Sometimes the simple things are the best things in life – such as sunsets, good conversations, and these chocolate chip cookie bars. They are crunchy on the outside, have a chewy centre and are one of the easiest things to make. I actually brought these cookie bars for people at school and they seemed to enjoy them, so I hope you will too.
Today I wanted to talk about one of Australia’s landmarks that is not highly recognised. It’s not the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the many beaches or the iconic Uluru. It is the Great Ocean Road.
Look at it, isn’t it picturesque?
Photo courtesy of Visit Victoria.
It features the beach with its beautiful, blue water and of course the 12 Apostles, which were formed by erosion from the Southern Ocean. Ironically, in the 1920s when the 12 Apostles were named, there were only 9 apostles. Then in 2003, one of the rocks collapsed so currently there are only 8. Hence, it is predicted that the number will reduce even further with this rapid rate of erosion.
I haven’t been to the Great Ocean Road quite yet, and I am hoping to visit before the Apostles erode. Although, my parents have actually driven there themselves and told me it’s a pretty boring place to see – but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to go. To me personally, I think the landscape is simply phenomenal and the sunsets would be absolutely exquisite. I cannot imagine what it would look like in real life.
So now onto the chocolate chip cookie bars. You can use milk, white or dark chocolate, or even a combination of all 3 – but it has to be good quality chocolate. I like to use Cadbury milk chocolate. These cookie bars are so simple they don’t require a stand mixer, as the melted butter is used to create a chewy texture.They are perfect for any occasion such as an afternoon snack or to bring to school. You can also transform it into a decadent desert with some warm, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.Despite how good these cookie bars are, it cannot compare to how much I love the Great Ocean Road. I know you might be thinking that it’s just a road with a cluster of rocks and why am I so fascinated about it, but different people have various interests in certain things.There may be all these spectacular places in Europe, America and in other countries around the world, but this humble landmark in Australia is the place I want to see. This is because the memories you create when surrounded by other people and amazing sights such as the 12 Apostles, will create a long lasting, almost timeless, feeling of happiness.This is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to be here; in such a breathtakingly beautiful world. And finally, I would like to finish with a quote by Thornton Wilder:
“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?”
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Makes about 25 soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 170g butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200g milk chocolate, roughly chopped (or any chocolate you prefer)
- Preheat oven to 160 C,.
- Line a 13×9-inch (22x33cm) baking pan with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour and baking soda together; set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk melted butter and both sugars until well combined. Then add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; mix well.
- Fold in dry ingredients until just combined (it’s important not to overmix). Gently fold in the chopped chocolate. Spread batter into the lined baking pan and press to get as even as possible.
- Bake for 23-26 minutes or until golden brown. The middle should still be quite soft to ensure for chewy cookie bars; it will harden as it cools.
- Let cool to room temperature in the pan. Remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares, then serve and enjoy!