Into every life should come a little chocolate. Or a lot of chocolate. Both are totally fine, but in this case more is better.
These chocolate covered chocolate chunk bars are made with a little cream cheese for extra pizzazz – think of them as a dressy treat that kind of tastes like a party. A little bite goes a long way which means that there is more than plenty to share with family and friends. Like a friends and family chocolate-share plan but without the roaming costs.
The only trick to remember when applying the chocolate topping is to be patient. In a couple of minutes the chocolate chips on the hot bars will look all melty but they are just messing with you. Chocolate chips are made to melt and hold their shape. They won’t spread well enough until you let them heat up long enough for them to ditch the memory and succumb to the hot sauna known as super-hot-from-the-oven cake. Spread that chocolate in two minutes and it will resist and look all bumpy and weird. Come back in five to seven minutes and you can spread that chocolate with abandon and it will cooperate and magically look shiny and swirly.
The chocolate covered topping isn’t absolutely necessary but provides an extra festive touch. Plain bars out of the oven (read: naked bars) are perfectly fine. The bars still have plenty of chocolate to their name.
The cream cheese addition might make you wonder if they taste like cheesecake. They do not. It just gives them some additional moisture which always helps gluten-free baked goods and a gives it a nice little background tangy taste. It is not an obvious flavor.
The addition of coffee helps pop the chocolate – it isn’t a flavor and no one will know it is there. Use decaf if you like but don’t leave it out. The pecans are optional but having made it both ways, the nuts add some interest.
Think of this one as a potential holiday favorite. Add a sprinkle of festive and colorful coarse holiday sugar to decorate the chocolate. Or just leave them with a plain shiny chocolate top.
Just be sure to share.
|Chocolate Covered Chocolate Chunk Bars||
- 90 grams full fat cream cheese (about ⅓ cup)
- 132 grams Spectrum shortening (2/3 cup)
- 150 grams brown sugar (3/4 cup)
- 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (decaf ok)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 260 grams Canteen blend flour (2 cups) (see notes)
- 50 grams GF oat flour (1/2 cup)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 170 grams semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (1 cup)
- 120 grams roughly chopped pecans (optional)
- 340 grams semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 (metal) pan with non stick spray. Line pan with a single sheet of parchment so that it comes up the sides like a sling (so that you can grab the paper and easily remove the bars once cool).
- In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, shortening, and sugars together until combined. Add eggs, coffee and vanilla. Add flours, salt, and baking soda and stir until mixed in thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chunks and nuts (if using). Spread dough into prepared pan and using an offset spatula make sure the dough is even and flat. Rap pan on the counter a few times to settle out any air bubbles.
- Bake 22-25 minutes or just until a tooth pick comes out without crumbs. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the bars evenly. Let them sit for 3-5 minutes without touching the chocolate. If need be, place the pan in the turned off oven for a minute or two (if the pan cools too quickly). Patiently wait at least five minutes for the chips to completely soften before spreading. Using an offset spatula spread the chocolate over the top of the bars and create an interesting pattern. Let the bars cool for one to two hours. Set the bars in the freezer for up to 5 minutes to help set the chocolate. But don’t keep them in there because the chocolate will become dull. Once the bars are cooled and the chocolate has set, use the parchment sling to remove the bars to a cutting board. Slice into even squares and serve at room temperature. Makes 24 large squares or 48 small-bite bars.