Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chewy and Gooey

Ahh, the joys of spending the whole morning in the kitchen baking up a storm. I'm on vacation and I should be relaxing, right? Kicking my feet up and watching hour upon hour of Food Network shows? You would think, but I find baking so incredibly relaxing and calming and peaceful. The sense of accomplishment is well worth the sore feet.

Yesterday morning produced three chewy, gooey desserts: Fudge Cake, Pecan Pie Bars, and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies.

Fudge Cake
Granny Elizabeth's special recipe

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. When mixture is melted, pour into a mixing bowl and add sugar, flour, and eggs. Mix until smooth. Add walnuts and vanilla. Bake in greased 9x9 glass dish at 325 for about 40 minutes.

[These gooey chocolately squares are really more fudgy than cakey, like super moist brownies. I think they could have cooked a little bit longer because they virtually fell apart when I tried to get them out of the pan. But who cares?!]

Pecan Pie Bars

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar (divided)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 3 Tbsp butter
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat over to 350. Grease bottom and sides of 15x10x1" baking pan. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. With a mixer, cut in 1 cup butter until mixture has coarse crumbs. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan for the crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 3 Tbsp of butter. In a large bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, remaining sugar, melted butter, and vanilla until blended. Stir in pecans. Spread evenly over hot crust. Bake for 40 minutes or until set. Cut into bars.

[Like popping a mini pecan pie in your mouth with each square. Super rich and delicious. I would make the crust a little thinner next time, but the extra buttery goodness of a little extra crust was not a deal breaker.]

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Let me first explain that the amounts below are a little cumbersome because I took my mother's recipe, which yields an overabundant 5 1/2 dozen cookies, and cut it in half. Not an easy task considering I don't do math and the amounts of the ingredients were all in 1/4s and 3/4s and quarts, etc. My husband lent his calculating skills to the task and I think we got the amounts correct because the cookies are perfect. I'm sure more skilled chefs out there will laugh at my amounts and there are probably conversions that would make more sense. But c'est la vie. These cookies are good.

1 cup + 6 Tbsp of butter
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp of sugar
1 1/2 cup + 4 Tbsp of brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
5/8 tsp salt
3 cups Quaker oats, uncooked
7/8 cup pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add slowly to wet mixture and mix on low speed until well blended. Add oats, nuts, and chocolate chips. Place walnut sized dough balls on greased cookie sheet 2" apart. Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes. Cookies will appear underbaked but will firm during cooling.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Shirley! I love all the baking.

    I wanted to tell you that I finally put a blogroll on White Fluffy Icing, with a link to your blog. Just an FYI for ya.

    Hope all is well! -Laura


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