12 November 2013

Holiday Cookie: Rocky Road Bars



Recipe photo


From Denny:  Rocky road is a favorite flavor combination for everything from ice cream to fudge to cake to cookies.  If you like rocky road and shortbread then this bar cookie is for you!  This is a rich little cookie that is just perfect for the holidays or birthday celebrations.

The beauty of this cookie is that you can make ahead and store in the fridge or even freeze it.  A good recipe for taking to holiday gatherings but one you can make at your convenience when you have the time.  Included are some reviews of the recipe from home bakers.  I always like to see what other people think about a recipe and check out any fresh ideas for different twists of ingredients or presentation.  This King Arthur Flour recipe database has been fun to explore!


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Rocky Road Bars

From:  King Arthur Flour - ingredient list also available in ounces and grams.  A buttery, crunchy shortbread cookie topped with creamy dark fudge, jam-packed with marshmallow and toasted pecans? now THAT'S our idea of what to do with a chunk of dark chocolate!


Hands-on time:  15 mins. to 25 mins.

Baking time:  35 mins. to 40 mins.


Total time:  40 mins. to 1 hrs 5 mins.

Yield:  2 dozen bars


Ingredients:


Crust
Topping       

        3 cups chopped semisweet or dark chocolate or chocolate chips* * 

        3/4 cup heavy cream         

        1 cup toasted diced pecans   

        3 cups (half a 10.5-ounce package) mini marshmallows         

        * * go ahead and use a 16-ounce bag of chocolate chips, if you like; the "missing" 2 ounces will simply produce a slightly softer topping.  

Directions: 

1) Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, or line with parchment and grease the parchment.

2) To make the crust: In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in the flour. The dough will seem very dry, and won't seem to want to become cohesive at first. Just keep beating, and it'll eventually come together.

3) Press the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with your fingers or a mini rolling pin (pastry roller). The dough will feel stiff, but just keep pressing on it until you've covered the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork; this will keep it from bubbling up as it bakes.

4) Bake the crust for 35 to 40 minutes, until it's golden brown around the edges and beginning to brown on the top. Remove it from the oven, and loosen the edges with a heat-resistant plastic knife or a table knife. Make the topping while the shortbread begins to cool.

5) To make the topping:  Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan on very low to low medium heat. Heat in the microwave, or over low heat on a burner, until the cream is steaming and barely beginning to form bubbles.

6) Remove from the heat, and stir. The chocolate will gradually form a lump in the center of the bowl, then will start to expand as it absorbs the cream. Eventually the chocolate and cream will become one; keep stirring until it's very smooth. If all the chocolate doesn't seem melted, reheat very briefly, and keep stirring.

7) Spread the warm chocolate atop the cookie crust. Sprinkle with the marshmallows, then the pecans.


8) Cover the pan, and place the bars in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes, to set the chocolate a bit.

9) Using a sharp knife or baker's bench knife, cut 2" bars. Transfer to a serving plate, if desired; or serve right from the pan.

10) Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage; but be aware these bars are tastier fresh than frozen and thawed.



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Reviews

  • Scarlettdancer from KAF Community
  • I used half whole wheat flour for the crust and it came out great. I really like these. They are not too sweet and the crust is really nutty/buttery.
  • SMJ from Connecticut
  • I baked these last night for a picnic. Very easy to prepare. I wanted to avoid the cutting step, which sounded like a messy proposition. Instead of a 9-inch x13-inch pan I baked mine in the well-oiled wells of 2 muffin pans, giving me 24 round shortbread crusts. I then loosened them like the instructions called for. I then proceeded to apply the chocolate topping, pecans and I found some red white blue star shaped marshmallows. Very pretty presentation.
  • Veggiechiliqueen 
  • These are a breeze to throw together and a sure crowd pleaser. The combination of buttery shortbread crust, bittersweet chocolate, toasted pecans and pillowy marshmallows are like little bites of heaven! They're super-rich, though, so these are best served in small squares.

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