And the Final Experiment:

I still had three cookies left from my original baking, plus 4.5 of the stuffed cookies. And I really didn’t want to eat any of them, at least as they were. But I didn’t want to throw them out, so I started thinking of things I could make using already-baked chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t have to think very long at all:

Mrs. Fields’ Peanut Butter Dream Bars.

I had seen the clone recipe years ago, in my copy of Top Secret Recipes (it’s right after the clone recipe for Mrs. Fields’ Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I used to use for years). But of course, my copy is still in Buffalo. So off to the internet.  The Top Secret Recipe site doesn’t give the full recipe (of course not – he wants you to buy his books), but I am The Queen of Google and I knew damn well others would have published the full recipe. Such as here.

I started around 9pm on whatever day I did it, so I made the base and let it cool overnight. I figured that if you took out the centers of the stuffed cookies (those I just tossed) I had the equivalent of 8 Mrs. Fields cookies. The next day I started on the chocolate and peanut butter. Both of which presented me with problems.

I actually started out trying to use milk chocolate, as I had a bag. As I was melting in the microwave (I almost never melt chocolate on the stove) and I would have to pour a layer of chocolate, let it firm up, then add the peanut butter layer and the rest of the chocolate, I only melted half of the chocolate at a time. Good thing I did it that way, because my first batch of milk chocolate completely seized up on me. Not even adding butter was able to save it. I’m not sure if it was the humidity, the chocolate (Nestle), the microwave, the size of the paper bowl I was using, or just my lack of experience with melting milk chocolate – it was gone. So I tossed it and pulled out a bag of Guittard semi-sweet. I’m much more experienced with using semi-sweet chocolate, and I used a bigger bowl, so it melted just fine.

Mixing the peanut butter and sugar…I kept mixing and kneading (even getting in there with my hands, and I hate getting my hands dirty like that). I hadn’t had a Peanut Butter Dream Bar in years, but I knew that it was way too dry. So I quickly did some research – namely, checking how I made the peanut butter layer in Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Peanut Squares – and came to the conclusion that  it needed another 2 T of peanut butter. Much better.

Picture:

That’s one bar on top of the rest of the batch.

The Verdict: Yeah…these are evil… I’ve been keeping the pan in the fridge, since it’s still a little too warm/humid otherwise, but they definitely need to be brought to something close to room temperature before cutting, or else the chocolate cracks. And while the recipe says you’ll get 10 bars, along the size of what Mrs. Fields sells, I’m going to end up with 20 – they’re so rich I have to make them half-size.

Oh – this has nothing to do with cookies or baking, but I did promise a pic of Stewie’s sweater and hat:

Pattern is The Prepster (both the sweater and hat), from The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Kid Knits; yarn is Noro Kureyon in #260. Yep – totally the best dressed baby in Buffalo.

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