Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I didn't bake today. It's a busy week -- dentist appointments, landscape planning, and meeting with news journalists. The local newspaper is doing a centerpiece article on me, scheduled for the Sunday after Easter. This morning consisted of making the house presentable, answering questions for the reporter, and posing for the photographer. After lunch, I brought peanut butter cookies and the rocky road squares that I just made to the dentist office and made some nice people happy. The dentist, however, did not make me happy -- I have to go back for some serious work on a tooth that's been nagging me. I'll think about it tomorrow. After I returned home, my landscaper came by to discuss the plan for tomorrow and I gave him some goodies. He called me from his cell phone after he left, to tell me "that was the best cookie I have ever put into my mouth." He made some points with me, for sure. I guess I'll have to make egg sandwiches for him and his men tomorrow.

Here's a recipe that I submitted to the Betty Crocker Bake Life Sweeter contest. It didn't make the fiinals, but I thought they tasted pretty good. The Nutella has to be very room temperature, but can't be heated. If you've ever tried to heat up Nutella, you know it doesn't work. Interestingly, you can heat up chocolate peanut butter (Chocolate Dreams). I am very skeptical of Nutella's ingredients, and don't use it much, but I know how popular it is -- more so in Europe than here. Giada uses it a lot. I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but I think Nutella is very, very unhealthful stuff. That said, here is my recipe:

Chocolate Hazelnut Bars with Krispy Chocolate Hazelnut Topping
COOKIE BASE: 1 pouch (17.5 oz.) Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped or broken hazelnuts
3 Tbsp. hazelnut liqueur, or water
1 egg
1 container (7 oz.) marshmallow creme

KRISPY CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TOPPING: 1-1/2 cups Nutella room temp
1-1/4 cups Krispy rice cereal

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350F. Combine cookie base ingredients, except for marshmallow creme. Pat dough into an ungreased 9x9" pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or till set. Spread marshmallow creme over top of dough and return to oven for 2 minutes with oven turned off. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Mix Nutella with cereal and drop by spoonfuls over brownies. Spread over brownies as evenly as possible. Refrigerate 1 hour or till set. Cut into bars.

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