Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 4 day History of a Cookie

It's Tuesday and that means sweets and treats with my weekly baking club, Tuesdays with Dorie. This week's assignment: Caramel Crunch Bars

Day one:
I make the first half batch of brown sugar shortbread bespeckled with chunks of hershey bar. (I'm still trying to use up our extra Hershey bars from last summers s'more roasting family party-Im down to 3 cases. How's that for healthy food storage?) The dough is fantastic, caramely and buttery. After they come out of the oven, they get another coating of Hershey bar and a sprinkle of toffee. I plan to make them into ice cream bars, as Dorie suggests. Instead, they never even get properly sliced. We eat them straight out of the pan. I snap a few shots and join in.
Day Two:
So enchanted were we with those caramely shortbread cookies, that I decide to make another half batch. But this time, I make it without a slick of chocolate and toffee, and hopefully with some ice cream. Hooray! The cookie base is stellar on it's own. So stellar, ahem, that they never get sliced and suffer the same fate as yesterday's cookie. I'm lucky I got a shot at all.
Day Three:
My sister and mom have been listening to me rave about these brown sugar cookies, but I haven't been able to offer them even a crumb. This time, out of pure kindness and not a whit of selfish desires, I bake a full batch to share. We slice exactly two long rows of cookies, place them on a Valentine's paper plate and hand them over to the ladies. They love them as much as we do. We polish off the rest ourselves.
Day Four:
I watch the Oscar highlights (gorgeous anemic women in gorgeous skimpy clothing) on the Internet. I wonder if I ought to lay off the cookies. I pop by my mom's house and notice she has one cookie bar left. I wonder if I'll need to wear a gown anytime soon. Since I won't have to, I decide to eat the final cookie. The end.
Money Saving Tips:
This would be a great place to use up some of your Valentine Hershey kisses of chocolates, chopped into irregular pieces. Make sure to use good quality butter, since the flavor comes through loud and clear. Consumer Reports recommended Albertson's butter a few years back. If you've got an Albertson's near you, you can get butter for between $2.00 and $2.50 a pound most of the time.
Caramel Shorbread Bars they way I like them
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for a half batch
Notes: I like these without vanilla, so the brown sugar flavor really comes through.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 regular sized Hershey bar, chopped into chunks
Preheat oven to 375. Line an 8 by 8 inch baking sheet with foil. Coat the foil with no stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine butter and sugars until creamy. Add in salt and flour; blend well and add chocolate. Press into prepared pan. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown at edges and bubbly in center. Try to slice them if you can.
Coming Next:
The Juicy Oven Roast Beef with Potatoes and Carrots (cross my heart)

36 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

I'm a caramel fanatic, so I LOOOOVE those!!

Mary Ann said...

Great variations. Your bars look fantastic and I have to say that Hershey bars are essential to anyone's food storage!

Michal said...

erin, you had me giggling through the entire thing. and now i'm craving shortbread cookies with a broken oven. i have got to get that taken care of asap (both the oven and the cookies!)

it's a good thing that neither of us is going to be in a gown anytime soon!:) miss you.

Maria said...

Looking good! The bars are making my tummy growl!

Catherine said...

I loved this post! Too funny. And I'm so glad that I was able to share your delicious cookie bars. They really were so yummy. I can't wait to make them myself.

Jamie said...

Great job, Erin! Yum!

Janna said...

Loved the 4 days of cookies. So fun!

The Renouf Family said...

Now I know what I'll be making this afternoon--if I can wait that long.
Excellent writing--very funny and clever!

Nickki said...

Loved your post! You made me chuckle. :) I agree with everything u said about these cookies, I made a batch today but I don't know if they will ever meet any ice-cream....;)

chocolatechic said...

3 cases of Hershey bars?

You need to make a lot more batches of these to use them up.

Cathy said...

I loved reading about your cookie adventures. I knew these didn't stand a chance around here, so I had to package them up quickly. Yours look wonderful in all stages!

Shanbanan said...

This post absolutely cracked me up. The title really intrigued me. History of cookies in 4 days? What was she talking about?

When I finished reading the post, I was bubbling over with laughter. I so get this. And with your good reviews and several other TWD bakers I've seen, I just may have to try these out.

deltawhiskey.us said...

Yummy! I have been reading all of you TWDers and my mouth has been watering... I love toffee.. I had no idea it was a brown sugar shortbread though! Oh my. I might have to buy the book just for this recipe.

~Cat

The Blonde Duck said...

LOL! I would love these. And you'd look gorgeous in a gown--have some more cookies.

Anna M. said...

Albertsons does have pretty good butter...I use it all the time...glad to hear Consumer Reports loves it too! I'd like to make these bars with my Valentine's chocolates, but they are all gone - lasted all of two minutes...too delicious to save! =)

Kimberly Johnson said...

Your crunch bars all look great - both with and without chocolate!

Marjie said...

I always think people are looking at me strangely when I buy cases of stuff. One more reason to buy from my restaurant supply house.

Love shortbread and caramel; these look great!

Katrina said...

Ooh, I kind of like the idea of the "naked", so they're not quite so rich, but I'm SURE still yummy! I did mine with sprinkles on top--knew the kids would eat them that way!

TeaLady said...

Love it. Giggle/snort!!! I guess I will HAVE to make these now. They sound tooooo good to pass up.

pinkstripes said...

How funny. I love that you kept making them. Next really try them with ice cream. They're even better. Believe me.

Karen said...

I love how many attempts you made with these! We loved the dough as well. I can't believe you have that many hershey bars left! they wouldn't stick around that long in our house no matter how many we had!

gigi said...

That's the funniest cookie story I've heard in a long time. I just love it when I find a recipe like that, you know one that everybody loves and wants more of. Yea!

jenjen said...

They all look fantastic! And funny cookie story!

Yum!

Jen

Tammy said...

good idea to try them without the chocolate topping as well. I loved these!

n.o.e said...

Ha, ha, way to use up even more of the chocolate! These were good. And thank goodness no dresses in my near future either.
Nancy

Marie said...

Weren't these just the best!! Yours look fabulous Erin. Your pictures make me want to make them again!

Teanna said...

Hahah I ate these while watching the oscars too. I felt pretty bad about myself afterwards!!! hahah yours look great!

Randy or Jen said...

I can't wait to try these! Yum!!! Anything with toffee is my favorite! My husband generally works until late in the evenings, so he won't even know what he is missing (because I will have probably eaten them all)!!!

Jill said...

Yum! I made these right after I read your post. I would eat shortbread with chocolate over chocolate chip cookies anyday!

Andrea said...

I love that you made these so many times :) That is a great idea to just do the base (which we also loved, so delicious!) for ice cream sandwiches. Yours photos are making me want to make these again, they were such a hit with our little family too.

Kara said...

Thanks for the laugh-and the great recipe!!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Lol!!! Somebody should make a movie about it for next year's Oscars! I'm gonna have to try and make them asap, everybody is raving so much!

Dawn said...

why do the women get thinner and thinner each year? some of them look like scarecrows with giant heads.
I love the bars, and I'm happy to eat them. ha ha

Rich'n'Rach said...

These were a HUGE hit w/ my hubby and friends! Thanks for helping me look like I know what I'm doing in the kitchen ;)

mom said...

I know you don't know me, but you know my daughter - I feel "cheated" because you didn't convert your recipe (somehow)for a diabetic husband! I have to wait until he goes to sleep at night - then I pull out all the sweet stuff I've hidden and watch my favorite TV shows. I will have to try this one but on a smaller scale. Yummy!

Shieldsfam said...

I am trying to be on a diet but now that I have seen these I think I just have to make them!