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The Bad Day Bars {sea salt & double dark chocolate brownie cookie bars}

Should we have a conversation about these?

I think so. I’m unlocking the chocolate key to your heart.

Behold the bad day bars.

Death by deliciousness. Sinful and rich. So completely full of chocolate it will blow your mind… and your diet. Do you understand what I’m saying? You NEED to make these.

Wait. The title of this post is confusing right? Are they a brownie? Are they a cookie bar? I dunno you tell me. I dubbed them the ‘bad day bars’. I couldn’t think of what to name these when they came out of the oven. They resemble a brownie, but they’re not quite brownie like. They’re a bit cookieish. All I know that this was a stress baking experimentation turned awesome.

I’ll explain. Yesterday I was forced to pack up my entire room which was completely miserable. Who actually likes packing? Especially on a monday. It’s like waking up from a relaxing weekend and diving into mad chaos or just major monday depression. I also had to buy new tires for my car,  which of course came with a monstrous price tag. Okay, annddddd I have to drive to Ohio today. Smile and think happy thoughts? Nope, didn’t work. Baking was the only solution. Yessssssss!

 

Now this isn’t just any chocolate bar I baked up. It’s DOUBLE dark chocolate, or just basically insane. Because something needs to get me through this drive across the country after all. And it’s not that new Rihanna Birthday Cake song. Cake Cake Cake Cake Cake Cakkkkkkeeeeee. Can we just make some already and stop singing about it? At least that’s what I’m thinking every time it comes on.

But really, these bars are pretty unbelievable. No, actually they’re ridiculous. Proven to solve your problems (temporarily). Please reserve them for bad days only… or days when you want to impress someone with your mad delicious baking skills. It’s really up to you. Just know that you’re not stopping at one.

I’ll just get into the deets. Initially I started with a basic cookie recipe. I wanted to make something similar to cookies, but then I just started playing around and things got weird… in a really delicious way. 

Mmmm browned butter (lovelovelovelove).

Dark cocoa powder (omggggg).

Dark chocolate chips, and some good sea salt. Perfection.

I decided to not make them into cookies since I was running around my kitchen like a competitor on Iron Chef. They needed to be in and out of the oven quick. I’m perfectly happy with this decision because these are definitely still milk dippable. They remind me of my brown butter & sea salt chocolate chip cookies, except this recipe really steps up it up. Especially if you’re into dark chocolate. I’ve heard it’s an antioxidant? I think it’s a good excuse to have more than one.

I’ll have two please. With ice cream and strawberries. Oh, never forget the whip cream. I’m going all out. Don’t judge.

Bad day or not, I’d inhale these over and over again. Makes any day a good day, I’d say.

 

The Bad Day Bars

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/3 cup dark cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned

3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch pan with parchment paper or alternatively spray with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. To brown your butter: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom  of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat immediately as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Once butter is slightly cooled use an electric mixer to beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until well combined, 2–3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add dry ingredients, reduce speed to low, and mix just to blend. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are set and middle no longer wiggles. The middle will look cracked slightly. This is when you know the cookie bars are done. Cool bars for 10 minutes, cut and serve warm. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp additional sea salt on top if desired.

Makes 12-16 bars

Notes

  • Adapted from Bon Appetit’s chocolate chip cookies
  • The bars might take slightly longer than 25 minutes, just be sure not to over bake them. Every oven is different!
  • You can add in a swirl of caramel, add nuts, peanut butter, or glaze these with frosting for an even more decadent dessert.

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