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Baking

Childhood Memories
March 24, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

We didn’t eat a lot of candy growing up, but I do remember my mom’s favorite were Chunky Bars. I found them intriguing, that dome of chocolate studded with raisins and nuts. I always thought there were peanuts, but a little research revealed it was really a mix of brazil nuts and cashews. The original confection was created right in my hometown in New York City, a fun fact I can’t wait to share with mom.

I have another surprise the next time I see her too—chunky bar cookies. While recipe testing a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies recently, I started thinking about those candy bars. Adding a handful of nuts and chopped chocolate to the dough seemed like a delicious idea. I went with walnuts because that’s what I had on hand, but still think peanuts, or even pecans, would work in a pinch. I felt like a kid again from the very first bite—kind of like a fountain of youth for my tastebuds.

Chunky Bar Cookies
Makes 4 dozen

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Whisk oats, flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars in the bowl of your Cuisinart Stand Mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Beat until the ingredients are mixed well. Stir in the raisins, chocolate chips and walnuts.
  4. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough (about 1 1/2-inch mounds), 2-inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 minutes for chewier cookies or 14 minutes for crisp ones. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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