Monday, March 9, 2009
Kitchen Sink Buttercrunch Bars
Yesterday was a great day mostly because the weather was great which allowed us to break out of the winter routine. After our grocery shopping running around we went for an outdoor bicycle ride and rode our regular 17 mile loop. In the afternoon we bottled beer, and then we lit up the grill and Chris grilled us a couple of rib-eyes while I steamed some baby asparagus. Such a great day.
And all of that stuff combined put me in a great mood and suddenly out of nowhere the urge to bake kicked in and I had to make something. The urge hasn't really been all that present for the last month or so -- I'm chalking it up to winter blahs -- which has left me baking for my coworkers and making the occasional cake or cookies because I have to use something up, but it hasn't been that feeling where I have to bake something immediately or go crazy.
Well that feeling was back last night. :) I wanted to do something a little more involved, but ended up with this recipe instead because my printer isn't loaded on this computer and I didn't feel like writing out directions for the other recipes I was considering. So simple bar cookies got the nod once again. These are basically yet another version of a chocolate chip, heath blondie -- but with whole salted almonds and a 1/4 teaspoon of Pralines and Cream extract just because I could. Chris was a big fan, and I was quite pleased with how they came out myself.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or Pralines and Cream extract if you have it)
3/4 cup heath bits
3/4 cup salted almonds
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350°. Line 9 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, or grease and flour lightly.
2. In medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In another medium-sized bowl, mix together melted butter and both sugars with a wooden spoon. Mix in egg and vanilla and almond extracts until blended. Add in flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in Heath bar pieces, almonds and chocolate chips; batter will be dense. Scrape into baking pan, spreading evenly.
3. Bake 25 minutes or until set. Transfer pan to a cooling rack; let cool for 30 minutes, then cut into bars. Let cool completely, in pan, before recutting and serving.