Bar cookies are simply cookies made in a square or rectangular baking pan. Once baked, the cookies are cut into squares, diamonds or rectangular-shaped servings. It’s a one-pan operation, usually easy to make with a short preparation time, especially when compared to the time it takes to prepare cookies that have to be portioned onto baking sheets and baked in batches. A bar cookie is usually held in the hand while eaten, not requiring anything but a napkin. Bar cookies, having some substance to them, also pack and travel well. Brownies may be considered the ultimate bar cookie but the combinations and varieties of bar cookies are infinite. (For my recipe for Kahlua Cinnamon Brownies Click Here.) Today two bar cookies are offered for your consideration.
Holiday Bar Cookies
Christmas memories are made over a period of time in a variety of ways, and Christmas cookies are a powerful memory-maker! During the holidays for many years, my mother, Jean Warren Annas, would make a variety of Christmas cookies, including two bar cookies – Graham Bars and Congo Squares. I always liked both of them because both bars contain chocolate chips and nuts. (How could you go wrong with chocolate chips and nuts?!) When I bake these cookies at Christmas I celebrate the memory of my mother.
As you might have deduced from the name, Graham Bars are made from graham cracker crumbs. They contain chocolate chips and nuts, as previously mentioned, as well as evaporated milk, butter, sugar and vanilla. There are no eggs in Graham Bars which would be a great recipe to make if someone in your household has an egg allergy. Graham Bars are easily mixed by hand in a bowl.
The dough mixture is spread in a well-greased 9″ square pan.
Graham Bars are baked at 350 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes. They need to cool before cutting them into bars.
Below is a printable recipe for Graham Bars:
- 3 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 cup Evaporated Milk
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 cup Butter, softened
- 1/2 cup Nuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Mix all ingredients well in a 3-quart bowl. Spread mixture in a well-greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Congo Squares are made with all-purpose flour, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and 3 eggs. The flour is sifted with the baking powder and salt. Butter is melted and added to brown sugar. Then the eggs are added one at a time, after the butter/brown sugar mixture has cooled slightly (otherwise scrambled eggs may be the result!)
Then the vanilla, dry ingredients, chocolate chips and nuts are added. I use a mixer to do this task.
The mixture is baked in a 9″ x 13″ pan at 350 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes, cooled and cut into squares.
Here’s the recipe for Congo Squares that may be printed:
- 2 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2/3 cup Butter
- 1 box (16 oz.) Brown Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 cup Nuts, Chopped
- 1 6-oz. package Chocolate Chips
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Melt butter and add brown sugar. Mix well and cool slightly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients, nuts and chocolate. Bake in a greased 9" x 13" pan at 350 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely; then cut into squares.
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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