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!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cookie Recipe #123 - Macadamia-Maple Sticky Bars

You will need a wet-nap when you finish eating one of these bars. Toasting the macadamia nuts gives a superb nutty flavor in every bite.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter, room temperature, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cups coarsely chopped toasted macadamia nuts, 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger (I didn't use this but I'm sure it would give added flavor), 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons maple sugar, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, 3 tablespoons heavy cream.

Instructions: Butter an 8-inch square baking pan; line with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter lining (not overhang).

In small saucepan heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the macadamia nuts and cook until browned, stirring constantly; cool. Whisk together flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup nuts in a bowl.

Put 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar into large mixing bowl; mix until pale and fluffy. Mix in flour mixture and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until set in center and pale golden, 22-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool slightly.

Put remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup nuts into a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until butter is very foamy and nuts are fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and the ginger, maple sugar, corn syrup, and cream. Boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.

Spread over crust. Let cool completely. Lift bars out of dish using overhang. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

"Martha Stewart's Cookies", Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York, 2008.

Cookies Rule!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment