I like that this cookie recipe gives variations on different add-ins so you can make the cookie your own, based on your preferences or to whom you are serving the cookies. I also like that the recipe doubles easily. I made the recipe as it was printed, yielding a small batch of 25 bars/squares.
Here's What You'll Need:
1 1/2 cups cake flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup dried cranberries, dried cherries, raisins, or coarsely chopped dried apricots or dates
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecan, walnuts, slivered almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped white, or bittersweet chocolate chunks
Here's What You Do:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and be sure to have a rack located in the lowest position of your oven. Prepare an 8 inch square metal baking pan by lining it with a sheet of foil. Lightly spray the foil with vegetable oil.
Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and give it a whisk. Next combine the melted and cooled butter with the brown sugar. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. If you are going to include any of the optional add-ins, now is the time to do it. Choose any two. I chose to include dried cranberries and chocolate chips. I went with just 1/2 cup of the cranberries, however, but I did use all of the recommended 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Imagine that! Fold in your optional ingredients and then pour into your prepared baking pan. Bake on the lowest position in your oven for 35-40 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove using the foil overhang and place on a cooling rack until room temperature before cutting. Of course, you know me, I couldn't wait for them to be room temperature and who doesn't love a warm, gooey, chocolaty cookie anyway?!
These cookies received RAVE reviews from every - and I do mean EVERY - member of my family. Picky Evan included! They are very chewy and the tart cranberries coupled with the sweet chocolate and that hint of cinnamon. Please make these bars. When you cut them 5 by 5, they do make small little squares. If you're feeling especially indulgent, cut them larger. 'Scuse me while I go pour myself a glass of milk.
*About the flour. I realize that most people do not keep cake flour on-hand. I am one of those "most people." I just happened to have some from another recipe I made a while back. You can use all-purpose flour to make these. You might end up with a slightly less chewy-textured cookie. Here's a little lesson on the different types of flour. If you have the time to read it, it's quite interesting. If you don't give a flying fig about the different types of flour and their purpose, then don't bother. You'll be utterly bored reading about gluten and protein and the north vs. the south.