Friday, February 26, 2010

It's All Ree's Fault

Curse you, Ree Drummond!

I love Ree's blog, The Pioneer Woman. She recently appeared on one of those morning talk shows looking all cute and trim and perky while whipping up a batch of irresistible gooey buttery cinnamon rolls. Ree, Ree.....I'll betcha just about anything that you don't eat too many of those delectable calorie bombs. You can find her cinnamon roll recipe on the link to her blog, above.

I could not get the image of those cinnamon rolls out of my mind all day, and although luckily I don't have the ingredients to make them, unluckily I did have the ingredients to make one of my other favorite goodies - oatmeal/walnut/white chocolate cookie bars.

I'm rationalizing the fact that they are now baking in my oven by reminding myself of a previous post about the healthy benefits of walnuts. And, come to think of it, oatmeal is a healthy thing too. And they have an egg! Protein! And, and......oh, just give it up, Julia. You want 'em. You made 'em. You'll eat 'em. Yum.

I'll share my very own secret recipe, but be forewarned: You need to begin making these cookie bars a year in advance.

I'm not kidding.

So here's the recipe:

One year before making these cookies:
Take one 750 ml bottle of the cheapest vodka you can find in the liquor store.
Open the bottle, and insert four vanilla bean pods.
Re-cap the bottle and let sit undisturbed in your pantry for one year.

This makes the best vanilla extract that I've ever used, and it only gets better as it ages. Of course you can use this vanilla extract in any recipe that calls for vanilla, not just these yummy cookie bars.  Speaking of which, here's the rest of the recipe:

Julia's Walnut Oatmeal and White Chocolate Cookie Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9X13" pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together:
  • 3/4 cup room-temperature butter 
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
When smooth, add:
  • one large egg
In a small separate bowl, combine:
  • 3 TBS water
  • 1 TBS home made vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Pour liquid mixture into the sugar/shortening/egg mixture and beat until smooth. Add:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (or more) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (or more) white chocolate baking chips 
Dough will be stiff. Spread in prepared 9X13" pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Cookie bars will be chewy. If you prefer a crispier cookie bar, spread batter in a 11X15" jelly roll pan, and reduce baking time to 20 minutes. Bake until lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares. Devour. 

Note that my explosive gas detector is safely plugged in and functioning. Woo hoo! Julia avoids disaster for another day.


annie said...

Thanks for the recipe,Julia. These are great and easy to make, and I have all the ingredients in the house. Have you tried this with dark chocolate or chocolate chips? There are lots of pluses in the have chocolate, oats and walnuts... all good for you.Enjoy your weekend.

Nellie, Yuchie, Calvert and Bailey said...

Whew! Finally able to view your blog....

Love the vodka/vanilla idea, thank you so much for sharing. The recipe looks amazing, ummmm... guess if you're going to sin you're not going alone... ;-) Oh well, there are worse ways to sin... let the eating begin!

Have a wonderful weekend.