You say it’s the holidays, eh? We say: cookie swap or it didn’t happen. Every great cookie tin boasts at least one chewy, perfectly-browned bar cookie, studded with decadent surprises—everything from dried cherries to rolled oats to chopped cashews. From chocolate chip-pecan bars to maple pecan squares, here are a few of our favorite bar cookies to make during the month of December.
Transform classic blondies into decadent chocolate chip-pecan bars by folding in semisweet chocolate chips and pecan halves to add layers of textural interest.
Toffeelike pecan bars epitomize winter, as they’re sweetened with the distinct flavor of pure maple syrup. Note that the bars will be soft when warm, then turn crisp and brittle once cool.
These brown butter blondies with fruit, nuts and chocolate come courtesy of food stylist and Apt. 2B Baking Co. blogger Yossy Arefi. She adds, “The combination of browned butter, nuts, cherries and chocolate may sound a little overkill, and it kind of is, in the best possible way. I think they’re best served in small squares with coffee or tea, or maybe even breakfast.”
For something different, bake a batch of coconut, almond and chocolate bars. A crispy, almond-flecked crust serves as the base for a creamy chocolate coconut filling and a thick bittersweet glaze.
You can feel good about eating and giving away dark chocolate oatmeal squares: They contain both rolled oats and whole wheat flour. We suggest serving these long, rectangular bars with a tall glass of milk.
Head over to our Holiday Cookie Headquarters for even more baking ideas.