Friday, June 25, 2010

Bar Cookies - Sugar High Friday #67 - The Round-Up

Sweets for the sweet, that's what I'm offering up tonight for Bar None - Sugar High Friday # 67 - Bar Cookies, the latest incarnation of The Domestic Goddess' Sugar High Fridays series (Thank you, Jennifer!). Whether you choose to peer inside the gilded picture parade for a quick look, or linger over the buffet below it, there's something special for everyone, from classic to courageous. I am charmed, as always, by your creativity, hospitality, and warmth. Thank you for sharing your recipes. It's good to see fond friends and fresh faces. You're always welcome here.



Mars Bar Block
Jacqueline - Tinned Tomatoes

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Lemon Squares
Akheela - Torview Toronto

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Brownies
Cinzia - Cindystar

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Apricot Cashew Chewy Bars
Susan - The Well-Seasoned Cook

Please let me know if there are any omissions or errors. Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Plain Janes - Apricot Cashew Chewy Bar Cookies - Sugar High Friday # 67

Apricot Cashew Chewy Cookie Bars

Several years ago, I came across the most simple of crafted loaf cakes. It was imported from Holland, and its primary ingredients were honey, flour, and spices; it was akin to gingerbread but without any butter or shortening, which gave its slices a very sturdy texture and modest calorie count. The loaves were sometimes studded with a few token nuggets of dried fruit which elevated them from their extreme austerity. I purchased this cake as many times as I found it in my supermarket, but it disappeared from the shelves as mysteriously as it arrived. I haven't thought about it until yesterday, when I baked a batch of oh-so-subtly sweet bar cookies from an "All-American" cookbook originally published in 1948. The flavor and tooth is so similar to the Dutch cake that I have abandoned my wistful longings for the later. I have also abandoned cinnamon and ginger in favor of cardamom. These bars are not even remotely decadent; they cannot compare with the buttery crumble of shortbread nor the mud-rich density of brownies. They are the plain Janes of the cookie world, but like a Jane Austen heroine, they have substance, character, and a sweetness all their own.
Apricot Cashew Chewy Bar Cookies - Adapted from the Date Honeys recipe (using dates and generic nuts) in Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, Edited by Ruth Berolzheimer

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 cup clear, fluid honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups soft-dried apricots, ground in food processor to a fine, uniform mince
(N.B. - If using hard-dried apricots, soak in warm water to plump and soften.)
1 cup dry-roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom

Method

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, sift together cake flour and baking powder. Reserve. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they are thick, foamy, and twice their volume. Beat in vanilla extract and honey, then the dry ingredient mixture. Stir in apricots and cashews with a wooden spoon until fully blended. (Batter will be thick.)

Divide batter between two 7 X 11-inch shallow baking pans* that have been lined with greased parchment or waxed paper. Ensure that any exposed interior surfaces of pan are also greased, regardless of whether you are using non-stick or traditional bakeware. Position pans on middle rack of oven. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, (about 18-20 minutes). The underside will brown much faster than the top; watch carefully to avoid burning.

Remove from oven and pans. Arrange on racks to fully cool before cutting into 8 rectangles per pan. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and cardamom. Transfer to large mesh strainer and shower over bars right before serving. Makes 16 bars.

* You can also use more readily available 8 X 8-inch pans, but the bars will be slightly thicker and smaller, as well as somewhat more moist.

This is my contribution to Sugar High Friday # 67, hosted right here this month. Sugar High Fridays is the long-running sweet event created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess. Today, June 21, is the official deadline to submit your recipes, but I am welcoming late participants through Thursday, June 24. The round-up will be posted Friday, June 25. Thanks to everyone who has already submitted their lovely treats!

I am also sending this post to Champa of Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen, for her weekly Bake-Off, a recently inaugurated event featuring vegetarian recipes that spend time in your oven.

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Other People's Eats ~
Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars
Bon Appétit Bar Cookies
Almond Bar Cookies


Been There, Done That ~
Lemon Curd Shortbread Squares
Black Walnut and Caramel Blondies
Fire-Breathing Brownies

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Legume Love Affair 23 - The Round-Up - Part 2

It was a great month, folks! With a total of ninety-two luscious recipes traversing the globe, this round-up is bound to have several dishes to catch your eyes and growl your bellies. Thanks for the opportunity to be your hostess. In case you missed the winners' announcement in Part 1, the lucky gals are Mansi of Fun and Food Cafe, and Cinzia of Cindystar. As I've noted before, though, you are all winners to me.

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Black-Eyed Peas from Mali
Bala - A Life Journey Together
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.

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Green Chickpea Salad
Sanyukta - Creative Sanyukta
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

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Chickpeas Like in Beaches
Akheela - Torview
Toronto, Canada

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Crab Curry with Fenugreek
Akheela - Torview
Toronto, Canada

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Idly
Divya - Dil Se
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

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Red Lentil Balls
Esra - Carte du Jour
Glenville, New York, U.S.

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Bulgar Pilaf with Lentils and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Esra - Carte du Jour
Glenville, New York, U.S.

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Miso Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms
Esra - Carte du Jour
Glenville, New York, U.S.

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Mint Pulav
Sukanya - Sukanya's Musings
Singapore

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Split Green Dal and Black Chickpea Rice
Sanyukta - Creative Sanyukta
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

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Kala Masala Chana-Chole
Rupa - A Virtual Vegetarian
India and U.S.

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Rajasthani Pakod Kadhi
(Chickpea and Cilantro Fritters in Yogurt/Chickpea Gravy)

Priya - Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes
California, U.S.

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Idly/Sambhar
Sanyukta - Creative Sanyukta
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

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Masala Sundal with Garbanzo Beans
The Housewife - The Diary of a Displaced Housewife
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

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Indianized Falafel
Kanchan - Kitchen Gossip
India

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Soybean Mushroom Curry
Denny - Oh Taste N See
U.S.

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Black-Eyed Pea Sundal
Nithu - Nithu's Kitchen
New Jersey, U.S.

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Vegetable Sambar
Jay - Tasty Appetite
India

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Aloo Matar
Padhu - Welcome to Padhu's Kitchen
India

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Pigeon Pea Pesto
Abbhirami - Soulful Creations
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

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Khaman Dhokla
Lata Raja - Flavours and Tastes
Accra, Ghana

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Sambar Vada
Jyoti - The Veggie Hut
Dublin, Ireland

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Butter Beans Spread (Hummus)
Vanessa - Sweet Artichoke
Switzerland

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Mesir Wat
Nupur - One Hot Stove
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.

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Mint and Pea Velouté
Cinzia - Cindystar
Garda Lake, Italy

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Lentil Salad with Prosciutto Crudo
Brii - Brii Blog
Valsorda, Garda Lake, Italy

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Cucumber Daal
Kiran - SUMADHURA
U.S.

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South Indian Sundal
Cool Lassi(e) - Pan Gravy Kadai Curry
U.S.

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Hara Chana Palak
(Sweet and Sour Green Chickpeas with Spinach)

Susan - The Well-Seasoned Cook
New York, U.S.

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Please let me know if there are any omissions or errors for me to correct.

Diana of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa is now hosting MLLA 24 through June 30. If you ever need to know who's hosting* MLLA, you can find the details here. In addition, there is a brand new food event listing site, The Food Blog Diary, created and officiated by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. I encourage you to pop over to see what's on tap which you may want to participate in, as well as contact Jacqueline to put up the details for your own event.

* I've recently received some new hosting requests. I do plan on acknowledging them as soon as possible to see if we can work something out. MLLA is booked solid through 2011, but there is always a chance that a host will have to drop out, and an alternate will be needed. In addition, I will start booking 2012 by this year's end. It seems a long way off, but we are already into the second week of June. (How did that happen?) Thanks so very much for your continued interest, support, and enthusiasm for MLLA! Until soon!