Homemade Chocolate Chip Blondies

I have always loved to bake cookies, and I especially love finding new recipes that I can perfect. My recipes for chocolate chip, peanut butter and snickerdoodle have all been mastered with every single batch I’ve made over the years.

When I’m in a pinch for time, I love throwing in a pan of bar cookies. One of my favorite recipes is simply called Goodie Bars — a rich concoction of walnuts, chocolate chips and brown sugar.

Since I’ve been craving cookies lately, I thought it would be fun to try a new bar cookie recipe, or two or three. With summer barbecues in full swing, now is a great time to try recipes for bar cookies. Here are some great ideas for chocolatey, fruity and even no-bake bar cookies. For even more recipes, visit our Money-Saving Recipes on Pinterest.

Chocolatey bars

Don’t want to hang out in the kitchen baking batch after batch of cookies? Bar cookies are the perfect alternative to still enjoy an amazing sweet cookie treat, but without all the time spent in the kitchen. You can simply smoosh all that chocolate chip cookie dough into a 9-by-13 inch pan or you can mix things up a bit with caramel, peanut butter, chocolate, nuts, coconut and much more.

Try Butterfinger Bars. Mix 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 large eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 cups chopped Butterfinger Bars. Bake in 9-by-13 pan at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with frosting of 3/4 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup soft butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons milk. Top with chopped Butterfinger bits.

Fruity bars

Summer is a great time to bake using fresh fruit or fruit preserves. I love cobblers and crisps, but for something with more of a bar cookie structure, make up a pan of fruity bar cookies. With a typical sugar cookie base layer you can often combine cheesecakey richness with the sweet tartness of fruit.

Try Cherry Bars. Rinse and chop 16 ounces of maraschino cherries. Set aside. Cream 1 1/2 sticks butter with 1 cup sugar, 2 large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fold in cherries, press into 9-by-13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool and frost with mixture of 2 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 3 cups powdered sugar and red sprinkles.

No-bake bars

Looking for a bar cookie that won’t heat up your kitchen this summer? Try a quick and easy no-bake bar cookie recipe. Sure you can whip up a pan of Rice Krispie Treats, but for a little extra gooey variety, try making a pan of decadent peanut butter bar cookies. Or maybe try a cookie dough no-bake bar cookie.

This Chocolate Oatmeal bar sounds delish. Melt 1 cup butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar in saucepan on medium heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix in 3 cups rolled oats. Cook for 3-4 minus. Pour half into lined 9-by-13 pan. Make a filling by melting 1 cup chocolate chips with 1/2 cup peanut butter in the microwave. Pour over crust, reserving some for drizzle. Press remaining mixture on top. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

— Jennifer Durrant