Tuesday, December 22, 2009

what year were Christmas Cookie magazines $5.99 ??

The year was 1999 ....
I used to love looking at cookie and baking mags.... and if the covers look like this...had to buy them .. immediately. But... there is hardly anything new under the sun now... and the covers are just not that beautiful anymore. Now... I barely give them a second glance.. and I certainly don't feel compelled to buy them these days.

Maybe I have weaned myself because I have plenty; but, I do think the quality or interest is just not there. They really don't "pop" in the racks of mags. So.. I save my great ones in protector sleeves...in a file box. There is an ancient one in there ... 39 cents !! good grief! what year was that? hahahhaa... I forget. Really...
I pore over them for a month for ideas even if I tweak their recipes a bit here and there. They come in handy any time of year actually, and I know exactly where to find them. I even have a special cupboard for the boxes and books of recipes... .. pages tagged.. the bestest of the best (in my mind) ... and this is a keeper.
However, it does require a bit of chopping.... so allow some time. I like to chop the cranberries and nuts earlier and then get around to assembly... food processors are not the answer with nuts either so forget using it. They turn into nut butter much too quickly... I've actually found that a bread or serrated knife works best for me.
Seeing as I had to get these done in one day....I was a chopping blur....

...tried this knife for a while...but resorted to my trusty bread knife....

mmmm.... you can really taste the orange in this bar.. . really adds a special something.
In this batch, I also added about 1/3 cup of crushed Skor bars as I had some left over from Caramel Macchiato Shortbread. Waste not... you now me if you've been around this blog before.. and besides... a bit of chocolate is never a bad thing.

Cranberry Macadamia Bars

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans ( I used macadamia)
2 beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel (I used a zester)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts, hazelnuts or pecans
1 cup finely chopped cranberries (I used frozen)
1/2 cup cocoanut

Stir together flour and the 3/4 cup sugar in mixing bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in 1/2 cup nuts. Press mixture into bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.
Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes or til the crust is lightly browned around edges.

Meanwhile, combine eggs, the 1 1/4 cups sugar, milk, orange peel, and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat 'til combined. Pour over the hot crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts (here I added some chopped Skor bar bits) the cranberries, and cocoanut.

Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes more or 'til golden. Cool slightly in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars while warm. Be gentle and use sharp knife.. they are still pretty soft, but you should be able to make nice edges.. ... cool completely in pan.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

add some cherries......

Chocolate Chunk Cookies....

I made them earlier this year and we really enjoyed them. At the time I did muse about perhaps adding some cherries for a little extra flair. MMMM.... yep it works!

It is an easy recipe... they look great and taste pretty darn amazing.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Cherries

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sifted cocoa
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
::optional... drained, chopped maraschino cherries

Cream butter, brown sugar and cocoa in large bowl or mixer bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla ..mix til fluffy.
Add remaining 5 ingredients. Mix well. Add some chopped maraschino cherries at this point.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet. (I have enamel sheets and they didn't need greasing..test bake one to check on your sheets.... but, they probably won't need much at any rate...)
Leave as drops or flatten slightly with glass or fingers.... put a bit more cherry on top if you like. Bake at 350 F or 170 C for 10 to 12 minutes. Remember...it's chocolate... keep an eye on them! Mine barely needed 10 minutes.

(I only used about 3/4 cup semi sweet dark and white chocolate squares chopped into chunks..it was plenty...)
 (1/2 cup was enough... I toasted them beforehand... better flavour)...