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!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cookie Recipe #170 - White Chocolate Key Lime Bars

A cool, refreshing bar cookie for the first day of summer! There is chilling and freezing time between steps, so allow lots of time to whip these up. The topping of mine turned out too runny but the taste is the same-pretend you're sitting on a beach in Florida being served one.....

Ingredients: 2 cups gingersnap crumbs, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, 1 large egg, 4 large egg yolks, 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, 1 cup bottled Key lime juice or freshly squeezed regular lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 8ounces white chocolate, chopped.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil so that foil extends 2 inches beyond the short ends of the pan; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until well blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake the crust until set, 7-9 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and yolks until well blended. Whisk in the condensed milk until blended. Whisk in the lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Pour the filling over the prepared crust. Bake until the filling is set, 20-22 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes.

Refrigerate the bars for at least 2 hours, unti chilled.

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat, add the chopped white chocolate, and let stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Set the topping aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until thickened.

Pour the cooled white chocolate topping over the chilled bars and spread it evenly with a spatula. Freeze the bars in the pan for at least one hour before cutting.

Lift the bars out of the pan by the aluminum foil ends. Remove the foil and cut into 16 bars. Serve chilled.

May be frozen for up to 3 weeks, or refrigerated for 3 days in an airtight container.

Makes 16 cookie bars.

"The Good Cookie" by Tish Boyle, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2002.

Cookies Rule!!!

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