Random (but not really)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Christmas Cookies Redux

So as I mentioned last week, I was on a baking binge before Christmas. I love to bake, and Christmas is a good excuse for me to go hog wild.

For this weeks Tasty Tuesday, here are my two favorite cookies from this year, Cranberry Caramel Bars and Cranberry Oatmeal cookies.

Cranberry-Caramel Bars
1 heaping cup fresh cranberries
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups flour (240 grams)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups uncooked oats
1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
1/2 cup brown sugar (114 grams)
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup chopped pecans
~10 ounces chopped dates
~12 ounces of caramel sauce
13 x 9″ pan

Preheat oven to 350.

Coarsely chop cranberries (I gave ’em a spin or two in the food processor). Mix with 2 tbsp sugar and set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, oats, and sugars in a bowl. Stir in melted butter and mix until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture (NOTE: I never remember to do this). Press the flour mixture into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9″ pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Remove dish from the oven. Sprinkle with dates, pecans, and cranberries. Drizzle caramel sauce over everything. If you remembered to set it aside, sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. (I think it looks nicer with the cranberries on top anyway.)

Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Eat.

Modified from Christmas Cookies. I received this book as a gift and do not recommend it, for I found the recipes to be poorly written, but after modification this recipe is a gem.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (114 grams)
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour (210 grams)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup pecan pieces, slightly toasted
1/2 cup coconut flakes, slightly toasted
4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 325.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat butter and sugars until light. Add egg, corn syrup, and vanilla. Beat about a minute.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture in two stages. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Scoop out 2 tbsp balls of dough, and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.

I baked about half the cookies, and froze the rest in 2 tbsp balls to bake later. I also made part of the recipe without pecans for my grandmother, and they turned out fine, although I of course prefer the pecans.

This recipe was modified from The Best of Fine Cooking: Cookies Vol 23, which had some excellent (and well-written) recipes. If you can still find it on the shelves, snag it. You won’t be sorry.


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