Friday, March 25, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars

We all love delicious doughnuts and cookies, but can the best desserts be made in a more healthful way? Yes, they can! Try these Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars. They’re just decadent enough to make you feel like you’re cheating, when you’re really not. Who says you can’t have your cake (or in this case, cookie) and eat it too?

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars
Makes 32 bars

1 cup pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Chop the pecans and let cool.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the butter and oil with the granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt; beat the dry ingredients into the mixer at low speed. Add the chocolate chips and pecans; beat just until incorporated.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and nearly set in the center. Let cool completely, then run a knife around the edges and invert the rectangle. Peel off the paper and invert onto a cutting board. Cut and serve.

Make ahead: The cookie bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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