Nevermind that I have been curled in the fetal position and totally nonresponsive for most of the day.
Nevermind that I have personally upped my own medication without even any encouragement from The Chief or an actual physician.
No, no. It's all about you people.
Forgive me for trying to offer a healthy alternative to all of the heavy, potentially heart -stopping holiday foods with which you are all currently enraptured.
For goodness sake, forgive me for going shopping and buying The Chief and my son's their traditional Christmas underpants.
I should have been planning a menu to suit you and your cholesterol -ladden needs.
I'm not sure what I was thinking.
Well, believe you me, I got the message.
You want fat, sugar, and even alcohol in your recipes. Some of you want all three in the same recipe.
Evidently, some of you are unaware of the HUGE personality flaw I have.
I'm a people-pleaser.
Plain and simple.
I pitch headfirst into a swirling downward spiral when I disappoint any of you.
So I'll try to redeem myself with what I have on occasion jokingly referred to as "Those Butter Bars", but which as of today have formally, officially and legally (I can forward you the paperwork) been changed from the original "Christmas Bars" to just that-
THOSE BUTTER BARS.
I hope you people are happy.
Those Butter Bars
8 oz. dried cranberries, dried apricots, or a combination of the two
1 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
2 (4 oz.) White chocolate bars ( I use Ghiradelli) chopped (into about 1/4 in. pieces)
1/3 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
OR 1/3 c. Triple sec
OR 1/3 c. Amaretto
(Are you happy now????)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. butter ( this is THREE sticks, OK?)
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla (or 1/2 t. vanilla and 1/2 t. almond extract)
1. Melt the butter and let it sit to cool. Use a little of it to grease a 13x9 inch glass pan.
2. Toast the chopped walnuts on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven. If you start to smell them they are probably burned. It should only take about 4-5 minutes.
3. If using apricots chop them finely (no need to chop dried cranberries), place in small bowl and pour the liquid of your choice over them and stir around until everyone has been bathed. Let the fruit sit in the liquid while you continue with the next few steps.
4. Chop the white chocolate
5. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and both sugars until well-mixed. About 4-5 minutes
7. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each addition (about two minutes)
8. Add vanilla or almond extract.
9. Check the fruit. If all of the liquid has not been absorbed, pour the excess off.
10. Put the chocolate and walnuts in with the fruit.
11. Put a little (about 3 T.) of the flour mixture in with the fruit, nut and chocolate mixture and stir until all is coated.
12. Add the rest of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Just use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently incorporate all the dry ingredients.
13. Stir in the fruit, nut, and chocolate mixture just until well distributed.
14. Pour into greased pan. (I like to lightly sprinkle batter with a coarse sugar like Demerera) Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, just until lightly browned.
Let cool, and cut into bars.