Bar cookies are the workhorse of the cookie world—they bake up in one pan, yet can be cut up to serve a crowd. Sometimes bars are lacking in the glamour department, so I’ve jazzed up the look of this particular bar cookie by baking it in a fluted tart pan and covering the top with chocolate and nuts. When finished, they resemble sophisticated scallop-edged fans and have a down-home toffee taste. If you need to bake a slew of cookies, I’ve included instructions for making 6 dozen (see Notes).
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (4 ounces/113 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 yolk from large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (4 ½ ounces/128 grams) all-purpose flour
- 5 ounces (142 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup (2 ounces/57 grams) chopped pecans, toasted (see Notes)
1. Position an over rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350 degrees (180°C). Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 ½-inch (24cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, dark brown sugar, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer (stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld mixer) on medium speed until well blended. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat just until combined. Pour in the four and beat on low speed until the dough begins to clump together. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, scattering the pieces evenly. Using your fingertips (lightly floured, if necessary), pat the dough onto the bottom (not up the sides) of the prepared pan to form an even layer. Bake until the top looks dry and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, 25 to 27 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the cream in a double boiler or in the microwave (see Notes). Stir until smooth. When the crust is baked, transfer the pan to a rack. Pour the warm ganache (the chocolate-cream mixture) over the warm crust and spread evenly to within ½ inch (1.25cm) of the edge. (An offset spatula is a great tool for this job.) Scatter the pecans evenly over the ganache and gently press them into the chocolate. Let cool completely until the chocolate is set, about 4 hours at room temperature or about 2 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the outer ring of the tart pan and cut the “cookie tart” into 16 wedges. Serve the wedges chilled or at room temperature.