Cooking On A Budget: Easy Chocolate, Date and Nut Cookie Bars

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Easy Chocolate, Date and Nut Cookie Bars

A boxed cake mix as a base makes for some fabulous chocolate cookie bars with the addition of a few simple ingredients!

Well it's no secret anymore that you can use a cake mix to make easy and delicious cookies. I have done it on many occasions and they have all turned out delicious. Not only are they delicious the whole process from start to finish is fast. These are absolutely perfect for those in a pinch moments when your children inform you right around bed time that they need an item for a school bake sale. Not to mention they are inexpensive.
Some years ago my neighbor who was an Army mom with a son on active duty was very involved in the organization Cookie Platoon. This organization sends cookies overseas to the men and women who are serving our country. This was the least expensive way that I could contribute by making cookies from a box.

The nice thing about these bars or if you choose individual cookies, is that you have endless possibilities as far as add ins to the dough. Dried fruits that you re-constitute, nuts, chocolate or peanut butter morsels, coconut or as in this case dates; the list goes on an on and it only takes your imagination and your preferences when it comes down to what you will add in.
  • 1 box dark chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 stick melted butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar - pack it firmly
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extra
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (Your choice - I used walnuts.)
Other necessary things you will need:
  • cooking spray
  • parchment paper
  • 11 x 7 baking dish
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°.
  2. In a bowl using a hand mixer blend together the cake mix, eggs, melted butter and vanilla until fully mixed on a lower speed. Scrape sides if need be.
  3. I used my tiny food processor to "chop" the dates until they were fairly small. The same with the walnuts.
  4. Fold the dates and walnuts into the mix until well blended.
  5. Line a 11 x 7 baking dish with parchment paper and spray liberally with a cooking spray.
  6. Using a spatula scrap all the cookie dough together and place 3-4 large clumps on the parchment. Spread as evenly as possible.
  7. Baked in a preheated 375° oven for about 30-32 minutes. When the toothpick inserted comes out clean they are done.
  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes then carefully remove the bar grabbing the edges of the parchment paper and lift onto the wire rack.
  9. Cool completely and then cut into bars.
     Before the oven.                                                Baked cookie bar.

These come out having a brownie like texture to them. Soft and chewy on the inside with a little bit of a crunchy exterior and some nuts and dates in every bite.

What I love about these is the brownie like texture and the sweet pieces of dates and the crunchy walnuts as you take a bite. The dates and walnuts work so well in the chocolate mix and you can't beat the cost of about $3.95 total for 15 bars.

If you like this recipe you may want to take a look at these other EASY recipes:

Double Chocolate Monster Cookies

Chocolate Pecan and Coconut Cookies

Cake Cookie Recipes

Ruby Jewel Cookies 

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