Saturday, December 17, 2011

Apricot-Coconut Cookie Bars

½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 1/3 cups sifted all purpose flour
½ t baking powder
¼ t salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 can finely chopped dried apricots

In medium bowl, combine butter, sugar, and 1 cup flour. With two knives or pastry blender, cut ingredients together until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Press pastry evenly on bottom and 1” up sides of a buttered 9” square baking pan. Bake in moderate 350°F oven about 25 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside. Hold oven temperature at 350°F. Into mixing bowl, sift together baking powered, salt and remaining flour. Stir in eggs, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and apricots; mix well. Spread mixture evenly over baked pastry. Return to oven. Bake 35 minutes longer or until top is firm. Cool in pan. Cut into bars.
Makes about 20 bars.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

2 (4 oz) bars sweet cooking chocolate
2/3 cup Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed milk
1 cup shelled unsalted whole peanuts

In top of double boiler, melt chocolate over hot water. Remove from heat. Add sweetened condensed milk and nuts; stir until all nuts are covered. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto buttered baking sheet. Refrigerate several hours.

NOTE: if desired, pecans, cashews, walnuts or seedless raisins may be substituted for the peanuts.
Makes about 2 dozen 1¾” diameter candies

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fruit and Oatmeal Bars

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil, plus extra for brushing pan
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
½ cup honey
½ cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups mixed dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, papaya, pineapple and cranberries (at least 3 kinds, cut into small pieces if large)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
2 tablespoons of butter

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hangs over side of pan. Brush with oil
2. Spread oats and seeds on another baking pan and toast in oven just until golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes, shaking pan once.
3. In a saucepan, combine oil, butter, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Stir over medium heat until smooth and hot. In a mixing bowl, toss together toasted oats and seeds, dried fruit and cardamom. Pour hot sugar mixture over and stir until well combined.
4. While mixture is warm, transfer to prepared pan, pressing into pan evenly with an offset spatula.
5. Bake until brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool completely. Using the overhanging foil or paper, lift out of pan and place on a work surface Cut into bars, about 1 ½ inches by 3 inches.