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Feb 24, 2010 12:14 PM

Go-to cookie or bar recipe for a crowd?

I'm supposed to be bringing several dozen of something to an event this weekend. I bake a lot, but not so many things that can be carried around on a napkin... And I often find cookies overly sweet & sort of uninteresting. Anyone have suggestions? I'll try Clotilde Dusoulier's Very Chocolate Cookies later this week. (, but I'd love another option as well.

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  1. I like to offer a range of cookies-some chocolate, some not.
    My personal favorite is CI'l key lime bars. Folks LOVE them!
    ps..just use regular limes.

    4 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      Who's key lime bars? Some citrus around now sounds great. And can people cary them around on napkins or do they need a fork & plate? I'm really looking for napkin food...

      1. re: THewat

        CI=Cook's Illustrated. You need to subscribe to get this particular recipe-but it's out there on the net. Like here:

        They're PERFECT for a napkin-you can cut them into bite-size pieces, or a couple-bite pieces. They're heaven!

        1. re: monavano

          Thank you!! (I'm a Cooks Illustrated fan, too - but I went to "Culinary Institute" as a first guess...)

      2. re: monavano

        I have never made the key lime bars but they are on my "to do" list. Just haven't found the right occasion.

        These seven layer bars are easy, very good and always a hit...

      3. This is not an overly sweet cookie, even with the dab of jelly. It's on the back of the Solo label, so I think it's okay to print here. It's a one-bite cookie and looks pretty. You could use other jellies, and strained apricot jam would be good. The original cookie is for a crescent dusted with powdered sugar, but I morphed it into a thumbprint because I wanted the color.


        1 cup butter, softened
        1/3 cup sugar
        1 tsp almond extract
        1 can Solo Almond Filling (not marzipan)
        2 cups AP flour
        Seedless raspberry jam or jelly

        Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in almond extract and almond filling until blended. Stir in flour with wooden spoon to make stiff dough. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until dough is no longer sticky.

        Preheat oven to 350 F.

        Use a cookie scoop or make 48 balls by hand. Place on ungreased baking sheets (I usually use parchment anyway) about 1-1/2" apart. Press an indentation in each ball using index finger or the end of a wooden spoon.

        Bake 15-20 minutes or until cookies are firm and lightly browned (my note says 18-19 minutes). Remove from oven and cool on baking racks 1 minute. Repress the indentation. Or just slide the parchment paper off the sheet. Cool the cookies.

        Fill the indentation with seedless raspberry jam or jelly. Melt white chocolate and put in a plastic bag. Cut a tiny bit off one corner and pipe a drizzle of white chocolate over the entire top of the cookie.

        Makes 48 cookies.

        Note: Put the jam or jelly in a plastic bag, squish it around to smooth it out, cut off the tip of a corner, squirt into the indentations.

        3 Replies
        1. re: nemo

          Thanks. I have some good apricot jam in the refrigerator. I've never used Solo Filling - on to new heights!

          1. re: nemo

            we called them thimble cookies growing up, very nice rich cookie - we always put an almond sliver in the dent.

            1. re: nemo

              I love the solo fillings for making Koloches, especially the poppyseed. We grew up with that.

            2. what about a very different, rich, sweet bar with 1 box of crushed ritz crackers, 1 can of condensed milk adn 1 package of skor bits. Mix everything and press into a square pan, bake 350 20 in.. Save a few tablespoons of the skor bits. Once cool, spread cream cheese frosting, sprinkle skor bits on top. these should be cut into small squares as they are very rich and sweet but a wonderful bite.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lexpatti

                wow. that's a combination it's hard to wrap my mind around. It made me think of another bar, though - kind of a shortbread on the bottom, topped with a chocolate that verged on ganache, topped with crumbles - maybe with some oats in it? Any guesses?

                1. re: THewat

                  here is an online version (when I had these in Canada at a fishing lodge, we couldn't believe that's what they were made of):

              2. I generally feel the same about cookies, but I love ginger cookies and have often made the following recipe (original source unknown; I got it from a neighbor) for groups:

                2 1/4 c. flour
                2 tsp. ground ginger
                1 tsp. ground cinnamon
                2 tsp. baking soda
                1/2 tsp. salt
                12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
                1 c. brown sugar
                1 egg
                1/3 c. molasses
                granulated sugar for frosting

                1.) Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, soda, and salt.
                2.) With an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just incorporated.
                3.) Chill until firm, about one hour.
                4.) Preheat oven to 350°.
                5.) Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in granulated sugar, and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
                6.) Bake until edges just start to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
                7.) Cool on baking sheets about 2 minutes before removing to racks.

                1 Reply
                1. re: everybodyever

                  Thanks - I love ginger. I look forward to trying these!

                2. Lemon bars, made with a mix of lemon and lime juices. Include finely grated zest from both lemons and limes. It's the basic recipe - 1 c. flour, 1/4 c. 10x sugar, 1 c. butter - blend to pastry; bake 25 min @350F after spreading in 8x8 sq. baking pan. Beat together 1 c. granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tsp. baking powder, pinch salt - juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime (a couple tablespoonfuls or so) and the zest. Add to baked crust and bake 20 min more or until set but not quite browned. sprinkle generously w/10x sugar. Double recipe and use 9x13 pan for crowds. Cut into squares or rectangles as you wish.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Alice Letseat

                    Thanks Alice. Is this a "beat room temp. butter until fluffy, add flour & sugar" recipe or a "mix flour & sugar, work cold butter in until size of peas" recipe? Or something else entirely?