Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chewy chocolate chip cookie barsWhen I started baking professionally, whenever a recipe called for chocolate, we grabbed whatever chocolate we could get in bulk, lopped off a chunk, and used that. At the time, there wasn’t much consciousness about chocolate and all the differences that there are today. (I know, I sound like a dinosaur!) Often “European” chocolates were talked about as being of the best quality. But when I started at Chez Panisse, we had blocks of Guittard chocolate, which I’d never heard of but it tasted good when I snuck a bite. I noticed on the label that it was made locally, just south of San Francisco, where it’s still being made today.

This was before the bean-to-bar chocolate movement started in America (also in San Francisco), and I also remember when Robert Steinberg unwrapped a small morsel of chocolate he’d made, that didn’t look like much – just a tiny blob of chocolate, to start his company. I thought he was nuts because no one cared that much about artisanally made chocolate, or so I thought, but his company went on to become a big success, launching and inspiring others in America to start making chocolate from beans they sourced themselves.

Chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

But before all of that started, there was Guittard. They’ve been making chocolate for nearly 150 years and Amy Guittard is part of a fifth generation of bean-to-bar chocolate makers within the same family.

Her great-great grandfather Etienne Guittard was French, and left France in the mid 1880’s, coming to San Francisco to cash in on the gold rush, like many others. He’d brought French chocolate to sell, which was so successful, he went back to France, bought a bunch of equipment, and returned to set up his own factory in San Francisco.

Chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

I was fortunate to go to their factory a number of time and see how chocolate is made, which was a pretty eye-opening experience for me. I later traveled to Belgium and France to see chocolate made in those countries and to take classes, but I have a particularly soft spot for Guittard since I used their chocolate almost daily for much of my baking career, and was even able to call one of their researchers when I had questions about chocolate and using it.

When people ask – “What country makes the best chocolate?” – it’s a question that’s difficult to respond to, as most cocoa beans come from areas around the equator and are shipped to makers around the world, including France, Switzerland, Iceland, Belgium, and the United States. There’s nothing within the borders of any country that determines if their chocolate is better or worse than anywhere else. But quality usually follows appreciation, and because the French traditionally ate and appreciated chocolate, the quality was (and is) very high.

Chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

One thing chocolate does like is a cool climate, because it melts so easily. That’s why chocolate as we know it generally isn’t made in countries where the beans are grown. (Hence many of the people who harvest cocoa beans haven’t tasted a bar of chocolate. Chocolate in other cultures was traditionally consumed differently too, in fermented drinks and mole, for example.) Bars would melt in the hot climates near the equator so the beans are shipped elsewhere to be made into chocolate bars. That’s another reason Guittard, and other chocolate makers, liked being in San Francisco. Those of us who have lived there knows how rare those very warm days are!

Chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

I was happy to see that Amy Guittard collected some recipes that use their chocolates in the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook. While the company is also focusing on single-origin chocolates, these recipes work with the everyday chocolate you can buy in your local market or grocery store.

These bars jumped out at me because they use milk chocolate. People scoff at milk chocolate but you have to think of it as different from dark chocolate. It doesn’t have to be one or the other: You can like both, while appreciating their differences. Just like a shot of espresso is wonderful, but I also like café au lait as well. I don’t need to decide between one or the other.

Chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

These soft, chewy bars combine milk chocolate with tangy dried cranberries, and get extra-chewiness from coconut and oats mixed into the batter. I found they were great with coffee (espresso) in the afternoon, although one of my favorite things – sshhh, don’t tell – is that I like to have a chocolate chip cookie first thing when I wake up, before breakfast. While I’m making my café au lait and slicing bread for toast, if I have any chocolate chip cookies around, I’ll prudently cut one in half and nibble on that, thinking I’ll get to the other half later in the day. But before I know it, the other half is gone and I’m eyeing the rest of the chocolate chip cookies on the counter. Wondering if I can half just half of another one…

I can’t say that you should follow my lead and do the same. But if you have bars of these cookies around, you might want to hide them the night before so you’re not tempted to dive in as soon as you wake up, as I was.

 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Makes 20 bars

Adapted from Guittard Chocolate Cookbook by Amy Guittard

You would probably like to use dark bittersweet or semisweet chocolate in these bars. I thought I did too, until I tried them with the milk chocolate and found the milky tanginess of the lighter chocolate just right in the bars. But if you want to try them with dark chocolate, I’m sure they would be fine.

Speaking of milk chocolate, be sure to use good-quality dark milk chocolate. The bars you buy at the supermarket check-out stands are usually just 10% cacao solids – “dark” milk chocolates are usually 30% or more. The Guittard milk chocolate wafers that I used are 38%. They’re available from Amazon and Guittard, but you could use another good quality dark-milk chocolate, whatever is available to you. But check the label for percentages and try to get one with a higher percentage than 10%. I didn’t chop the wafers, but if using a tablet of chocolate, chop it very coarsely, so there will be big, discernible chunks in the finished cookie bars.

  • 1 1/3 cups (160g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces, 115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whole or lowfat milk
  • 3/4 cup (90g) dried cranberries or sour cherries
  • 1 cup (90g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup (60g) rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups (255g) milk chocolate chips or coarsely chopped milk chocolate, preferably with minimum 30% cocoa solids

1. Preheat oven to 350Fº (180ºC).

2. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33cm) rectangular pan and dust the inside with flour, tapping out any excess.

3. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, beat the butter and sugar on high-speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk until smooth. At this point, the mixture may look curdled and you can take a hand whisk to it and give it a few energetic stirs to get it to come back together. (It may still look a bit separated after, but not to worry.)

5. Stir in the flour mixture, then stir in the cranberries or sour cherries, coconut, oats, and chocolate chips just until combined. The batter will be thick, like cookie dough.

6. Spread the batter in the baking pan and use your hands to pat it down so it’s even – dampening your hands with a little bit of water will help keep the dough from sticking to your hands.

7. Bake the bars until they feel like they are almost cooked in the middle, but not fully done, about 20 to 25 minutes. (See note, below.) If they get dark on top before the time is up, drape a sheet of aluminum foil over the top. Let cool completely in the pan. When cool, cut into 3-inch (8cm) bars or squares

Storage: The bar cookies will keep for up to four days in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be frozen for up to two months.

Note: The original recipe said the bars will take 35 to 40 minutes to bake but mine didn’t take as long. So like any baked cake or cookie recipe, it’s good to keep an eye on things and check before the recommended baking times.

 

Related Links and Recipes

Chocolate FAQs

Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolatiers and Chocolate Makers

Milk Chocolate and Black Pepper Ice Cream

 

 

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88 comments

  • January 19, 2016 8:46am

    These look amazing and you’re so right about milk chocolate. A good milk chocolate really makes all the difference.

    I haven’t tried guittard, but I bake and regularly temper valrhona, Amedei and callebaut chocolates, all of which produce a delicious milk chocolate.

    Thanks for the recipe and background.

  • El
    January 19, 2016 8:52am

    I’m a huge fan of dark milk : ) Not to be difficult and overly choosy, but because once I tasted 48% milk chocolate, I found my perfect taste. It seems like it was a tiny fad for a moment, when I discovered it, then disappeared, which is a huge shame because most milks are too sweet. And I find most darks too dark…what to do! Have you come across any dark milks you would recommend? These bars look fantastic btw~!

    • Nancy
      January 19, 2016 4:32pm

      Guittard’s website has a chocolate chip called “Super Cookie Chocolate Chips” and is 48% cacao. Check it out here https://www.guittard.com/our-chocolate/detail/super-cookie-chocolate-chips

    • cybercita
      January 19, 2016 4:39pm

      Have you tried Scharffenberger milk chocolate? It’s quite dark and milky at the same time, and has beautiful caramel overtones.

  • January 19, 2016 12:37pm

    Love the cookie first thing in the morning routine.

  • January 19, 2016 12:42pm

    I loved reading your history with Guittard. It must feel special to look back on it after all these years and be able to approach their product from a completely different perspective – as a professional still, but of a very different kind. The bars sound fantastic, as I really love the combination of cranberries and chocolate. And though I am a die-hard fan of dark chocolate, I can just about imagine milk chocolate going well here ;)

  • Lily
    January 19, 2016 4:04pm

    I was seriously eating a homemade chocolate chip cookie while I was reading this – at 6:45 in the morning. Glad to know I’m not alone. :)

    And I always bake with Guittard dark chocolate chips because they are the best. Some time back I toured Scharffen Berger in Berekeley Their chocolate is amazing but it is not readily available where I live.

  • Claire
    January 19, 2016 4:46pm

    My husband has an aversion to coconut but is a chocolate addict. Is it possible to make this recipe without the coconut? Should something else be included as a substitute to get the right consistency of the batter?

    • January 19, 2016 5:10pm
      David Lebovitz

      The coconut gives the cookies some of their chewiness. I don’t know what you could use in place of it (maybe some ground nuts?), and not sure if you could leave it out or not, since I haven’t tried it. If you do, let us know how they turn out.

    • Madeline
      February 9, 2016 2:05am

      I made these without the coconut (I didn’t realize we were out until I was already too far into the recipe to back out!), making up some of the difference with oats and fruit. The bars are still delicious and chewy.

      But they’d be more delicious with coconut. Next time I’ll pay more attention to the pantry!

  • wadnola
    January 19, 2016 5:10pm

    love your recipes. there’s a typo in this one, it’s the last line of your description – ‘finished cookie bears’

    Whoops! Fixed : ) – dl

  • Leigha
    January 19, 2016 5:18pm

    Trouble controlling your cookie craving? Frog and Toad have a solution in the children’s story “Cookies” by Arnold Lobel. From the book “Frog and Toad Together”. There is a little video on-line as well.

    And I agree…chocolate in the morning!

  • KL Gaylin
    January 19, 2016 5:22pm

    Hi David,
    Love your recipes and your books. What is your opinion about substituting some whole wheat flour for the a/p flour in this recipe? I am trying to use more whole grains in my baked goods.
    I confess I sometimes crumble a chocolate chip cookie into my breakfast cereal.

    • January 19, 2016 5:53pm
      David Lebovitz

      If I was going to use whole wheat flour I would either use of one the “white” whole wheat flours, or whole wheat pastry flour, available in natural food stores.

      • Jurate
        January 20, 2016 2:27pm

        And yes, it took 25 minutes to cook. Thank you for your blog and sharing amazing recipes and stories, Mr. David.

        • January 20, 2016 4:53pm
          David Lebovitz

          Thanks for getting back and letting us know how the whole wheat flour went, as well as the baking time. Enjoy the bars!

    • Jurate
      January 20, 2016 8:24am

      It is good to use whole wheat flour for this recipe – I’ve cooked it yesterday, it’s all OK.

  • Thea
    January 19, 2016 5:27pm

    This Christmas I made some treats that called for drizzling melted chocolate. I used the regular grocery store chocolate chips and nothing would melt these chips. Believe me there was no drizzling happening. If you want to do a drizzle what chocolate would you recommend that would melt to the right consistency?

  • Cynna
    January 19, 2016 5:28pm

    Oh, gee, thanks a lot! Just when I’m struggling into my jeans after Christmas indulgences, you send this fabulous yumminess. They look fabulous!

  • Victoria
    January 19, 2016 5:33pm

    I love to use Scharffen Berger cocoa powder for chocolate milk…. :)

  • January 19, 2016 5:34pm

    Oh my goodness! Yet another chocolate chip recipe to try, and what looks to be a fantastic one at that. This recipe is perfect for gifting. I have been mulling over the perfect item to give to my gracious neighbors and friends. Thanks, David.

    (David, would it be okay to post this recipe to my blog? I would link to
    your post, and also Ms. Guittard’s recipe and book, in gratitude.) My baking post should be online by February 1st. Thank you!

    ☕️❤️

    • January 19, 2016 8:42pm
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you like the recipe. If you’d like the share her recipe, I’m sure your readers would like to hear how you made it in your own words. When I adapt someone’s recipe for the site, I rewrite it entirely, adding my own notes and tips, acknowledging the source and linking to them. More info here: Recipe Attribution.

  • Adele
    January 19, 2016 5:35pm

    I love Guittard, too, and always count myself super lucky when I can find them at a local discount store, because my local grocery store doesn’t carry them. Far superior to that other SF brand that starts with a “G”, in my opinion. And I do love me a chewy, yummy bar!

  • Soozie Hommachker
    January 19, 2016 5:36pm

    I’ve tried many of the “fancy” brands but always return to Guittard, which I’ve used for over 30 years now. It is very consistent, a great quality for the price and is readily available.

    Love that you are talking about their wonderful company! Can’t wait to try the recipe.

  • Charlene
    January 19, 2016 5:38pm

    I also love Guittard chocolate, as well as Amy’s book, so I’m glad to hear a professional’s opinion. Their 72% E. Guittard is my “go to” bittersweet chocolate for all my baking and truffle making. And I love those wafer shapes that you don’t have to chop! Now that I no longer live in the Bay Area, I have been known to carry home an 11-lb. (or even 25-lb.) box home on the plane with me! Spun Sugar in Berkeley carries a large selection of Guittard products and their shipping prices are very reasonable, at least in the U.S. They also offer “repackaged” 1-lb. bags (e.g., Ziplocs) for those who aren’t as needy as I am!

    • January 19, 2016 5:52pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes! I remember those 11-pound blocks of Guittard. That’s what we used back in the 80’s and 90’s. I think they still make them but have expanded their range to include wafers too, which are nice because there’s less chopping.

  • Cathy
    January 19, 2016 5:42pm

    Lovely. When staying with my English aunt, she would always bring me biscuits (cookies) and a cup of tea in the morning before I got up.

  • January 19, 2016 5:43pm

    I think I need to unsubscribe your blog until I end my cleanse ;) I don’t get tempted easily but this time and last time I was looking at the pictures and hoping that soon I would be able to eat sweets again.

  • Luna
    January 19, 2016 5:44pm

    David, I am wondering what you would use for rolled oats? I am in Canada and we get all the Quaker products. I would like to use something a little less ‘refined’? Or perhaps I am misjudging the Quaker oats.

    • January 19, 2016 5:50pm
      David Lebovitz

      Quaker does make “rolled out” which are flakes of oats that are flat. But don’t use instant or quick-cooking oats, which are thinner and can get mushy when baked. More on some of the differences here.

    • Adele
      January 19, 2016 5:51pm

      I’ve had good success with the following types of oats in baked goods (and granola): Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats (or Thick Cut, whichever is cheaper that day) and Silver Palate Oatmeal.

      Hope this helps!

      • Luna
        January 19, 2016 8:33pm

        Thank you! Bob’s it will be. I use many of Bob’s products. Chocolate – well, one of the Callebaut brothers lives in Calgary, and at cooking school (Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa) that is all we used. I am still using it, but I will try Guittard. David, I love your blog and your books.

  • January 19, 2016 5:52pm

    Well, the cookies do come out first & the Danish is still proofing…

  • Victoria
    January 19, 2016 5:56pm

    I used to meet my family every Friday for breakfast at a wonderful Italian restaurant in San Antonio called Il Sogno. They brought our morning coffee with a little cookie they called baci di dama which I’d never heard of. It’s a hazelnut meringue cookie sandwiched with Nutella(I think you may have posted about it?). So hey, after that experience I would say your cookie in the morning with cafe au lait is a fabulous idea!

  • Linda
    January 19, 2016 6:01pm

    I’ll be sure to try these. They look wonderful. A value-added is the Guittard chocolate is advertised as Non-GMO ! One more thing to be on the lookout for these days.

  • Catherine
    January 19, 2016 6:20pm

    I remember in the 90’s going to Guittard’s business offices for a meeting, and waddling out with an armful of Guittard chocolates in all forms! I was already a fan, but now, well, classy company! See’s Candies down the street also uses Guittard, and I too am not such a fan of the famous other G chocolate who seems to get all of the adulation.

  • January 19, 2016 6:23pm

    David, Your first photo showed the handles of some of your knives. Could you please do a piece about your different knives and their uses.

    Thank you…

  • Carol Diamond
    January 19, 2016 6:27pm

    I am so glad to hear your comments about my favorite chocolate, as well. I remember the first time I tasted the 72%. I thought that I had the world’s best brownie in the form of silky chocolate melting on my palate! Such a beautifully balanced, complex but straightforward chocolate experience. These bars are on my To-do list.Thank you!

  • January 19, 2016 7:01pm

    Great post as always! I love reading any insights and history about chocolate. Have you tried any of the “dark milk chocolate” that’s come out within the last couple of years?

  • January 19, 2016 7:43pm

    I always use Guittard when chocolate chips are called for. Enjoyed this post and picked up some new info.

  • Sue Strohmaier
    January 19, 2016 8:01pm

    David, I have been following you for several years, since living in France. I have learned so much from you blog and I enjoy your humor immensely. Now that I have moved back to the states, you are one of my go-to sights for good recipes. I just found the Food and Wine magazine article. You are living the good life, keep up the good work and thank you for giving me a little bit of France in almost every blog posting.

  • Stephan
    January 19, 2016 8:38pm

    Dear David, This is a very interesting video of Ivory Coast cocao farmers getting their first taste of a chocolate bar. It’s kind of moving in a way. They grow and harvest the beans yet don’t know what they are used for. It’s an eye opening experience. Cheers, Stephan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEN4hcZutO0

    • January 19, 2016 8:56pm
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks, I linked to that in the post along with a few reasons for that. In the jungle climate it’s almost impossible without a pretty efficient system of air-conditioning, to hold chocolate after it’s made in tropical temperatures and keep it from melting, so the beans are usually shipped to other countries to be made into chocolate as we know it. El Rey and Omanhene are two companies that make tablets near with the cacao is harvested.

    • January 22, 2016 5:24am

      That was a wonderful video. So enjoyed their delight in tasting the fruit of all of their hard work. Thank you both for sharing it.

  • SandraM
    January 19, 2016 9:04pm

    Woohoo! I have all the ingredients! Baking these today. :)

  • Heidi C.
    January 19, 2016 9:28pm

    There’s a gym I used to belong to right next to the Guittard factory. The aromas wafting over us during water aerobics….

  • January 19, 2016 9:28pm

    These look good – this is a traybake, here in the UK, and the finished result would be called a flapjack. And very good, too….

  • Paula Rini
    January 19, 2016 10:12pm

    I was so excited to read this post about Guittard Chocolate. My oldest and dearest childhood friend has worked as a food scientist at Guittard since we graduated from college (a long time ago!) She may be the one you called for help, David! I had the good fortune to do a little recipe development for them in the early 1980’s. I nearly swooned when my friend brought me two 25 pound boxes of bulk chocolate chips to work with. Talk about before-breakfast-tempataion! I love their chocolate and loved your post David, thank you!

  • Gavrielle
    January 19, 2016 11:34pm

    I laughed at the note at the beginning in which you try to head us off from using dark chocolate, because that’s exactly what I was planning! I will take your advice. I’m guessing when you say the stuff in the supermarket you mean American chocolate? 10%, wow. In New Zealand the most popular chocolate maker Whittakers makes their milk chocolate with 32% cocoa. No wonder when I try mass market US chocolate it tastes to me like soap!

  • Lesley Jacobs
    January 20, 2016 1:37am

    Hi David, thanks for the enticing recipe. If you buy the Guittard chocolate disc, do you chop them up because they are large, or just let them be in large form? Also, I wonder if using tart montmercy cherries would be good instead of cranberries… I might give that a try.

    • Lesley Jacobs
      January 20, 2016 1:51am

      Upon more closely reading the recipe I see that you say sour cherries would work.

  • January 20, 2016 1:50am

    Guittard is THe best chocolate. Been using it for years now. I love that I can get it in bulk at Sam’s most of the time. I prefer the dark chips.

  • January 20, 2016 2:16am

    I like Guittard chocolate and use it as often as possible because Gary Guittard stood up in the great chocolate wars against giants.

  • Shane
    January 20, 2016 3:03am

    I’d never heard of Guittard chocolate until your post but found their chips at Central Market in many varieties, plus there were chocolate bars in another part of the store. Great to know since I’ve always disliked Nestles chips. How I could have missed knowing about Guittard, who knows? I guess that’s the point of Amy’s cookbook :)

  • GiGi
    January 20, 2016 3:41am

    It’s a freezing cold night in Virginia This post came through yesterday and I read it tonight. Immediate desire for something sweet, but only a few dark candy bars available for chocolate without going to the store. So, into the kitchen, mixing a half batch, using raisins instead of cherries and the only chocolate I can scrounge.
    Now, they have been baked in my favorite rectangular copper pan, and they were great!
    Cravings satisfied and a new recipe to file for late night cravings using staples and pantry items.
    Thanks, David

  • January 20, 2016 4:38am

    It was so nice to see Robert Steinberg’s name pop up. He was such a nice man and both he and John were incredibly helpful over the years when I had a question about chocolate. Thank you for stirring up his memory.

  • Margaret
    January 20, 2016 4:42am

    David,
    Thank you for the shout out about Guittard. It and See’s–sometimes they seem the same–define my life as a multi-generation US West Coaster.
    Cheers from another fan of yours,
    Margaret in Oregon

  • Sarahb1313
    January 20, 2016 2:52pm

    Going at it tonight at request of my work colleague. At first I thought he wanted a bakeoff… But he really wants to try them and doesn’t have time to make them. Just made granola bars last night, so the ingredients are sitting in the front of my pantry!!
    Here in the NY area, we are in prime baking season- it’s frigid and bitter outside!

  • Elisa
    January 20, 2016 4:57pm

    David, I’m sorry this is about something else….
    But I’m making your carrot cake from “My Paris Kitchen” and I want to use the three pans instead of two. I already did it once, and I overbaked them a little. What modification do I need to make to the recipe? Just cut the baking time?
    Thank you!!
    Elisa

    • January 20, 2016 5:02pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, you’ll likely need to reduce the baking time. I can’t say how much because I haven’t tried it and tested it in 3 cake pans, but bake just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Happy baking!

  • Dhun Pillai
    January 20, 2016 7:06pm

    thank you for this recipe.what could i use instead of oats ?thank you…from a fan.

    • January 20, 2016 7:26pm
      David Lebovitz

      You could use wheat, rye, barley or rice flakes instead.

      • dhun
        January 29, 2016 7:11pm

        thank you so much for your reply

  • djb
    January 20, 2016 9:42pm

    Thanks for the recipe, they came out great! They even looked like the pictures!!

    BTW, another nice thing about Guittard chocolate is that they are a “safe” brand for my friend who has a serious tree-nut allergy. It would be nice if more companies took the time (or had the inclination) to deal with cross-contamination in their production facilities — it would be easier for those of us without allergies to “share the love”, as it were.

    Thanks!

  • Erin
    January 21, 2016 1:54am

    Is there nutrition information for this recipe? I specifically need to know how many net carbohydrates are for each serving.

  • Deborah K.
    January 21, 2016 8:23am

    I love how you weave personal experience, history, food lore and practical baking tips in your writing.

    Thank you for reminding your readers of Robert Steinberg’s contributions to chocolate. He’s never far from my thoughts but has been more present since this past Saturday when Harold McGee credited him and Maricel Presilla as his chocolate guides in his keynote talk, Chocolate and Flavor, during the Fine Chocolate Industry Association meeting in SF.

    I so appreciate your thoughtful and affectionate tribute to Guittard. It’s rare when a family owned business reaches the fifth generation. They not only take pride in making fine chocolate, they treat everyone with whom they work with respect and integrity. Gary and Amy are seriously invested in improving the industry from the beans, to the farmers and brokers they work with, on up.

  • January 21, 2016 2:37pm

    Hi David – If I wanted to make this recipe for someone who can’t eat coconut, should I replace it with oats 1 for 1?, or what would you suggest? Thanks!

  • David
    January 22, 2016 12:03am

    Thanks for this David. I would make them but I’m allergic to coconut (and in fact all nuts that I have tried). Any suggestion on how to do that would be appreciated. I doubt omitting the coconut and doubling the oats would work.

  • Sheila
    January 22, 2016 12:28am

    I moved to the Bay Area in 1995 and for the first couple of years I lived in an apartment in Burlingame, near the Guittard factory. I didn’t know that the factory was there for a while, though. I just thought that one of my neighbors was a crazy baker. The smell of chocolate in that neighborhood on warm nights was intense. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Oonagh
    January 22, 2016 3:47am

    Thanks for this, David (and Amy). I made them for an office charity fundraising breakfast and they were delicious.

  • Lynnette
    January 23, 2016 3:31am

    Just discovered your blog whilst looking for a french apple cake recipe that was simple but delicious for my husband’s birthday celebrations. What I discovered was a beautiful blog filled with lovely stories (I love reading about your time in Paris – I am slowly backtracking into your previous posts) and lots of great little references to books or authors that I am now exploring. The cake is currently in the oven and it smells heavenly. I can’t wait to taste it but that said, I am glad my search for a recipe lead me to your blog. Merci!

  • January 23, 2016 2:56pm

    Those really look delicious, I was also baking some bars here in NY this week, however more of a fruity number with apricots and oats: http://taste2taste.com/2016/01/22/apricot-oat-bars-for-the-winter-storm/

  • Elizabeth
    January 24, 2016 2:56am

    What I love about Guittard is that all the chips except the mint, butterscotch, and white are Soy-Free and all the bars are Soy-Free as well. It’s very hard to find good quality chips without soy lecithin (I’m allergic to soy). Unfortunately, their baking wafers all have soy.

    I’ll make this in a few weeks when I’m off my Whole 30, but I’ll sub in some gluten-free flour and let you know how that works…

  • Jennie
    January 24, 2016 4:26am

    These. Were. Awesome! Thank you for a fantastic recipe! My family loved these :). I used equal exchange organic semisweet chocolate chips since that’s what I had on hand and they were excellent. Chewy in the most perfect way!

  • Dana
    January 24, 2016 4:36pm

    Just made these this morning. Such a good call on the milk chocolate which I don’t usually like. These are so good & easy. Should eat one more just to be sure though….. Yum!

  • carol
    January 25, 2016 4:44pm

    I made these now, and they turned out delicious, like all the recipes of yours I have tried, except that they are much crumblier than the ones in your picture (don’t know why.) I would add another egg next time.

  • rbnyc
    January 25, 2016 8:44pm

    I made these for a party this past weekend. As there were a couple of gluten-free guests I used a cup-for-cup flour alternative (specifically, Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One). I wasn’t terribly happy with the results as they were a bit more crumbly than I would have preferred for a chewy bar. I chalk that up to the flour alternative. However, everyone who ate them thought I was crazy and that the bars were delicious. The non-GF crowd didn’t even notice the lack of wheat so I guess these worked out fine. However, next time I will make them with wheat flour just to know the difference.

  • Tatiana
    January 26, 2016 8:37am

    Hi!
    I have made them yesterday and they are great (although a little bit too sweet for my taste).
    I was wondering if I could use coconut sugar instead of dark brown sugar.

  • Tom
    January 26, 2016 10:57am

    I made these a few days ago and they were lovely, in a quite uncomplicated, old fashioned way, as you might expect the cliched grandmother to bake for an after school treat. It’s a batter that does lend itself to different types of fillings. The next time I make it I will probably add chopped nuts (I did miss having a bit of a crunch). Chopped dates would go very well.

    By the way, there was some discussion over the best way to describe these treats. I said they’re not cookies but not cakes, and sort of like brownies but not really. “Bars” implies something harder and crunchier, and my friend said, “oh, you mean squares?” And yep, that seems to be the perfect term.

  • sue
    January 26, 2016 7:09pm

    So I decided to make these because I had some Guittard chocolate chips in the house. Turns out they are Extra Dark Chocolate and I like and was intrigued by the milk chocolate idea. So I went to Safeway and got Safeway brand milk chocolate chips (only % listed on that package is nutritional data)
    I also found cherry flavored dried cranberries.
    The “squares” came out perfect. I cooked for 25 minutes. Took most of them to work where they were highly praised.
    So I defeated the purpose of using my Guittard chips and experiencing special chocolate but the end result was all good.

  • rachel
    January 27, 2016 9:43am

    I tried these with a mix of dark and milk chocolate and swapped the cranberries out for toasted pecans (one works with what one has). They are simple and good, despite my fiddling! Hold fast to the time recommended by David though. I had a bout of doubt and let mine sit in the oven for a little over 25 minutes instead of the around 20 that these bars needed for maximum chewiness. The ones I made taste nice but are also a little crumbly.

  • Barbara
    January 28, 2016 11:42pm

    The flavour is fine, but I found them quite crumbly. I suppose it’s the trade off for a recipe with half a cup of butter. If I make them again, I may try a smaller pan size, perhaps a 9 x 9.

  • Jennifer
    January 31, 2016 5:18am

    Hi – I only have a glass 9×13 pan. How should i adjust the temperature and baking time? Thank you! I have been enjoying the recipes.

  • January 31, 2016 10:43am

    Oh yum, these look so delicious! I made a very similar slice not long ago. Such a fantastic lunchbox standby!

  • February 2, 2016 7:16pm

    As usual, these look amazing! Just a quick note to let you know the link for these bars in your newsletter actually goes to the Stohrer Pastry post.

  • Rodolph Farah
    February 5, 2016 7:39am

    Dear Sir, I am doing some researches concerning truffles, and found out that truffles do not last long. It is known that the reason for that is milk. So, when we find in Supermarkets boxes of truffles with long lasting expiry date, do they use a replacement for milk? And is there any organic healthy non chemical variety?
    Thank you
    By the way, are you planing to have a visit back to Lebanon so we may have the honor to meet you and invite you according to our hospitality?

  • Christine
    February 14, 2016 10:09pm

    Great, easy recipe! I am lazy so I didnt get the butter and sugar to a true fluffy state, but it was well blended. Also forgot to mix in the chocolate, so pushed chocolate chunks into the pan. Only put 100g chocolate and it was plenty. Came out great despite my laziness!