Category Archives: Cookies & Bars

Cocoa Brownies

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped nuts, (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture and nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Notes: For mint brownies – Unwrap one bag of York Peppermint Patties. When brownies are done, take them out of the oven and immediately lay the peppermint patties, spaced evenly in one layer, on top. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until peppermint patties are melted. Use spreading knife to swirl the melted patties on top like icing. Cool and cut into squares.

Double Chocolate Biscotti

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in cocoa and baking powder. Beat for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in flour by hand. Mix in white chocolate and chocolate chips. Cover dough, and chill for about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide dough into two parts, and roll each part into a 9 inch long log. Place logs on lightly greased cookie sheet, about 4 inches apart. Flatten slightly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool for one hour.

Cut each loaf into 1/2 inch wide diagonal slices. Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C) for 9 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Cookie Tarts

Tart Shell Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

Filling Ingredients:
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Glaze Ingredients:
1 (1-ounce) square white chocolate
1/2 teaspoon shortening

Heat oven to 325°F. Combine 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese in small bowl. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining shell ingredients. Beat until well mixed and forms a dough.

Shape dough into 24 (1 1/4-inch) balls with floured hands. Place one ball of dough into each ungreased mini muffin cup. Press dough evenly on bottom and up sides of muffin cup.

Melt baking chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth (2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in all remaining filling ingredients until smooth.

Spoon filling into each shell. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Carefully remove tartlets from pan. Cool completely on cooling racks over waxed paper.

Melt white chocolate and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (45 to 60 seconds). Stir until smooth; drizzle glaze over tartlets.

Tip for Baking Brownies

To make it easier to remove the brownies from the pan, line the baking pan with foil; spray the foil with non-stick spray, then pour in the batter. After baking the brownies, let them cool in the pan, then simply pull them out of the pan by the foil. Move them to the cutting board to cut into squares, or, you can finish wrapping them in the foil and put in the freezer or later use. Clean up is much easier, too, since the foil prevents the pan from getting messy.

Apple Pie Tarts

CRUST:
Pie crust dough for one pie
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

FILLING:
2 teaspoons butter
2 cups diced peeled tart apples
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Crust Instructions: Roll out pie dough and cut into twenty 2-1/2-in. circles. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Prick pastry with a fork. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pastry. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Filling Instructions: In a saucepan, melt butter. Add apples; cook and stir over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in the sugar, caramel topping, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and apples are tender. Cool for 5 minutes. Spoon into tart shells. Yield: 10 servings.

Notes: You can use all ready made pie crusts purchased from the store.
Crusts can be made ahead of time.