In March, I ventured into America’s Test Kitchen’s The Perfect Cookie Cook Book. I made two recipes from this cook book, only one of which I’ll share, as I didn’t like how the Cornmeal Orange cookies tasted.
Jury is still out on this book…I like most things that come from America’s Test Kitchen, and love the book itself, pictures, information, and food science, but I will still need to bake a bit more from it to decide whether it will become one of my baking cook book staples. The Cranberry Pistachio Coconut Cookie bars are delicious. There are a lot of ingredient to shop for, which make them unique, and out of the ordinary from a typical chocolate chip cookie or a batch of brownies. Rather easy recipe and time in preparation was reasonable. These bars are very rich and sweet…I am glad I used unsweetened coconut, which I reference in the recipe.
Most of my ‘tasters’ loved the bars…chewy, flavorful, with bursts of sweet and tangy, and a crunchy, buttery crust. If you’re looking for something different to bake, this is it…with some very healthy ingredients. Here’s the recipe:
Cranberry Pistachio Coconut Triangles
This recipe makes 18 or more cookie bars, depending how you cut them
1 cup +2 Tablespoons of flour
1 cup +2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into five pieces chilled
1 cup of pistachios toasted (I didn’t toast)
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 of a cup of sweetened shredded coconut (I used unsweetened from Trader Joe’s)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract,
1/2 teaspoon almond extract,
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces of white chocolate
Oven temperature should be 375.
Preparing the Pan
- Make a foil sling for an 8” x 8” baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil, so that each 8-inch side lay on the foil pan, perpendicular to one another. Let extra foil hang over the edge of the pan. Push all 4 corners into the pan’s sides.
- Grease or use a non-stick spray on the foil.
Making the Crust
- Place 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the butter in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand about 10 pulses.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer. Bake at 375 Degrees F., until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.
Making the Nut Mixture
- Place the pistachios in a zip-lock bag and hammer them with a meat pounder or hammer until crushed.
- Toss cranberries, coconut, and pistachios in a bowl, breaking up any clumps.
- In a bigger bowl whisk eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, almond extract and salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of sugar, together.
- Fold in pistachio mixture.
- Spread evenly over cooled crust.
- Bake the bars until deep golden brown and set, about 20-25 minutes. Let the bars cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack.
- Use foil sling/overhang to remove the bars from the pan.
- Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut into nine squares and then cut each diagonally into two triangles.
- Melt white chocolate in a microwave and a small bowl steering occasionally (I added a little vegetable oil to liquefy the chocolate).
- Dip 1 corner of each triangle in the melted chocolate and place on parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
- Let the melted chocolate solidify.
- I preferred to drizzle melted white chocolate, as well as dark chocolate, onto these bars.
- I also found cutting them into triangles was not the easiest thing, so I cut them into rows and then into rectangles
- I used unsweetened coconut from Trader Joe’s, absolutely the best.