Archives for category: Bars

Hosting an Easter egg hunt for two young kids is just about as cute as it gets! Since rice krispies are so easy to make, we decided to make some in Easter-themed shapes. The recipe was the same as always but the fun part was making the fun designs and adding jelly beans, sprinkles and peeps to the mix.

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Happy Easter!

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Craving something quick and easy? This recipe is filled with chocolate and peanut-buttery goodness!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose baking mix (Bisquick, for example)
  • 1 bag of M&Ms (I used regular)
  • Some chocolate chips to sprinkle on top before serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 325*F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Combine peanut butter and eggs until well mixed and smooth. Add in brown sugar and stir until combined. Stir in baking mix until moistened (I used my hands because the spoon wasn’t cutting it for me–it is a very thick batter). Fold in M&Ms. Again, using my hands worked best for this step. Not all of the M&Ms stuck in the batter (or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it dough). I just shoved them in when I put it all in the pan. Spread mixture in greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

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These smelled so good I couldn’t even wait to try some before taking the picture!

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Have some blueberries in the fridge? Or any berries for that matter?  Mix up this incredibly quick and easy 4-ingredient recipe and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar plus an extra 2tbsp
  • 100g cold butter, cut into several chunks
  • 150g fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4 / 350°F). Combine the plain flour and caster sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Press about two-thirds of the shortbread mixture onto a lined baking tray or loaf pan. Be sure to press it in firmly to help it hold together. Scatter the blueberries across the shortbread, and sprinkle over the remaining breadcrumb-like shortbread mixture.

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Top with a couple of tablespoons of sugar, and bake for around 30 minutes, until the shortbread is light golden brown and some of the berries have released their juices. Allow to cool completely, and then cut into squares with a pizza cutter.

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This recipe is for caramel lovers only! A whole bag of caramel goes into these bars and that’s what makes them so amazing! The chocolate and oat crunch just add to the caramel goodness so grab some friends and enjoy making and eating these together!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 stick; I use salted butter but unsalted may be used)
  • 3/ 4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-rolled old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 35 caramel squares, unwrapped (I used Kraft Caramel Bits which are wrap-free (!) and you can use the entire bag)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt, optional and to taste, if you prefer salted caramel sauce
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Lining your pan is highly recommended for ease of cleanup due to the stickiness of the caramel; set pan aside. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 90 seconds. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, optional pinch salt, and stir until combined. Mixture will be quite thick. Add half of the mixture to the prepared pan (just eyeball it), and smooth it with spatula or the back of a spoon, to create an even, smooth, flat layer; set remainder aside.

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Bake for 10 minutes. While it bakes, make the caramel sauce.

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In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the caramels, cream, and heat on high power in 60-second bursts to melt caramels, stirring after each burst. It will likely take about 4 to 5 minutes total to melt; heat until mixture can be stirred smooth. Alternatively, combine caramels and cream in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat to melt, stirring nearly continuously, until mixture can be stirred smooth. Optionally stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste, for salted caramel sauce; set sauce aside.

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After 10 minutes, remove pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle with the chocolate.

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Slowly and evenly pour caramel sauce over the chocolate.

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Evenly crumble reserved oatmeal-brown sugar mixture over the top.

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Return pan to oven and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes (I baked 16 1/2), or until edges are lightly browned and center is bubbling slightly.

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Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving, giving the molten caramel time to firm up. This can take up to 4 hours, or overnight, at room temperature. You can speed it up by placing pan in fridge with a sheet of foil over the top to prevent fridge smells. If you don’t wait for bars to cool completely, they’ll be a literal hot mess. They’ll taste fine (don’t burn yourself), but they won’t slice neatly with clean cuts. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

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Sweet recipe for a sweet birthday girl!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (7 ounces or 200 grams) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (12 5/8 ounces or 359 grams) cups all-purpose flour (or you can measure 3 cups and remove 2 tablespoons flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces or 227 grams) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)

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Directions

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Brown your butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty.

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Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).

[Don’t have time for all this brown butter madness? Check the head notes to use regular softened butter instead.]

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9×13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk.

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Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips, blend the solidified brown butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly.

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Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer.

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Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.

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Keeping: I’ve kept mine in the fridge and they’ve held up great there since Monday. I imagine that these would freeze well, between layers of waxed paper, with the container sealed well in plastic wrap.

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My sister and her boyfriend made a delicious meal for us one night so I decided to chip in and help with dessert. I had a random craving for rice krispies treats and was surprised at how quick and easy they are to make!  It was so simple I’ll leave you with the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz) regular marshmallows OR 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Directions

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
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2. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.
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3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.

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Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. While warm, spread chocolate chips for an extra treat. Best if served the same day.

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Not so long ago, I went to visit my great friend Roselyn as she awaited the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Hannah Sophia! We decided to make the wait sweeter by making some lemon bars with her  friend Cassie. The lemon bars were delicious, but nothing compares to the beauty of Roselyn’s new baby girl! Congratulations again!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 2  cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (or lime juice for Key Lime bars)
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (or lime zest for Key Lime bars)
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13 in. baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Mist foil with cooking spray.
  2. Make crust: Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add flour and salt and beat until just blended. Press crust evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake until firm and light golden around edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly on a rack.
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  3. Make filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, yolk and sugar until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. Fold in flour until just combined. Pour filling over crust. IMG_5709
    Bake until set, 20 to 30 minutes.
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    Cool on a wire rack. Cover; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Use foil overhang to remove bars from pan to cut. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving, if desired.
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    The happy couple!

This week begins my second round of grad school finals, which means I’m going to need a lot of snacks to keep me going! Here is a recipe I found a while ago but was waiting for the perfect moment and this is definitely it! This will also be shared tomorrow night at band practice with the Grupo Tepui-a Venezuelan band that my Venezuelan group is a part of and who performed this past weekend at JMU and did a great job! I hope they like them! (if not I will gladly eat them haha)

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Caramel Filling

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F with a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment and spray again with cooking spray.

Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed until soft and light, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, add 2 1/4 cups of the flour, beating just until the dough is smooth and the flour has been absorbed, and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl and the paddle as necessary.

Transfer 3/4 of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan to form the bottom layer. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator while you make the filling and top layer.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the remaining dough in the mixer bowl and work it in with your fingertips until 1/8 – 1/4-inch crumbs form. Set aside.

Filling:

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally.

When the mixture begins to boil, whisk frequently until it begins to thicken and darkens in color slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator and pour the filling over the bottom crust. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly then distribute the crumb topping over the filling.


Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is gently bubbling and a dark caramel color.

Cool the bars in the pan on a wire rack until lukewarm, about 15-20 minutes.

Use the foil (or parchment) to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Once completely cool, cut into 2-inch squares.

SO soft and chewy!!

And here is a picture of my new sifter:

Thanks, Mom!

Recipe from Baked Perfection

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