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Oct 31, 2010 08:33 PM

November/December 2010 BCTM: Maida Heatter's COOKIES- Hand Formed and Bar

Our baking cookbook for November/December 2010 is Maider Heatter's COOKIES, anyhwhere you can find them.

Please use this thread to discuss Maider Heatter Hand Formed and Bar Cookie recipes. When posting your review, include the source. If the source is a book, include the book name and page number; and if it you found your recipe online, post a link.

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  1. Maida Heatter's Cookies (1997)
    Palm Beach Pineapple Squares pg. 138

    A dessert I like is warm chocolate pudding spooned over fresh pineapple. (sorry, Lulu's Mom! ;>)
    So these 2-layer bars became my first Maida Heatter effort. They are cakelike-- a little drier than a brownie, I'd say, with walnuts in chocolate batter on the bottom, and crushed pineapple in white batter on the top. Finely grated lemon rind in the pineapple mix brings out the flavor.
    I dusted a buttered pan with "fine, dry bread crumbs" as instructed, but wouldn't do that again--parchment paper would be my choice. The butter & sugar gets creamed (she used a stand mixer, I just have a hand mixer). The white batter is then made with eggs, vanilla, the "drys". You take out a cup of this--it gets mixed with the pineapple and set aside. Then (melted unsweetened) chocolate is stirred into the remaining batter, chopped walnuts too, and it is spread into the baking pan. Plop spoonfuls of the pineapple batter on top, smooth a bit, and bake.
    The results are tasty, but not exciting. Mr. blue room agreed, he'd rather have an actual brownie or an actual pineapple cake/cookie of some kind. I like the idea of 2 layers very much--both for looks and the fun of making them, but probably wouldn't do these again.

    1. The Fudge Brownies are my definitive brownie. I don't like my brownies too moist or gooey and these are just cakey enough but still very dense and chocolatey. The key, as Heatter says in the recipe, is not to overbeat the eggs. I stare at my watch and make sure not to beat the eggs for more than 30 seconds. From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies p 78.

      The Hermit Bars are my gold standard of what a hermit should be. From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies p. 99.

      Florida Lemon Squares are really easy and always a big hit. They freeze well. From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies p. 94.

      Coconut Pennies are really tasty.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Velda Mae

        I made the hermit bars last night, with a few small changes based on what I had on hand. I had no mace, so I doubled the nutmeg, and I added 1/2 tsp. ground ginger and some vanilla (they also have cinnamon, cloves, and allspice). I used half dark raisins and half golden raisins, and walnuts instead of pecans. The glaze calls for melted butter, powdered sugar, boiling water, and vanilla, to be brushed on when the bars are hot. I used my last stick of butter for the cookies, so instead of the glaze in the recipe, I used a simple one made from sifted powdered sugar and Meyer lemon juice, which I put on the cooled bars when they were still in the pan.

        I pulled these at 25 minutes (book says 30), but they ended up a bit overbaked and are a little dry, though not fatally so, and I really like the mellow spice flavor. The lemon glaze complements it very well, better than plain vanilla I think. A parchment paper sling made it easy to get them out of the pan to cut.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          This is a long time favorite recipe - the lemon glaze sound like an inspired and wonderful addition. I'm gonna make a note in the book and try it next time. Thanks!

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Yes, I'll do these with lemon too, or maybe half the batch lemon and half the batch vanilla to compare.

        2. From Maida Heatter’s Brand-new Book of Great Cookies p.79 the Palm Beach Brownies with Chocolate Covered Mints - I love these brownies and the wonderful minty flavor - they tend to brown a bit around the edges so I usually trim those off and keep for myself:)

          1. Hermit Bars pg. 140 Maida Heatter's Cookies 1997
            Caitlin McGrath and Velda Mae both liked these, and I do too! My pan is glass so I baked them at 325F. I wanted to do a lemon glaze but found myself with only an orange, so used that instead--worked fine. I've never used mace--I had a little bag of mace shavings from a friend so I mortar & pestled 'em into powder. These are very good--very glad I tried these, and *he* likes them too.

            1. Made a nice one from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies from the 1970's - "Viennese Chocolate-Walnut Bars" - a dark brown sugar pastry base (1 stick butter, 1/4 c dark brown sugar, 1 1/4 c sifted flour - I didn't, just went a bit light on it), supposed to be made in the mixer, creaming the butter and sugar together and then adding the flour until it comes together, I did it in the FP, baked 10 mins at 375, topped with 1/4 c apricot preserves (a very scant layer), then a layer of 6 oz finely-chopped walnuts, 3/4 c dark brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 TB cocoa, 1/4 tsp salt (did the filling in the FP too, you are supposed to do the walnuts in the blender or a nut grinder, beat the eggs and sugar together until thickened, then beat again 2-3 mins withe the cocoa, then add the other ingredients - I ground the walnuts with the sugar and bunged everything else in, and let 'er rip for a couple of mins) baked on top of the crust for 25 mins, to be let cool and topped with an icing of 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted, 2 Tb light corn syrup, 2 tsp rum, 2 tsp boiling water, and 2 oz walnuts cut medium fine. Allow to set until the icing is firm then cut into bars.
              Sounded very appealing and smells great. Have had this book forever, not sure why I never made it - maybe because the ingrerdients were expensive on a student budget.

              2 Replies
              1. re: buttertart

                I've gotten used to buying butter, and over the years increasingly more expensive chocolate and cocoa powder. Just now though, doing Maida Heatter and David Lebovitz and Paula Wolfert the problem has been the price of liquor and liqueurs! Cognac, Armagnac, Pernod, Grand Marnier --
                that's $150 easy, I'll bet! Little by little I'll have a good collection--meanwhile I substitute like crazy.
                Too bad they don't sell (at least not in Utah) little alcohol samplers just for cooking.

                1. re: blue room

                  That is a good point. We're pretty well stocked in that department but it seems there's always something we don't have that a recipe calls for.