Two words for summer dessert: bar cookies

07/24/2013 12:00 AM

07/23/2013 1:32 PM

Here are two words about what dessert to bring to a picnic, cookout or any summertime gathering: bar cookies.

Bar cookies are easy to make. Who has time to bake tray upon tray of individual cookies?

Bar cookies are served in the same pan in which they are baked. Who has time to clean all those cookie sheets?

Bar cookies travel well. Snap on a plastic lid or cover with plastic wrap and they are ready to go.

And as Charlotte, N.C., cookbook author Taylor Mathis noted, you don’t even have to cut them ahead of time.

“People can decide how big or small a serving they want,” said Mathis, whose first cookbook, “The Southern Tailgating Cookbook: A Game-Day Guide for Lovers of Food, Football, and the South,” comes out next month from UNC Press. Mathis spent three years photographing and tasting the tailgating spreads at 35 college football games across the South and beyond.

Mathis’ cookbook contains a recipe for “Training Table Brownies,” based on the brownies his grandfather, a former athletic director at Duke University, used to sneak home from home football games. “My mom remembers the brownies as huge rectangles of chocolate covered in a rich, delicious chocolate – the biggest dessert she’d ever eaten,” Mathis wrote.

Mathis comes by his love of bar cookies honestly: “I’ll eat any bar cookie that you put in front of me.”

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