Whether you’re looking for a simple no-bake dessert bar or a decadent layered treat, baked bars are the perfect way to satisfy your cravings. They’re easy to make, portable, and perfect for serving a large group of people.
These treats can be topped with anything from chocolate to fruits to nuts and spices. They also make a great gift. You can even make a few batches ahead and freeze them, so they’re ready to go when you need them.
They’re a popular addition to bake sales and birthdays, and they’re often sold at coffee shops as well. They’re also a staple of many snack bags and lunch boxes.
The first step to making a delicious bar is finding the right recipe. You’ll want something that uses only the best ingredients and is easy to prepare. Some recipes call for just a few pantry staples, while others require you to make your own ingredients from scratch.
It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and check for doneness at the end of the baking time. This will ensure that the cookies don’t burn before they’re set in the center.
When you’re ready to bake, line the bottom of a baking pan with foil, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Grease the foil and then fit it into the pan; this will help the cookie bars stay in place and prevent them from crumbling while they’re baking.
You can also add a layer of your favorite jam to the bottom of the pan before putting the batter in. This is a great way to add flavor without changing the consistency of the baked bars too much.
Another option is to use a layer of peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, or any other spread that you like. This will add a layer of creaminess to the baked bar and give it more texture.
Using a pre-made crust can save you time in the kitchen, so you can focus on creating the filling for these cookies. This recipe from 365 Days of Baking and More features a sugar cookie crust made with refrigerated dough, ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, and amaretto.
Once the cookie dough is in the pan, you’ll need to let it bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. This will allow it to get a nice, golden brown color and firm up in the center.
Some of these recipes require the baking pan to be greased, while others will simply need a few drops of oil on it. Either way, it’s a good idea to check the oven’s temperature before you start.
The last thing you want is a hard, dry crust that won’t hold up to the weight of the filling. This makes it vital to follow the baking directions closely and check for doneness when the cookies are just a few crumbs clinging to the bottom of the pan.