Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cinnamon Gooey Bars: A Soul Warming Experience

Today I intended to write about quinoa. I promised to give butter and sugar a rest but then it got cold in Colorado. I'm talking about a week where the warmest day promised to reach 19 degrees. Where our black lab mutt, Izzy, walked out the door and tried to figure out how to simultaneously get all four feet off the frozen ground. Yes, I made quinoa this week and it was good but I also made cinnamon gooey bars and they're exceptional. How can one talk about quinoa with such a chewy soul warming delight on the table? I can't. There is no contest.

This recipe came from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. I have yet to make something in this cookbook that has not become apart of our regular dinner repertoire. In our kitchen where a meal is rarely made twice, it speaks volumes that her cauliflower pesto pasta and spiced turkey meatballs over a chickpea salad make an appearance on our table every few months.
Why did it take me so long to make Smitten Kitchen's cinnamon gooey bars? I have no excuse. My husband loves snicker doodles and these bars take that delicious cinnamon cookie to the next level.  So let's save quinoa for another day because today I demand warmth and love and these bars provide a little bit of both.

Cinnamon gooey bars
Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen

Soft cookie base 
1 1/4 all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbs butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

Gooey layer
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup milk
1 tbs vanilla extract
10 tbs butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 flour

Cinnamon sugar
2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" x 13" cake pan,.
Make the cookies base: whisk together flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl with a electric mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and milk and beat until combined. Stir flour mixture until combined. Dollop along the bottom of the cake pan and spread into an even layer across the bottom.

Make the gooey base: whisk honey, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined. Add flour and honey mixture alternatively 1/2 at a time, mixing each time until incorporated. Dollop on top of cookie base and spread to an even layer.

Mix cinnamon and sugar and spread over the top. Bake between 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top.

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