Not For You, Cindy Lou! These Tasty Holiday Treats Are For Grown-Ups : The Salt With tantalizing twists like liqueur, coffee and spices, kids may turn up their little red noses at these decadent delights — but that just leaves more for you and your adult friends.
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Not For You, Cindy Lou! These Tasty Holiday Treats Are For Grown-Ups

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Not For You, Cindy Lou! These Tasty Holiday Treats Are For Grown-Ups

Not For You, Cindy Lou! These Tasty Holiday Treats Are For Grown-Ups

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Warning - this next piece contains tasty-yet-anecdotal evidence based on generalizations.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Kids love cookies.

CORNISH: I mean pretty much everyone loves cookies, Ari.

SHAPIRO: Chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, jammy thumbprints, gingersnaps...

CORNISH: And this time of year, you may have noticed cookies are everywhere.

SHAPIRO: ...Shortbread, peanut butter, pecan sandies - anyway...

CORNISH: As you think and plan for your next holiday cookie moment, we wanted to put a few more recipes out there.

SHAPIRO: Under the subheading cookies for grownups - we're thinking treats with ingredients and flavors geared toward adults.

CORNISH: So we asked three bakers for suggestions, starting with Genevieve Ko, author of "Better Baking." Her treat - gooey bars with a twist.

GENEVIEVE KO: Miso macadamia nut blondies. They capture all the comfort and warmth of the blondies that kids love - the butter and the brown sugar. But I was really hoping to make them even more complex and more interesting while keeping the spirit of that butteriness.

So what I did is I actually swapped butter and flour for macadamia nuts, which are so rich and creamy. If you've ever eaten one, you can tell right when you're chewing it that it has this buttery texture and buttery flavor. And so blending those macadamia nuts with dark brown sugar really gives you the effect of blondies.

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KO: But there's an added element here that gives it this salty, sweet flavor, and it comes from miso. Miso is fermented soybean paste. And when you put miso with something sweet, it not only gives you that delicious salty sweet balance in a dessert, but it has a lot of umami.

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KO: Umami is that fifth taste that we talk about in Japanese cuisine which - it's beyond salty in a really savory way, and it adds this extra oomph, this sort of funky, deep, savory flavor that honestly most children will not appreciate but every grownup will.

SHAPIRO: That's baker Genevieve Ko talking about her miso macadamia nut blondies.

CORNISH: Our next baker has a cookie kids will appreciate, but you'll want to keep them away from the sauce.

IGNACIO ALVAREZ: Hello. My name's Ignacio Alvarez with Lux Bakery in San Antonio, Texas. I would like to share a outstanding cookie that we like for the holidays - biscochitos with anise. And that's a licorice flavor.

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ALVAREZ: Biscochitos is a shortbread cookie real close - in the same family as snickerdoodles. They are rolled in cinnamon sugar. Roll it when it's warm. When it's cool, the cookies that you didn't roll in cinnamon sugar - I roll it in powdered sugar. Then after I do that, I set it aside, and we add one more thing - liqueur but not in the cookie. We add it in a chocolate sauce for dipping.

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ALVAREZ: Chocolate with at least 50 to 80 percent of cocoa in it, heavy cream - heat it up. Add basil in there - about a pinch of it - and it actually adds a nice little flavor profile. And then we add Licor 43 or Kahlua, Frangelico, Bailey's.

Of course these are really good liqueurs for the holidays, and the cool part is that as you keep eating them, you will get socially lubricated. And you can just dip into it with all the biscochitos with anise in it. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

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CORNISH: That's Ignacio Alvarez of Lux Bakery in San Antonio, Texas.

SHAPIRO: And we can verify this from personal experience. You should snack responsibly. His chocolate sauces really do pack a punch.

CORNISH: The good news - our final cookie suggestion might perk you back up.

DORIE GREENSPAN: I'm a coffee drinker. A lot of people are coffee drinkers, and I wanted a cookie that would be perfect with coffee.

CORNISH: Not only that, they have ground coffee in them.

SHAPIRO: Which is something I can definitely get behind.

CORNISH: Here's baker Dorie Greenspan, author of "Dorie's Cookies," talking about her coffee cardamom cookies.

GREENSPAN: Cardamom is a really interesting spice. It's one of these spices that once you get to know it, you'll recognize it because it's so unusual. It's a warm spice the way cinnamon is, but it also has a little tang to it, almost as though you had some lemon zest in there.

It's not a flavor we really know in America, but it's a great flavor with the coffee, with the tiny little bit of cinnamon that's in there and with the molasses - oh, and the brown sugar. So you think it looks like a holiday cookie, a classic spice molasses cookie, but it's a trickster but such a delicious trickster.

CORNISH: Dorie Greenspan's recipe for coffee cardamom cookies and the recipes for our other cookies for grownups - biscochitos with boozy chocolate sauce and miso macadamia nut blondies are at npr.org.

SHAPIRO: So try making them, and don't forget to share.

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