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!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cookie Recipe #106 - Chocolate-Drizzled Peanut Bars

Salty peanuts atop a bar crust with a spraying of chocolate constitutes today's cookie recipe. Similar to a PayDay candy bar without the middle.

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup cold butter, cut in pieces, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped peanuts, 2/3 cup chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon butter.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" baking pan. In large bowl, beat flour, butter (1 cup), sugar and salt until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (or use a pastry blender); press firmly and evenly into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and make filling as follows: In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter (1/4 cup) and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice and then peanuts. Pour over hot crust and spread evenly.

Return pan to oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack.

Prepare chocolate glaze as follows: In small saucepan, combine chocolate chips and butter (1 T.) over medium heat, stirring until melted and smooth. Drizzle chocolate over bars and allow to harden before cutting.

Makes 48 bars.

"Treasury of Holiday Cookies" published by Publications International, LTD, Lincolnwood, IL, in 1994.

Cookies Rule!!!

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