After being my dedicated taste tester all these years, when my husband says, "This is the best cookie bar recipe you've ever made," I listen. After all, who am I to argue with a compliment ;)
Adapted from a recipe discovered in a old, self-published church cookbook (Thank Heaven for Home Made Cooks, circa 1988), the original incarnation of these cookies was termed Cowboy Cookies---I assume because they were hearty, satisfying and would have no problem pleasing a man's appetite. But after tinkering with the recipe, substituting bigger bits of chocolate and adding dried cherries (I don't know about you, but I love the flavor of chocolate & cherries together), these cookies became a bit more sexy & sophisticated in addition to being hearty.
Rich (without being cloyingly sweet), substantial and packed full of flavors that bring out the best in each other, I renamed my recipe remix Cherry-Chocolate Cookie Bars to reflect their more feminine nature. I also turned them into cookie bars versus drop cookies---a real time saver in the kitchen. The best part? Even with the bigger bits of chocolate and cherries included, these cookie bars are still sure to please the cowboys too!
Cherry-Chocolate Cookie Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 2 cups quick-cook oats
- 1 (10 oz) package Hershey's Mini Kisses Baking Pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl; transfer to an electric mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients in order listed, mixing well after each addition (batter will be thick). Press batter (the back of a sturdy spatula works great) into an ungreased jelly roll pan (10.5" x 15.5") and place on center rack of a 350 degree F oven for approximately 18-20 minutes depending on your oven's accuracy (cookies should look lightly golden on top). Remove from oven, allow to cool completely, and cut into squares of desired size.
Yield: 2-3 dozen depending on the size of squares cut.