Have you ever heard of a one-pot meal? Of course! We all love less dishes and with the new Instant Pot phenomenon going on, it seems one-pot meals are only gaining popularity. I’ll be honest, this recipe is not that….Nope!
You will in fact need two bowls. One for our butters (yes, plural types of butter) and one for our chocolate.
But I’ve got something better for you! This is a one-hand recipe. What’s that you ask?? It’s the recipe you pull out when you’ve got one hand. What happened to your other hand? It’s busy…. holding an 18-pound Tazmanian Devil known as my second-born child. Yep… I made these luscious, sophisticated, decadent treats all while holding a teething 9 month old. Every new mom knows the phase I’m talking about. We’ve got crawling down. That’s old news. Next skill to master? Crawling up Mom’s leg any time she tries to attempt anything productive. This child lives and breathes to be held by me right now. Which is wonderful. Adorable. So darn precious. Except it happens to be the first week of December, the start of holiday baking season. Cookie dough is ready, the oven is warm and the little guy just wants to be held.
There are a lot of things you can do one-handed. Laundry, sure. Put the dishes away, yep only one hand required. You can even make the bed one-handed. I’ve done it every day this week. But then there’s those things you just can’t do. Like put cookies in a hot oven. Even the messiest of pony tails requries two hands. Zipping up an almost three year old’s coat…. impossible with one hand.
I could go on….. Brush your teeth? Easy with a little guy on your hip. But put contacts in? I don’t recommend trying it. I’ve done it and ended up squinting one eye the rest of the day.
So here you are… my very best one-hand, no-bake Cookie Butter Bars. For those days when it feels like you are walking around with one hand and half your sanity.
These guys are so darn good… using my all-time favorite…. Cookie butter. This stuff is seriously my Achilles heel. I’m so ashamed of this, but I hid some of these guys away, didn’t tell a soul about them, and snacked on them all day today. 😦 What self-respecting wife and mother does this? I have no explanation but to say I have a problem.
But it’s a good problem to have 😊
Steps are so simple, but let’s review for fun.
First, melt butter and cookie butter together in a bowl. Add powdered sugar and mix the goodness together.
Second… melt chocolate and butter (peanut, almond, cookie, anything will do…or you can leave it out and just melt the chocolate….you really can’t go wrong.) Mix together a second bowl of goodness.
Next… pour the first bowl into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and pat down with your hand or the back of measuring cup. Should look like this!
And then… pour melted chocolate on top and spread it around.
Finally, sprinkle the top with sea salt (BTW- this is the easiest way to up your baking game…sea salt is a game changer. And very easy to sprinkle one handed 😉 )
Stick the whole thing in the fridge for a bit to set. This is a good time to set someone down for a nap… or pull your hair out trying 😊.
Now, the fun part.. cut and enjoy! If you are like me and really can’t wait to dive in, your chocolate might split when cutting a tiny bit. Best advice is to wait for about 10 minutes out at room temperature until the chocolate has a chance to warm up. Otherwise, you might have a few cracks. No biggie if you do! I like to sample those pieces 😉
Holiday baking is by far my favorite kind. Amid all the other distractions of the season, I truly feel so much joy spreading ridiculous amounts of goodies around to all my loved ones. While this year may bring some unique baking challenges for me, I know it’s worth the craziness I sometimes inflict on my household. So I encourage you to join in the fun….you may find the best part is sharing with those you love.
Cookie Butter Bars
Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 10 MINUTES
Total Time: 3 HOURS , 10 MINUTES (includes chilling)
1 cup (227g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 and 3/4 cup (14 oz) cookie butter
3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
7 ounces (198g) semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons cookie or peanut butter
Line a 9 x13 in baking pan with parchment paper. Leave enough paper to overhang the sides of the pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, vanilla, cookie butter, and powdered sugar together until combined. Spread into prepared baking pan and pat down evenly with your hands.
In a small bowl, microwave 3 tablespoons of cookie or peanut butter with the chocolate until melted. Microwave in 30 seconds bursts so you do not scorch the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Chill until completely firm, at least 3 hours. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting. Otherwise your chocolate may be brittle and crack as you slice it.
Bars will stay fresh for 5-7 days stored in the refrigerator. Bars can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.