A Tribute to New Zealand

When I think about my brief trip to New Zealand 14 years ago, there’s one thing that always comes to mind. If you’re guessing that it’s the beautiful countryside, the lovely beaches or the warm and outgoing people – you’d be wrong. When I dream about New Zealand, I dream about the rolo bar.

If you’ve never heard of it—you’re not alone. Few of us here in Canada have tried one. But if you had, you’d be right there with me. Forever yearning for the rolo bar.

Picture an oversized chocolate bar, in a similar format to a Caramilk, but made with rolos that are joined together on the flat-bottomed side. You’ll have to trust me on this one—the rolo bar is quite spectacular.

So, when my friend Jayne and I found this Rolo Cookie recipe online nine years ago, I didn’t have to think twice before giving it a try. It is a close as you can come to the rolo bar. And, my friends and family who don’t know what they are missing seem to love them. I must admit, they are pretty darn good.

As you’ll see from the pictures below, it is a good recipe for little helpers in the kitchen.

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Rolo Cookies

  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • about 7 packages of rolos
  • Granulated sugar for top or mixture of 1 cup chopped nuts with 1 tbsp sugar

Beat sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat well. Add flour and baking soda. Blend well. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Roll 1 heaping tsp of dough in palm of hand to form a ball. Press Rolo into ball covering it completely. Press top of ball into saucer of sugar (or nut and sugar mixture). Place cookies, sugar side up, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes.

TIPS:

  • Make sure the rolo is completely covered by dough, otherwise the chocolate and caramel will leak out onto the pan. It’s not the end of the world, but they the cookies look nice when you can’t see the rolo that is hiding inside.
  • Plan to make these cookies first if you are making other cookies, so that you can refrigerate the dough while you move onto another cookie. We’ve made the mistake of making these at the end of a day of baking, and then had bake them another day because we forgot about the 3 hours to chill the dough!

Twice the Chocolate Cookies

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These cookies are always a hit. It’s not surprizing, since I figure they have about twice the chocolate as most chocolate chunk cookies. They are chocolately, chewy and downright addictive.

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Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe from In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 8 oz milk chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350. Line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or by hand), cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together into a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Using your hands, shape knobs of dough about the size of a large walnut into balls and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Stagger the rows of cookies to ensure even baking. Bake 12 to 15 minutes for smaller cookies, 14 to 17 minutes for larger cookies, or until the tops are light golden brown. If the cookies are neither firm nor dark when they are removed from the oven, they will cool chewy and soft. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Can be stored in air-tight container for 1 week.

TIPS:

  • I make all of my cookies small in order to maximize the number of cookies. I make them the size of a small walnut or a teaspoon and bake them for about 11 minutes.
  • Use a timer and set it lower than the recipe calls for. If they still need more time, you can always bake longer. Record the final time on a post-it note for your next batch.
  • I buy the large President’s Choice milk chocolate bars and use 1/2 for each batch (25 squares) (+ 8 oz of semi-sweet chocolate squares).