Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guest Post: Life is Still Sweet

Today is the first day of my guest bloggers. Woohoo!!

I'm SO excited to introduce you to Sarah from Life is Still Sweet.

Sarah was my very first bloggy friend. She has been there from the very beginning and has one of the most beautiful souls I've ever had the pleasure of encountering.

Her blog posts always leave me with a sense of calm and love and her recipes always leave me hungry.

After you check out the delicious recipe she is sharing with us today, you should jump on over and check out her lovely blog.

Thanks again for being here Sarah!


I'm so excited to be guest here on Jolts and Jollies. Maranda is one of the best food blog friends ever, always playing along with my games, and letting me join her fun groups. Thank you miss Maranda for allowing me some time here on Jolts and Jollies!

Tradition is such a large part of the holidays. From when you celebrate, what you eat, who comes over and who gets what stocking. Tradition is linked to Christmas so much so that I've found myself hanging the same decorations in the same place. I feel weird moving that little Santa bear anywhere but near the phone, that's where it's always been.

My family has staunch Christmas cookie rituals. The same two flavors are made every year without fail. Sometimes we throw in a couple new recipes in the mix just to shake things up. This cookie I'm sharing today was Santa's favorite when I was little - wink, wink. I think it was Santa's favorite long before that because the family recipe that my mom has written down has some interesting instructions; cook in a slow oven, 1 teacup full of flour. Thankfully my mom modernized these recipes to share with me and now the rest of internet land.

We call these Walnut Chews and a quick internet search brings up completely different recipes for walnut chews. These have a nice soft shortbread bottom, and an oooey and goooey top that's packed full of carmel like brown sugar, nuts and coconut. If you have anyone who has horrible aversions to coconut, this is the cookie to break them of it.

In observance of the Jolts and Jollies photo recipe, I've broken this on down for ya, Maranda style. Here's the ingredients:


Softened butter, flour, brown sugar, shredded sweetened coconut, walnuts, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.


While you preheat the oven to 320º in a bowl mix together the softened butter and flour. I like to use salted butter in these because the recipe does not call for salt anywhere else. If you only have sweet butter add 1/4 teaspoon of salt here. Stir until it has completely come together.

Press shortbread into the bottom of a 8in square baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. I pull it out just when it starts to smell and the top is getting harder, but it's not all the way cooked through. Let the shortbread cool for about an hour.


While the bottom is cooling stir together the beaten eggs, brown sugar, coconut, walnuts, vanilla, 2 tablespoons more flour, and the baking soda.


Pour the sugar mixture over the base and spread evenly. Now this is the part that is still odd. Most modern recipes will be baked at a predictable oven temperature - 325º, 350º, or 375º. I prefer to bake these at an oddball temp of 340º. When I bake it at 350 I think the top gets too brown and the inside too runny. My oven thermometer broke and it could be my oven is running too hot, but just to be safe bake these a little lower than you would a normal cookie and check them at 20 minutes. The top should be crackly and only slightly ooozy in the center. If it's still jiggly, leave it in for another 5-10 minutes. The only sad part to these is you must wait for them to cool. It's a real test of my will power to wait for these to cool, but they are much easier to cut into cute little squares when they have cooled and set.


Walnut Chews
From Life is Still Sweet

Printer Friendly Version

For the Shortbread
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup butter) softened
Mix together the flour and butter until all the flour in incorporated. Press shortbread into the bottom of an 8X8 inch baking pan. Bake in a preheated 320º oven for 10-12 minutes, until the top is getting harder but is not yet browning. Let cool.

For the topping
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (Our recipe says pecans, but always use walnuts. You could go with what you like here)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
While the shortbread is cooling stir together all of the ingredients for the topping. Spread the topping evenly over the cooled shortbread. Bake in a 340º preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack then cut into squares.

These are for sure Santa's favorite in our house now and will be for many years to come.

Happy Holidays Jolts and Jollies readers and happy bloggy hiatus to you Maranda. Thank you for letting me visit!
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