“It’s Fruitcake Weather, Buddy!”

That is a line from one of my favorite Holiday stories, “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote. No, not the drunken, stumbling Truman Capote from the old Dick Cavett Show. The REAL Truman Capote – young, full of promise and an absolute genius with words. Sad what happened to his life, isn’t it? On to better things!!

The season is starting to remind me of cookies and hot cocoa – so I guess it will be time to start baking soon. Maybe I should change the title to “It’s Cookie Weather”. Cookies seem to speak an international language and I’m enjoying the trip. Every year Ann and I try harder and harder to please everyone with the cookie trays but a few of our favorites keep showing up no matter what we plan in advance. So many web sites have so many cookie recipes – Ann and I will be experimenting with new things for the next 500 years or so. Sure, it sounds like a big task, but the fun we have makes it all worthwhile. The people over at Challenge Butter have a great website with some really terrific recipes. If you want to make some outstanding cookies, go over there to http://www.challengebutter.com
and take a look around. You KNOW I have to like it there, because I’m plugging it and they’re not paying me for it. They probably don’t even know I exist – but I sure know how wonderful THEY are! I already gave you one of my favorite recipes from their site; but here’s another one I think you will enjoy:

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
Buttery caramel sandwiched between cookie base and chocolate topping
Cookie layer:

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) Danish Creamery Butter, cold and cut into ½-inch pieces

Caramel Layer:

½ cup (1 stick) Danish Creamery Butter
1½ cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk


5-6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Cookie layer:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch pan by lightly buttering the sides. Combine flour, sugar, and butter pieces in food processor bowl with knife blade attachment; pulse 8-10 times. Particles should resemble coarse crumbs. (To mix by hand – combine dry ingredients then cut butter in with a pastry blender or rub butter in with fingers until no large pieces remain.) Pour mixture into prepared pan, shake pan to distribute the crumbs evenly. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Caramel Layer & Topping:

In heavy 2 to 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly. Mixture will caramelize to a golden brown and come to a boil. Continue to cook over medium heat stirring frequently to prevent scorching until the temperature of the mixture reaches 248°F (firm ball stage). Pour mixture evenly onto baked cookie layer in pan.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips, wait 2 minutes; then spread chocolate evenly over candy. Then sprinkle nuts over the warm chocolate. Allow the candy to thoroughly cool so the chocolate is firm. Cut into approximately 1-inch bars. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between candy layers.

Yield: 117 bars

Source: Challenge Package recipe developed by challenge Home Economist.

Happy Baking!

About katzpawz

Rabid Reader, devoted Christian, love crafting, cooking, sewing, watching the owls on the internet, movies, feeding my loved ones and generally enjoying my life!
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