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Bars - Squares - Filled

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The best of my two favorite worlds: chocolate chip cookies and New York Style cheesecake filling. Baked together into one stupendous bar, this is a surprisingly easy-to-make recipe that's innately pleasing.

These are luxurious, memorable, easy and almost more decadent than cheesecake itself. If you had them on hand, chopped up Turtle bars would tilt these into an illegal substance. I prefer these brownies cut in wedges, in a cheesecake pan for this recipe.


 

This makes a huge cake that is cut in squares and each dipped in fondant. It is reminiscent old-fashioned fondant squares, you may have had as a kid at family owned, old-fashioned bakeries. It is only ‘twinkie-esque” in that it is a rich, great yellow-white cake, with a ton of fluffy, bakery style frosting. This makes a huge batch but it freezes well and lasts for days, as fresh each day, each bite, as it is the first day. But if you want less cake, halve the recipe and make it in a 8 by 11 inch pan (but it will also be a less tall cake square, as a result). If you want to skip the fondant dipping, then serve it as a large sheet cake, sandwiched with icing – That way, it is more like a slab of birthday cake but still absolutely amazing. To make this more “twinkie’, use only shortening and artificial vanilla –sorry, but that is some of the commercial aspect of traditional twinkies. I prefer to use almost all natural ingredients (such as butter in the icing) but the choice is yours.

Flaky pastry wrapped around barely-melted chocolate and toasted almonds, all braced with a sweet lashing of pure vanilla extract.

Check on the online reviews for the sleeper film, Wedding for Bella. It stars Scott Baio (yes - and he is super in it) and also features a beloved landmark of a biscotti bakery in Pittsburg, called Enrico’s Biscotti. This biscotti, like the biscotti in the film, makes huge, sweet, crunchy sticks. You take one, break it half, and share. The size is a real draw but it is the taste calls for ‘bis’. This is a very simple biscotti with a very pure taste – allowing you to taste the elements of butter, sugar, flour and eggs.  Rent the film - it is a must.  This recipe is now in The New Best of BetterBaking.com, Marcy Goldman, Whitecap Books, 2009.

There are Wonka Bars and there are Mars Bars and Twix Bars and now, there are Benka Bars. Named by my son Gideon, in salute to his brother Benjamin's newest culinary coup: a quick square that was inspired by the Wonka Bar from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory which recently re-debuted. Wonka Bars feature a bit of graham chunks in a milk chocolate setting, Benka Bars take this neat concept up a notch. A big notch. A super recipe for the holidays for the kids to try but we warn you, adults will find these addictive. The Lindt chocolate is essential or you can use Callebut, Ghiradelli, or Vahlrona - you get the (quality) picture.

A yin and yang treat of the highest order. Imagine a moist, fudgie brownie that is rivered through with New York style cheesecake filling? Can't envision it? Just bake up a batch!

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