I first decided on making these Rocky Road Bars from Carole's book, but halfway through remembered that Corbin had sworn off anything marshmallowy years ago, following a particularly dramatic upchuck on the cobblestone streets of London after gobbling back a dime-bag of penny candy in our rental car. To be fair, Q's driving of a manual car generally gives us all motion sickness of some sort, but Corbin has held a personal grudge against marshmallows ever since. Sorry... too much information on our domestic affairs but this is only to explain why I ended up baking twice that afternoon, following up with the "best" choc chip cookies from my newest cookbook. Some ooey-gooey followed by some chewy-crispy. O'Connor's approach is to use melted butter and then to refrigerate the dough for an hour before cooking. The results were worth the extra time involved... and loved the addition of pecans, even though it ruled out taking cookies for school lunches. Bummer.
Rocky Road Bars
from Alice Medrich's Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy
makes 16 2-inch bars
6 tbsp (3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup walnut halves or large pieces
12 regular marshmallows, quartered
1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips
Line an 8-inch square pan with foil (bottom and all sides). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the butter with the graham cracker crumbs and sugar until all of the crumbs are moistened. (I screwed up here and used 3/4 cup of butter instead of 3/4 stick so I had to add more graham crumbs. Made for a thicker crust but no complaints.) Scatter half the nuts on top and pop in the oven for 10 mins until crust starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven (turn up heat to 375 degrees) and scatter the remaining nuts, marshmallows and chocolate on top. Pop back in the oven on the top shelf and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool completely and then cut into bars.
The Best One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk-Pecan Cookies
from Jill O'Connor's Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey
makes 3 dozen cookies
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans for 6 to 9 minutes; remove and allow to cool. Turn off the oven.
Stir together the melted butter and the two sugars. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and stir until smooth. Add in the flour, baking soda and baking powder, and stir until until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate and pecans. Transfer the batter to the fridge and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a 1-inch ice-cream scoop, place the dough balls on parchment lined trays and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.