It’s not easy to come up with a sweet treat for Christmas day. Not when you have so many favorite. However, hands-down DREAM BARS speak Christmas to me. It simply wouldn’t be Christmas with out these additive treats to nibble on after Christmas dinner.
DREAM BARS is an old-fashioned recipe from a small Robin Hood cookbook. I started baking from it more than 53 years ago. Then it disappeared to the Land of Forgotten Recipes.
I was in the Land of the Patisserie. Gastron Lenôtre’s books became bed-side reading. Pastries, flans, tarts, Chou pastries, meringues, French custards, rich chocolate ganaches had me in their decadent clutches.
ROXY’S BISTRO’s display case indulged with crème brûlée, Paris-Brest, St Honoré cakes, chocolate mousse, apple charlottes, petits fours glacés, gâteaux laden with custard and cream .
I’ve come full circle with my baking. How rewarding to fill your home with the heady aroma of old-fashioned baking… cookies, loaf cakes, gingerbread, coffee cakes. They are easy, they are quick to make and bake, and they are so much better than anything that comes in a bag or box.
1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 tbsp icing sugar, 1/2 cup butter (or best quality hard margarine if your diet requires it)
In a large bowl mix together the flour and icing sugar. Blend in the butter with your fingertips, or cut in until very fine mealy with a pastry blender. Pat the mixture firmly into a greased 8 inch square pan. Bake in a slow oven at 300F for 20 minutes.
While your base is baking making the topping:
2 large eggs room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 scant cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 generous cup of coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup of cocoanut.
Beat the eggs well with a whisk and add sugar. Whisk again.
In a small bowl add flour, salt and baking powder and stir to blend. Add this to your egg mixture and blend. Now add the vanilla, nuts and cocoanut.
Spread this over the base and return to oven. Bake in a slow oven (300F) for 30 to 35 minutes.
The topping is very soft when removed from the oven but becomes firm as it cools. DO NOT TRY TO CUT OR REMOVE from pan until cold. Cut into squares or bars. Drift a little icing sugar over the top.
This delicate square becomes an easy, dessert if you serve it with a scoop of ice cream or a generous spoonful of whipped cream. It’s as impressive and delicious as any complicated French dessert. Bon Appetit!