Posts Tagged ‘Dessert bars’


Today is the reveal day for the Surprise Recipe Swap. Each month, Jutta from Hungry Little Girl, assigns a blog to each participant. We are to choose a recipe from their blog and then we all post on the same day! This month, I was given Carol, from No Reason Needed.

While Carol has a great deal of tempting recipes on her blog (like this one, this one, and this one), I decided on her Toffee Bits Triangles. However, I changed the name on mine to blondies, as I just cut mine into bars! These were very good and so quick to put together!

Toffee Blondies

Toffee Blondies
Recipe by No Reason Needed via The Orchard

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 package Heath toffee bits, divided
1 package mini chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray. Set the pan aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the vanilla extract and egg. Stir in the salt and flour. Add in 1/2 cup of the toffee bits and 1/2 cup of the mini chocolate chips into the batter and stir until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly. Bake in a preheated oven for 24-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle on the remaining chocolate chips. Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes, or until all the chips look shiny, then using a spoon or spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining toffee bits. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Enjoy!

Toffee Blondies
Made with love, not calories!

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Eggs and bacon were the 2 ingredients for this months Improv Challenge.

I wanted to do something savory for this challenge, so I made a turkey meatloaf and covered it with slices of bacon. However, while I liked the taste of the meatloaf, it really didn’t impress me. Also, Nick doesn’t care for meatloaf, so I knew I wouldn’t end up posting the recipe.

For my second attempt, I turned to making something sweet. Why I didn’t go this route in the first place- who knows! Now, while I was “eh” about the meatloaf, I was really happy with the blondies. The white chocolate chips give a little touch of sweetness that balances nicely with the saltiness of the bacon. And, since they contain bacon and eggs, I’d say that they would make for a wonderful breakfast treat!!

Brown Sugar and Bacon Blondies

Brown Sugar and Bacon Blondies
Makes 1- 8×8 inch pan

3 pieces bacon (I used medium cut)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel. Pour the bacon grease through a fine mesh sieve, that has been lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and placed over a bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the filtered bacon grease. Finely chop the bacon once it has cooled. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the melted butter, bacon grease, and brown sugar. Mix well. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Add in the salt and baking powder. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add in the white chocolate chips and all but 1 tablespoon of the chopped bacon. Stir until everything is combined. Spread the dough evenly into an 8 x 8 inch baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil, and sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the remaining bacon over the dough. Bake in a preheated oven for 26-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!

Brown Sugar and Bacon Blondies

Made with love, not calories!

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So I have had Biscoff on the brain recently, and that will never bode well for my waistline!

You know by now that I love Biscoff cookies and spread, right? You should! I made truffles with it and I filled cookies with it, and I’m pretty sure that in each post I talked about my love for this stuff. Actually, you should do yourself a favor and stop reading. Don’t look at the pictures, don’t look at the recipe. It’s really better if you never try Biscoff. That way I can’t be blamed for your addiction to it!

So now that you have stopped reading (!), the other day I wanted magic cookie bars. And I wanted Biscoff. So I put the 2 together. For my 1st attempt, I made a crust of graham cracker crumbs and crushed Biscoff cookies. Then I only used 1 up of Biscoff spread. They were good, but not the Wow Biscoff that I wanted. So after Nick and I ate all of them, I tried again. What? You really didn’t think I was going to tell you that I threw them out, did you? Shame on you! So this time I decided to go for the gusto. The crust is made completely out of Biscoff cookies, and I used a whole jar of Biscoff spread in the topping.

Yup- that did it!

Biscoff Magic Cookie Bars

One Year Ago: Cherry Chocolate Shortbread

Biscoff Magic Cookie Bars

1- 8.8 oz. package Biscoff cookies, finely crushed
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, melted
1- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1- 14 oz. jar Biscoff spread (creamy)
3 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed Biscoff cookies and the melted margarine. Using a fork, mix well. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and press evenly. Pour half of the sweetened condensed milk over the crust. After removing the lid and protective seal from the Biscoff, microwave on high for 20 seconds, stir, then repeat. Pour half of the Biscoff over the sweetened condensed milk. Top with 1 1/2 cups coconut and 1/4 cup white chocolate chips. Make a second layer with the rest of the sweetened condensed milk, the remainder of the Biscoff, the white chocolate chips and finish with the coconut. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!

Biscoff Magic Cookie Bars

I’m linked at: Semi Homemade Mom, Lady Behind the Curtain, Whimsy Wednesdays, Hungry Little Girl, Mandy’s Recipe Box, Call me PMC, The Frugal Girls, The Nutmeg Place, Craftionary, Cheerios and Lattes, Six Sisters Stuff.

Made with love, not calories!

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I can’t believe we are already into September.

School has started, a new football season is underway, and berries will soon be replaced with apples and pumpkins.

While I have been looking ahead to fall desserts that I want to bake, I am stubbornly holding on to the last of the summer’s blackberries.

These fruit bars are a great way to showcase the delicious flavor of the blackberries. However, I have made these before and just used a jar of fruit preserves, so even if fresh fruit isn’t available, you can still make, and enjoy them!

Blackberry Fruit Bars
Prep time: 20 minutes     Bake time: 22-28 minutes

Crumb mixture:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Blackberry filling:
1 pint blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons water

To make the filling:
In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries with the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the juices have started to boil, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Pour into the saucepan and stir. Let the mixture return to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. During this time, using a potato masher, mash the berries to the consistency you like (another option: once the berry mixture is cool, you could pulse it in a food processor). Remove from the heat, let cool, then refrigerate till needed.

To make the fruit bars:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9 inch pan, either by greasing the pan or lining it with aluminum foil and then greasing it. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add in the melted butter and vanilla bean paste and stir until the mixture is well combined and resembles crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture, then press the rest onto the bottom of your prepared pan.  Spread the blackberry filling over the crust, leaving 1/4 inch along all the sides. Sprinkle on the reserved crumb mixture. Place in a preheated oven and bake for 22-28 minutes or until the the top is set and the edges are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars. Enjoy!

Made with love, not calories!

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I came across a list of American Food Holidays. The list is amazing! Almost everyday is a food holiday! From soups, to alcohol, to sweets, to pastries…they all have their own special day!

My first thought was- it would be fun to make, and post, the entire list. The next thought was- who is going to eat all this?!!! I am a picky eater, and there are many food holidays that I just won’t eat. So I have decided that I am going to do one food holiday a week for the rest of the year…well, that’s my goal! The day of the week won’t be consistent, but I did try to mix it up between sweet and savory. So wish me luck and I hope you follow along with me!

April 2nd is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day…
No one’s quite sure where National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day began, though Welch’s claims the credit for a key ingredient within the PB&J sandwich itself (which, I might add, seems quite questionable). The jam-maker says it introduced concord grape jelly in 1923, two years before Skippy hit the market, and that planted the seed (so to speak) for the classic creation. The actual sandwich supposedly first surfaced in the 40s during World War II, when PBJ became part of the military’s rations.” (Source)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes 1, 8 x 8 inch pan (I cut mine into 9 pieces)
Prep time: 15 minutes     Bake time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup jelly or jam (whichever flavor your prefer- I used strawberry)
2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (or spray) an 8 x 8 inch pan. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the butter and peanut butter. Add in the brown sugar and mix well. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add in the baking powder, salt, and flour, and mix until just combined.

Press 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the jam (or jelly). With the remaining dough, break off small pieces and scatter them on top of the jam layer- it doesn’t have to cover the jam completely. Note: if you are using chopped peanuts, sprinkle them on top of the dough.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Enjoy!

Additional note: Bon Appetit’s directions tell you to use a mixer to make the batter, then after pressing 1/2 of the dough into the pan, to freeze the rest of the dough for 10 minutes. I mixed my batter with a spoon, so I did not have to freeze the dough. It is a stiff dough and was easy to work with.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Question of the day: What’s your favorite flavor of jam or jelly?

Made with love, not calories!

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