weekend of college? Bake cookies of course!

When I went home for the weekend, I wanted to bring a nice big batch of cookies for the dorm. These couldn’t just be any cookies, they had to be knock your socks off cookies to introduce my constant baking. So I turned to the brilliance of Christina Tossi’s Momofuku cookies.

They turned out even better then I had expected. They were so delicious that my floor mates and I eagerly devoured them within a day. They integrated the staples of a college student’s diet: cookies, chocolate, marshmallows, milk, and cereal.

The crunchy cornflake crumb and gooey marshmallows are reminiscent of rice krispy treats, while the buttery dough and chocolate chips are similar to traditional chocolate chip cookies.

The cookies take a lot of prep time between making the cornflake crunch, creaming the butter and sugar for 10 minutes, and allowing the dough rounds to chill for over an hour, but they are worth it!

By making the cookies smaller, reducing the butter by half a cup and substituting half of the mini chocolate chips for higher quality dark chocolate chips, I made the cookies slightly lighter so that you can eat two or three of them without a terrible stomach ache or sugar rush. Trust me, there’s no way to stop after just one.

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar via Daily Candy

Yield: 15-20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1¼ cup mini marshmallows
  • 3 cups Cornflake Crunch
    • 3 3/4 cup cornflakes
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk powder
    • 1/4 cup plus 3/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 6 tablespoons plus 2 1/4 teaspoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275° and line 4 large baking trays with parchment.
  2. Prepare the cornflake crunch by crushing the cornflakes with your hands in a medium bowl to 1/4 their original size. Add milk powder, sugar, and salt, then toss to mix. Add butter, then toss to coat. The butter will act as a binding agent to combine the dry ingredients with the cereal, creating small clusters. On a lined sheet pan, spread the clusters and bake for 20 minutes, until they are toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed. Allow them to cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg and vanilla and beat 7-8 more minutes.
  4. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix just until dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step or risk overmixing.) Scrape down sides of bowl. Still on low speed, paddle in cornflakes and chips until just incorporated, about 30-45 seconds. Then paddle in marshmallows.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup scoop to plop the dough onto the remaining lined pans, leaving 3 inches between cookies. Pat tops of dough domes flat. Wrap pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. Do not bake room-temperature disks — they will not hold their shape.
  6. Once again preheat the oven. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until cookies are browned on edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. Leave them in oven for another minute or so if they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
  7. Cool the cookies completely on pan before moving them to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Focusing On What Really Matters With Fluffernutter Chocolate Puddles

17 Jul

Sometimes we all get so caught up in our to-do lists that we lose track of what’s really important. I’ve always struggled with separating the things that I need to do from the things that I want to do. FOr years this has been a constant source of self-inflicted angst. For instance, in high school I would always shoot for the highest A I could get instead of simply being satisfied with a 90%, I used to feel a need to check in with each of the blogs that I read on a daily basis to make sure that I didn’t miss out on anything, and I always tried to publish the greatest possible number of posts here on ModernAlice per week.

While these may be characteristic qualities of perfectionism, a few weeks ago I decided that I wasn’t going to let my goals derail me from simply making the most of every moment and living a bit more spontaneously. Some people may call it slacking off, but I simply call it reevaluating my priorities. Spending time fully focused on my friends, family, and boyfriend is my greatest priority, and I am making sure that my habits and time distribution reflect that.

What this means for my blog is that I may be blogging less frequently and with fewer step-by-step pictures of my baking projects. It also means that when I go out to dinner with my family, I will focus more on the conversation than on snapping blog-worthy photos in hopes of turning a meal into a blog post.

Now back to the cookies….

Goose and my incredible younger sisters helped me whip up these cookies and this recipe was one of my first baby steps toward more spontaneous, relaxed baking. The recipe is pretty simple and adaptable, so this is a great place to start relinquishing my kitchen control.

I baked these cookies twice last year and got rave reviews both times, so instead of spending precious time searching the internet for recipe inspiration, I wanted to share this delicious stand by with you. It combines a slightly healthier peanut butter cookie base with ooey gooey marshmallows and a decadent chocolate glaze. What’s not to love? These are a snap to whip up and a great way to show the people in your life that you care.

This ooey gooey cookie is the antitheses of light and delicate Parisian macarons. It’s a purely American mishmash of beloved flavors: salty peanut butter, sugary marshmallow, and rich chocolate. The cookies are perfect in their imperfection. What matters most about cookies are how delicious they taste, not how beautiful they look. Allow the marshmallows to deform as desires and the chocolate to spread or drizzle however it wants, and simply embrace the puddles of deliciousness.

Fluffernutter Chocolate Puddles 

Adapted from Bakegirl

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown  sugar
  • 
1 egg
1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 bag of large marshmallows (or you can use minis if you prefer)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate (chips, bars, or chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk (or heavy whipping cream if you want a thicker glaze)
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Set the dry mixture aside.
  3. Combine the egg and both sugars in a medium bowl and whisk until the until the mixture becomes pale yellow. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring out the peanut butter, then use a spatula to combine.
  5. Add the flour mixture from step two to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  6. Roll the cookie dough into balls, then slightly flatten them and place the disks on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 5-7 minutes.
  7. In the meantime prepare the chocolate glaze by placing the butter and chocolate in the bowl of double boiler. Occasionally stir the mixture, then once it’s almost entirely lump-free, whisk in the milk. Set aside.
  8.  Remove the cookies from the oven and lightly press a large marshmallow (or 3-4 small ones) into the top of each cookie and bake for another 2-3 minutes so that the marshmallow softens.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 2-3 minutes. Use a fork to lightly drizzle or a spoon to drop the chocolate onto the cookies.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool on baking racks for as long as you can wait, then enjoy!

What I’m loving now: June 2012

17 Jun

This is a new series that I’m going to be staring. Every month I want to share with you 10 of the products, articles, recipes, or ideas that have struck my fancy. I hope you enjoy!

10. These shoes look super luxe but without the killer price tag. The Mona Mia Trinidad Woven Planform Heels are the perfect work shoe with a classic pencil skirt or great for a night out with your favorite jeans and a fun top. I think these vegan leather heels are the perfect way to update any summer look.

9. Check out these wonderful tips from Amy Pennington of Apartment Gardening on how to grow as garden even in an urban environment. I’ve never thought of growing my own lettuce, but after reading her advice, I think I’m going to give it a try!

8. 479° Popcorn’s Black Truffle and White Cheddar Popcorn is my absolute favorite snack right now. The air-popped treat only feels indulgent with its 70 calories per serving. The salty and umami tastes combined with the crunch of the popcorn make this the perfect way to satisfy any foodie craving!

7. Eminence’s Eight Greens Phyto Masque is AMAZING! It makes my skin look instantly brighter, cleaner, and more glowy. It uses a combination of organic ingredients to to promote cellular renewal, boost circulation, stimulate collagen production, regulate oil production and balance skin’s hormone levels, leading to healthier, clearer skin. I especially love that this Yucca-based mask uses all natural ingredients instead of the man-made chemicals in so many other facial products. 

6. Seattle’s Beacon Food Forest that’s on its way to becoming the first park of its kind with 7 acres of land just 2.5 miles from downtown Seattle. where people can relax and munch on fresh fruit and vegetables for free. This sounds like a genius way to target the nation’s obesity epidemic during the recession. Free produce plus getting active in the park sounds like a great way to improve anyone’s health. I hope that the trend of food forests catch on because I want one near me.

5. Abby Paloma is trying to connect New York’s yoga community with the farm-to-table food movement by hosting a series of summer yoga dinners at Growing Heart Farm in Wingdale where yogis pay $60 to tour the farm’s vegetable, herb, and flower gardens before taking an outdoor yoga class complete with live music and finally enjoying a vegetarian dinner made from the farm’s bounty. I think that this sounds like a genus way to capture the basic similarities of the yogic approach to living in the moment and being in harmony nature and the local farm movement’s emphasis on sustainability and embracing nature.

4. These Chocolate-Dipped Tea Bag Shortbread Cookies are a perfect addition to any afternoon.Dark chocolate covered shortbread is always delicious because of how the buttery cookie complements the bitter chocolate, but the shape of the cookie is really what makes them special. It’s such a great idea to turn a typical household item into an impossibly chic cookie!

3. We are Handsome’s Scoop Back Puppy One Piece is quite possibly the cutest bathing suit I’ve seen all season. While the $300 price tag is absurd, looking at the adorable puppy face is a sure way to make anyone smile. Who could help but love that adorable, oversize puppy face!

2.Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth created this 21 meter sculpture in German Duisburg as a reaction to local development. The Tiger and Turtle-Magic Mountain shows an impressive view of the surrounding area when visitors climb the winding roller coaster-esque staircase. The impassable loop forces people to turn  back halfway through the loop, but the obstacle makes them really think about the entire experience of the manual roller coaster.

1. This one  you can’t get yourself because he’s all mine. The number one thing I’m loving right now is my Dad. He’s the only dad cool enough to join a fantasy football league with my boyfriend, fly our family halfway across the country so that he and I could go see the incredible Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, and be in better shape than me or any of my sisters even in his 50’s (wow that man can do a lot of burpees!). My dad may very well be the coolest man I’ve ever met. He’s taught me how to appreciate good food, good movies, and good music. He’s taken my sisters and I to visit some of the magnificent places in the world to give us the type of cultural education that would be impossible to get simply by studying at home. If you’re reading this, I love you Dad! Happy Father’s Day!

Oatmeal Cookies Two Ways: Chocolate-Cherry and Butterscotch-Chip

6 Jun

I know that as summer rolls around, people start choosing frozen treats over baked goods, but I wholeheartedly believe that even during the summer, nothing can beat homemade cookies.

Butterscotch-Chip on the left and Chocolate Cherry on the right

These cookies are for when you just need a good, chewy cookie. The cookies that I have to share with you today are not soft, airy cake cookies, but rather chewy, textured oatmeal cookies. That’s why they’re best served warm with a glass of milk!

Yummy Fillings

Carmely sugar and butter mixture

Sugar mixture plus flour mixture

Dough combined

Mixed again after addition of egg and vanilla

Although my mom has always had a soft spot for  oatmeal raisin cookies, to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan. I always felt like I was getting ripped off by finding yucky raisins instead of chocolate chips in my cookies. Unlike raisins, tangy sour cherries, on the other hand, are delicious. Even still, everything is better with chocolate chips.

Two bowls of basic oatmeal cookie dough

Butterscotch and Chocolate Chips added

Dried Sour Cherries and Chocolate Chips added

Butterscotch-Chip on the left and Chocolate Cherry on the right

That’s why I first decided to make cherry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. But Goose hates cherries (or any fruit for that matter) and whenever I bake, I like to be able to share the goodies with him. So I decided to also make chocolate chip butterscotch cookies, so that he could have some too. Instead of making two entirely different cookies, I wanted to make a basic dough that could suit us both. Hence, these super-adaptable oatmeal cookies were the perfect fix. Simply divide the batter into two (or more) bowls and add whatever mix-ins you want.

Butterscotch-Chip cookies ready to bake

Chocolate-Cherry cookies ready to bake

Chocolate-Cherry Cookies (for me)

Butterscotch-Chip Cookies (for Goose)

Chocolate-Cherry and Butterscotch-Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted From Cooking Light

Serves 60

Ingredients

  •  2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  •  2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 2/3 cup butterscotch chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line your baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flours, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar until smooth.
  4. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Then add the vanilla and eggs and beat until combined.
  5. Divide the dough among two bowls and add cherries and one cup of the chocolate chips to one bowl. Add butterscotch chips and the remaining chocolate chips to the other bowl.
  6. Drop tablespoons of the dough two inches apart onto the baking trays from the first step.
  7. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks. Repeat until you have baked all of the cookies.

Other possible flavor variations…the sky’s the limit!

  • Pistachio Ginger
  • Salted Caramel
  • Apple Pie (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and freeze dried apples)
  • Peanut butter
  • Pumpkin Pie (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pumpkin puree)
  • Maple Pecan
  • Rocky Road (mini marshmallows, walnuts, and chocolate chips)
  • Fluffernutter (peanut butter chips and marshmallow fluff)

Halfway Cookie Bars

17 May

Recently I’ve been reading Amy Thomas’s dessert-filled memoir, Paris My Sweet in which she describes her journey to track down the most delectable sweets in Paris. I am so impressed by how simply through her mastery of language, she can make my mouth water! I’ve had an insatiable desire for an indulgent treat ever since reading Thomas’s description of macarons as “firm but tender, shiny yet rigged ,with ethereally light shells and heavy middles [that make them] miniature studies of contrasts-and deliciousness.”

While these Halfway Cookie Bars definitely lack the delicate refinement of macarons, they make up for it with their melty chocolatey deliciousness.

Cookie Dough

Press it into the pan: Layer one done!

I’m warning you now…these cookies are addictive. Make them at your own risk. Luckily for me, I made them and then was immediately able to dispense them among ravenous friends, our high school’s victorious baseball team, and much-deserving teachers.

Chocolate: layer two

These things are ridiculously good! If chewy chocolate chip cookies and fluffy meringue cookies had a love child, this would be it. These bars consist of a classic cookie dough base topped with a layer of chocolate, and then finished off with a meringue coating. The lightness of the meringue makes it so that you can scarf down two or three of these bars without going into a butter-induced food coma.

Whipped Brown Sugar Meringue

Scoop all of that fluffy deliciousness on top of the cookie dough and chocolate…what could be better!

Three layers complete. Add the sprayed parchment, then into the oven they go!

My little sister helped me make these scrumptious treats, and while they do require quite a few steps, none of them are that difficult… except for the last one.

 

Halfway Cookie Bars

Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, separated
  • 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chunks
  • Canola oil cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving some extra foil to  hang over all four sides of the pan and spray the foil with cooking spray. This will ensure safe removal of the bars after they cool.
  2. Make the cookie dough by whisking together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. Then use a mixmaster to blend together the butter, the granulated sugar and just 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until it’s smooth and creamy. Slowly mix the egg into the sugar-butter mixture until it is completely absorbed, then mix in the water and vanilla. With the mixer at a low speed, add the flour mixture and beat gently until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough looks crumbly.
  3. Gently press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep the chips from moving when you add the meringue.
  5. Start making the meringue by whisking together the two egg whites in the mixmaster in a clean bowl with a clean whisk attachment. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy and look like loose foam, start adding the remaining half cup of brown sugar a little at a time. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds firm peaks.
  6. Use a spatula to gently spread the meringue on top of the chocolate layer. Star by dumping the meringue in the center of the pan, and gradually spreading it out towards the edges.
  7. Coat a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray, then lightly press it on the top of the meringue to protect the meringue from scorching. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment. Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  8. This is the most difficult step of the entire process, but do your best to wait until the pan is completely cook before lifting out the bars and cutting them into pieces.

Optional Variations:

  • Add some espresso powder or cocoa powder to the top merangue layer for a more pronounced flavor
  • Swap some or all of the chocolate chips for butterscotch chips or toffee pieces
  • Replace the chocolate layer with a fresh fruit preserve layer
  • Replace the classic cookie base with a peanut butter cookie base
  • Add old fashioned oats and coconut to the bottom for a bar reminiscent of Hello Dolly Bars

Or try anything else you can think of, the sky’s the limit!