Monday, October 17, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Dutch Chocolate Bars

Page 82 in the old book / page 128 in the new book

A crunchy oatmeal and pecan cookie base topped with a brownie-like layer. I have to admit - these look and sound good. But there was a clear consensus this week among the cookie panelists and myself, and that was that these cookies were only so-so. The contrast in textures just didn't work.

They were easy enough to make, though. Neither the oatmeal base nor the brownie topping require the use of a mixer, though I chose to use the mixer to prepare the base. The oatmeal mixture is pressed into the pan, baked briefly, and then topped with the chocolate mixture and returned to the oven. I lined the pan with parchment so I would be able to easily lift the whole thing out of the pan after baking.

Chocolate, oatmeal, pecans, easy to make, and nice to look at. So much potential... and such a letdown.

Suzanne: "If I wasn't one of Cathy's tasters, I would have taken the bottom oatmeal base off, thrown it away, and devoured the rest of the brownie. My palate (Phil's favorite word) didn't care for the texture of the oatmeal with the brownie. Rating - 3.0"

Denny: "Good. Rating - 3.0"

Laura: "I like the Brownie top (yummy!) and I like the Oatmeal Pecan bottom, but not so much as a combined dessert. Rating - 3.0"

Phil: "More like two cookies – oatmeal & pecan transplanted onto a classic brownie. Found myself liking them better separately than in combination. Rating - 3.3"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.1

Next week - Viennese Chocolate-Walnut Bars

Nutrition Facts


Niki said...

Hmm, they *look* decadent and like something I'd love! I can't understand how something that reads so well and looks so enticing can fail! What a disappointments, especially as these were high on my list of must-bakes. I'm glad you tried them first!
I made the Florida lemon squares last night, so if you like I can post about them and give you a preview on their taste and some 'issues' I had with the recipe. Otherwise, I'll wait until after you've done them. :-)

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

When I read about these in the book, they sounded pretty good in theory. When you actually see the finished product and hear the comments of the cookie panel, I guess it just didn't work. Too bad. It was a good idea.

Nic said...

It's a shame that they didn't work out, as they look beautiful. I'm suprised that everyone on the panel had the exact same rating and reaction to them.

Anonymous said... all the others, I'm terribly surprised that these weren't a winner. They do LOOK beautiful! I wonder if I might be odd enough to like them after all (I do like radishes ;))...I might still have to try them! :)

Cathy said...

Hi Niki! Funny thing is, as I mentioned last week, I had tried these a long, long time ago. I don't have any memory of the occasion, but I had made a note "very sweet", which probably meant "too sweet". I didn't feel that way this time, I just thought they were sort of blah. Maybe it has to do with all the cookies we've been eating lately... maybe you should try them anyway...

Please do go ahead and post about the lemon squares. I'll link to your post when I get around to it. I'll be curious to see what you thought.

Hi Reid! I agree completely! It sounds like a fantastic idea! I can't be sure, but I sort of think that something wetter and fudgier would work better on this base. Even though the brownie part appears moist, the crunchy base made them seem drier.

Hi Nic! I know - it happens so rarely!

Hi Alice! Maybe it was something I did too... so they might be worth a try on your part. As I said above, even though they look moist, they probably should have been moister. Maybe reducing the cooking time would help. Let me know if you do try them!