Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Favorite Bar Cookies


Aspen Date-Nut Fingers aren't on my short list, but from now on, powdered-sugar-dusted cookies will always make me think of Suzanne!

I'm nearing the halfway point in this little venture and already I'm starting to think about what I will do when I've finished this book. It's not so much that I'll have difficulty finding something different to do on the weekends, it's that I think everyone (myself included) has gotten used to that little cookie fix at the beginning of the week. 70 cookies down and 78 to go - guess I've got lots of time to figure it out!

The bar cookie flops were not quite on the same order as the drop cookie flops. There were certainly a handful of disappointing bar cookies, but in my mind there was only one flop and it was a huge success in comparison to those awful Poppy-seed Wafers from the drop cookie chapter.

I found it a little harder to come up with a short list of my favorites this time around and near impossible to pick just one as my very favorite. I can't decide if it's a tie or if one just barely nudged out the other. But before I worry about that, here are the three runners-up in no particular order...


Chocolate Mint Sticks - who knew that an unsweetened chocolate glaze would work so well atop that minty icing and fudgy brownie?


Cinnamon Almond Cookies - I have always had a soft spot for these buttery cookies loaded with cinnamon and topped with a sweet lemon glaze. Another surprising combination from Maida that works really well.


Polish Wedding Cakes - I love the contrast between the sweet cookie and the tangy apricot filling. Walnuts, oatmeal, and coconut are three more reasons to love these crunchy, gooey wonders.

Which brings me to my two favorites - one old, one new. The new favorite has the advantage of having been made fairly recently, but then again the old favorite has been prepared time and again. I think I might have to declare the new favorite the winner by a nose, but on a day when I am in need of chocolate, the new guy couldn't possibly beat out the tried and true...


Viennese Chocolate-Walnut Bars - A crunchy shortbread base, with a little raspberry jam, a chocolate-walnut middle, and gobs of chocolate and walnuts on top... mmmmm! Such a delicious (and attractive) combination of flavors and textures. You really can't lose with this one.


Texas Cowboy Bars - That unforgetable lemon-scented date filling puts this one on the top of the list... at least for today. Buttery, meal-sized cookies with oatmeal and walnuts and a generous amount of that heavenly, lemony date filling. Outstanding!

Next week begins the chapter on icebox cookies. This chapter includes what may be my favorite cookie in the book and has a number of cookies which look very promising. If you want to follow along, I can't recommend this book highly enough - it is Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. Though out of print, it is still available as a remainder. There is also a more recent compilation of Maida's cookie recipes, Maida Heatter's Cookies, which includes all but one of the recipes in the old book.

13 comments:

Ivonne said...

Hi Cathy,

Wonderful recipes! All of them are just what my sweet tooth needs!

Ann said...

Cathy, which cookie doesn't appear in the new book? (I have the old one, but I'm curious which one she decided to leave out.)

Also, are there any new recipes in there?

Cathy said...

Hi Ivonne - thanks!

Hi Ann - the compilation is from several of her books, I don't remember which ones (I had checked it out of the library a while back). My understanding was that all the recipes had been previously published. The one cookie in her cookie book that doesn't appear in the compilation is the Palm Island Brandy Snaps on page 264.

Ann said...

Thanks, Cathy!

Alice said...

Goodness...picking favorites must be the hardest part of this whole project, huh? I need to mark your favorites in my book...so I'll always have them as a point of reference. :)

Cathy said...

You're welcome Ann!

Hi Alice - you may be right - for the bar cookies, anyway! I had no trouble with the drop cookies, but I was second-guessing my choices from this chapter up to the very last minute! You can't go wrong with any of ones above though.

jackie said...

I put on a few pounds just reading your post. They look scrumptious

Cathy said...

Hi Jackie - thanks so much!

African Kelli said...

The Texas Cowboy bars sounds so good! I am having a hard time reading your site and not raiding the pantry for something sweet.

Cathy said...

Hi Kelli - they were good! You should take a look at the book - its just loaded with really yummy cookies!

Caroline@Bibliocook said...

Hi Cathy
I've been following your Mondays with Maida for a while now - you're linked from my own blog - and I just had to say how much I've been enjoying your comments and the great pictures. Best of luck with the next 78 cookies!

Cathy said...

Thanks so much Caroline!

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