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Thursday, September 26, 2013

SALTED CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BARS and ROSEMARY PISTACHIO COOKIES

My husband and I, along with many fabulous locals are featured in the beautiful, Local Flavor of Northwest Arkansas Cookbook.
I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition and am so proud of Rhonda and Maliah and the hard work these two incredible ladies did to make this cookbook happen. From an idea that was created when two friends came together to cook, to an actual tangible printed copy - hours and months of diligence that will benefit Feed Fayetteville and Life Source.
We recently attended the launch party, where we previewed the cookbook, tasted some of the delicious dishes featured in the cookbook, and I shared these Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars and Rosemary Pistachio Cookies.
The narrative, photographs and recipes are gorgeous and only 1000 copies are being printed - but you can pre-order your copy at http://localflavornwa.com

SALTED CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BARS


FOR THE CRUST
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL
2 cups milk chocolate chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sea salt

Heat oven to 350F.
Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides, butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt, and beat until just combined.
Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and table salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.
Pour mixture over crust. Sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges, lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Trim the edges and cut into bars.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from marthastewart.com
www.marthastewart.com/949584/chocolate-caramel-cookie-bars

ROSEMARY PISTACHIO COOKIES


1 cup ghee (at room temperature)
(you could also use unsalted butter, but it is my belief that the ghee provided an incredible and unique flavor to these cookies)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup pistachios, shelled
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced

Heat oven to 375F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the ghee and brown sugar on high speed until smooth, lighter in color and a little fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add the flour, pistachios, white chocolate chips and the rosemary, and mix on medium speed until thorougly incorporated.
Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough on the baking sheets.
Bake until lightly browned at the edges and spread flat, about 12 minutes. Let cool on the pans.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The 4-Hour Chef, Timothy Ferriss, 2012

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