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Bar cookies are ideal dessert for Fourth of July

Here are two words about what dessert to bring to tomorrow’s Fourth of July picnic, cookout or any summertime gathering: bar cookies.

Bar cookies are easy to make. Who has time to bake tray upon tray of individual cookies?

Bar cookies are served in the same pan in which they are baked. Who has time to clean all those cookie sheets?

Bar cookies travel well. Snap on a plastic lid or cover with plastic wrap and they are ready to go.

And as Charlotte cookbook author Taylor Mathis noted, you don’t even have to cut them ahead of time.

“People can decide how big or small a serving they want,” said Mathis, whose first cookbook, “The Southern Tailgating Cookbook: A Game-Day Guide for Lovers of Food, Football, and the South,” comes out next month from UNC Press. Mathis spent three years photographing and tasting the tailgating spreads at 35 college football games across the South and beyond.

Mathis’ cookbook contains a recipe for “Training Table Brownies,” based on the brownies his grandfather, a former athletic director at Duke University, used to sneak home from home football games. “My mom remembers the brownies as huge rectangles of chocolate covered in a rich, delicious chocolate – the biggest dessert she’d ever eaten,” Mathis wrote.

Mathis comes by his love of bar cookies honestly: “I’ll eat any bar cookie that you put in front of me.”

Check out recipes for these bar cookies. We’ll bet your friends and family will agree.

To see printable versions of the recipes, click on the links below:

Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Donna’s Cherry Bars

Raspberry Crumb Bars

Training Table Brownies

Weigl: 919-829-4848 or follow on Twitter, @andreaweigl
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