Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks

"I think it's nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice." – Albert from Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell C. Hoban

Mud Bars considered

Thought you couldn’t improve on the chocolate chip cookie?

Think again. Mud Bars are easier to make, totally fail-proof and extremely good. The basic concept is to take a recipe of chocolate chip cookies and bake as a sheet. Just after it comes out of the oven, pepper the entire thing with chocolate chips (they melt on the warm bars) and spread them to make a layer of chocolate.

Believe me, it’s pretty hard to save them long enough to serve for dessert.

The recipe is actually a bar adaptation of the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe, made successfully by my mom many times during her catering years.

I’ve made this a couple times and it never fails. I’ve taken to keeping them in the freezer because otherwise people (usually me) eat them too quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie. But variety is a wonderful thing, no?

Mud Bars

2 cups + 4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (220g) softened butter – make sure to soften the butter enough in advance so it creams properly
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
24 oz. (800g) chocolate chips, divided in half – half for inside the bars, half for on top
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) – I use walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Line a 10×15 inch baking sheet (40×27 cm) with a silicone mat or parchment paper. The baking sheet should have at least two fingers of depth.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until completely light and very fluffy. If using a mixer, cream on medium-high speed for at least 3 minutes. If mixing by hand, cream steadily for about 6 minutes. Add the eggs and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the vanilla, 12 oz. (400g) of chocolate chips and nuts, if using, by hand.

Spread the batter on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to get it into the corners. It will be fairly sticky. Using an offset spatula helps a lot!

Bake for 20-25 minutes. When out of the oven, set the baking sheet on a cooling rack and sprinkle the remaining 12 oz. (400g) of chocolates chips on top. Wait for 5 minutes (the chips will become glossy), and spread the chocolate chips as icing (offset spatula is great here too). When the bars are cool, remove them from the sheet and place in the fridge to harden.

Best eaten whenever! If you have leftovers (you won’t), they keep in the freezer for a several weeks.

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About Natan S.

Natan is a founding member of Theater in the Rough, an group of community minded actors dedicated to bringing quality, affordable theatrical experiences to the Jerusalem audience. Natan also works as a freelance web programmer, and writes about food (mainly ice cream) in his spare time.

4 comments on “Mud Bars considered

  1. Yonina
    June 21, 2012

    I make similar bars, but I use oil instead of butter (about 3/4 of a cup instead of a full cup) so I can serve it with a meat meal. Not quite as yummy as butter, but they disappear pretty quickly too : )

    • Natan S.
      June 21, 2012

      Great idea, for those looking for a pareve option.

  2. Naomi Skop Richter
    August 8, 2012

    I remembered this blog recently and it is great. I tried these last night (I used margarine to make them pareve) and they came out pretty well. I think I cooked them a tad too long, but that’s probably because my oven is so unpredictable. Thanks!!

    • Natan S.
      August 9, 2012

      Thanks for remembering us! 🙂
      As long as they tasted good, right? Enjoy!

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This entry was posted on June 21, 2012 by in Dessert and tagged , , , .

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