Chocolate chunk cookie bars have never looked so spectacular (or tasted as much) than when dressed like trees this holiday season.
With all the chewy, gooey qualities that we love about cookie bars, these have hints of coffee and caramelized toffee throughout.
Crushed coffee beans infuse cream for the ganache frosting. The rich, decadence of the ganache offsets the sweetness of the chocolate chunks and toffee perfectly.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Instant espresso (optional)
- Chocolate chips
- Toffee bits
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Heavy cream
- Coffee beans
- Dark Chocolate
See recipe card for quantities.
Tools and Equipment
- Stand or hand mixer
- 8X8-inch baking pan
- Offset spatula
- Piping bad and petal tip (for decorations)
How to Decorate
Simply cutting the chocolate chunk cookie bars into triangles instead of traditional rectangles instantly levels up the design. To complete the look, pipe swags of ganache on the trees.
Starting at the top, with the narrow end of the tip point up to the top of the tree, pipe zig-zags down the length of the trees. Alternatively, spread on the ganache with an offset spatula.
Sprinkle with sugar pearl “ornaments” before the ganache sets.
Find this recipe and more in the 2019 Holiday Cookies issue by Bake From Scratch.
Baking the cookie bars until nearly set in the center and pressing down the edges once cooked will help keep the centers from sinking for a more even “tree.” Decrease the cook time by a few minutes for a gooey, chewy center.
If the ganache sets before decorating, gently re-heat over a double-boiler and whisk again until thick and spreadable.
More Christmas Cookies to Make
Christmas Wreath Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
Classic Decorated Sugar Cookies
Coffee Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
Coffee Ganache Frosting
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon coffee beans crushed
- 4 oz 60% dark chocolate chopped
Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon instant expresso powder optional
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup toffee bits
- 6 oz 60% to 70% dark chocolate chopped
- sugar pearls and/or dragees optional
Coffee Ganache Frosting
- Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high just until it begins to simmer. Stir in the crushed coffee beans and remove from the heat. Once cooled, transfer the cream and coffee beans to a lidded container and refrigerate for 8 hours, or over night. Once infused, strain out the cream from the coffee beans using a mesh sieve. Discard the coffee beans.
- Place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside. Measure out ½ cup (120 grams) of coffee-infused cream and place in a small saucepan. Bring cream to a slight simmer over medium-high heat. Once the cream begins to simmer, pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for 30 to 60 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Allow the ganache to completely cool, at least an hour, at room temperature. Alternatively, chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes to keep the ganache on the sides of the bowl from setting.
- Once completely cool, the ganache will have thickened slightly but will be too thin to spread. Whisk the ganache by hand for 2 to 3 minutes until it thickens and slightly lightens in color. Alternatively, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment for 30 to 60 seconds. Do not over-mix. Use immediately.
Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
- Grease and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, espresso powder (if using), baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until, light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix on medium for another minute until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in two batches. Mix until just combined and a few steaks of flour still remain. Stop the mixer and fold in the toffee bits and chocolate chunks.
- Press the cookie dough into the prepared pan. Smooth out into an even layer with an offset spatula (the dough will be quite thick) as best as possible. Bake in the preheated oven for 31 to 35 minutes or until the center is nearly set. Remove the pan from the oven and press down the edges of the cookie bars with a heat-safe spatula. Allow for the cookie bars to completely cool in the pan on a cooling rack before cutting.
- Once completely cooled, use the parchment paper to help remove the cookie bars from the pan. Cut the square in half to create two 9X4 ½-inch rectangles. Cut each half into five triangles with 3-inch bases. There will be 10 triangles total.
- To decorate, fill a piping bag fitted with a petal tip (#104) with the Coffee Ganache Frosting. Pointing the narrow end of the petal tip away from your body and toward the top of the cookie bar “tree,” pipe rounded zig-zags to create the swags down the tree. Garnish with sugar pearls, if desired.
- Cookie bars are best served within two days of baking. Store leftover in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days.
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