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Georgia’s sprawling capital has far more to offer than biscuits and gravy and The Real Housewives. It’s home to an excellent food scene, with an array of creative chefs making their marks on the national stage. And boy do Atlantans know how to drink well: The city’s undergoing a craft-cocktail boom that now rivals those of other major metropolises.
HOLEMAN & FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE, 2277 PEACHTREE ROAD, 404 948 1175:
When it opened in 2008, Holeman & Finch jump-started the ATL’s cocktail movement. The bar’s extensive list of excellent drinks made with fresh produce and small-batch spirits was among Atlanta’s first and has spawned countless imitators. Founding bar manager Greg Best left in September to open his own place, but his influence (and the mixologists he trained) lingers. If you’re hungry late-night, try the legendary burger: Only 24 are made each evening, and you can’t order one until precisely 10 PM.
What to drink: Eleanor of Aquitaine (armagnac, Fernet-Branca, Rabarbaro Zucca Amaro, lime juice, cane syrup)
KING & DUKE, 3060 PEACHTREE ROAD NORTHWEST, 404 477 3500:
This joint (pictured) from prolific local chef Ford Fry is on fire, literally: It features a 24-foot open hearth, in which nearly every food item is cooked. To match the spot’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn–inspired name, there’s a literary drinks menu pairing each cocktail with a quote from a classic novel.
What to drink: Prince of Whales (Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Champagne, charred-pineapple syrup, Angostura Bitters)
MAC MCGEE, 111 SYCAMORE STREET, DECATUR, 404 377 8055:
We’ve already dubbed this pub one of the best bourbon bars in America. And its selection of whiskies of all kinds—well more than 400, including nearly 200 Scotches—is also world-class. A second location in suburban Roswell has a list that’s only slightly shorter.
What to drink: Whiskey
OCTOPUS BAR, 560 GRESHAM AVENUE SOUTHEAST:
One way to find great bars is to ask where chefs and bartenders hang out post-shift. In Atlanta, that place is Octopus Bar. The after-hours joint doesn’t open until 10:30, when it puts out creative seafood dishes with exceptional cocktails that run the gamut from strong and stirred to light and bubbly.
What to drink: Dixie Cup #2 (E. H. Taylor, Jr. Bourbon, Smith & Cross Rum, peach, grapefruit, Peychaud’s Bitters)
ONE FLEW SOUTH, HARTSFIELD-JACKSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TERMINAL E, 404 816 3464:
Atlanta’s airport offers what is almost definitely the best airport bar in the US. This calming oasis in the middle of the Hartsfield-Jackson chaos (it’s the nation’s busiest airport) is the perfect place to spend a long layover. Order one of the unique sushi rolls and a round of creative concoctions.
What to drink: On a Pear Tree (Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, basil, pear, grapefruit bitters, soda)
PAPER PLANE, 340 CHURCH STREET, DECATUR, 404 377 9308:
It hasn’t quite been open a year, but bartender Paul Calvert’s sort-of-speakeasy (there’s one unmarked door in an alley and another in the back of Victory Sandwich Bar) is already getting national attention. The drinks list changes frequently, and all the options are noteworthy.
What to drink: Voodoo, Baby (tequila, Punt e Mes, Becherovka, cranberry, lime)
PROOF & PROVISION, 659 PEACHTREE STREET NORTHEAST, 404 897 5045:
The basement of the historic Beaux-Arts-style Georgian Terrace Hotel hides this elegant bar. The skilled crew of mixologists barrel-ages cocktails and assembles a nightly bowl of punch. They also mix up individual drinks that range from deceptively simple to mind-blowingly complex.
What to drink: Garden Party (Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, Strega, maraschino liqueur, lime bitters, celery soda)
SEVEN LAMPS, 3400 AROUND LENOX ROAD #217, 404 467 8950:
This casual spot in the tony Buckhead neighborhood hits lots of drink trends, serving house-made sodas, carbonated cocktails, alcoholic slushies and even artisanal coffee from Batdorf & Bronson. After dinner, don’t miss the Four Roses Bourbon ice cream float.
What to drink: Shelter from the Storm (High West Double Rye! Rye Whiskey, Martini Gran Lusso Vermouth, nocino, apple bitters)
This story was originally published at Liquor.com. For more stories like this join Liquor.com and drink better. Plus, for a limited time get How to Cocktail in 2014, a cocktail recipe book—free!
Take a mini vacation at one of these retro-tastic tiki bars
I t's hard to imagine a time when people didn't think that tiki bars were a good idea, but the tiki bar has had a bumpy history, rising to immense popularity in the 1950's and 1960's, and falling out of favor shortly after. Recently, they're seeing a sort of revival. Whether people are looking for an escape from ordinary life, or they just want a well-crafted rum drink, we can all agree that tiki bars play an important part in American bar culture-- they remind us of a simpler time. Also, need I remind you how easy it is to get totally smashed on fruity tropical cocktails? Here are some of the best tiki bars in the country that take their kitsch very seriously.
Mai-Kai: Probably the main attraction at this Florida paradise is the Polynesian Islander Revue, a show that features authentic music, costumes, and dances from the South Pacific at the turn of the century. And what tiki bar would be complete without dinner and a drink? They have a dinner menu featuring Polynesian delicacies, and they sort their drinks menu by booziness so if you really need a vacation, you know to skip the drink that comes in a fresh pineapple and to go right for the "Barrel o' Rum". Oh, and be sure to check out the gardens after the show, and definitely stop by their happy hour!
Three Dots and a Dash: This Chicago spot has a special reverence for the tiki bar's illustrious past, and it shows in everything they do, from the food and the decor to the perfectly kitschy drinkware (thankfully, they sell them as souvenirs). They also have group drinks, including an especially over-the-top one for groups of 6-8 that comes in a treasure chest and is served with a bottle of Dom Perignon. Then again, tiki bars are all about over-the-top, right?
Why Bake Ribs?
Baked ribs are easy and require precious little of you, save maybe a rub or marinade pregame, and then some occasional basting in the final stretch. They also take time, it’s true—usually several hours—but you’ll be free to do other things for the most part, while the ribs hang out and basically cook themselves.
The low, slow heat and moist environment of the oven makes the meat fall-apart tender and still gives you some color on the edges of the slab, where your chosen sauce caramelizes. Generally, you’ll be wrapping the ribs in aluminum foil for the bulk of the cooking time, which helps them get juicy and tender, then exposing the surface so you can slather on your sauce and get a little color.
For the best of both worlds, you can still finish your oven baked ribs on a grill (as in our Smoky Sweet BBQ Beef Short Ribs recipe, shown below), but that is certainly not required.
Even if your recipe calls for a grill as a last step, as several of these do, feel free to skip it, or to heat up your broiler and add some extra char to the ribs that way (just check often to make sure they don’t burn, especially if your sauce has a lot of sugar in it). You could even finish them in a grill pan if you’re willing to dirty another dish. Sure, they won’t be exactly the same, but they will be delicious and you won’t have any complaints.
Calphalon Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan, $105 at Williams Sonoma
All you need is aluminum foil and a nice big pan.
Sun, good food, and the start of summer? There’s nothing not to like about <a href="https://www.chowhound.com/tag/memorial-day/" target="_blank">Memorial Day</a>. Our recipe collections are perfect for Memorial Day parties. Planning to grill? Find an excellent recipe to make the most of it, like our <a target="blank" href="http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/juicy-lucy-burger-aka-jucy-lucy-29721">Juicy Lucy burger recipe</a> or our <a target="blank" href="http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/grilled-paella-mixta-paella-with-seafood-and-meat-29656">spicy grilled paella recipe</a>. Browse for inspiration for party food like <a target="blank" href="http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/grilled-corn-with-cayenne-lime-and-cotija-10922">grilled corn with cayenne and lime</a> or a <a target="blank" href="http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/cardamom-spiced-carrot-cake-with-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting-12198">cardamom-spiced carrot cake</a> to feed a crowd. With these dishes, and plenty of cocktails, this Memorial Day will be one for the record books.
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9 Healthy, Portable Snacks for Family Road Trips
What’s a road trip without snacks? For me, food is an essential part of any journey. Having something to snack on helps to pass the time in the car–and saves you from pulling into McDonald’s when hunger strikes!
Healthy, portable snacks will keep your family full longer, and your kids won’t get hyper from all the sugar and artificial food dyes in processed snacks. Because you don’t want hyper kids locked in a car for hours on end, right?
It’s a good idea to have a small cooler designated just for snacks, so you don’t have to dig through the big ice chest every time you want a carrot stick. Store all your snacks in that cooler, along with an ice pack or two, to keep homemade snacks from spoiling or getting melty.
In addition to your road trip snacks, be sure to bring:
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand wipes
- A trash bag
- Reusable water bottles (a unique bottle for each family member, so you can tell them apart!)
Ready to plan your snack menu? Here are 9 picks for healthy, portable snacks for your summer travels!
1. Hard-boiled eggs
We love boiled eggs for road trips because they’re non messy, and with 6 grams of protein they make a more substantial snack than other options. When we camp, we boil eggs for the next day while we’re prepping supper at our campsite.
2. Homemade fruit roll-ups
Store bought fruit roll-ups contain a cocktail of corn syrup and artificial food dyes. Not a healthy snack! Thankfully, you can make your own easily enough, using any combination of berries or chopped fresh fruit that your family enjoys!
3. Homemade granola bars
4. Non-messy fruit
Apples, pears, and grapes are good picks because you can eat them with their peels (unlike oranges) and they won’t drip juice all over your hands (unlike plums).
5. Sliced veggies
Carrot sticks, celery sticks, and bell peppers are refreshing–and not too messy!
6. Homemade cheese crackers
If your kids love Cheez-It crackers, try a healthier, homemade version instead!
7. Trail mix
Use any combination of almonds, walnuts, peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pecans, dried apricots, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, etc. For a fun pre-vacation activity, you can have your kids assemble their own personal trail mixes ahead of time. Set out all the options in bowls, and let your kids fill their own labeled bag or container.
8. Beef jerky
This is another highly-processed snack–if you buy it in the grocery store! But you can make your own at home using ground beef. (If you don’t own a dehydrator, use your oven’s lowest setting.)
9. Snack boxes
If you’re just traveling for a day or two, you can portion out individual snack boxes for everyone ahead of time. Fill sectioned snack boxes with crackers, sliced cheese, homemade hummus, sliced fruit, etc. and store in the cooler.
For more real food snack ideas, check out the eCookbook Healthy Snacks to Go by Katie Kimball. It includes 45 recipes perfect for camping trips, picnics, family vacation, and more! Pick up your copy HERE.
Super Bowl Recipes: A Guide To The Perfect Game Day Menu
Super Bowl party snacks can be divided into eleven different food groups dips, nachos, bites, sandwiches, chili, pizza, jalapeno poppers, Buffalo sauce, dessert, drinks and grilling. We're going to cover all of them except for grilling since you probably have some idea how to throw edible things onto a a hot fire.
Before we get to the food though, just a few other tips for a successful Super Bowl party spread. First, make sure you have enough ice. Secondly, make sure you have enough ice and you have provided either a scoop or a clean cup to get the ice out of the bin for drinks. No one wants ice people have been sticking their grubby, Buffalo sauce covered fingers into all day.
Have something to put on the TV during the pregame as background. Sure, you could watch Nick Cannon hosting a celebrity red carpet event -- let that sink in a bit, "Nick Cannon hosting a celebrity red carpet event" -- for the Super Bowl arrivals, or you could actually watch some football. Has your team recently won a Super Bowl? Congratulations! You probably own some sort of road-to-the-Super-Bowl DVD set. Pick your favorite game from that year and put it on in the background. Your team hasn't gone to the Super Bowl since the days of VHS? That's a shame. If you poke around Hulu you can find some vintage Super Bowl highlights, or you can put on what is arguable one of the greatest football movies ever made, the original THE LONGEST YARD starting Burt Reynolds via Netflix.
Make sure you have all the little betting squares and whatever other betting pools you want to run finished at least half-hour before kickoff. Too many times have I seen people scrambling to make pools on scraps of paper just as the national anthem is about to start.
Giants and Patriots fans: Remove all valuable, breakable items from your home. Win or lose, at some point during the game you're going to want to smash something and those David Tyree "Catch" and Adam Vinateri "Kick" Hummel figurines aren't cheap.
In all of my years playing around with different spinach and artichoke dips, there has yet to be one that tops Cooking Light's Spinach and Artichoke Dip. If calories don't bother you, make it with regular cream cheese and sour cream for a richer dip. And if you don't feel like messing around thawing spinach and having to wring it dry, wilt a couple of bags of fresh spinach in a dry skillet over medium heat.
Add a little dash of Old Bay to this Baked Crab Dip for one of the tastiest hot dips I've ever served at a party. It's never made it past halftime.
Blue Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Dip. Now, I don't want to say this recipe is the basis of my friendship with Clare, but I will say that when saw this recipe not too long after we met, I knew we would be fast friends despite her unfailing love for Philadelphia sports teams. Creamy blue cheese and caramelized shallots make for a sophisticated dip for those looking to move beyond the same old French onion number.
My personal two favorite recipes from the 2011-2012 football season, Spicy Pickle Dip and a Smoky Chipotle Bacon Pimento Cheese. Doubling the Smoky Chipotle Bacon Pimento Cheese recipe should be mandatory, because there never seems like there is enough of it for the game. And don't worry, if you're one of those people who says, "But I don't like pimento cheese!" Trust. You'll love this one.
Kansas City BBQ Nachos. Pork in barbeque sauce, spicy beans and coleslaw layered with cheese on chips? What's not to love. Most of these things you can find pre-made at your local grocer if you're in a hurry, but if you have the time, I recommend making your own barbeque pork or brisket for these.
If you're looking just for a nice melty nacho cheese sauce for dipping that doesn't involve a giant yellow block of processed yellow "cheez," this Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce from Tammy's Recipes is darn near perfect. Adjust how thick or thin you like your sauce by reducing the amount of milk and adding more cream cheese or by adding more milk.
You'd be hard pressed to find a sports bars with a name that starts O'Tam'Dublin'Mc'Green in this country that doesn't serve a version of Irish Nachos. Just because they are not the most traditional Irish dish doesn't mean they're not any good, and this version is excellent for making at home.
Speaking of non-traditional, we can't stop making Greek Nachos around here on game day. Fresh vegetables tossed in a homemade Greek vinaigrette over warm hummus, feta and pita chips. Dare I say these nachos are refreshing?
Some snack ideas are so good, I'm jealous I didn't think of them first. That's how I feel about Mini Corn Dog Muffins over at Iowa Girl Eats. I can tell you, homemade corn dogs are a lot of work (mostly because someone almost always falls into the deep fryer), and making little mini muffins of corn meal batter with a hot dog piece stuck in them is pretty clever. Don't want to deal with making your own corn meal batter, this recipe for Corn Dog Muffins uses a muffin mix instead.
Whip up a few different aiolis and make like the Belgians with these Perfect French Fries from Series Eats. Yep, twice frying your fries is always the key to a great fry.
Country Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Mustard from Chef Edward Lee are a great entry-level pretzel for people who are afraid of yeast and baking. This recipe hasn't failed me yet and the jalapeno mustard dipping sauce is now a permanent fixture among our condiments.
Last season, each time I made Sriracha Fried Pickles the Steelers won. This year when I made them, they lost. Lucky foods are so fickle sometimes.
And for the people who like bacon with their foods? Bourbon Bacon Popcorn and Bacon Cheddar Doughnut Holes. They sound difficult, but they are two of the easiest recipes around. Plus, you can make the Bourbon Bacon Popcorn a day or two before the Super Bowl, saving yourself some time on game day.
Want to have your favorite Southern fast-food chicken sandwich on Super Bowl Sunday? Too bad. They're closed. Fortunately the brilliant Gurgling Cod is here to remind you that you can make your own damn Rick-Fil-A sandwich in just a few easy steps.
My Baking Addiction's Easy Crock-Pot Pulled Pork recipe is exactly what it is promised to be easy. I stopped looking for new pulled pork recipes after I made this one for the first time. It's nearly perfect. Make it with a smaller pork loin if you need less meat, using the same amount of marinade for best results. Pair with this coleslaw recipe from Gourmet on a soft bun and got a nice little sandwich. If you like your slaw a little spicier, toss in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Ham Stuffed Biscuits with Mustard Butter are great if you are hosting a big party, but if it's a smaller affair just use the mustard butter and use prepared biscuits.
I'm a big fan of making sandwiches ahead of time and letting the flavor develop when I can, which is why I make my Italian Pressed Sandwich pretty frequently. This is a good sandwich if you need to bring something to a potluck at your friend's Super Bowl get together. When you want to say to heck with calories, Italian Sausage Parmesan on Garlic Toasted Rolls is the way to go.
You want a chili that's going to make you sweat? This Poblano White Chili knocks me and my guests on our collective keisters every time. It usually isn't until people stop sweating that they realize it's vegetarian. Pretty sure we barely made it through a Thursday night game eating this painfully delicious chili.
If chili to you means you have to have meat, then how about a Brisket Chili that gets an extra kick from coffee, cayenne and red pepper flakes. It's another hot one, so have plenty of soda and beer on hand.
Not enough chili discussions involve one of my favorite tailgating treats, Frito pie. The Homesick Texan's One Hour Texas Chili Frito Pie is great for beef eaters in a hurry, but I'm a little partial to my own slow-cooked Chicken Mole Chili Frito Pie.
Instead of store bought pizza rolls, try these Pizza Bites from Annie's Eats. Puffy dough balls are filled with pepperoni and cheese, sprinkled with Italian seasoning then served with sauce for dipping. Much easier to make sure you get a good pepperoni in your roll if you stuff it yourself.
Want a fancy pizza? Switch things up a bit and make Los Angeles's baking legend Nancy Silverton's focaccia. The Onion Sage and Olive and Rosemary focaccia make for beautiful little sponges of crunchy yet soft favor.
If you want something like a focaccia but with the tomato and cheese topping, I've never made a pizza at home that comes out as good as Sicilian Sfincione, and you don't even need a pizza stone.
Jalapeno Popper Things
First, you have your basic Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper. Then you have what Texans call Armadillo Eggs, which are basically jalapeno poppers wrapped in sausage and then grilled or baked. Or you can go the other way and make a Jalapeno Popper Dip. Nice crunchy topping on that one.
What I've found to be the easiest -- and the spiciest -- is a Smoky Habanero-Jalapeno Popper Bread. This spicy cheesy bread can be prepared ahead of time and baked when ready to serve, making it perfect if you want to make something a little extra during halftime.
Buffalo Flavored Things
For fried Buffalo wings without having to deal with the hassle of bones, these Deep Fried Buffalo Chicken Skewers come out surprisingly well, as do Buffalo Chicken Wontons, while Shredded Buffalo Chicken Wraps are an easy way to get your Buffalo fix in without all the fat of frying. Want to get a taste of the spicy Buffalo seasoning without the chicken? Buffalo Snack Mix is addicting, or you can take the time to make Blue Cheese Pierogies with Buffalo Sauce or cook frozen pierogies in a similar seasoning mix.
Special aside for the Every Day Should Be Saturday commenters: Thanks for linking to my Buffalo Chicken Dip every so often in the comments over the past how many years after Holly Anderson first posted it in the Digital Viking (RIP). I'm always flattered to see it come up from time to time.
No mixing just layer melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, nuts, shredded coconut and sweetened condensed milk then bake. They truly are Magic Bars.
Ally from Southern Fried Football introduced me to these great Nutella and Banana Wontons last season. Perfect match of chocolate, banana and crunch. If you can't trust a woman who went to Georgia who married a man who went to Alabama with tailgating ideas, then I don't know who you can trust.
I've had a lot of success over the years with these Chocolate-Peanut Butter Chip Pretzel Cookies, but after their victory on Championship Weekend two weeks ago, the new star around here are Sweet Potato Pie Bites with Toasted Marshmallow Creme.
This Artichoke Paté calls for removing the skins off of almonds yourself, but stop by your local bulk bin store or nut roaster and you should be able buy the nuts already blanched.
White Bean Spread with Sage is sublime with baked pita chips, crostini or crudite.
Rick Bayless's Tuna Ceviche with Avocado and Cilantro is super light and easy to make. Spoon it into small tortilla cups for serving and you'll have plenty for a good sized gathering.
My own favorite treats when I want something lighter? Veggie Sloppy Joes on wheat buns and Toasted Sesame Edamame Dip with baked wonton chips.
Ice. I cannot say it enough, have enough ice at the party, at least two pounds per person, more if you're offering a lot of drinks with mixers.
The best idea for Super Bowl drinks is to have a selection of different regional craft beers. Since I'm a West Coast beer snob, Stone, Eel River, Lost Abby, Bruery, Russian River, Lagunitas, Craftsman they're my poison. The East Coast is blessed with Victory, Dogfish, Brooklyn Brewery, Allagash. You should pick up any and all of these breweries' beers.
Frozen drinks can be really distracting to make during the game, but sometimes it's nice to have something that isn't a beer. Making Lime Sorbet Margaritas is perfect comprise. Put sorbet in glass, pour in tequila. Done.
While this guide may seem long, it's nothing compared to the off-season. Enjoy the last of the 2011-2012 season while you can.
Recipes: Holidays are a good time to show that ‘Cookies Are Magic’
That’s from the very first page of “Cookies Are Magic” by Maida Heatter (Little, Brown and Co., $28).
Heatter died in 2019 at age 102. We could speculate on how much of her longevity can be credited to her love of baking, but her philosophy about the benefits of baking cookies is the reason why, during a pandemic, I turned to her cookbook to relieve any upcoming holiday cookie stress.
This year, many of us are thinking about packable holiday cookies — the ones we can ship in boxes to people we haven’t seen in way too long, and the ones we can leave on the porches of lucky local family and friends.
My requirements: no fussy frostings sturdy enough to travel well, including holding up when packed in layers and enough variety to satisfy the peppermint fans, the gingerbread lovers, the fruitcake contingent, and those who just have to have nuts in their cookies. And, since there were no holiday cookie swaps in my plans for this year, I wanted cookies that would freeze well, so they could be doled out in batches as needed.
Bar cookies turned out to be the answer.
“Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies” (Knopf Doubleday, out of print) was my guide as a first-time baker, and I still pull my well-thumbed copy off the shelf many times a year. But, now we have “Cookies Are Magic,” a compilation of nearly 100 recipes published over Heatter’s almost 50-year career. That’s where I turned to find cookie recipes that would meet my 2020 holiday requirements.
We think 2020 just might be the year of the holiday bar cookie, and we suggest these four recipes from “Cookies Are Magic” by Maida Heatter (Little, Brown and Co., $28). Heatter was one of the most trusted cookbook authors, because her recipes worked. The self-taught baker tested her recipes many times, to be sure her readers would have perfect results, and her instructions gave confidence to thousands of beginning cooks.
This simple recipe may have been Heatter’s signature cookie. It’s said that she seldom traveled without a few individually wrapped bars in her purse to share with friends, and those she met along the way. This is the cookie you want to give to the thin mint lovers in your life. And, like many Heatter recipes, it’s flexible. Not a fan of York peppermint patties? Use another chocolate covered mint. Must have nuts? Add up to 2 cups of your favorite, chopped. The recipe calls for a stand mixer, but you easily can mix up these brownies by hand.
- 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- ½ pound unsalted butter
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 3¾ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 28 unwrapped York peppermint patties
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with foil, then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Put unsweetened chocolate and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second increments until the butter melts and the chocolate is starting to melt, about 1½ minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs with vanilla and almond extract for 1 minute. Add sugar and salt and beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the chocolate-butter mixture. Beat only until mixed. Add flour and beat again, only until mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer. If using nuts, stir them in now.
- Spoon just over half the batter into a prepared baking dish. Arrange peppermint patties on top of the batter. Pour the remaining batter into the dish and smooth the top. Bake 25 to 35 minutes. You want to remove the brownies from the oven when they have a firm top crust. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack in the baking dish. You can refrigerate at this point.
- When ready to remove from the baking dish, cover the dish with a cookie sheet and turn the dish and the sheet over. Remove the dish and slowly peel the foil off the brownies. Cover with waxed paper and another cookie sheet and turn over again. Trim the edges, if desired, and cut into bars. Makes: 24
Per serving: Per brownie: 464 calories (percent of calories from fat, 40), 6 grams protein, 65 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 21 grams total fat (12 grams saturated), 89 milligrams cholesterol, 60 milligrams sodium.
California Fruit Bars
No mixer is needed here. This is the bar cookie for the fruitcake fans in your life. Make it with chopped dried fruit (we used raisins, dates and dried apricots) or with commercial fruitcake fruit mixture. The amount of fruit is flexible. One cup? Two cups? The batter can accommodate either. The nuts are completely optional. We left them out, and we used kitchens scissors to cup up our fruit.
If you have fans of both gingerbread and fruitcake to bake for, add a teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon, and a quarter teaspoon of cloves.
- 1 to 2 cups firmly packed chopped dried fruit or fruitcake mix (see note)
- 4 eggs
- 2¼ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups walnut or pecan halves, optional
- powdered sugar, for garnish
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with foil, then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- To soften the dried fruit: put it in a microwave-safe bowl and add water. Cover with wax paper or a plate, and heat on high for 1 minute. Carefully remove from the microwave, drain off the water and cover the fruit until it cools.
- In a large saucepan, whisk the eggs and sugar. Place over medium-low heat and warm 10 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Add vanilla and salt, then whisk in the flour. Add fruit and stir until the fruit is incorporated and there are no streaks of flour. If using nuts, add them now. Turn the mixture into a prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and shiny. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Let the cookies stay in the dish until completely cooled.
- When ready to remove from the dish, cover the pan with a cookie sheet and turn the dish and the sheet over. Remove the dish and slowly peel off the foil. Cover with waxed paper and another cookie sheet and turn over again. Trim the edges, if desired, and cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes: 30
Per serving: Per bar (without nuts): 113 calories (percent of calories from fat, 8), 2 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 1 gram total fat (trace saturated fat), 25 milligrams cholesterol, 44 milligrams sodium.
Four-ingredient cookies — how easy is that? Fans of peanut butter cookies, fans of peanut brittle and fans of just peanuts will love these bars. They are, as the name says, “brittle,” so be sure to follow the directions about when to cut them into bars.
Not a peanut fan? Just substitute roasted pecans for the peanuts.
- ½ pound unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped salted peanuts, divided
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar 3 minutes. Add the flour and beat on low speed, scraping down the sides and making sure all the flour is incorporated. Beat just until the mixture holds together. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in ½ cup of peanuts. Spread the mixture in an unbuttered 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Spread evenly, then sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of peanuts. Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to firmly press the peanuts into the dough.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Move the pan to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes. Cut the cookies into bars while they are still warm. Use a wide spatula to move the cookies from the pan to the rack, and allow them to finish cooling. Makes: 32 bars
Per serving: Per bar: 132 calories (percent of calories from fat, 55), 2 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 8 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 15 milligrams cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.
Viennese Marzipan Bars
If fancy, colorful cookies are a must for your holidays, this is the one for you. Make the marzipan layer any color you like. Our choice was green. Instead of the classic apricot jam Heatter calls for, try strawberry or seedless blackberry. For a little extra color, top, as we did, with holiday sprinkles, added while the glaze is still warm. These are best after they stand for a few hours, and should be refrigerated for storage.
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup unsalted butter (5⅓ tablespoons)
½ cup granulated sugar plus another ⅔ cup granulated sugar, divided
¾ cup blanched almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
few drops food coloring of your choice, optional
½ cup apricot preserves, lightly warmed
½ ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon boiling water
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking dish with foil, and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter. Add ½ cup sugar and beat well. Add 1 egg yolk and milk and beat until the mixture begins to hold together. Move the mixture to a prepared baking dish and press firmly to form a smooth bottom layer. Put in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the bottom crust is baking, make the filling: In the bowl of a food processor, grind almonds to a fine powder. Add salt and the remaining ⅔ cup sugar and pulse until combined. Add the remaining egg and egg white, ½ teaspoon of vanilla and a few drops of food coloring, if using. Pulse until combined.
Spread the apricot preserves over the hot crust, then top with filling. Return to the oven and bake 25 minutes, or until the top of the cookies springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze: In a 1 cup glass measuring cup, combine chocolate and butter and heat in a microwave in 20-second increments until the chocolate begins to melt. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted. Stir in powdered sugar, water and the remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir until completely smooth. Pour the glaze over the cooling cookies and spread evenly. If using sprinkles, add now.
Let them stand until completely cool overnight is fine. Remove from the baking sheet, peel off the foil and cut into 16 bars. Makes: 16
Per bar: 220 calories (percent of calories from fat, 37), 3 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 9 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 35 milligrams cholesterol, 57 milligrams sodium.
All recipes have been adapted from “Cookies Are Magic” by Maida Heatter (Little, Brown and Co., $28).
Atlanta Northside BeltLine Trail
The Spin: If you've got preschool and younger peddlers in tow, the Northside Trail is where the party is. Only one mile in length (one direction), it connects two sizable playgrounds (Ardmore Park and Tanyard Creek Park), runs the length of a football-sized green space, meanders under an elevated train track, and moseys by the Bobby Jones Golf Course (Balls! Balls everywhere!).
Before Peeling Out: If your kiddos aren't huge fans of dogs, steer clear of the Tanyard Creek Greenspace, where fur balls frequently run free. Otherwise, enjoy the bridges, the trains, the tunnel that runs underneath Collier Road, and the playgrounds.
Find It: The Northside Trail t's into the west side of Ardmore Road midway between Collier Road and 28th Street. Parking is available along the neighborhood streets.
Ardmore Rd. near 28th St.
Backpacking Dinner Ideas
15. Cheesy Broccoli Mac
Mac Cheese + Broccoli Florets + Summer Sausage
16. Pasta Carbonara
Angel Hair + Bacon Jerky + Parmesan
17. Chicken Noodles
Chicken Broth + Broccoli Florets + Chicken Epic Bar + Orzo
18. Vegan Mac & Cheese
Macaroni + Nutritional Yeast + Sun Dried Tomatoes
19. Indian Fare Quinoa
Indian Fare + Quinoa + Pitas
20. Taco Chili Cheese Mac
Mac Cheese + Taco Mix + Summer Sausage
21. Deconstructed Pesto One Pot Pasta
Basil Pasta + Parmesan Cheese + Sun Dried Tomatoes + Pine Nuts + Olives + 21 Seasoning Salute