I confess I was going to wax poetic about the outdoor Viennese market, Naschmarkt, in this post but I am starting to find it difficult to be excited about stuff that happened a month ago. Don’t get me wrong, Vienna was exciting and I really want to go back, but right now all I can think about is how can my baby being going to school for 7 hours a day???!?!?!? Her teacher will see her more than I will! There are many upsides to this–and they have mostly all occurred to me–but I am still feeling the trauma.
Some shots of Naschmarkt. The bottles on the right are from my favorite, a shop devoted entirely to Viennese made artisanal vinegar. My favorites were the vinegars made with honey, mead and Reisling wine.
It is also weird to think that Sammy and I will have so much alone time. She is a very self-contained child, excellent at entertaining herself (unlike Alex), so I am having a hard time predicting what it will be like. Will she ignore me and read all day or play with her dollhouse (entirely possible) or will she bemoan the loss of Alex as a playmate and beg me to play with her? Guess we will find out tomorrow.
Speaking as a creature of routine, I would like it if my schedule stopped getting uprooted and revamped every fall!
Dessert case at Oberlaa chocolate/pastry shop in Naschmarkt. This is where I got my dad his souvenirs from our trip! It is also where I had the chocolate mousse cake, which was to die for.
Speaking of routine, making these bars felt like coming home every bit as much as the Calabacitas did. As much as I love the fancy chocolates and cakes, I really prefer homey American desserts and baking: cookies, brownies and bar cookies, bundt cakes, scones and muffins…
These bars, from The Fearless Baker: Scrumptious Cakes, Pies, Cobblers, Cookies, and Quick Breads that You Can Make to Impress Your Friends and Yourself, came together quickly and got raves from everyone. They literally disappeared in about 3 days, which is fast for us. Next time I would toast the coconut flakes and use slightly less macadamia nuts and slightly more chocolate chips (1/4 cup less and more in each case), so I have written the instructions below the way I would make them next time. It is not a mistake that the recipe calls for no leavening outside of the eggs.
- 1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 12 T (1 1/2 sticks, 6 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups scooped and leveled, (200 g) AP flour
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted macadamia nuts
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes toasted briefly until fragrant in nonstick skillet
- heaping 3/4 cup chocolate chips semisweet or bittersweet
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper that overhangs the sides of the pan (I like to spray the pan to encourage the parchment to stick). Set aside.
Toast the coconut flakes in a nonstick skillet until fragrant and barely turning golden. Set aside.
Whisk the brown sugar with the eggs until completely blended. Whisk in the melted butter and vanilla. Switching to a rubber spatula, stir in the salt and flour until smooth and evenly combined, but do not overmix. Fold in the nuts, coconut flakes and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Dump the prepared dough into the prepared pan and smooth the top to make even. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, about 40 minutes.
Let the cookies cool completely in the pan, then remove using the parchment paper overhang and slice into desired sized bars.
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