Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Festive snickerdoodle bars...

As you have probably guessed, we did another round of baking from a Holiday magazine for the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day this week - we are certainly getting our money's worth from this issue! Today's recipe, Peanutty Snickerdoodle Bars, transforms and simplifies a favorite dropped cookie into bar form and tops them with a crunchy addition of chopped peanuts.

The basic recipe itself is fairly traditional, especially with the inclusion of cream of tartar, but instead of scooping the dough out into balls, it is pressed into a large baking pan and evenly pressed down to form one large cookie. If you were actually making the cookies, they would be rolled in the classic sweet combination of cinnamon and sugar - since this is one big mass, we mixed coarse grain sugar for sparkle with the cinnamon and just sprinkled it over the top. Also added to that coarse sugar mixture are some chopped peanuts to give these bars a unique and crunchy top.

Peanutty Snickerdoodle BarsFor a fun Holiday flare, we scattered half of the bars with coarse green sugar and half with coarse red sugar as soon as they came out of the oven. Their outside is fairly crisp, yet the golden bars have a soft chewy texture to them on the inside. I thought about skipping the peanuts on top to keep them more in line with regular snickerdoodles, but as it turns out, we both loved how they enhanced these cookies with a nutty bite.

Peanutty Snickerdoodle BarsMost of the risotto dishes we've made in the past are given a generous dose of Parmesan cheese at the end to add a sharp creaminess. The recipe for tonight's dinner, Creamy Risotto with Edamame, used a different cheese to still achieve that luscious texture while toning down the sharpness and adding a richer flavor in its place.

Typically when you make risotto, you add around a 1/2 cup of white wine before you begin to ladle in the warm broth to start cooking the rice - with this recipe, we added a cup of lager beer to the warm broth and started with that. The total cooking time will depend on how high your heat is and the size of your skillet - when you get down to that last cup or so of broth, just keep checking a couple grains of rice for doneness as you might not always need the full amount of liquid. While the rice should be tender, you still want the grains to have a nice bite to them in the center. Once the rice is done, a few wedges of Laughing Cow cheese are tossed in replacing the usual Parmesan cheese - it melts very well, adding a rich creamy texture and a mild swiss cheese flavor. A pop of color and a dose of protein in the form of shelled light green edamame is added at the end to round out the dish. Between the beer, Laughing Cow cheese and edamame, we both thought this was an excellent way to add liven up risotto and will definitely be keeping this handy to make again in the future.

Creamy Risotto with Edamame


  1. I hope they enjoyed those snickerdoodle bars. I'm baking also for Xmas these days. I don't have problems finding tasters. Have a good day.

  2. I love your blog! You make what I consider "normal people" food. I wanted to ask where you found shelled edamame. Was it at your usual supermarket or a specialty store? I'm having a hard time finding the shelled edamame, and the ones with the shells, the shells seemed almost inedible.

  3. Helene - Are you baking up anything new and interesting?

    Cindy - I can find them pretty much anywhere, but I usually buy them at Trader Joe's. I wouldn't suggest eating the shells - just pop the actual bean out of the shell to enjoy!