When your house has no cookies, and you want them, fast: quick chocolate chip bars

Do you have 10 minutes and a hankering for something sweet? Of course you do. Then let’s make chocolate chip bars, the unfussy and quick little sis to chocolate chip cookies.

When I was growing up, days at the lake were not complete without a pan of my aunt’s chocolate chip bars. She graciously shared the recipe with me at my wedding shower (I’d asked guests to include a recipe – it’ll still fun to see them in my recipe box!). By some awful brain dysfunction I did not make them for 9 years, but rediscovered them in the nick of time (i.e. right before the baby was born).

I’d admit, while fancy cookies or a cake might beat these bars in the supreme deliciousness category, the cookie bars have the advantage of being stress-free, quick, and reliable. If you’re longing for homemade but not willing to spend your one kid-free hour on it, bake these and spend your time eating them AND snuggling your husband while watching an episode of your favorite TV show.

One tip, courtesy of my mom: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, and then keep using that pan to assemble the batter.

Aunt Skip’s Chocolate Chip Bars

Melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine.
Add 1+1/2 cup brown sugar.
Beat in 2 eggs.
Add 1 + 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Spread into greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Don’t overbake.

P.S. One of my family’s favorite stories about my uncle Fred concerns these bars. Once, when my aunt was baking them, Fred helped himself to the used mixing spoon, which was sitting next to the sink. Sadly, it was not the chocolate chip bar spoon, but the cat food spoon.

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