Wednesday, March 31, 2010
March Cookie Carnival: Mint Cream Cheese Bars
The cookie chosen for March's Cookie Carnival was a Hershey's recipe for Walnut Mint Bars. The green color of the bars fell right in line with St. Patrick's Day, so these bars seemed perfect for March!
When making the bars, I left the nuts out of the crust layer - hence the name mint cream cheese bars. I like nuts on their own. I just tend not to be a fan of them in my food. In most recipes, they really aren't an integral ingredient, and the same proved true here. The bars worked just as well without them.
Other than that, I stayed true to the recipe. The verdict on the taste was alright. I've seen the blogs of a couple other carnivalers, and it seems that the mint flavor was pretty mild for many of us. I used the peppermint extract instead of creme de menthe, so I don't know if that made the difference?
Despite the mini-mint flavor, I really liked the idea of the bars. They came together really easily and seem like they would support other flavors well. I'm finding myself wondering what they would be like in a citrus variety with zest included in the crust layer? Head over to Tami's blog in the next couple days to check March's round-up and join up with us for April!
Mint Cream Cheese Bars
1/2 c. (1 stick) plus 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
1-1/2 c. vanilla wafer crumbs (about 45 wafers, crushed)
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 tsp. peppermint extract or 1 Tbsp. green creme de menthe
green food coloring (optional)
chocolate almond bark
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1/2 c. butter in the microwave or on the stove top. Stir in crumbs, sugar, and cocoa. Press firmly on the bottom of an ungreased 9x13-inch pan.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and cornstarch in a small bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then the egg, and peppermint extract and food color. Pour carefully over prepared crust.
Bake 25 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Melt 2 squares chocolate almond bark and decoratively drizzle over the bars. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.
Yield: 24 to 36 bars