Rural Missouri - February 2012 - (Page 20)

H E A R T H & H O M E RAISING THE BAR Whether they’re for snack time or dessert, bar cookies can be a delicious, easy-to-prepare treat by Heather Berry hberry@ruralmissouri.coop page design by Megan Schibi Lotso Chocolate Bars 1 pound unsalted butter 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate 6 extra-large eggs 3 tablespoons instant coffee 2 tablespoons vanilla 2-1/4 cups sugar 1-1/4 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups walnuts, chopped Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-by-18-inch baking sheet. Melt together the butter, 1 pound of the chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, baking powder and salt; add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a bowl with 1/4 cup of flour; add them to the chocolate batter. Pour onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes; do not overbake. Cool completely and cut into bars. Five Layer Bars 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1 stick butter, melted 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 1 cup butterscotch chips 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup coconut, shredded 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl; mix well. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle pecans, butterscotch and chocolate chips and coconut over crust. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely and cut into bars. S o you want to bake cookies, but you don’t want to spend the next two hours dolloping dough onto cookie sheets and turning the kitchen into the Keebler Elf factory. What do you do? Mix up a batch of bar cookies — cookie dough and other edibles you’ll pat, pour or layer into the bottom of a pan, bake until done, cut and serve. Yes, it’s that easy. Bar cookies are a perfect combination of making a minimal mess in the kitchen and getting the satisfaction of eating warm, cookie-like treats fresh from your oven in a short amount of time. Once you’ve experimented with a few recipes, get creative and swap out key ingredients for other favorites. Like cherries instead of blackberries? Swap out fresh pitted cherries for the blackberries in a bar recipe. Not a fan of lemon? Try swapping the lemon with equal parts of orange and orange zest. A fan of jam? Why not put a layer of grape jelly in the center of a peanut butter bar? With a little experimenting, you’re bound to find a combination you and your family will love. If you have children who like to help out in the kitchen, bar cookies are great recipes to have them assist with — they love it when a giant cookie-like treat comes out of the oven ready to cut and enjoy with milk. So grab a few kitchen baking staples from the pantry and start mixing up some of these yummy bars for your family and friends on one of these cold winter days. Love’em Lemon Bars Crust: 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1 cup flour 1/8 teaspoon salt Filling: 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from approximately two large lemons, if using fresh) 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest* 2 tablespoons flour Powdered sugar (optional) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8-inch-square pan with nonstick cooking spray. Crust: In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth with a hand-held mixer. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just starts to come together. Press crust onto the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool. Filling: In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Fold in the flour. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 17 to 20 minutes or until the filling has set. Remove from oven and cool. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. These bars are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Like lime? Swap out equal amounts of lime juice and lime zest in this recipe for a keylime version of this zesty lemon bar. Another tasty surprise is to ice the bars with an easy cream cheese icing. Combine 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup butter, softened; 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and ice the cooled bars. * Lemon zest is the yellow outer rind of the lemon. Be sure to wash and dry any citrus fruit before using the zest. 20 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2012

Rural Missouri - February 2012
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
Better together
Outdoors
A plague of enmity
Out of the Way Eats
Rink redemption
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Radio revivalist
If the shoe fits
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Mr. Aviation
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - February 2012

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