Chocolate Potato Chip Cookie Bars

Welcome to another special birthday edition of Needs Baked! I like baking for people. It’s fun. It’s a great gift. And people generally love it to pieces. You might remember the things I’ve made for different people’s birthdays. Like this cake, or this pie, or these cupcakes.

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So this time it was for a new friend’s birthday. I wanted to make something, but I don’t know him all that well yet. I consulted someone who knows him better. She said he had no real preferences, but he likes chocolate. As far as chocolate goes, this recipe is one I’ve had my eye on for a while. It’s salty, it’s sweet. It’s snacky, it’s desserty. And it’s not your average dessert. So it seemed like a good choice.

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

I still had no eggs, but I had plenty of aquafaba left from last week’s recipe, so I used that here. I wanted to avoid using the mixer, as I didn’t want to clean it. (It was late and my regular dishwasher was fast asleep.) So I melted the butter to make it easier to incorporate. I know that’s cheating a little bit, but I hope you’ll forgive me. I accidentally melted it too much. It was very liquidy, so it made the resultant mixture very liquidy. (Don’t worry, it turned out okay.)

Fresh out of the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

The recipe calls for a tablespoon of vanilla. At first I thought that was a misprint. So I tried it with a teaspoon. After testing, it seemed okay to add more, so I ended up using a whole tablespoon after all. As a side benefit, I finally made it to my last bottle of vanilla! I know that sounds weird, so let me explain. At one point I had three bottles of vanilla, which is more than anyone should probably have unless you’re running a secret underground vanilla league. It all started off innocently enough. I had one, but I wanted to get ahead of it before I ran out, so I got some more. I then promptly forgot that I had already bought some more and got more again. So you can see I wasn’t trying to corner the market on vanilla. It was purely accidental. But I finally finished my last extra bottle and am now on my last bottle. Which is a big deal, considering you only use like a teaspoon or so for a recipe. Which means I made a lot of recipes to use up that much vanilla. Yay me! (It’s the little things.)

If you look closely, you can see the chips.

If you look closely, you can see the chips.

It was fun crushing all the potato chips. I didn’t know quite how much I would need to crush. I crushed just what I had in the bag. It turned out to be almost exactly the right amount. I was just a tiny bit shy of the amount for the top.

Mmm. Chocolate topping.

Mmm. Chocolate topping.

Putting it into the baking dish, it was a little greasy. That’s because the butter hadn’t combined properly (see melting above), but it was fun smooshing it in nonetheless. (Yes, smooshing is an industry term.) It looked and smelled lovely as it was baking. It came out with a nice golden color. I let it cool on a cooling rack.

See how it spreads? Nice and smooth.

See how it spreads? Nice and smooth.

Then I made the topping. That was fun, too: melty, melty, smooshy, smooshy. I ended up microwaving it for 1 1/2 minutes. It ended up almost like frosting. There was plenty to go around, and it was smooth and easy to spread.

More chips on top. Because, why not?

More chips on top. Because, why not?

I tried to press in the potato chips on top (easier said than done), as I had a feeling many would fall off while eating. It was a challenge, but it was definitely the way to go. At this point, I put it in the fridge to set. It was late (I had started on it late), so I let it set overnight. Overall, it was very easy and fun to make.

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The next day, I took it out while we went out grocery shopping. (You can’t make cookies without getting groceries sometime.) By the time we got back, it had gotten to room temperature. Much easier to cut it that way. The recipe said you should get 16-20 cookies out of it, but it seemed like they would be very big cookies. For my millionaire’s shortbread, I would get 50 cookies out of something that big. These probably weren’t going to be as rich, but still. I ended up with 30. I cut them a little unevenly, but that was okay as some people like bigger cookies and some like smaller.

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We were bringing them to the birthday boy’s celebration later that evening, but we needed to try them first. You know, to make sure they were okay. The lengths I go to for quality control. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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They’re nice. Rich, buttery, and not overly sweet. My chief taste tester said it was kinda like birthday cake (which is fitting). It’s a moist cookie and the fudge topping is like frosting. It reminded her of childhood. I definitely enjoyed the salty with the sweet. And there was a nice texture difference. Yum!

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How did they go over? Quite well. The birthday boy was very touched. He really enjoyed them. Another guest described them as “like a picnic in my mouth”. My wife was right. People at parties at bars really like desserts. And everyone seemed to particularly enjoy the chocolate and potato chips together, so it was definitely a good choice.

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So, easy and fun recipe? Check. Delicious results? Check. An ingenious way to get your daily recommended allowance of snack foods all together? Check. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. And if you have any other salty and sweet recipes up your sleeve, feel free to share!

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Recipe courtesy of A Spicy Perspective.

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