From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I had to smile when I found this recipe on Yahoo's Shine. They were featuring this bar cookie, originally developed for Food and Wine magazine, as part of a collection called "Back-to School Cookie Bars". Now, unless the editor's children are a great deal different than mine were, this cookie will not end up in many lunch boxes. It's a pretty grown-up treat and I think the kids would be happier with the oatmeal or peanut butter variety. Their, teachers, however, would be delighted to have one or two of these flavorful gems along with their morning coffee. I'm not a big fan of sweet treats, but these cookies have a European sensibility that I really enjoy. They are bearly sweet and the dominant flavor in the cookies is that of the toasted pecans. If you prefer, hazelnut or walnuts can be used instead of pecans, but I'm really partial to the pecan version. The cookies would be wonderful with tea or a glass of sippin' sherry and if you prefer less sweet treats I know you will enjoy these. As you skim the recipe, you'll see that the cookies are made whole wheat pastry flour. If you have it, fine. If not, use all-purpose flour. I think the health benefits of whole wheat pastry flour are overstated, but I keep it on hand because I like the flavor it imparts. These cookies are very easy to make and they transport beautifully. I do hope you'll give the recipe a try. Here is how the cookies are made.
Pecan and Chocolate Chip Squares...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food and Wine magazine
1 cup pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and and line bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2) Spread pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Chop pecans and let cool.
3) In bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat butter and oil with granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth.
4) In a small bowl, whisk flour with baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients into mixer at low speed. Add chocolate chips and pecans and beat just until incorporated.
5) Transfer dough to prepared baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and nearly set in the center. Let cool completely, then run a knife around edges and invert rectangle. Peel off paper and invert onto a cutting board. Cut and serve. Yield: 24 squares.
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