"bar cookies" news and stories
Last night, some friends came over to help us recover the used dining room chairs I found at a thrift store in Chestertown, MD last summer. In return for their labor (and since they are far craftier and handier than either Scott or I, they did the vast majority of the work) I made dinner and dessert. Dinner was a big pot of Beef and Barley Stew (which was delicious but dreadfully unphotogenic) and for sweet treat, I whipped up one of the easiest bar cookies I know.
From Fun With Cooking, I've been making this recipe for Butterscotch Squares since I was nine years old. There are many wonderful things about this bar cookie, including the fact that I almost always have every ingredient on hand. Also it mixes up in a single saucepan (you don't even need to rig up a double boiler like you do for brownies) and the texture can either be crispy or tender, depending on length of baking time. They go great with ice cream, coffee or tea and keep really well (if you happen to have any leftover).
Filed under: Methods
Nothing about these blondies makes them particularly special for the Super Bowl. They're just your basic blondie recipe with the substitution of chopped Heath bars for chocolate chips. However, because they're so easy to make, can be made the night before, and are easy to serve and eat, they work for a Super Bowl party, or any party for that matter.
Heath Bar Blondies
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x9 baking pan. (You can use an 8x8; the blondies will just be slightly taller.)
Into a large mixing bowl, sift together: 1 c. all-purpose flour, ½ tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt.
In a large bowl, beat together 1 c brown sugar with 1 stick melted butter. Add 1 large egg and ¼ tsp vanilla.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture along with 1 c. coarsely chopped Heath bars. (Add nuts if you feel so inspired, but don't tell me about it. I hate nuts in cookies and brownies). Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool (if you have the patience) before cutting into squares.
Back in the summer, my mom sent me a bunch of recipes from the three-ring notebook she's been accumulating for nearly 40 years. The printed out recipe from Amber was included in the envelope, along with a note saying that Amber's mother often serves them with whipped cream, but that she find them rich enough just on their own. The recipe is after the jump.
Lemon bars are tricky things, though they seem deceptively simple. In theory, they consist of a tart, custardy layer on a shortbread-type base, but the vast majority of recipes miss the mark by miles, with fillings that are day-glo neon yellow, too hard, too soft, too tart or too sweet. The crusts tend to fare better than the fillings, but it can still be a challenge to get a good one when the filling actually turns out properly.
The only thing harder than making a really good batch of lemon bars is taking a picture of them. The yellow lemon filling and the pale yellow base do not make for much contrast, and since the bars are often topped with a coating of powdered sugar, you end up with something remarkably unphotogenic, no matter how good they look in person. I am please to say, however, that it looks like Lemon Bars were conquered by Sugar Delirium. Not only does her photo look fantastic, but the recipe for the bars sounds like it turns out a perfectly balanced treat.
"Nice, messy, rich, crazy gooey, and so good" is how the blogger at The Sugar Bar describes these Peanut Butter Toffee Chocolate Bars she baked and, looking at the picture, she is clearly not exaggerating. The bars are blondies, the vanilla version of a brownie, and are thick and satisfying. The thing that sets a blondie apart from, for example, a regular cookie is that they have the same chewy and slightly dense consistency of brownies. They are packed with peanut butter, chocolate chips and chewy toffee candies (caramels could be used instead to make them extra-gooey) and are a perfect pick-me-up in the afternoon, following a long day at work or school. You could serve them to friends with coffee or tea, too, but that means that you would have to share. If the picture is any indication, sharing these might prove to be difficult.