Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Fudge Nut Layer Bar Cookies (with 30% less guilt than straight fudge)

What do you get when you fix straight fudge and eat the batch?  Besides guilt, probably some digestive disorders.  But this treat, which the Bat used to fix for our parties about once every six months or so, at least gives us the Bill Cosby breakfast option.

The recipe was, once, a Pillsbury Bake-off winner.  Naturally, when the recipes come up in their little cookbooks, they're written to feed a reasonable family of four or so.  Our family is neither four nor reasonable.  Plus, we have lots of friends who like it when we play in the kitchen, because we like to share (when we can).  So the original recipe fits into a 9"x9" baking pan, but the Bat's variation requires a greased 12"x17" (or thereabouts) jelly roll pan and a very level oven.

It also calls for walnuts, but we don't eat those, in this house, due to allergies.  If you like them, you can substitute them for the pecans.

The original recipe also requires a double-boiler and patience.  We have a nice microwave oven and patience be damned.  Waiting for these?... I don't think so.

Fudge Nut Layer Bar Cookies


for the fudge layer
2 cups (a 12-ounce bag) of your favorite semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

for the cookie layers
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
2 eggs. unbeaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup coarsely  chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.

In a microwave-safe bowl, warm chocolate chips and butter at high temperature until melted (about 2 minutes, depending upon your nuke).  Add sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla.  Stir until mixed.  If needed,  reheat slightly before stirring in chopped nuts.   Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In mixer bowl, cream butter, gradually mix in brown sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla.  Blend well.

Stir in dry flour mixture, then add rolled oats.

In greased (or really good non-stick) jelly roll pan, spread two thirds of the cookie dough to make bottom crust.  Cover with fudge mixture.  Drop (crumble) remaining cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over top of chocolate filling. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool.  Cut into bars.