guest post: gooey chocolate chip sandwich bars w/ cranberry

I was delighted to have the creative genius Joanne of the wildly creative with healthy edge to it blog called 'eats well with others'. I am drawn to Joanne and her baking & cooking ways because she, unlike me, has a healthy edge (I need to get my baking-healthy edge on) . When this girl isn't creating amazing healthy yet definitely delish recipes in her nyc kitchen, you can find her exercising; well, exercising to the extremes honestly. I've lost count on how many marathons she's done. I was able to stop counting her marathons this past fall when ironically, she and I were both nursing knee injuries. Jokingly we would tease each other via twitter on who had the worst cabin fever since knee injuries take their own sweet time to heal. Oh did I mention she also is in the process of getting her MD/PhD? Yeah. The woman has crazy energy, and insane passion; I just love that about her!

A couple things I wanted to know:

You seem to have a mainly ‘healthy edge” to all your recipes, where or when did this start?
My family is the quintessential meat and potatoes family so I grew up on absolutely zero vegetables and lots of bread and cannoli. I started eating more healthy my junior year of college. I kind of woke up one day, realized just how overweight I was, and decided I was tired of being “the fat girl” among all my friends. Dining hall food isn’t the best for getting healthy and so I started to cook for myself. Since then, it’s pretty much been history. I fell in love with vegetables and, a year ago, stopped eating meat entirely. I still have a pretty intense sweet tooth so dessert will always be a part of my life, but I try to eat uber healthy the rest of the time to make up for it.

Do you plan out what you’re going to make? Or are they spur of the moment?

I am quite the stereotypical medical student in the sense that I am an organizational freak...however, I use those OCD tendencies to menu plan instead of study plan. It happens. Occasionally when I get a craving or inspiration hits, some spur of the moment cooking gets done, but most of the time there’s a plan and I follow it. Or sushi gets ordered.

When looking at recipes to try or create next, what sparks your interest most?

I definitely have certain flavor profiles that jump out at me. I love very bold, spicy food so anything Indian, Thai or Middle Eastern always appeals to me. I also have a strong and definite penchant for orange vegetables. If you show me a recipe with a sweet potato or winter squash in it, I am about 1000x more likely to make it. If it has celery...then there is no chance in hell it will come anywhere near my kitchen.

What country would you like to visit most for their food?

I would love to go to Thailand, Morocco or India. Although, my roommate just brought an intestinal parasite back with her from India (Giardia) and so my desire to go has declined a bit.

Are there any junk foods you love?

I’m a Reese’s-aholic. And a nutella-aholic. Although, I wouldn’t consider nutella a junk food. It’s more of a food group.

Favorite health foods?

Sweet potatoes, winter squash, and apples. I seriously eat an apple a day. Honeycrisp are my favorites!

What was your favorite food to write about?

I love writing about cupcakes. They’re my favorite thing to bake and one of my favorite things to eat. There are just so many cupcake/frosting/filling combinations and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Below is one of Joanne's recipes. For more info on her and her recipes check out her food blog: eats well with others.


My mom always used to tell me that you can catch more bees with honey than you can with vinegar.
It was her quaint way of saying, "I know you're thirteen and have an attitude problem, but if you want me to drive you to the mall then you really probably should take out the garbage. And do the dishes. And clean your room."


I just didn't get it though.
Why would anyone ever want to catch bees?
And given how much time my mother spent swatting at them all summer long, why weren't we dotting vinegar below our ears and on our wrists until we smelled like balsamic vinaigrette (yum) to try to keep them away?
She is such an enigma.


However. If she had said, you can make more friends when you sandwich fudge in-between two layers of chocolate chip peanut butter chip cranberry cookies than you can if you try to give them bran muffins?
That, I would have understood.


Nothing against bran muffins. But they don't say "love me always and forever" as much as gooey chocolate chip sandwich bars do. Truth. I speak it.


Gooey Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars
adapted from Food and Wine
print recipe

• 2 cups AP flour
• 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg, room temperature
• 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 3/4 cup peanut butter chips
• 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Line the dish with parchment paper leaving 1-inch of overhang on either side.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, followed by the egg yolk and vanilla, scraping down the sides after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients, then add 3/4 cup chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and dried cranberries until just incorporated. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, melt 2 cups chocolate chips in the sweetened condensed milk over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and let cool to room temperature.
4. Press half the cookie dough into the prepared baking dish. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the dough and spread evenly. Top with small dollops of the remaining cookie dough. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Let cool completely before cutting.



  1. Love Joanne and love this post... these bars look amazing! And wanted to tell you that every time I look at your header I want to grab those babies out of the screen!

  2. I've never read Joanne's blog! checking it out now. These bars look amazeballs

  3. i love joanne--one of my faves! and i'm pretty sure these bars are going to be one of my faves once i make them--cranberry + chocolate is a magical combo!

  4. Oh these bars look crazy good! And in all her spare time between being a md/phd student, she's writing a blog and making gorgeous bars with original recipes? Just another day in the life, I guess...no biggie :)

    Inspirational, indeed!

  5. holy hell. why did those not make it to the cookie swap? ha. i don't know how joanne does it ;)

  6. Joanne = awesome. Which means these gooey bars = awesome. Pinning!

  7. Fantastic interview and blog post. Love those bars!

  8. those looks so delicious and i'm having a hard time holding back my drool! Will definitely keep an eye on the blog!


  9. I heart Joanne. And I heart you. And I heart these bars. YUMMY!!!

  10. Aww thanks SO much for letting me guest post, Dawn! I love ya!

  11. Two of my very favorite girls in one post!! I am loving these gooey chocolate chip sandwich bars and wish I had a plate of them in front of me. Seriously.

  12. what a great blog!! these bars are ncredible they look perfectly soft but chewy and quite addictive

  13. Looks tempting! And I love the light in your pictures ;)

  14. C'est une pâtisserie que l'on ne trouve pas chez nous, j'adore
    Je te souhaite une agréable fin de semaine

  15. A lovely guest post and interesting interview! Those bars look amazing and ever so good. Thanks for sharing!



  16. Well I just had to pin these!!!


  17. Love Joanne's writing! Your interview shows her personality perfectly!

  18. Love Joanne's blog and this post reminded me again of why I love her writing so much. Uhm, don't we all bake to make and keep friends? These bars are calling to me.

  19. Love this post. You and Joanne rock!

  20. I am a HUGE Joanne Fan thank you so much for the guest post and another amazing recipe.

  21. Whoa. These bars look intense. Intensely amazing. Thanks for the lovely recipe!

  22. Mmmmm! I made the regular version a few months ago. Good stuff those gooey chocolate chip sandwich bars! Cranberry seems like a nice addition!

  23. Great interview and those sandwich bars look incredibly delicious.

  24. I just stopped over from Joanne's blog and have to tell you both how much I enjoyed the interview! Thank you for featuring this sweet lady and thank you, Joanne, for sharing...your life and your food. I'm a fan. :)

  25. Stopping over from Joanne's blog and I enjoyed the guest post. Great interview! Love those bars.

  26. Love the cranberries in these and love the up close photos making me want to take a big bite!

  27. love Joanne s blog too fun interview

  28. Really like this guest post, those bars are amazing.

  29. just found your blog! so glad i did--- this recipe look delish!! and the apple fritters below?! WOW xoxo,
    mini baker

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