After six months of not baking, I fell into a sudden fit of cookie madness last week. I like to bake gifts this time of year, and ended up making seven or eight different cookies. (And I was very good--only sampled a small one of each kind, and really haven't been tempted to have more than one a day with my afternoon tea. As good as they are, I like being thin better.)
Judy's Apricot Bars. These were one of my favorites, and strongly reminded me of ones my grandmother made. Judy uses walnuts, but I substituted slivered almonds, and also put some Amaretto into the apricots. Yummy. http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/8566036302/m/460102647?r=936101387#936101387
World Peace Cookies. These also were very good--deep chocolate, crisp, with bites of chopped chocolate and a bit of salt. http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/dessert_peacecookies.shtml
Ming Tsai's Buttery Shortbread. This is a fun recipe. It makes a ton of dough to refrigerate, and then you slice and top in different ways. I did a 5-spice topping, glazed another batch with a lemon glaze; and the favorite way was to bake them plain, then dip one side into melted bittersweet chocolate and then crushed pistachios. http://www.ming.com/foodandwine/recipes/season-1/butter-shortbread-cookie-dough.htm
Marta's Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip cookies. Another hit. So much so that that they were gone by the time I put together this plate for my friend Leslie. Next time I'm doubling the recipe.http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/8566036302/m/460102647?r=637104497#637104497
Ginger Cookies with Lemon Glaze. A delicious ginger cookie, and I really loved the lemon glaze. I used a dreidel shape cutter.http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/lemon-glazed-candied-ginger-cookies
These are very rich, chocolaty brownies where the quality of chocolate is key. I use Scharffen Berger or Valrhona. These are best a day or so after baking, and David cautions that a mixer will overbeat the batter. Good for the arm muscles.
Preheat oven to 350
2 sticks butter
10 oz good quality chocolate (bittersweet 65 to 70 percent if possible)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup regular sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Butter and flour 13x9 pan.
Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler.
Whisk together, until combined, eggs salt, sugar, vanilla.
Whisk in chocolate in same manner.
Fold in flour.
Stir in walnuts.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, begin checking it at 25 min. It will be done when cracks appear on the surface and a knife in the center comes out clean (just barely). Cool in the fridge before slicing into small squares.