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. (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/recipes/), but I'd love another option as well.
I always make these cookies from Caprial Pence when I have a party. I omit the nuts and instead of 3/4 cup each white and dark chocolate chips, I use all mini chocolate chips. Instead of baking cookies as directed, I use a tablespoon scoop to portion the batter into mini-muffin pans lined with mini-muffin liners. After they are baked and cooled, I usually dip the tops into a liqueur-flavored ganache. I call my edited version Brownie Bites.
* 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1 3/4 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 1/4 cups flour
* 3/4 cup each white and dark chocolate chips
* 1/4 cup toasted ground pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate is just melted, remove from the heat. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, chips and pecans, and mix well. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a well-greased sheet pan. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, or just until the cookies are set. Let cool on the pan at least 5 minutes, then remove.
I love MArtha Stewart's Brown Butter Toffee blondies. They're a great change from brownies and have fantastic rich flavor from the brown butter. I've used regular toffee bits as well as chocolate covered toffee bit in the recipe and both are delicious... wish I had one now :)
The odyssey continues... I'm being completely obsessive about this, I know, but I feel that there MUST be some cookies out there I adore.
So far I've made:
SHORTBREAD from Cooks Illustrated (the rice flour doesn't do it for me, and the recipe is really fussy...)
GINGERSNAPS, recipe from a friend - the jury is still out on these. They have a ton of ginger, which I like, but they are a little hard. Perhaps holding them overnight will help.
CHEWY CHOCOLATE OAT BARS (Betty Crocker) - I've had great versions of this, but my effort this morning wasn't one of them.
and VERY CHOCOLATE COOKIES (Clotilde Dusoulier) - link in my first post. I made a very small batch today & they are the best of the bunch. I'm guessing they have a strong tie to the World Peace Cookies, which I haven't made. The dough is really, really dry. I put it in the refrigerator while I mulled the situation over - I'll let you know if I regret it.
Following a bunch of Chow recommendations, I'm going to move on to a browned butter cookie next... and then the lemon bars if I'm still standing...
I picked this up from another Chowhound thread that I can no longer locate and have used it with great success. These are by far the richest chocolate cookies I've ever had (almost flourless--keep them small) and you can totally make the dough, form balls, freeze them, and then bake the day of if you want to do ahead. At the very least, they benefit (especially aesthetically) from letting the dough chill in the fridge overnight.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES, adapted from Maida Heatter:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) butter
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. ground or instant coffee
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Line cookie sheet with foil; oil lightly.
3. Melt chocolate and butter over hot water; stir until completely mixed and smooth.
4. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
5. Beat eggs with sugar, coffee, and vanilla on high speed; reduce speed and add melted chocolate.
6. Add dry ingredients; stir just until blended. Add chips and nuts.
7. Spoon onto cookie sheet (a little easier if you chill the dough for a few minutes or even better overnight in the fridge); bake 8 minutes or until tops are dry. (Caution: these burn easily.)
Since it's for a crowd, monster cookies, while on the sweet side, are really popular and easy to put together. They're like the kitchen sink of cookies which is why they go so quickly.
These super sized ginger chewies (you can make them small, too) from Chow are interesting w/ the different spices and the best ginger cookies I've ever made:
For a less sweet option, these biscotti are good, not as hard as others so you don't need to dip them. They're pretty and a nice mix of additions. You can leave out the white chocolate, or drizzle dark chocolate over them.
if you're going to go Gingerbread, i'll recommend, as i often do, Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread baked in mini-loaves and sliced.
in addition to Seven Layer Bars, Nanaimo Bars are also generally a hit.
for something lighter and fruity, try Strawberry Rhubarb Bars: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/bars/strawberry-rhubarb-bars/
for banana-based: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/bars/banana-crunch-bars/
cherry streusel: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/desserts/do...
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.
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
1/3 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.
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.
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.
SOLO ALMOND THUMBPRINTS
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.