Friday, September 21, 2012

Brooksters and Baked Bars

Last Sunday the authors of the three Baked cookbooks were in Austin for a book signing at William Sonoma.  Since I took a class with them a couple years ago at Central Market when their second book came out I had to go.  At the book signing the had a demo of the pumpkin cake in the new book and samples of pumpkin brittle and their salted caramel.  It was all delicious!  After watching them make the salted caramel again I really want to try it again myself.  I've always had problems making caramel - either burning it, undercooking it, or having it boil over when I added the cream.  I think I just need to practice and I will get it right.  Plus, I've had some fleur de sel salt sitting in my baking cabinet just waiting for the perfect use.  

In honor of them coming I decided to do a little more baking from their books again because their recipes never disappoint.  Earlier this month I was in the mood for chocolate and coconut, and when I found the Baked Bars which are also known as Hello Dolly or kitchen sink bars I couldn't resist them.  How could you go wrong with chocolate chunks, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and walnuts surrounded by sweetened condensed milk on top of a coconut and graham cracker crust.  They were quite delicious.  I normally have a sweet tooth, but the comment in the recipe about these being good in small doses was definitely correct.  I think when I make these again I will have to take them to a gathering, cut the recipe in half, or just freeze the other half for later.

For my first recipe from their latest book Baked Elements I decided to bake along with the Baked Sunday Mornings group and make the Brooksters.  I didn't have time to finish mine until Monday night, but I'm hoping to participate a little more in the future (after I get through my son's first birthday party because that is going to take most of my time over the next week).  So, this recipe combines two of my favorite desserts - chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  It's simple to make but does require a bit of planning because both the cookie and brownie dough have to cool for at least 3 hours prior to baking them.  I actually started making the dough Sunday afternoon after the book signing but didn't get to finish them until the next day.  Fortunately I knew there would be extra cookie dough so I threw a half dozen in the oven for my husband and I for Sunday night dessert.  The recipe has two options for baking these either in their special Brookster pan that William Sonoma carries or a muffin pan.  I opted for the muffin pan because I just can't see paying $20 for a single purpose baking pan (at least not anymore).  If I make these again I would probably try making them in mini muffin pans instead because like the Baked bar these are also very rich.  They were very good and even better heated with a little vanilla ice cream, but like so many other bloggers commented I think I still like brownies and chocolate chip cookies on their own a little more.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness. First: I TOTALLY forgot about the Baked thing until just now! I suck and I am also really, really jealous.

    Second: I, too, have problems with caramel. I have made it successfully a couple of times, but far more often I either under- or over-cook it. it's fussy stuff!

    Finally: Whoa nelly! Those bars look amazing, but I have to avoid looking too closely b/c I will want one too badly!!