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May 13, 2009

Butterscotch Bars

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:55 am

I’m always on the look out for new cookie or bar recipes so when I saw this lightened up recipe in Cooking Light I knew I would be trying it soon.   I love butterscotch pudding  but not candy.  Something about the taste of butterscotch is comforting to me.  I remember my mom serving it still warm from the pan.  Yummy!

These bars did take some time to put together because you make a crust and you also have to melt the butterscotch chips and condensed milk.  These bars are delicious but I recommend that you have a napkin and  glass of milk near by too.  My husbands’ coworkers were lucky enough to be the recipients of half of the pan of Butterscotch Bars.

Enjoy!

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Butterscotch Bars

source:  Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 5  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  large egg, lightly beaten
  • 9  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 2 1/2  cups  quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4  cup  fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4  cups  butterscotch morsels (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla and egg. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Add oat mixture to sugar mixture; stir with a fork until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Place 3 cups oat mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray; press into bottom of pan. Set aside.

3. Place sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch morsels, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until butterscotch morsels melt, stirring every 20 seconds. Stir in walnuts. Scrape mixture into pan, spreading evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with remaining oat mixture, gently pressing into butterscotch mixture. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Place pan on a cooling rack; run a knife around outside edge. Cool completely.

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April 21, 2009

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:47 pm

I made these last week for a student in a class that I’m teaching one day a week.  He was done with the class so I wanted to bring something to congratulate him but also to celebrate.  He is a senior in high school and has decided to go to my alma mater next year.  Go Eags!  The class is 14 weeks long and most students come 14 weeks in a row, others come sporadically.  In the class I’m teaching the students about making good choices, social skills and how to manage their anger.  I was going to give this student a choice of  cookies but time got away from me so I decided to go with the classic and always safe, Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I have another student who is about to finish the class soon too.  I will probably give him a choice of cookie recipes.

When I decided to make chocolate chip cookies I knew that I wanted to try a different recipe (usually I use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag).  This time I chose to consult my Martha Stewart cookies cookbook.  I knew their had to be a recipe in there!  I was in luck!  These turned out just like the title  says, soft and chewy!  They are definitely being added to the cookie repitore!  I’m still trying to replicate the delicious Mrs. Field’s cookies.  That might take some time.

I don’t have a picture of the cookies.  I’m assuming you know what chocolate chip cookies look like but also the whole batch is gone.  I took half to class and kept the rest here.  We made fast work of them!

Enjoy!

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

source:  Martha Stewart Cookies and Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

March 21, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:22 am

A few months ago I received Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook for my birthday.  I must confess that this is the first recipe that I’ve made out of it.  Something put me in the mood for peanut butter cookies but then I remembered that I had a recipe in teh cookbook for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.  The idea of bar cookies appealed to me so much more than drop cookies.

My husband and I both agreed that these tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that was baked.  I suggest that you have a glass of milk and a napkin handy when you eat these cookies.  My husband took a small plate of cookies to a coworker who also enjoyed them.  I took a plate to my mom and she loved them.  I suggest bringing these to your next gathering.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

source: Martha Stewart Cookie cookbook and marthastewart.com

Ingredients

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry jam, or other flavor
  • 2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed; combine. Add vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly with offset spatula. Using offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Dollop remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.
  3. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cut into about thirty-six 1 1/2-by-2-inch pieces.

February 17, 2009

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert, Holiday — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:04 pm

You will notice that the picture below isn’t just of frosting but actually the sugar cookies that the frosting is gracing too!  I got the recipe for the sugar cookies from my 5k running buddy and friend from high school.  I had to beg for the recipe and she made me promise her my first born (no plans for any of those anytime soon!).  I promised my first born or that I would name him/her after her.  I will however give you her blog address to look at her other yummy things!  Here is her blog with pictures of her cookies.

This frosting recipe was great and came together quickly, even though I was nervous at first.  I also got to use my new small spreader from Pampered Chef.  It made frosting the cookies a dream!  I’m going to have an online/catalog party next month and I will definitely get the larger spreader too.  Here is what my spreader looks like:

spreaderMy only problem with the frosting was that now I have about 3/4 of a cup left over!  Hmm!  What to do!  I’ve thought of making cupcakes.  We’ll see what I decide on!  Eating it straight out of the bowl also sounds tempting too!  Here are my cookies.  Don’t mind the tacky paper plates!  I was sending them with my husband to work. Enjoy!

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Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

source: foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

January 9, 2009

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:31 pm

Why is it that when you (maybe it is just me) bake cookies you always end up eating enough batter to equal 2 or 3 cookies?  You have to sample the batter right?  I always feel so full after I bake cookies and then I need a glass of milk.  When I usually make chocolate chip cookies I use the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips.  I’ve never had problems with it.  I must confess that this was my first time using the recipe listed below.  I decided to try something different and in my endeavor to use my library of cookbooks, I consulted my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  I did modify the recipe a bit though.  The basic recipe for these cookies is for chocolate chip cookies but instead of chocoloate chips I used mini peanut butter chips from Trader Joes.

I was very pleased with how these cookies turned out.   Right out of the oven they were nice and cakey and slightly chewy.  The real test is when you have one several hours later!  They were still cakey and chewy!  Perfect!  Of course I’ll have to do one more test, tomorrow afternoon!  I noted my changes below in red.  Enjoy! Pardon the awfully dark picture!  I guess it really is time to change the camera battery!

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Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

source: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shortening(I omitted and used butter)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces( I used mini peanut butter cups)
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (filberts) (optional)(I omitted)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl beat the shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Beat mixture until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in chocolate pieces and, if desired, nuts.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 60 cookies.

December 20, 2008

Spritz Cookies or Snow Day #2

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert, Holiday — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:40 pm

Well we had another snow day yesterday but this one was valid. We got about 4 inches during the night and into Thursday during the day. I think all total we probably have about 6 to 8 inches. Since I was stuck inside, driving out in that weather is not my idea of fun, I decided that I would pass the time by making some Spritz. I can drive in the snow but there are too many people here who don’t know what to do and we live in a pretty hilly area. I also don’t have snow tires anymore. I used to have them for my car but unfortunately I gave them back to the tire company during my last year of school. I went to school in eastern Washington. I didn’t think I would need them! Oops! Sorry Mom! Little did I know that I would marry someone with family who lives in, eastern Washington, the part of the state that actually get snow and also that I would actually keep the car for another 5 years! It usually doesn’t snow in western Washington.

Spritz are another one of my favorite Christmas cookies. I don’t make these any other time of the year than Christmas. I might have to change that and make some red hearts for Valentine’s Day. Hmm! My grandma always made these cookies. I think she would usually make 2 batches of these because we all ate them so quickly. Since my grandma passed away back in 2001 I have taken over the Christmas cookie duties. I made these last year for Christmas and sent a box of them to my uncle. He said that he nearly cried when he opened the box and found them. They reminded him so much of his mom. Ahhh memories!

These cookies require a cookie press, which really is a good investment. My mom has my grandma’s cookie press and we not only use it for cookies but also filling Deviled Eggs. It makes that chore so easy and it looks very nice. I like to add sprinkles to the top of my cookies before I bake them, instead of the icing that the recipe calls for. I also strongly suggest you add the almond extract! Yum!

Good luck and enjoy!

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Spritz Cookies

source: Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Colored sugar (optional)
  • 1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla, and, if desired, almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

2. Force unchilled dough through a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle cookies with colored sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, drizzle cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing.

3. Makes about 84 cookies

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December 9, 2008

Hello Dolly Bars

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert, Holiday, Uncategorized — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:43 pm

Oh my goodness! I have been waiting to post these on the blog ever since I started this blog back in the summer. I love these cookies. I could seriously eat the whole pan, don’t tempt me though!! These bars say Christmas to me. My grandma would make them only at Christmas time and no other time. She would probably make several batches because the family and other guests would eat them all up. I couldn’t go to my Grandparent’s house at Christmas and not have one or three of these cookies. They are so easy to put together, that is once the prep of chopping and smashing and measuring is done. Since my both of my Grandparent’s have passed away I have taken over the Christmas cookie baking duties as well as few other baking duties. My mom is still in charge of the pies at family gatherings though! As I sit here writing this post with Charlie Brown on in the background, I can smell them baking in the oven! Yummy!! Hurry! I urge you to make these bars for your family or officemates or even your next large gathering. Enjoy!!

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Hello Dolly Bars

source: My Grandma

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

1 cup crushed Nilla Wafers (about 30 wafers)

6 oz chocolate chips

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Place stick of butter in 9 x 13 pan. Place pan with butter in oven while oven preheats. This will melt the butter. Spread crushed Nilla Wafers over melted butter. Spread chocolate chips on top of Nilla wafers. Spread coconut on top of chocolate chips. Spread chopped pecans on top of chocolate chips. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the pecans. Bake for 30 minutes. Cut while warm. Enjoy!!

October 15, 2008

Cowboy Cookies

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:51 am

Yeehaw! Boy Howdy! These were good! I was watching an episode of Martha Stewart a few weeks ago I knew I would be making them soon. Martha also said that the recipe was also the Cookie of the Month in her magazine, so off I went and found it in the magazine and ripped it out. I really think that these could be called Kitchen Sink Cookies because of all of the ingredients. I guess Kitchen Sink Cookies doesn’t sound very appealing. I will definitely be making these again. I love how soft these cookies came out. I am sending half of these cookies with my husband to work because we don’t need all those cookies sitting around.

Cowboy Cookies

source: Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Makes about 5 dozen

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks (1 cup)
  • 3 ounces (3/4 cup) pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray, line with parchment, and spray parchment. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Beat in oats, chocolate, pecans, and coconut until combined. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  4. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a small spoon, drop dough onto baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake until edges of cookies begin to brown, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks. Let cool. (Cookies can be stored up to 3 days.)

September 6, 2008

Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chipsters

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 9:54 am

I recently bought a cookbook titled Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I picked it up at Powell’s Books when Nate and I were in Portland, OR for a wedding this summer. Thankfully the book was on sale! Everything in is looks and sounds delicious! I had to quit marking pages with Post-it flags otherwise the whole book would have been one big flag!

I frequent a cooking board on The Nest called What’s Cooking. A few of the ladies on the board formed a group called Tuesday’s with Dorie. They decided to let members choice a recipe from the book to make for the week. I believe that they now have over 100 members. I subscribe to many of the blogs of the members so on Tuesday’s you can only imagine what my Google Reader looks like!

This week someone chose a cookie called “Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chipsters.” After looking at all the pictures coming through my Google Reader I could no longer resist the temptation and gave in! My weakness will actually be positive. We are going to a BBQ (fingers crossed for good weather) this weekend to celebrate with some friends of ours. The guest of honor has just returned from Iraq after 15 months. I thought these cookies would be a welcome addition to the spread!

I was quite shocked when I was getting the dry ingredients ready. The smell was amazing! The batter was even better when everything was all mixed up! The recipe says that you will get about 5 dozen cookies but I ended up with 7 dozen. Something else that I was thinking while mixing up the batter was, “Where is my Kitchen Aid mixer? Please don’t die Kitchen Aid hand mixer!” That stand up mixer is on my list of things to get first when we buy a house! So anyone want to give us some money for a down payment and pay our fees for breaking the lease!!??

Geez! On to the cookies and pictures already!! Here you go! Go make them!! Get the milk ready too!

Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
From Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, page 73.
Makes about 60 cookies
Check out the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers here.

Ingredients
~3 cups old fashioned oats
~1 cup all purpose flour
~1 tsp baking soda
~2 tsp ground cinnamon
~1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
~1/4 tsp salt
~2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
~1 cup peanut butter–chunky (my choice) or smooth (but not natural)
~1 cup sugar
~1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
~2 large eggs
~1 tsp pure vanilla extract
~9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks

Getting Ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips. If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.)

If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula – they’ll firm as they cool.

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Serving: I can’t remember when I actually served these. They’re more often plucked from a cookie jar than picked from a platter.

Storing: Wrapped airtight or piled into a cookie jar, the cookies will keep at room temperature for about 4 days. Wrapped and frozen, they’ll be good for 2 months.

Playing Around: You can substitute soft, moist raisins for the chocolate chunks or just stir in some raisins along with them. If you’re really looking for crunch, toss in chopped peanuts too (salted or not). With or without the chocolate chunks, raisins, and nuts, these cookies are great with ice cream or around ice cream – think about them the next time you want a chipwichish ice cream sandwich.

August 20, 2008

No Bake Cookies or Refrigerator Cookies

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 3:21 am

I remember my babysitter making these when I was little. I loved these cookies and it was all I could do to wait for them to cool off and set up so I could eat them. I’ve asked a lot of people if they remember these cookies or have ever had them and about 50% remember them and the rest aren’t too sure! I made these last summer and sent them with Nate to work. One of the guys at work remembered them from his childhood and his mother made them too. I’m not sure how much work actually got done that day between reminiscing and cookie eating! I usually only make these cookies in the summer because heating up the oven during the hot summer is not so appealing. Although I probably could have fired up the oven today with the weather we have right now in Seattle, slightly chilly.

There are several variations of these cookies but these are the ones that I remember eating. Enjoy!

No Bake Cookies

source: Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, peanut butter and oats.
  2. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow cookies to cool for at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container.
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