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Help with Cooky Bars, Please


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Kim Shook

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

Does anyone have a really good, chewy, moist cooky bar recipe that they would like to pass on? I tried making cooky bars for the Super Bowl and failed utterly. I’ve been thinking about a bar cooky with dried cherries, almonds and dark chocolate chunks for a while. I don’t ever make bar cookies, so I didn’t have a good recipe. I found one online and went ahead with the add ins. Driest fricken things I’ve ever tried to eat. They were ALMOST biscotti, but not as crisp. I’m not going to give up, though – the flavor combination was fantastic. So I’m asking for advice. I sent them into work with Mr. Kim with instructions to tell everyone that I KNEW they weren’t very good, but to eat them with coffee or tea and pretend they were biscotti!

#2 heidih

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:53 AM

Kim the recipe on the package for Nestle's Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies lists a bar variation and the ingredients you mention seem on point with the chocolate chips and nuts in the recipe. I would make sure the cherries are moist or hydrate them in some booze or other liquid and squeeze out excess. I did something similar in cookie form a few years ago with the basic ratio of flour, butter, sugar etc. Nestle calls it the "pan cookie". Ratio is same as the regular with 2-1/4 c flour, 3/4 c white and 3/4 cups brown sugar, 2 sticks butter/margarine, 1 tsp each of salt, b-soda and vanilla, 2 eggs, 12 oz chocolate and a cup of nuts.

#3 JeanneCake

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

Another possibility is to modify a blondie recipe (a little like brownies but with brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla); my favorite recipe is from Maida Heatter in her Great American Desserts book for California Fruit Bars. As I recall, you melt butter and brown sugar and then add eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. And steamed dried fruit and pecans (or all pecans). I've made this with cherries and hazelnuts; kind of chewy, and sort of butterscotchy; on the thin side (about a half inch high) but no matter what you put in it, it's really good!

#4 merstar

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

I wouldn't go with the Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe unless you're looking for a hard crunchy cookie.
Here's a recipe I found online that's actually a thin adaptation of Cook's Illustrated's "Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies." I've made these in their original drop cookie form and they're excellent - nice and chewy:
http://www.twopeasan...ip-cookie-bars/
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#5 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

Ok seriously use the recipe I posted below. I have baked this several times and you can change up the ingredients as you want to. I have made the original a couple of times but I have also used dark chocolate and Heath bar pieces and they have been fantastic. They are always moist and chewy. You have all the key players for chewiness-brown sugar, melted butter, and eggs.

http://www.tasteofho...nberry-Blondies

#6 Kim Shook

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

Thanks so much for all the advice.  I'll be experimenting with everything (and hydrating the cherries with each try) because I really, really want these to work!!



#7 Snadra

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:10 AM

I make a fair few bar type cookies for morning teas - so much quicker than individual ones! I use a fairly generic blondie recipe from an old 1950s Betty Crocker - add chunks of dark chocolate, pecans and dried sour cherries. The cherries aren't particularly soft, but they provide a nice counterpoint to the buterscotchy sweetness of the base. The real trick with these things is to not overbake - I find that's when they go hard.

These might also work for you - sub dried cherries for the marshmallows. I've made them several times as written (baking the bottom layer for 10 minutes first). They are a bit sweet for my taste but very popular with the hordes and dried cherries or something relatively tart would be a nice swap.

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#8 rotuts

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:43 AM

without looking too deeply into the Rx remedies above, dry in cookies or bars are both a function of moisture ( water ) and mouth-feel  ( fat )

 

if you can get these books from you library you will enjoy them:

 

Bakewise

 

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=bakewise

 

and Cookwise:

 

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=bakewise



#9 Darienne

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:27 AM

Fascinating topic.  I have never made a cookie bar and think I should try.  And I do own Cookwise.  And you all have provided a number of recipes. 

 

Can you freeze cookie bar?  Will they thaw as good as new?  I'm always looking for shortcuts for the Annual Dog Weekend so that I don't have to do too much right at the end. 


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#10 MelissaH

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:09 AM

I've never had much luck with bar cookies, because I can't cut them without losing a lot to crumbling, regardless of what temperature I cut them at. If I want something bar-ish, I make brownies. And if I want drop cookies, I make the dough ahead of time and scoop it into balls, which I refrigerate or freeze, and bake as needed.

 

That said, I might have to give the concept another try.


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#11 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:24 PM

You can definitely freeze them and the recipe I posted cuts cleanly.  They are soft and chewy and not crumbly at all.  As written, they are appropriate for Christmas time, but you can use any dried fruit, chocolate, nut, or candy add-in.  Most recently I used dark chocolate in place of the white chocolate, used Heath bar toffee bits in place of the cranberries, and made a chocolate buttercream for the top.  You can also add any spices or extracts you want.



 



#12 Darienne

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:40 PM

Thank you Annie.  I'm thinking dark chocolate and candied ginger...my latest confection obsession.


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