We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cookie Recipe #24 - Nanaimo Bars

The Nanaimo Bars are a request by Jeannie who works at Paul & Eddy's and remembers her grandmother making these for her. I found the recipe in a book entitled, "The Christmas Cookie Book" by Judy Knipe and Barbara Marks published in 1990 by Ballantine Books.

My husband and I both tried these after they had chilled and found ourselves licking our lips and saying "Mmmmm". I had never made these before or had ever heard of them, but they will now be included on the "sweet things" list.

Ingredients: Crust: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup flaked coconut, 1/3 cup pecans, chopped. Filling: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, 3 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding powder, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, 2 tablespoons milk. Glaze: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon butter.

Instructions: Line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan (or glass) with a piece of wax or parchment paper cut long enough to extend up and over the two opposite sides of the pan, to make it easier to remove the squares from the pan. (I just sprayed the bottom and sides of a glass pan with cooking spray).

For the crust: In a heavy saucepan, combine the butter, granulated sugar, cocoa, vanilla, egg, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth (the butte will still be in chunks). Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the mixture has thickened slightly, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and pecans. Combine well, then pour mixture into the prepared pan, spreading evenly over the bottom.

For the filling: In large mixing bowl, combine butter, cream cheese and pudding powder until combined. Add the confectioners' sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Spread this mixture evenly over the crust, cover with was paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until filling is firm (I found it took about an hour).

For the glaze: Melt the chocolate chips and butter in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until no chunks of chocolate are left. Remove pan from refrigerator and pour glaze over top; spread evenly with spatula. Re-cover and further refrigerate until firm. (I placed the pan in the freezer at this point for about 15 minutes to hurry it along).

When firm, cut into 1 inch squares, preferably with a metal-bladed pastry scraper, and refrigerate again for about 30 minutes before removing squares from pan. (I skipped this step, but the glaze cracked a little, so maybe if do the 30 minute refrigeration thing, the pieces will come out crack-free). Store in the refrigerator for about a week or freeze up to a month (they won't last that long, because you'll eat them all in the first day or two

No comments:

Post a Comment