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Meeting-friendly snacks to bake


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This week’s offering

 

 

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Butter tart squares. 
 

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So much easier to cut them neatly after they spent just under an hour in the refrigerator long after they had cooled on the counter. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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22D8A68C-17BD-48FC-BEF9-69E54FFF2810.thumb.jpeg.e9db121b6eb5a33088edfb4baa9a5a9a.jpeg

 

Paul Young’s Classic Brownies. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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A bit early this week. I was sure that this was going to be a big fail and I would have to repeat it tomorrow. I wanted to make shortbread but was fairly certain that if I made it traditionally such as petticoat tails or bars I would end up with cookie crumbs and not much else as I tried to cut them apart. 
 

ButcI was sure I had made this lot some shortbread previously. Sure enough I did. But I made cookies. How sensible. But I was still on my failure path so did not pull back and say that all this could wait until tomorrow!  
 

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As you can see some are more brown than others. I was also trying to make use of two ovens today to cut down on the amount of time needed. I was using the Cuisinart steam oven along with the Breville smart oven. This posed more challenges than I had expected. I could not get them in synch so that the cookies were ready at the same time. 

 

 

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The extreme spreading of one cookie on the tray suggest to me that the mixing was not adequate. But I’m open to other suggestions.

 

 I will let you know if any of the cookies get rejected. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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On 12/4/2019 at 4:43 AM, rotuts said:

"  The Media is the Message "

 

No No No

 

The Meeting is the Snacks

 

you betcha

 

At one point in my work life, each of our laboratory group meetings had 3 people assigned - one person was assigned "Research," and presented their own research project, a second person was assigned "Journal" and presented a recent relevant scientific publication and a third person was assigned "Trophic Factors"  aka snacks.  I think those titles make clear what drew us to those meetings 🙃

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I am calling these Nana Anna Bars. I have applied for trademark and copyright protection. 
 

I began with a base recipe frim Robin Hood Flour. (That is not entirely true. I began with the notion that I didn’t have the energy to stand and bake sheet after sheet of cookies in my BSO (Breville Smart Oven).  To the base recipe I added whatever inclusions were in my baking cupboard in quantities that would never be enough for a full recipe of anything. So in there is some very good chocolate, some not so great chocolate— Hershey’s chunks, and some butterscotch chips.

 

I read the recipe over and over again looking for some evidence that there was a leavener.  I did not find one. Perhaps I missed it. So I should not have been astonished at how skinny these turned out to be. 


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Base recipe.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 3 weeks later...

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just brownies to start off the new year. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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In my opinion, "just brownies" is an oxymoron. Those look delicious, and I'd be very pleased to see a plate of those at a meeting I was to attend.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Something just a little different today. @Kerry Beal send me a recipe for Dorie Greenspan‘s Swedish visiting cake. It looked promising but not particularly easy to portion out for as many people as I seem to be feeding . So I went on a Google search and found a recipe for Dorie Greenspan‘s Swedish visiting cake bars!  Much better. 
 

This is the way most of the snacks are packaged to make there way to son-in-law’s office:

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Today’s attempt at snacks for my son-in-law’s sales meeting seemed doomed to failure. My plan had been to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars. That’s a mouthful before you even take a bite. But when I checked recipes they all cautioned against using natural peanut butter. No worries, I thought. I don’t play natural peanut butter. But when I grab the two jars of peanut butter that I had just purchased, one creamy and one crunchy, I discovered both of them were “natural”. Since I ordered my groceries online I obviously did not pay enough attention to the text accompanying the photograph. Left alone in a store I would never have made such a mistake. First of all the natural is always shelves somewhat apart from the regular!  At the point that I discovered my era at least I had only weighed out the chocolate!

 

Now what? It’s still needed to be a bar as I knew I did not have the reserves of energy to stand in my kitchen feeding 1/4 sheet size tray after tray of cookies into my Breville Smart Oven. So I googled recipes for simple chocolate chip cookie bars. There was no lack of offers out there none the past the two tests I was using – – a trusted site and a recipe that didn’t call for ingredients that could only be gathered from the Elysian Fields. 

 

In the end I turned to the King Arthur flour site but even thatwas a poor decision, I think, was a poor decision. I think the proportion of chocolate to the other ingredients is completely off. or perhaps it’s because I use real chocolate and not chocolate chips. I am sure chocolate lovers will not complain.


I have two questions for the bakers who are reading this:

 

What would 1 teaspoon of cornstarch do to a recipe for chocolate chip peanut butter cookie bars?

 

is there anyway I can use natural peanut butter for baking?

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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4AC9DF83-5705-4091-AE4B-4A310BA8CE9A.thumb.jpeg.65439e224d57e04393faa16249001b5d.jpeg

 

Infinitely adaptable Blondies from Smitten Kitchen. Inclusions are chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. My treats are beginning to look too much like one another but at the moment bars are less taxing than cookies.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Just now, Anna N said:

4AC9DF83-5705-4091-AE4B-4A310BA8CE9A.thumb.jpeg.65439e224d57e04393faa16249001b5d.jpeg

 

Infinitely adaptable Blondies from Smitten Kitchen. Inclusions are chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. My treats are beginning to look too much like one another but at the moment bars are less taxing than cookies.

Totally agree - when I want fast bars beat cookies every time.

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On 1/21/2020 at 1:31 PM, Anna N said:

is there anyway I can use natural peanut butter for baking?

I did a quick google search and found two links (from sites I wouldn't run away from) with suggestions for how to use natural peanut butter for baking.

 

This one https://www.thekitchn.com/quick-tip-the-best-peanut-butter-to-for-baking-172800 suggests baking a bit longer to deal with the extra liquid in the natural peanut butter.

 

The second site suggests tweaking the sugar & salt in the recipe since commercial peanut butters will probably have more sugars and salt. It also states that for cookies, they will probably spread more... so you could make bars, enjoy a flatter cookie, freeze the dough before baking, etc..  https://bakingbites.com/2009/03/natural-peanut-butter-vs-regular-peanut-butter-in-baking/

 

@Anna N all your meeting snacks look delicous!

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1 hour ago, curls said:

I did a quick google search and found two links (from sites I wouldn't run away from) with suggestions for how to use natural peanut butter for baking.

 

This one https://www.thekitchn.com/quick-tip-the-best-peanut-butter-to-for-baking-172800 suggests baking a bit longer to deal with the extra liquid in the natural peanut butter.

 

The second site suggests tweaking the sugar & salt in the recipe since commercial peanut butters will probably have more sugars and salt. It also states that for cookies, they will probably spread more... so you could make bars, enjoy a flatter cookie, freeze the dough before baking, etc..  https://bakingbites.com/2009/03/natural-peanut-butter-vs-regular-peanut-butter-in-baking/

 

@Anna N all your meeting snacks look delicous!

Thanks both for the information and for the compliment. I read through both of the articles you linked to and found that they pretty much confirmed what I had found out on Monday when I was faced with the horror that I only had natural peanut butter.

 

I have tried to give away the two jars of natural peanut butter and so far I have found no takers! This surprises me somewhat as one of those to whom I offered them is trying to avoid food additives of any kind. But apparently natural peanut butter is judged even by peanut butter lovers to be inferior in taste and texture. So for now I am going to try and source some very ordinary commercial peanut butter and see what results I get before I make up my mind whether to discard this peanut butter or try to use it. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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20 hours ago, Anna N said:

My treats are beginning to look too much like one another but at the moment bars are less taxing than cookies.

 

Those treats do look alike but they also look very appealing!   I agree bars are an excellent choice both for ease of prep and ease of transport.   I used to make them often for meeting snacks. 

 

You did not ask for suggestions and surely don't need any but I'm going to pass along an easy bar cookie with a different, non-brownie/blondie look.  It's from an '80s era book, The Joy of Cookies by Sharon Tyler Herbst that I relied on quite often.  

The recipe is for Orange Marmalade Cream Cheese Bars and I found it online here.  They do require 2 bakes - one for the crust and a second for the cream cheese topping - and should go into the fridge a while before slicing to firm up that topping but are otherwise quite easy.

You can use other nuts instead of pecans and other preserves in place of the orange marmalade though the book cautions against using inexpensive brands that "deliver little flavor, little fruit and too much sweetness."  

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On 12/3/2019 at 8:16 AM, rotuts said:

I wish I had a meeting to go to that featured

 

@Anna N 's  snacks

 

i bet the attendance is very high.

I go to a lot of meetings, and am generally known for being the most miserable attendee (even when it's my meeting); but I would be THRILLED to go to Anna N's.  The thread alone is killing me.

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@SLB 

 

I feel for you.

 

I also have attended meetings

 

but did my best not to initiate any my self

 

some time ago.

 

an interesting study , w snacks of course 

 

from @Anna N 

 

might be this :

 

do these meetings 

 

accomplish more than the " standard " of its Place and Time ?

 

or do they decide to review 

 

the next time They Meet

 

for more Snacks ?

 

I know where Id be putting my vote.

 

just saying 

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Mix the natural peanut butter with some oatmeal and cornmeal.  Roll  int o balls or make small patties and put them out for the birds.  Ours love that kind of stuff.  We have a log with holes drilled in it and we stuff the mixture in the holes.  The birds put on a real show as they work to get the stuff out.   In a pinch, you can just smear it directly on to tree trunks. 

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1 hour ago, IowaDee said:

Mix the natural peanut butter with some oatmeal and cornmeal.  Roll  int o balls or make small patties and put them out for the birds.  Ours love that kind of stuff.  We have a log with holes drilled in it and we stuff the mixture in the holes.  The birds put on a real show as they work to get the stuff out.   In a pinch, you can just smear it directly on to tree trunks. 

Thanks for this idea. I have nowhere to feed the birds but I know my daughter does so I will forward it to her and if she shows an interest I will happily pass over the peanut butter to her. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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242C098A-3426-462A-8D86-1229A60533F8.thumb.jpeg.92c582bc7dae037d085dfb996636cd68.jpeg

 

So the natural peanut butters went off to feed the birds!  I was able to acquire some Kraft creamy “unnatural” peanut butter make these peanut butter chocolate chip bars. As you can see they are extremely crumbly and fragile so they will not be making a return appearance. I am still betting none of them will be returned to me. 
 

I had two other recipes from eG members that I was anxious to try but unfortunately did not have the ingredients. Maybe next week.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The only reason I can think of to use Skippy or Jiff style pb is if the recipe calls for less sugar than it would if natural pb was used. Is there another reason?

 

I've made pb cookies for years using only natural product and they work out really well. Could an "unnatural" recipe be altered to use natural pb with more sugar to compensate? Several years ago I tried tasting one of those two supermarket brands after decades of using the natural kind. It was really peculiar. Like peanut butter flavored toothpaste. Don't mean to insult any diehard Jiff fans!

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