(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)
*This post has been updated. Please see the note at the bottom of this post.
It's nearly here -- the deadline to enter the 3rd annual Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. But you still have time. Post your recipe along with a short essay explaining why this cookie is your family's favorite. You can find a link for entry on our website: latimes.com/food.
We'll test and taste the top 50 vote-getters at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Pasadena to come up with the 10 best. The deadline for entries is midnight Nov. 2, and the voting ends Nov. 12. So get your recipe in as soon as you can.
Here's a recipe for one of last year's winning cookies, sweet tart oat nut bars submitted by Ronna Ballister:
Sweet tart oat nut bars
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes, plus cooling time for the bars
Servings: Makes about 4 dozen bars.
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Ronna Ballister.
12 ounces (about 2 cups) pitted prunes, chopped
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, or in a blender, pulse the prunes and orange juice until almost smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl, and stir in the nuts.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and honey. Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking soda and wheat germ (if using). Slowly beat in the flour and oats until evenly combined.
4. Spread a scant half of the oat mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with the prune mixture, spreading it evenly to within one-half inch of the edges of the pan. Crumble the remaining batter over the top of the prune layer and pat down gently.
5. Bake the bars until browned and the top springs back when touched, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars.
Each of 4 dozen bars: 96 calories; 1 gram protein; 15 carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 8 grams sugar; 54 mg sodium.
*Updated at 4:31pm Nov. 2. The cookie contest deadline was changed to midnight Nov. 2.