Mrs. Fields' Original Cookies, Inc. bakes and sells specialty cookies, brownies, pretzels, and other baked goods. From one store started by Debbi and Randy Fields in 1977, the firm has expanded to over 1,500 stores named Mrs. Fields' Original Cookies, the Great American Cookie Company, the Original Cookie Company, Pretzel Time, Hot Sam, and Pretzelmaker. This is a true success story of an American homemaker and her husband who overcame numerous obstacles to create an international business. However, like many companies that began as family businesses, it reorganized under outside leadership and ownership. The firm's chocolate chip cookies were so popular that they became the subject of a modern urban legend in the late 1980s and early 1990s.




Coconut Mud Bars

Mrs. Field's Copycat Recipe

Makes about 24 Bars

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into small pieces
10 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
2 large eggs
3 1/2 ounces flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking pan. To make the bottom layer, stir together 1 1/3 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, pinch salt and the brown sugar. Use a pastry blender to add the 1/2 cup of butter (in small pieces), until the mixture is crumbly and coarse. Press into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then place pan on rack to cool.
Leave oven on.

Prepare the Chocolate Ganache: After the chopped chocolate is placed in a medium bowl, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the ganache, and wait 5 minutes before stirring. The ganache will be smooth when ready to refrigerate and set (15 minutes in the refrigerator).

Prepare the Topping: Cream the remaining butter in a bowl. Add the granulated sugar, and extracts. Beat until blended, then beat in the eggs; then stir in coconut and nuts. Drop the topping by spoonfuls evenly over the ganache and spread with a spatula or a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Set pan on rack to cool before cutting into bars.

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