One thing I really hate about winter is the light. Last year at this time, I was still cooking for my families so if I raced, I could catch a bit of afternoon light and take a decent photo. These days, I’m never done with cooking dinner until dinnertime at which point it has been dark for hours. I’ve had to rely on my special light to make photography possible and I sure am tired of the photos all having the same look. Hence this somewhat different composition today.
Now wait. Don’t call me a hypocrite. I know talking about low fat cooking yesterday. Did you also read that I only do high fat baking? And boy, this is high fat. So much so that in the introduction for the recipe, Holly wrote, “This would be a good treat for someone wanting to gain weight.” Ahem, not really my problem but it’s a nice thought.
As if it wasn’t enough to have a shortbread base with nuts and chocolate chips strewn over the top, a combination of honey and cream is poured over the whole pan which is then baked until golden brown. The result is similar to an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie but denser and, thanks to the honey, sweeter. I love honey, so for me the flavor was welcome here.
One Year Ago: Milk Chocolate Layer Cake
With Love & Butter
18 big bars
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups flour
2 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ cups chocolate chips
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (DT: I used pecans)
1 cup honey
½ cup half-and-half (DT: I used cream)
Preheat oven to 375° with the rack in the center position. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Cream the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt and combine. Reserve 1/3 of the dough. Press the remaining dough evenly into the buttered baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer. The crust should be barely brown. Leave the oven on.
Scatter the chocolate chips and walnuts over the hot crust. Now blob the reserved dough as evenly as you can on top of the chocolate and nuts.
Combine the honey and half-and-half. Heat in the microwave or on the stove until hot but not boiling. Pour the honey cream sauce over the dough and bake 15 to 20 minutes. The bars will be done when they turn a uniformly rich golden color. Cool and cut.