These bars have a caramel flavor that harmonizes with the taste of the butter. Be sure to use very fresh brown sugar. For optimum chewiness, the bars should be slightly underbaked.
Servings: 60 1 3/4-by-2-inch bars
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, slightly firm
- 2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped medium-fine
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Position an oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 10 1/2-by-15 1/2-inch jelly roll pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until it is creamed. Add the brown sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, and beat well until light in color, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing just to incorporate.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large spatula, fold in 1 cup of the walnuts and the chocolate chips. Spread the mixture in the pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of walnuts.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the sides are lightly browned. A toothpick inserted in the center should still show signs of moistness; do not overbake. Place on a rack to cool for 1 hour, then cut into 1 3/4-by-2-inch bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 5 days or freeze.
Adapted from "Great Cookies," by Carole Walter (Clarkson Potter, 2003).
Tested by Judith M. Havemann.
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