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!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cookie Recipe #315 - Candy Bar Brownies

There are no candy bars in this bar cookie, but the combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and peanuts makes it taste like one.

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (about 18 crackers), 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts, 1/2 cup butter, melted, 1/2 cup butter, 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts. Frosting: 1/4 cup butter, softened, 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used chunky), 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts or regular peanuts for sprinkling on top.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine graham crackers, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts. Stir in the 1/2 cup melted butter. Press mixture evenly into bottom of an ungreased 11x7x1 1/2-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes; cool while making the filling as follows:

In a large heavy saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter and the chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining 1 cup sugar, the eggs, and vanilla. Stir just until combined. Stir in flour and the 1/2 cup chopped peanuts. Spread evenly over crust.

Bake for 20 minutes more. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Make frosting: In a small mixing bowl beat the 1/4 cup softened butter with peanut butter for 30 seconds. Gradually add 1 cup of the sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Add in 1 tablespoon milk and the vanilla. Gradually beat in additional 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar and enough milk to make of spreading consistency.

Spread frosting over completely cooled brownies and top with peanuts. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 24-48 brownies, depending on size of squares.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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