The Best No-Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
The best no-butter chocolate chip bars. I mean, really, it was only a matter of time.
After the no-butter chocolate chip cookies I posted a few months back quickly became one of the most popular recipes on the blog, I knew it was high time I posted a recipe for the best chocolate chip cookie bars. Without butter. Because I'm not a fan of buttery baked-goods. And things made with oil instead of butter are quicker and easier to make (no creaming, one-bowl-mixed-by-hand type of quick and easy), and, lots of times, more goooooooey. Like these cookie bars. They're so, so goooooooey. But you don't need me to tell you that - just look at them!
Unlike the no-butter chocolate chip cookies, which required melted coconut oil, these no-butter chocolate chip bars use regular canola or vegetable oil in place of the butter, so there's no process that requires melting some coconut oil. Which not only saves you an extra 30 seconds, but also makes these bars a truly one bowl recipe. You can whip - errrr mix - these chocolate chip bars together in 3.5 minutes. Seriously. No kidding. 3.5 minutes flat. 3 minutes if you're really fast. 4 if you're feeling a little sluggish. And then, with a baking time of approximately 20 minutes, these cookie bars will be in your mouth in 23.5 minutes, from start to finish. I hope that's a time frame you feel you can work with.
Of course, you're supposed to let the bars set and firm up for a couple hours before slicing, but if we're being honest, the first time I made these bars, they were gone 10 minutes after I took them out of the oven. And I don't recall the bars being sliced at all...
So, you see how gooey and melty the chocolate chip bars look in the photos? There are a few causes for this:
1 - I cut up the bars and photographed them before letting them cool properly, because I wanted to capture the melting chocolate magic for you all. But you should really let the bars cool some before slicing, or you'll be left with quite a warm, delicious mess of chocolate everywhere - on the bars, on the knife, on the table, on your clothes, and in your hair. Or maybe that was just me. But it wasn't too bad. I cleaned it all up. Like a cat. Yes, I licked off all the chocolate splattered surfaces. K, maybe not the table and (all of the) cookie bars, but the knife? YES. I licked it clean. Don't try that at home, kids.
2 - But, the bars are not just gooey and melty because I photographed them before they firmed up properly. They're also gooey and melty because that's just the way they are. Gooey and melty. Naturally. Even after firming up. These are the most dense, chewy, gooey, incredible chocolate chip bars ever. EVER EVER EVER. Ever. Butter or no butter.
The title of the bars is slightly erroneous. Or inaccurate. Although I call them chocolate chip bars, they should really be called chocolate chunk bars. Because I used big hunks of bittersweet chocolate in the recipe. Not cute, little chips. We've been through this before, but I'll just repeat myself for those of you who need a little reminder: I LOVE BIG CHUNKS OF MELTY CHOCOLATE. Because they're more fetching for photos. More generous on the taste buds. And all around a more sophisticated and awesome choice when making desserts that require chocolate chips.
However, all that being said, feel free to use chocolate chips if you don't have 12 bars of chocolate ready and waiting to be chopped up for cookie bars (guilty), or if you're feeling a bit lazy or wary of chopping up chocolate by hand (it does add an extra 38 seconds to the process), or if you like smaller doses of chocolate in your goodies.
A few months back, I was commissioned to bake a variety of desserts for a weekend getaway in honor of my friend who was getting married (hi Mindy and Aryeh ;)). I made 8 different types of baked goods. Nobody cared. All everyone wanted that weekend were these no-butter chocolate chip bars. They were the unanimous favorite. And I can't even be bitter about it, because honestly, I don't blame them.
But if you're still not convinced about making these bars, let me reiterate: these no-butter chocolate chip bars are the most gooey, rich, dense, soft, chewy, cookie-dough like chocolate chip bars you ever will encounter. And that's all I have to say.
the best no-butter chocolate chip bars
Adapted from Butter Baking
Yield: 8x8 pan/about 15 bars
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7-10 oz. chocolate, roughly chopped (or chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper.
Stir together the sugars and oil in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
Mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt right over the mixture and stir into wet ingredients till just combined. Stir in chopped chocolate.
Spread dough into pan evenly (use hands to spread it to edges and flatten), and sprinkle a few more chunks of chocolate on top if desired.
Bake 20-22 minutes, until the top is slightly golden and the center is set (toothpick inserted can have a few gooey crumbs on it). The bars will be very gooey and will seem kind of raw. That's perfect! However, if you like crispier bars, bake them a few minutes longer.
Cool a while, then slice into bars/sticks.
On a completely unrelated note, exactly: