chocolate chip

Squirrel Bars

Squirrel Bars

Squirrel Bars are chewy peanut butter cookie bars with swirled chocolate chips.  When I needed to whip up something sweet for a potluck, I found this recipe in my “Just A Matter of Thyme” cookbook (Every recipe I have ever tried in this cookbook is fantastic!  It is a staple in my potluck recipe collection.)


1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together the butters and sugars.  Mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the flour and baking powder.

Spread the dough in a greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350 degrees (325 if you’re using a dark nonstick pan) for 3 minutes.  Take the pan out of the oven.  Use a knife to swirl the chocolate throughout the bars.

Return to the oven and bake another 18 – 20 minutes.

Let cool completely.  Cut into bars and store in an airtight container until potluck time!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with cream cheese and Heath Bar bits!  These moist, chocolately bars are simple to prepare.  The combination of pumpkin, spices, and chocolate chips make these perfect for any Fall-themed or holiday potluck dessert.

Joanna brought these yummy treats to a work potluck and they were a total hit.  Her addition of the cream cheese and Heath Bar to the original recipe puts these bars over the top (genius!).


1 box of spice cake mix (dry)

1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin

1 cup chocolate chips (I can’t lie. I added a little more than this.)

1 bar cream cheese, softened

1 bag of Heath Bar bits

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a mixer.  Don’t worry if there are some chunks of cream cheese after your finished mixing (bonus bites of cream cheese in these bars is a good thing!)

Grease a 9 x 13″ pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Cut into squares and store in an airtight container until potluck time!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter and chocolate is always a perfect combination!  These Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies are yummy, easy to make, and one of my favorites.  They are so good that my family devours each batch before the next one comes out of the oven.

They are a variation of the Peanut Butter Cookie recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts.


1 cup peanut butter

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached white flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Lightly oil or spray the baking sheets (personally, I prefer parchment paper instead of oil or spray).

Using an electric mixer or a food processor, cream the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar until light and well blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Roll tablespoons of dough between your palms to form 2 inch balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press each cookie with the tines of a fork to create a crisscross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.

Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies


This is my favorite recipe for Cowboy Cookies that I got from my Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts, one of my favorite dessert cookbooks.


1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached white pastry flour (I substitute 2 cups minus 2 T. all-purpose flour)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 cups rolled oats

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, thoroughly cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.   Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and blend well.  Mix in the oats.  Using a large spoon or your hands, fold in the chocolate chips.  The dough will be fairly stiff.

On unoiled baking sheets, drop generous rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 4 inches apart.  Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden.  Cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

Variation:  Add 1 cup of raisins and/or 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped toasted walnuts.

6 Layer Bars

6 Layer Bars

The combination of chocolate, coconut, and walnuts make these 6 Layer Bars extremely addicting!

I used to make 7 Layer Bars every year during the holidays until my friend, Napua, suggested that I substitute the butterscotch chips for double chocolate chips.  They were so good that 6 Layer Bars have now become a staple recipe for my holiday baking and a favorite among my closest friends.  They’re great for any potluck, holiday party, or cookie exchange and they are ridiculously easy to make.

In a 9 x 13″ pan, add in order:

1 stick butter or margarine, melted

1 cup crushed graham crackers

1 cup sweetened coconut

12 ozs. chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chopped walnuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until it is bubbly in the middle.  Let cool completely.  Cover and chill them in the fridge until set (it’s okay to leave them in the fridge overnight).

Take them out of the fridge and let them warm to room temperature.  Cut into bars.  You can serve them right away, or let them get room temperature.  You can also store them in an airtight container, separated by layers of wax paper, for up to three days.