Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Modern Art Cookies Modern Art Cookies
I am not a patient person. It makes me crazy to wait in lines, especially with a slow clerk at the head of the line who's barely able to figure out which end of a ballpoint pen goes down. I want to charge up to the head of the line and shriek, "Give me the darn thing and I'll clear this line out in 2 minutes!"

I recently made cut-out cookies for my daughter's piano recital. I had visions in my head of lovely, decorated cookies, like those seen in catalogs, bakeries, and artful blogs. Of course, what happened was I made frosting and slapped it on. I got really creative and put two colors on one cookie, but that really tested the boundaries for me. I just don't have the patience to delicately hand-paint each cookie. They're going to get eaten, not framed!

That's why I love bar cookies. They're usually easy with little wait time till hungry scavengers can pop one into their mouths. And no time-consuming artistry is involved. Unless you so choose. Modern Art Cookies
I was looking at a new recipe to try for December and thought it looked good but needed a little something. Chocolate? No, my daughter said. White chocolate. White chocolate should always be in a recipe with cranberries, she said. So I drizzled white chocolate over the top. It turned out kind of artsy. Not in a Renoir or Rembrandt kind of way; more in a Jackson Pollock kind of way. But hey, it's still art, which is a big accomplishment for me. Plus, they're wonderfully delicious. While I was cutting the bars into squares, two of them just leapt out of the pan and into my mouth. Mmmmm. Tart cranberries and sour cream, chewy crumbs, sweet chocolate. One just isn't enough!

Cranberry Pollack Bars
adapted from Taste of Home

1 cup butter, Modern Art Cookies
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups Craisins or dried cranberries
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vanilla milk chips (white chocolate chips)

(Note: I used Craisins, because that's what I had on hand. If you use the dried cranberries, the bars will be slightly less sweet.)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Combine oats and 1-1/2 cups flour; add to creamed mixture until blended. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2- inch pan. Bake at 350 deg. F. for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cranberries, sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon peel, vanilla and remaining flour. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Microwave the chips on high in a glass dish for 30 seconds. Stir until all the chips are dissolved. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chips over the bars in the pan. You can get creative here and get in touch with your inner Jackson Pollack.


Chelsea said...

Those look really good. Maybe they will be my weekend baking.

Melinda said...

I made some white chocolate ganache recently and suddenly knew that I am not a real lover of white chocolate.
It's just too sweet for me. I've been trying for years to think I like it. But I don't.
So I would probably have to use a proper chocolate.
I wonder if the British twist on your recipe would be to add a Damien Hirst art flair...preserved cow or variegated spots, perhaps? Probably the food world isn't ready for that!
Lovely post as usual, Lynn. (Me thinks you are more patient than you say you are.)

katiez said...

Mmmmm, cranberry bars! With oatmeal AND white chocolate!
And such fancy decorations, oh my!
(I didn't get to even watch Star Trek until I went away to college....there was no remote but my father ruled the T.V. - must be cast in stone, the 11th commandment or something!)

VeggieGirl said...

you and me both, Lynn - I DESPISE having to wait in line at checkouts with slow clerks, slow customers, etc.

Ironically, I'm studying Jackson Pollack's works of art right now, in my art history class - I love how you used his work as a means of describing your lovely Cranberry-Bar-Cookies!!

Wow, that photograph of the bars, with the melted chips, is spectacular - looks like a web!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Chelsea - Warm cookies are always a good way to warm up a chilly weekend. Or to celebrate winning third place in a cooking competition!

Melinda - I had to look up Damien Hirst on Wiki. I think a giant squid swimming in butter might be something along his lines. I pray that famous prayer of the impatient - "Lord, give me patience. Now!"

KatieZ - I think remotes must be genetically linked to the Y chromosome. If you want to frustrate my husband, take away the remote!

VeggieGirl - How funny! Can you veganize the recipe and take it to class?

kickpleat said...

wow, that looks so pretty and festive! i wouldn't have the patience to decorate cookies either but i could go all pollack on those bars. yum!

Gigi said...

mmm, they look pretty good. I'll have to get "art-y" this weekend and bake batch for myself.

Patricia Scarpin said...

You are right, Lynn - these are works of art!
Love it that you combined cranberries and white chocolate - I think they're dreamy together!

Aimée said...

Love these bars! I just happened to pick up some dried cranberries, too. I've never been much a a bar person, but with a toddler now, time is limited and I can see the time-saving advantages!

Deborah said...

I love the artsy cookie bars! And I agree - white chocolate and cranberries go perfectly together.

Peabody said...

It all looks good to me! An I love the name you gave them...very artistic.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Kickpleat - Good to know there's a fellow impatient baker out there.

Gigi - Edible art - the best kind!

Patricia - Cranberries and white chocolate are a dream team!

Aimee - With a toddler you're lucky to get anything done!

Deborah - Thanks!

Peabody - You are so good at making food look wonderful. Very kind of you not to laugh at my cookies. :-)

VeggieGirl said...

haha, that'd be fun!! unfortunately, the class is done (since it's only a semester-long class), but I bet I COULD veganize the recipe... I did succeed in veganizing that cookie recipe from one of your earlier posts, remember? :0)

Kristen said...

Patience is a virtue I do not have... I was just getting ready to write a post about that!
These look great.