Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Muddy River Mocha Bars

This was the scene from my window yesterday.  Tropical Storm Faye had blown to Mississippi producing a slow, steady rain.  All I wanted to do was bake.

Can I help it that God sent the rain and I was forced to get in the kitchen and bake up sweet goodies that I really don't need?  Did I ask Him to make it rain?

Wait...I think I did ask Him.  Oh, yes.  Back in July.  We were having a dry spell, so I did pray for rain.  Buckatunna Creek was so low that the only water in the rapids at Frost Bridge was flowing down the main channel, which is no more than three or four feet wide.  It was so low that our last canoe trip was a living nightmare.  We wound up pulling our canoe over what seemed like fifty logs that we normally would have floated over had there been ample water.  So, yes, I think my prayers could be somewhat responsible for the rain.  Thank you, Lord.  And hopefully you made it rain upstream so that the creek will have enough water in it to float again before bass season is over.  But if you didn't, that's okay.  Just thought I'd throw that in.

A few years ago, the good people at Thermador Ovens sponsored a contest whereby entrants sent in their best recipes themed to fit their state.  I created these bars for that contest and they are a spin-off of the classic Mississippi Mud Cake.  I won for Mississippi and had my recipe printed in their cookbook, Taste of America, which is a beautiful cookbook, by the way.  Here is a link to my recipe and many other wonderful dishes created by home cooks across the nation, several of whom are my fellow contesting buddies.  Check out this reciperecipe.  Both of the talented creators of these recipes have blogs that are listed in my sidebar. and this

I hadn't made these bars in a while and I was dying to use my new 9-inch square spring form pan that I won in a contest recently.  It worked perfectly.  Once the metal rim was removed, I could cut the bars with ease.

Let me give you a warning.  These are seriously rich bars.  I can only eat four at a time.

Muddy River Mocha Bars

Non stick cooking spray

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

3 large eggs

1 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 (7-ounce) jars marshmallow cream

1-1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies

1/4 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1/2 cup butter

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

Cocoa powder for dusting top

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips and butter over low heat until melted, stirring often; set aside to cool for 10 minutes. 
  2. Place the warm water in a large bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon coffee granules and stir until dissolved.  Add eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to the coffee mixture and whisk until smooth.  Blend in the cooled chocolate mixture.  Stir in the flour, mixing well.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake until puffed at edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir together the marshmallow cream and crushed cookies.  Drop by spoonfuls over warm bottom layer. 
  4. Place the milk in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon coffee granules and stir to dissolve.  Stir in butter and cocoa.  Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring often.  Remove from heat and mix in vanilla.  Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir in pecans.  Pour warm frosting over marshmallow layer, spreading evenly.  Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into bars. 
Pin It!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

I love cheesecake and that's kind of what these cookies taste like.  This recipe is a version of a recipe that I created for a contest a few years ago.  They are cheap, quick, and easy to do.  They don't spread much, and they have a chewy inside and crispy outside.  It's a great recipe for when you don't want to fuss. 

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini-chips

1/3 semisweet chocolate chips, regular or mini-size, if desired

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar together until creamy.  Add flour and mix until dough forms.  Stir in 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips. 
  2. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls or a cookie scoop onto a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or edges are light golden brown.  Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack.
  3. If desired, melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips and stir until smooth.  Drizzle over cookies.  Cool completely.  About 36 cookies.
Pin It!