Bleeding Heart Chocolate Chip Bars

by Cathy Pollak
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Bleeding-Heart-Chocolate-Chip-BarsI have two boys. At the ages of eleven and one that's moments away from turning thirteen, it's getting harder and harder to impress them. Or maybe it's better to say, it's getting harder and harder to do things together they think are cool.

Take for instance baking, when they were little pulling out the sprinkles got them excited about spending time in the kitchen. Now, it's getting challenging to keep their attention when it comes to helping. So I asked them to hang out and help me make these chocolate chip bars. Big yawn. Then I told them, how about we make chocolate chip bars with chocolate hearts that bleed red blood right on top? Magically, I had their attention. Boys. Of course they would think a bleeding heart is the perfect Valentine's Day treat!

These little hearts are Junior Mints made especially for Valentine's Day. Their insides are either red or white. The colors are mixed in a package so you do not get all reds in one box. I explained to the boys I could only get maybe half of them to bleed. The white ones also bleed, you just can't see them when they do.

They didn't care, they got the bloody Valentine's they wanted...a treat they could be proud of and feel manly about. No girly sprinkles for them. But here's the best part...these bars taste really good!! I used a mix of semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, as well as walnuts. They have that really good cookie taste and are nice and sturdy without being dry. 

Bleeding Heart Chocolate Chip Bars
Recipe Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com | Serves: Makes about 42 bars

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the baking sheet
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/12 cups cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces white chocolate chips
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2 (1.6 ounce) boxes heart shaped Junior Mints

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You'll want the rack to be in the center of the oven. Prepare a 12 x 17 rimmed baking sheet by buttering it very well.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour mixture on low speed just until combined. Slowly beat in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Spread dough onto the baking sheet. Cook for 35 minutes and remove from oven to push in Junior Mints. Place them in uniform order according to how you want to cut your bars. Put back in the oven for five minutes or just until the red starts to bleed out.

Cathy owns her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.

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