Vermont Cookie Bars

It was maybe only a few days after the purchase of this box of Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookie mix that I had to break into it and bake something up. I was hoping I could stash the mix for a good couple weeks, at least, and use in a *real* emergency. (You know, like when you're trying to stream the season finale of Scandal but the campground's wifi won't cooperate.) But, the craving hit, and when the craving hits, you've gotta do something about it.

Instead of making cookies, a rather tedious process when one is in a tiny kitchen, I decided to bake this mix up as bars. It worked out perfectly as we could portion away according to our tastebuds' desire. A teeny wedge for a snack or a large slice for one of those "Can it just be tomorrow already?" kind of days.

I'm calling these Vermont Cookie Bars because I took the already-delicious King Arthur Flour outrageous chip mix, swirled some ridiculously decadent Cold Brew Coffee Caramel from Fat Toad Farm throughout and globbed rich and nutty Barney Butter's Vanilla Bean + Espresso Almond Butter on top. King Arthur and Fat Toad Farm are Vermont based and while Barney Butter heralds from California, I picked up the jar at a gift shop in Vermont, so I'm sneaking it in here.

Note the addition of coffee and espresso in the cookie bars. Makes them totally acceptable as a breakfast food. Yes? Yes.

I don't have a real recipe for you, but I'll share some notes on how I modified the instructions on the back of the box to work in bar form and in our tiny RV convection/microwave oven. I figure it's handy to have recipes that have worked specifically with funky RV kitchen equipment in case other nomads want to give this a go.

Vermont Cookie Bars
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients
1 24 oz box King Arthur Flour Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookie mix
10 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs*

*The mix only calls for 1 egg but I found that when I added an extra one, the mix finally became the right cookie-like consistency.

Directions
1. Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees. Grease your baking dish of choice. (I used a Corelle oval shaped baking dish, but I imagine a standard 8 x 8 pan would work well.)
2. Beat butter until light and fluffy.
3. Add one egg and half of the dry cookie mix. Mix until well combined.
4. Add remaining egg and the rest of the cookie mix. Stir until *just* combined.
5. Press dough into baking dish, making sure it is fairly evenly distributed across the pan. 
6. Dollop teaspoons of caramel across the dough, swirling through with a knife. Repeat with almond butter.
7. Bake for 40 minutes. (Because I baked the mix in a deeper dish than the 9 x 13 pan the mix instructions calls for, I had to bake longer to ensure the bars were fully baked all the way through.)
8. Test for doneness - if a toothpick placed in the center of the bars comes out clean, the bars are finished. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting into bars.
9. Enjoy!

Do you see those golden caramelly swirls on top? Yep. You'll thank me later for encouraging you to invest in some Barney Butter and Fat Toad caramel. I promise.

Do you see those golden caramelly swirls on top? Yep. You'll thank me later for encouraging you to invest in some Barney Butter and Fat Toad caramel. I promise.