Confession: this isn’t really a new recipe at all. Instead, it’s an adaptation of the Chocolate Chip Rum Bars I made last spring. The basic recipe yields a rich, chewy cookie bar that works astoundingly well with just about any kind of delicious morsels you have on hand. In my case, I had the last of the Project Wedding Cake white chocolate stash, in the form of E. Guittard white chocolate wafers. Rather than melt them to use in ice cream or mousse, I decided to use them in their wafer form in these bars, where they play fantastically well with the recipe’s buttery, caramel-y richness. Some hearty walnuts cut the sweet, and a dash of nutmeg (Agent Sidney Bristow is back from her honeymoon, and she brought me whole nutmegs from Zanzibar!) adds just a hint of autumnal spiciness. These beg to be eaten warm, alongside a steaming mug of tea, on an evening with a hint of a chill in the air. Preferably with a cat and a good book in easy reach.
For the white chocolate walnut bars:
1/2 c. (1 stick, 4 oz.) unsalted butter
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. plus 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
About 5-6 oz. white chocolate wafers or white chocolate chips (scant 1 c.)
1/2 walnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8 x 8″ square baking dish (I used a small oval chicken roasting pan instead; to use a 9 x 13″ pan, double the recipe).
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the brown sugar, stirring until completely combined. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture in the saucepan and stir until completely combined. Fold in the walnuts and white chocolate.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool for at least an hour before slicing and serving. Makes about 2 dozen cookie bars.
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As the temperatures are starting to drop for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, my thoughts are turning to some of the colors that, regardless of annual trends, usually start to turn up as the bright, light days of summer fade. Bravissimo’s Autumn collection is full of strong players, but I love the simple elegance of Satine. Satine has been an incredibly popular style over the last few seasons, and it’s one of the only padded plunge bras on the market up to a J-cup. It’s sleek, spare and sophisticated: the shining fabric is trimmed with a simple covered button between the cups and flat blows at the straps, allowing the color and shape to sing. In addition to black and ivory, Bravissimo have added a beige version, for those who want a light basic color, and this glorious, rich, plummy “winterberry” shade. It’s an elegant yet cosy offering for the cooler days ahead.
I would totally pair this set with a soft, snuggly cardigan, slippers, and a nice cup of tea and a white chocolate walnut bar, as I settle in for a serious read. I wouldn’t say no to a fireplace with a crackling fire, either.