For a dessert to end 2018, I found a recipe with just eight ingredients, all of them pantry staples: butter, two kinds of sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, chocolate, and nuts. The shortbread base with melted chocolate and nuts on top looks good and tastes appropriately decadent for a New Year’s party. The recipe comes from a classic Richmond cookbook, The Stuffed Cougar (William Byrd Press, 1973). A blog reader recently asked about the book, which is still on my shelf. It was published by Collegiate, a prep school that I only once visited because I attended public school. In an old-fashioned touch, credit for each recipe goes to Mrs. Husband’s Name. This one comes from Mrs. N.B. Woodard, Jr. (Barbara). I’ve kept the book all these years because the recipes all work well – and where else would I find Pink Party Punch and Broiled Crab Rounds?
In the chocolate recipe, I substituted pecans for almonds because that’s what I had in my pantry. The size of chocolate bars has also shrunk over the years, so I used two 3.5 ounce bars of semisweet chocolate. Happy New Year! Let the diets begin another time.
Stuffed Cougar Chocolate-Nut Bars (1973)
Makes 3 dozen
1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
9 ounces chocolate candy bar (Hershey) [I used 7 ounces of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate]
1/2 cup slivered almonds [I used chopped pecans]
- Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and flour.
- Spread into a 13x9x2 inch pan [I buttered mine first]; the batter spreads thin.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Bake up the chocolate and put on top immediately after removing the pan from the oven (it will melt). [I used a knife to help spread the chocolate evenly].
- Mash the almonds into the chocolate. [I sprinkled the nuts and lightly pressed them in].
- Cool and cut into bars. [I used a metal spatula to pry loose the bars].