You might be thinking that I add alcohol to a lot of my recipes. And I do. I don't need to explain myself but I'm going to, in case you wondered. If you don't care, skip to last paragraph.
Alcohol is an ideal flavor enhancer and after salt, it's my best choice. While the depth of flavor notes it provides are subtle, (and some people cannot taste it) I think it changes recipes in a way that is just enough to underscore the main ingredients. It's that I-just-can't-put-my-finger-on-it-but-it-is tastes-so-good, thing. Also, excluding ice cream, when heated the "alcohol" effects cook away leaving just the flavor behind. I encourage you to dabble.
These bars are called Santa Bars in my house. We leave them out for the man in red, unless the man who lives here gets to them first.
"Sprinkles, sprinkles, you must use sprinkles. Each holiday use the appropriate colors- you'll get asked to make these again and again."
Notes: Butter is unsalted.
MIXED CHIP COOKIE BARS WITH BOURBON
Ingredients: 1 cup softened butter, 2/3 cup light brown sugar, scant 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs at room temperature, 1/4 tsp. almond extract, 1 tbsp. bourbon, 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 tbsp. red sprinkles, 1 tbsp. green sprinkles.
Makes about 36 2-inch bars.
1. Preheat oven to 350* and line an 9x9 inch square pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. (Can also be cooked in a 9 inch cast iron pan.)
2. In a large bowl, stir together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and bourbon. Mix until nearly 'whipped', and the batter is falling back on itself like a ribbon.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips, (leaving about 12 of them out) fold into batter.
4. Spoon batter into pan. Cover with a generous layer of sprinkles. Push a few chocolate chips onto the top.
5. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until golden. Remove to cool completely. Center will sink a little, but will continue to cook as it cools.