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"Rena's Sport Bars" & a Great Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win the "Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook" & Tate's Bake Shop Cookies!

Posted Dec 07 2010 5:01am

I have some long-standing beliefs about cookies---namely that people almost always fall into two different categories (particularly when it comes to chocolate chip cookies), either they are soft cookie people or crispy cookie people. They might eat both, but usually have a marked preference for one or the other. I come from the soft cookie camp--I like them tender, bendy, and just ever-so-slightly, the lightest golden brown, almost but not quite under-cooked. It is how I grew up, how my mom makes them and so I usually regard crispy, browned cookies with suspicion and slight derision. On the other hand, I have friends that believe that a crispy cookie is the best cookie and that soft cookies are not done enough.

Because of my cookie preferences, I was a little worried when the lovely people at Tate's Bake Shop offered to send me some of their thin, crispy cookies and a copy of owner Karen King's new "Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from South Hampton's Favorite Bakery for Home-Style Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins and Breads" to review. But since they are beloved by The Barefoot Contessa (Ina wrote the intro to the book and the cookies appear in her new cookbook: "Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?"), they were voted #1 by Everyday With Rachel Ray magazine, and they have appeared in a host of other fine publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, InStyle magazine, etc., I thought I should give them a try.

My package with the cookbook and three boxes of cookies--Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Macadamia finally arrived (shipping to Hawaii is slow) last week and I geared myself up to be open-minded about the thin, dark golden brown cookies packed inside. I started with the chocolate chip, taking a bite with trepidation, and ...was very pleasantly surprised. These cookies are pretty darn delicious! From the first bite, you can tell that they are made with quality ingredients--you can taste the real butter. Yes, they are crisp, but they are not hard. There was plenty of chocolate, and even though they came out of a box, they tasted perfectly fresh. If I placed them on a plate and hid the boxes, I could easily pass them off as homemade (not that I ever would do that--but it is nice to know I could!) ;-) The white chocolate macadamia and oatmeal were equally tasty and way too easy to over-indulge in. After working my way through the first cello-wrapped tray in each box, I had to give the rest to my neighbor, lest I would eat them all. Do they win out over my mom's freshly-baked soft cookies? Well, no... preferences formed in childhood always win out in the end, but I really did enjoy them and would happily eat them (and overeat them!) again.

The "Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook" includes the recipe for their signature Chocolate Chip Cookies, along with 124 other recipes for homey treats like their popular Sour Cream Pound Cake, Double Berry Crumb Muffins, Cappuccino Shortbread, Chocolate Mint Brownies, Apple Crumb Pie and Flourless Chocolate Cake. There is even a Healthy Alternatives section, where I found the first recipe I decided to try, Rena'a Sport Bars. It might seem a little odd to pick one of the healthiest recipes in a baking book to try first, but I figured after eating all those butter-laden cookies I needed to put something a little healthier into my body and these simple, protein-packed bars seemed like the perfect choice.

Kathleen King says, "My six A.M. biking partner has the purest diet I have ever seen. She would never eat a commercial power bar, so she developed her own. I found that if I left my Cliff Bars at home, she would always share hers. Now I make my own, too. You can freeze them in individual bars and grab one in the morning for a booster two hours into your ride, or drive, or work, or just for a nutritious healthy snack anytime."

Rena's Sport Bars
"Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook" by Kathleen King
(Yield 12 Bars)

2/3 cup apple butter
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax meal
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the apple butter and peanut butter. Add the sesame seeds and flax meal. Mix them until they are combined. Add the oatmeal and cranberries. The mixture will be very stiff.

Place the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Wet your hands and pat it evenly into the pan. Bake it for 40 minutes or until it is golden brown and firm. Cut it into bars while it's still warm.

Notes/Results: The bars are soft, chewy, and subtly but deliciously-flavored with the peanut butter and apple butter. I like that they are not too sweet and slightly tangy from the cranberries. They are very easy to make and individually wrapped in waxed paper, perfect to grab on the go--so much better than store-bought bars. I think it would be fun to change up the flavors with different fruit, nut butters, etc. I cut mine into 8 pieces instead of 12 so that they are more the size of a Cliff Bar or other protein/sport bar. They are nicely filling and a bar with a piece of fruit makes a satisfying breakfast. I will make these again.

Elizabeth at Tate's Bakeshop was kind enough to offer up the same goodies that I received to one of my readers. So you can enter to win your own copy of "Tate's Bakeshop Cookbook" and a gift pack of the cookies to eat while you read it. I would recommend that you give it away as a Christmas gift, but you know you won't--especially once you open up that cookbook and start reading the recipes!

This is good news for those of you who entered and didn't win this giveaway on other blogs--now you can try again! (Maybe shipping to Hawaii being slow is a good thing!).

*****Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook & Cookie Gift Pack Giveaway*****

The Details: This giveaway is open only to U.S. residents. (Sorry to my non-U.S. readers!) The prize is a copy of "Tate's Bake Shop Cook Book" and a cookie gift pack containing Tate's Bake Shop favorites--Oatmeal Raisin cookies, Chocolate Chip cookies and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies.

How To Enter:
  • Leave me a comment telling me whether you are a chewy or crisp cookie fan and what your all-time favorite cookie is.
Really want these cookies and the cookbook? There are 3 ways to get additional entries

3 Ways To Get Extra Entries:
(You must leave a separate comment for each item you do in order to get the extra entries)
  • Tweet about this fabulous giveaway mentioning Kahakai Kitchen and make sure you also use my Twitter handle @DebinHawaii so I will be sure to see it.
  • Follow Kahakai Kitchen either through Google Friends or Networked Blogs on Facebook, or both (see my sidebar). If you are already a follower through either (or both) leave a comment letting me know for your entry.
This giveaway will end this Sunday night, December 12th, at midnight Hawaii time. (The name of the randomly-drawn winner will be announced on Monday, December 13th.)


You don't have to wait to see if you won free cookies as Tate's Bakeshop is providing a 15% discount on all online orders through December 31st. (Go to the website and use the code "cookie" at checkout to get the discount). It's a great way to check off those difficult to buy for people on your holiday gift list!


So don't forget to enter by this Sunday, Dec. 12th and remember to leave me your separate comments for your extra entries. Best of luck in the giveaway-trust me this is a good one! ;-)

Many thanks to the kind folks at Tate's Bake Shop for a chance to try their delicious cookies (and for changing my opinion on crispy cookies!) and the cookbook, which will get much use as I tabbed a bunch of recipes to make.

Obligatory Disclosure Statement: Although the cookies, cookbook and giveaway prizes were provided to me by the company, my opinions remain, as always, my own.

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