Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Virtual Cookie Exchange - Day 2!

Happy December 8th everyone. This is what it looked like yesterday at my house.

A perfect day for baking, don't you think? That’s my littlest guy trying to figure out what all that white stuff is.

Today is day 2 of our virtual cookie exchange!

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Before I post my recipe for today, I want to remind everyone to post their recipes and/or links back on the first cookie exchange post (click the button above to go there.) If all the recipes and links are in one place, it will be easier for everyone to go and check out your recipes. There was also a question about adding more than one – that’s great. The more cookie ideas the better, I say. Now on to the good stuff.

Our cookie for today is a bar cookie. The source of the recipe is actually two recipes from (of course) the BH&G 100 Best Cookies magazine. I thought that the Chewy Cherry-Almond Bars sounded really yummy, but alas I had no cherry preserves. I had also marked the Chocolate Revel Bars as a recipe to test. In searching for a suitable substitute for the missing cherry preserves, I realized that I could take the parts of both recipes that I liked best and put them in one tasty cookie bar. Voila. Almond Fudge Bars are born. (scroll to the bottom for the link to a printer-friendly version)

Almond Fudge Bars

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups brown sugar, packed

2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract*

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups regular rolled oats

1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

1 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds

1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Grease foil (I sprayed with Pam).

In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the oats.

Remove 1/2 cup of dough and set aside. Press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Set aside (yes, again.)

For the fudge filling: In a medium saucepan combine the 2 Tablespoons of butter, the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk. Cook over low heat until chips are melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in chopped almonds and almond extract.

Now grab your 9x13 pan again and spread the fudge filling over the dough. Crumble the remaining 1/2 cup of dough over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top crumbles are a nice light brown color. Cool in pan on a wire rack. When they’re cool, use the edges of the foil to lift bars out of the pan. Place on a flat surface and cut into bars.

**note: If you’re not a huge fan of almond flavor, you might want to reduce this to 1/2 tsp of almond extract.

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We’ll see you all back here tomorrow for another yummy cookie recipe. Hm…maybe something lemony??

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