Well, I've got a case of the Monday blahs. It all started with health insurance. Dealing with health insurance is never a great way to start off the day, especially a Monday. And, dealing with the totally incompetent, utterly useless health insurance policy marketplace of the state in which I currently reside is just a really, really, really bad way to start off the day. It's been like, okay, you're approved. Congratulations! You have health insurance (only after a totally frustrating and confusing few days of trying to figure out the whole enrollment process). Oh no, wait, now you need to re-enroll. Okay, you're re-enrolled, but, wait -- we're canceling your health insurance because you're not a US citizen. Oh, you are a US citizen. Okay, you're enrolled again. Oh, wait, we need your proof of income again.
*bangs head against wall*
Seriously?! This should not be this difficult, yet somehow it is.
And it's a gray, icky day out, so totally not helping out the case of the Monday blahs.
BUT, I have the new summer issue of BHG's Do It Yourself magazine and these delicious cookie bars. Oh man, these cookie bars are SO. GOOD. And so easy to make! I love cookies, but sometimes I'm lazy and I don't feel like spooning individual balls of dough onto a baking sheet. Enter the cookie bar. Just dump the batter into a baking dish, spread it out, and VOILA! Cookie bars. They're a genius idea. Plus, with cookie bars, you can cut yourself any size you'd like. You want a small piece? Sure, no problem. Personally, I like to cut as big a piece as what seems decent. Colossal cookies -- that's my thing.
I can't eat peanuts, hence the sunbutter, but feel free to swap out the sunbutter for peanut butter if you like. They'll still be delicious. There is something magical about the combination of chocolate and nuts. Or, chocolate, nuts and sunflower seeds in this case. The cookie itself is nice and dense, spiked with a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate pieces. And the cashews add a nice crunch and an added nutty flavor. A like a lot of different textures going on in my cookies. When I was younger, I hated nuts in my cookies, or any baked good for that matter. Brownies with walnuts?? No way. Pecans in my chocolate chip cookies?? An atrocity. But now, I can't get enough of them. I put them in oatmeal, in brownies, in quick breads, and yes -- in cookie bars. If you're not a fan of nuts, you can leave them out and these bars will still be tasty. But, seriously, the cashews are amazing in these cookie bars.
Between these cookie bars and this summer's DIY magazine, my Monday blahs will surely be banished!
SUNBUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP CASHEW COOKIE BARS
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Yield: 1 8x8 pan
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I love Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (I used a combination of Enjoy Life's semi-sweet and dark chocolate)
1/2 cup raw cashews
6 tablespoons soy-free Earth Balance spread (or butter, if tolerated)
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 8x8 pan with Earth Balance spread or shortening (I like to use Spectrum's Natural's Organic All Vegetable Shortening).
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the GF flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder. Add in the chocolate chips and cashews.
In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance and sunbutter together until smooth. Beat in the sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla.
Fold the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients until everything is well combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for around 35 minutes. Prepare for ultimate deliciousness.