Have you heard that the weather in NYC has been pretty brutal this winter? Almost every day this month has been below normal temperature-wise.
Thankfully, Jan 1 wasn't too cold. I decided to ring in the new year by splashing into the Atlantic Ocean as part of Coney Island's Polar Bear Club Plunge.
This is me afterwards. I DID IT! I did it along with thousands of other crazy people.
It actually wasn't too bad. I was already cold from waiting for my friends and the water was warmer than the air. I would definitely do it again. It was a fun way to start 2014!
I'm pretty sure that jumping into the ocean on the first day of the year has helped me deal with this extra cold winter. You know what else has helped?
There's nothing like a warm kitchen exuding lovely baked good smells on a chilly, winter evening.
I enjoyed baking these because they made my kitchen smell delicious and they were delicious. The whole wheat combined with dark chocolate chips brought a heartier depth to the tastes of these cookie bars. (And as an FYI, these go really well with scotch whiskey. If only I had a fire place...)
Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (adapted from Completely Delicious)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8 or 9-inch baking pan or 2 8x8 baking pans with parchment paper with overhanging sides.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add this into the stand mixer and mix until incorporated. (Mixture will be a little crumbly.) Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
Press dough into the prepared baking pan and bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then lift bars out of the pan with the overhanging parchment paper and let cool completely on a wire rack. Slice into bars and serve.
Bake well and prosper!