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!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cookie Recipe #167 - Fudge-Filled Peanut Butter Bars

I found the original recipe of this bar cookie in our local newspaper (Mercury News) presented by Stephanie Shoquist to article author, Kim Boatman. Stephanie's recipe called for 1 package coconut pecan frosting mix or coconut almond mix, but the only mixes she could find came in a can and made her bars too runny, so she was asking for help to find the right ingredients for the best result. I worked with the recipe a little and this is the result.

Ingredients: 1 yellow cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 eggs. Filling: 6 ounces chocolate chips, 14 ounce can evaporated milk, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped pecans.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter and eggs in large mixing bowl, mixing by hand until dough sticks together. Press 2/3 of dough in bottom of ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Make filling as follows: combine chocolate chips, evaporated milk, butter and sugar in medium saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring occasionally; continue cooking until thickened, 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla; add coconut and pecans until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly over dough in pan. Sprinkle remaining dough on top.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely on wire rack before cutting into bars and enjoying.

Cookies Rule!!!

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