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Category Archives: Brownies & Bars

Cranberry Crumb Bars

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Are cranberries in season any more?  I haven’t been looking for them since they’re more of a December thing for me, but I had a jar of Killer Cranberry Sauce leftover from a large batch I made in December and I wanted to use it, so these bars were made…in season or not.

And oh my goodness, they are amazeballs.  I include orange juice and zest in my cranberry sauce, and there is even more orange flavor from the zest in the crust and crumb topping, which pairs so well with cranberry filling.  The crust and crumb are so tender, buttery, and crumbly – the perfect texture and I plan to use the base recipe for other crumb bars in the future.  The recipe does include a little bit of an unusual ingredient – almond flour or meal, but you can make your own by grinding almonds very fine in a food processor.  Also the Killer Cranberry Sauce is great in these bars, if you don’t want to make cranberry sauce, go see Bakerita’s recipe for her filling that doesn’t require cooking beforehand.

If you prefer very tart desserts you can skip the glaze, but for the sweet tooth like me, it is necessary to balance the cranberry.  Alternately, you could melt some white chocolate to drizzle over the top – a classic cranberry pairing.  Enjoy!

Cranberry Crumb Bars

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Printable recipe with picture

2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 oz) almond meal (almond flour)
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups Killer Cranberry Sauce
1 cup (4 1/2 oz) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice (or milk or water)

Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. The dough will be crumbly. Alternatively, you can pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor with the butter until pebbly, then mix in the egg until it all comes together. pat half the dough into the buttered pan. Spread the cranberry sauce over the crust, the crumble remaining dough over sauce. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until top is a light golden brown. Cool completely, then blend the powdered sugar and orange juice together in a small bowl and drizzle over the top. let set for 5-10 minutes before slicing into bars.

Recipe source: adapted from Bakerita

Who cares if cranberry is out of season when it makes such delicious eats?  Here are a few other ways to enjoy it…

Cranberry Chicken

Cranberry Bliss Cookies

Romaine Salad with Chicken, Cheddar, Apples, Spiced Pecans and Cranberry Vinaigrette

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Oatmeal Raisin Bars with Brown Butter Icing

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When I look back on things I’ve pinned, sometimes I’m like, “I would never make something like that – it’s just not me.  Why did I pin it?”  But I know why.  The blogger’s enthusiasm about how good it is sells me every time and I end up pinning a lot of things I’ll never make, but still want to make because the blogger was so enthusiastic about how good it was.  Such is the case with these bars, but they are SO me so of course I had to make them almost immediately. :)

Miss Marsha sold me with her sheer enthusiasm, but hello, did I ever mention that cookies are my second favorite food group (with dip being the first)?  The recipe itself probably would have sold me without her enthusiasm.  It had been way too long since I’d enjoyed an oatmeal raisin cookie and making them in bar form sounded genius.  I don’t have time to be portioning out dough right now, but I can fo sho pat it into a pan!

These bars are just as good as my award-winning oatmeal raisin cookies and I even used the same icing on them.  Marsha’s recipe uses cream cheese frosting so please check it out to if you’d like to make them that way – it looks and sounds majorly delish but I just had to go with brown butter this time.  It’s my weakness.  Along with cookies and dip.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars with Brown Butter Icing

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (8 oz) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ¼ oz) all-purpose flour
1 cup (3 ½ oz) old fashioned or quick cooking oats
1 cup (5 ¼ oz) raisins
½ cup (2 oz) chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Icing
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 9″ X 13″ baking dish.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until lightened and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir into butter mixture until well combined. Spread into prepared pan and press into an even layer with floured fingers. (It may seem there isn’t enough dough to cover the bottom, but there will be). Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

While cooling, prepare the icing. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and the solids separate and turn a chocolate brown. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough water to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle on warm bars and cool completely before cutting.

Recipe source: adapted from The Better Baker

You don’t have to go clubbing to hit up some good bars.  Check these babies out!

Fudge Brownies

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Pretty excited about these brownies! It’s my first time making a from-scratch brownie recipe that turned out better than a box mix (I’m not ashamed to admit I LOVE brownies from a box), AND had the shiny crackly top. Exciting stuff, at least in my world!  These were so fudgy and so chocolatey and so delicious, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce on top.  Ultimate dessert treat!  Treat yourself today…

Fudge Brownies

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1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 ¼ cups (1 lb) granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups (3 ¾ oz) Dutch-process cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder or 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs (cold)
1 ½ cup (6 ¼ oz) all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9×13” baking dish.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny-looking as you stir it.

Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you’ve heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth. Add the flour, again stirring until smooth, then stir in the chocolate chips if using. Spread the batter into prepared dish.

Bake the brownies for about 35 minutes, until they feel set on the edges, and the center looks very moist, but not uncooked. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack before cutting and serving.

Recipe source: King Arthur Flour

Other brownie favorites…

Mocha-Frosted Kahlua Brownies

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Brownies

Mocha Toffee Brownies

Sponsored Video: Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Krispies Treats

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*Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Kellogg’s, but all thoughts and opinions (and recipe-hehe) are my own. :)

Have you seen this adorable Rice Krispies commercial?  Sometimes I really miss commercials (we don’t watch TV), so it’s nice that the good ones are available online whenever I choose to watch them.

It’s true, they are so gentle on your tummy, which I know because I’m pregnant and a pregnant tummy can be awfully sensitive sometimes.  Although I lucked out in the morning sickness department, even I have food aversions and prefer Rice Krispies over a flavorful meal once in a while.  They are just so good!  They also supply a surprising amount of nutrition, despite consisting mainly of rice.  Have you ever looked at a nutrition label for these babies? Gotta love that they’re low in calories as well.

The ingredients for my treats. Still easy to digest…maybe not as nutritious. ;)

Anyway, after watching the commercial, I realized just how long it’s been since I’ve made Rice Krispies treats!  I had a special reason to make these, as well as the Pretzel Pumpkins yesterday, but I’ll share that with you later.

Although I love to bake, there is something really satisfying about combining a few ingredients and having a delicious treat to enjoy without ever having to turn on the oven.  Rice Krispies treats are my favorite no-bake treat, and I love coming up with new & fun recipes for them.  These were inspired by the Pumpkin Spice Mallows that are cropping up in stores lately, combined with my favorite recipe for Brown Butter Crispy Treats.  They are so simple and delicious!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Krispies Treats

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Printable recipe with picture

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag Pumpkin Spice Mallows
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
1 cube of vanilla almond bark/candy coating (for optional drizzle)

Line a 9-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides with foil, letting some hang over the edge. (You can also use a 9×13 pan if you prefer thinner treats.) Butter the foil and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the butter turns amber in color, and the solids have separated and turned a chocolate brown. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and the Pumpkin Spice Mallows. Continue to stir until the marshmallows have melted completely and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the cereal until well coated, then quickly spread into prepared pan and press down using a silicone spatula or a piece of waxed paper that has been sprayed with oil.

Once the bars are completely cool, use the foil overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. If desired, melt the almond bark in a small microwave safe bowl – microwaving for 1 minute at 50% power, then turning over and cutting in half, and microwaving another minute at 50% power, stirring well until smooth.  You might need an additional 10 seconds or so to get it completely smooth but be careful not to overheat it or it will seize up.  Spoon into a disposable pastry bag or small Ziploc bag and snip a bit off the tip (or corner for the Ziploc bag) and use a sweeping motion while gently squeezing to drizzle over the top of the treats. Allow to set, then cut into squares.

Need some more snap, crackle, pop in your life?  Try these yummy treats!

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

Gingerbread Rice Crispy Treats

Cake Batter Crispy Treats

Banana Bread Bars

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This year I only had a couple hours to prepare the food I was going to take to the Pig Roast so I didn’t have time to make some really razzlin’ dazzlin’ cupcakes like I had planned.  I went to the recipes I had saved on Pinterest and decided on these bars because they were pretty quick to make, could feed a crowd, and I had some overripe bananas ready to be used.  While many were disappointed I didn’t bring cake or cupcakes (I guess by now I’m kind of known for them), most of the pan was eaten by the time the meal was over (and there were tons of desserts) so apparently they weren’t too disappointed. :)

I got the best reaction from the teenage girls, for some reason – they flipped for them.  There were two short rows left when we were cleaning up after the meal, and I asked one of them if she wanted any more before I put them in my trunk and she took another three, saying she’d already eaten five.  I’d say that’s a pretty good endorsement.

The bars have a nice, moist crumb, and really good classic banana bread flavor, but the thing that makes them stand out is the browned butter icing.  I knew brown butter and bananas was a good match, and that’s why I worked so hard to perfect my recipe for Brown Butter Banana Bread.  But I think that the flavor comes through so much better when used in an icing on top of the bread.  Oh soooo delicious!

Banana Bread Bars

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Bars:
1 ½ cups (10 ½ oz) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
½ cup (4 oz / 1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups (15.25 oz, peeled) over-ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 or 4)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (8 ½ oz) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup (2 oz) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Frosting:
½ cup (4 oz / 1 stick) butter
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
about 3 tablespoons milk or half and half

Heat oven to 375F. Grease and flour a 10×15 jelly roll pan or line with parchment paper (for thicker bars use a 9×13 pan and bake longer). Beat first four ingredients until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla for one minute. Add dry ingredients and blend for one minute. Stir in nuts if desired and spread in pan. The pan will be very full but it’s OK, it won’t rise over the edge during baking. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.

For the browned butter frosting: Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat past the melting point until it is boiling and a delicate brown, stirring constantly. The solids will separate and turn into chocolate brown flecks at the bottom of the pan.  Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients. This should be thicker than a glaze and thinner than frosting. Using a spatula, smooth over the top of the Banana Bread Bars immediately. The frosting will be easier to spread once it’s on the warm bread.

If not serving the same day, let the pan sit out until cool and the frosting is dry to the touch, then cover with foil until ready to serve.  These will last several days at room temperature, but I found them even more delicious when served cold from the fridge!

Recipe source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Nutty for banana bread? You might go ape for these…

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread {Low Fat, Low Sugar}

Buttermilk Banana Bread (my favoritest favorite!)

Virginia Street Banana Nut Bread (multiple blue ribbons winner!)

*You may have noticed I’ve started to include links to older recipes at the bottom of each recipe post.  Since I’ve built up quite a collection of recipes on my blog that many new readers have never seen, I’d been thinking about sharing recipes from my archives on a certain day each week like my girl Marsha.  But I’m having so much fun rehashing them this way, because I get to search my own archives like a treasure hunter and see if I can come up with three similar recipes to the one I’m posting.  So far I’ve been able to do it fairly easily, and I hope you guys enjoy these oldies along with the newbies! :)

Guiness Brownies with Bailey’s Cream Cheese Swirl

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In the name of culinary exploration, I bought a single bottle of Guiness to make Wednesday’s cupcakes, knowing I could never use an entire 6-pack.  Unfortunately, the bottle was pretty ginormous so I still have more than half of it left.  I also have quite a bit of Bailey’s left, and since I can’t give this stuff to people I know who drink because they either don’t drink anything but the occasional wine or have drinking problems, I’m either going to have to toss it or keep baking up a storm with it.  And you guys know I can’t waste anything, right?

Hence, these brownies.  These crazy, rich, gooey, decadent brownies.  I went with my Kahlua brownies recipe, switching out the Kahlua for Guiness, and then went a little crazy with the mix-ins, adding butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and walnuts.  Then I glanced the cream cheese in my fridge and got excited, thinking of my Brownie Cakes recipe and using it as a springboard to create a Bailey’s Irish Cream cheese swirl.

I liked these a lot, despite the Guiness.  I’ve discovered from reading Guiness & chocolate recipe reviews on blogs that I may be the only blogger alive not in the “Yay, Guiness and chocolate are the best combo evarrrr!” camp, but at least the flavor was not overpowering here, thanks to the sweet chips and cream cheese swirl.  There is a slight yeasty flavor from the Guiness, which is interesting but not off-putting.  For most people, that would translate to, “Yaaaaaaay, Guiness brownies are the best thing EVARRRR!!!!”

The only bad thing about these brownies (unless you want to count the calories, but who counts dessert calories??), is that they used up so little of this leftover alcohol.  I’m giving up on the Guiness, but as for the Irish cream…Bailey’s Banana Bread anyone?

Guiness Brownies with Bailey’s Cheesecake Swirl

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Guiness Brownies:
1 brownie mix
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
¼ cup Guiness Extra Stout beer
1 egg
Optional mix-ins (add up to 1 ½ cups total): chopped walnuts or pecans, caramel bits, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheese Swirl:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom only of a 9×13” baking pan and set aside.

Combine the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk until shiny and smooth, about a minute. Add optional mix-ins and stir until well combined. Spread into prepared pan; set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a small mixing bowl until creamy, then beat in the egg and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Drop batter by spoonfuls on top of the brownie batter and swirl through with a knife.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is golden on top and the brownies are puffed in the middle but firmer at the edges. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Optional Reading:

OK, so this blog was too long to include this story before the recipe, but I wanted to put it at the end for those whose patience is still holding.

In high school drama class, we were doing a project where we were creating a spoof episode of the X-Files.  I remember nothing about the episode we came up with, except that some genius decided to cast me as an evil leprechaun.  (Speaking of evil leprechauns, doesn’t that one in my first picture look a little sadistic?)  We were actually filming it, just like a real TV show.

I showed up on filming day dressed head to toe in bright green.  I had no idea what I was going to wear for the role, but my mother happened to have a pair of bright green corduroy pants (oh, the glorious high fashion of the 90s!) stashed away in her closet.  She was a tiny woman and even at 115 pounds, I really had to stuff myself into those things and could hardly breathe all day.  I paired it with a matching shirt and called it golden (or emerald, if you will).

For my scene, we were filming in the hall and I was told to run off laughing after delivering my line.  It wasn’t until the camera started rolling that I thought to wonder how long I should run while laughing.  Convinced I should fight my urge to do it only a few seconds, thinking it was just my shyness trying to get the better of me, I tore off down the hall, squealing insanely with evil leprechaun laughter, throwing my hands up over my head and swinging them wildly back and forth as I ran…all the way down the hall.

That’s right.

I passed about five classrooms, squealing with high-pitched insane laughter at the top of my lungs.

When I turned back around, hoping I’d laughed long enough, there were curious heads leaning out of every single closed door I had passed, and in the far distance, I could see my classmates rolling with laughter while my drama teacher looked like he wished he could crawl under a rug.

I could have died.  The walk back to join my drama group was the longest walk of my life.  Every classroom stared at me as I passed, surely wondering who the crazy girl dressed in green was and if there was anything beyond my insanity that spurred the laughter that disrupted their class.

And of course, after that day, I was known far and wide as “the evil leprechaun.”

The end.

 

Mocha-Frosted Kahlua Brownies


Happy Valentine’s Day!  Do you have any special plans?  Dennis and I are finishing up the first cycle in the 17 Day Diet, so our celebration is going to include some very healthy and delicious food, and NO SUGAR.  I know, right?  Yes, this is still Veronica’s Cornucopia, and yes, I just said I will not be eating sugar on Valentine’s Day, nor serving it to my Valentine.  What is the world coming to? ;)

Well, despite us not partaking of any sugar (don’t worry, I do have a stevia-sweetened chocolate treat planned, so we will not be totally deprived), I do have a fabulous sugary treat to share today.  I know I’m sharing it a bit late for you to actually make it for the holiday, but I can’t just post another soup recipe–that is just way too unromantic, right?  Nope, it’s gotta be chocolate today.

I’ve been making this recipe for years, and in fact, have posted it on my blog before along with two other brownie recipes, but despite the number of times I’ve made it, I never had a decent picture until now.  (The brownies always disappeared before I got a chance to give them a photo shoot!)  And now that I do, I’m giving these brownies the individual post they deserve.

This is my own creation that I first started making when my sister opened her shop in 2008.  I used to sell my baked goods there in the beginning and these babies were best sellers.  It didn’t matter what other delicious treats I brought along with them, these always went first.  They are oh-so mocha-licious, over-the-top, decadent, rich treats.  Apparently you don’t even have to like coffee to love these, because my husband, who shivers at the mention of coffee, goes crazy for these brownies.  But if you do like coffee, and chocolate, and like them together, oh boy you gotta make these. Just do it.

Mocha-Frosted Kahlua Brownies

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Brownies
1 box fudge brownie mix
2 eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4 cup Kahlua (I make my own with this recipe)

Frosting
2 tablespoons Kahlua
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

Ganache
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Make the brownies: mix up everything, spread in a 9×13 pan (grease the bottom only) and bake at 350 for however long the box says. Don’t overbake unless you like dry brownies. Cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

Make the frosting: Microwave the Kahlua for 30 seconds or until boiling (I use a glass 1-cup measuring cup and fill it 1/2 way to the 1/4 cup line). Stir in the instant coffee until dissolved, and place in the freezer to cool. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and then give it another 30 seconds, stirring again. It should be melted but if not, continue this cycle in 30 second intervals.  Be careful not to overheat it.  Once smooth, set aside to cool. Cream the butter then beat in the cooled chocolate. Last, add the coffee mixture and beat it until everything is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Spread over the cooled brownies.

Make the ganache: place the chocolate and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute at 50% power and stir. The mixture should turn dark and shiny but you will probably need to return the bowl to the microwave for another 5-10 seconds or more to get it fully melted together. Be careful not to overheat, just warm it enough to get the chocolate and cream to emulsify completely.  If your mixture is warm to the touch, allow to cool to room temperature and then drizzle over the top of the brownies before cutting and serving.

Choco-Cherry Cheesecake Cookie Bars

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*Update 10/4/11: I won the editor’s choice award for these bars. Whee!

Editor's Choice: Choco-Cherry Cheesecake Cookie Bars

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!  Members of the club are assigned a secret food blog each month and they can pick any recipe(s) they want to make from the blog.  On reveal day, nobody knows what other blogger was assigned their blog so I find it really fun.

This month I was super stoked to get assigned to Big Bear’s Wife, because Angie (who also happened to be my group’s host this month) has plenty of dessert recipes to choose from.  I think you all know by now that dessert is both my strength and my weakness!

I thought of Dennis when I saw these bars because he loves cherries and chocolate.  Chocolate-covered cherries (aka cherry cordials), black forest ice cream sundaes, cherry mudslides (layers of ice cream, cherry pie filling, and hot fudge), black forest cake.  He loves it all.  And I think I’ve mentioned my little cheesecake problem.  So yeah, I pretty much had to make these.  And then I pretty much had to get them out of the house as soon as possible so I didn’t eat the whole pan.  I managed to inhale two rows before he got them out the door to bring to work.  Doh!

I never buy packaged cookie dough (perhaps it’s hypocritical to be for cake mixes but against premade cookie dough-lol), so I adapted the recipe with homemade, but you can use a package of store-bought to save time.

Be sure to check out all the other secret recipe club blogs at the bottom of this post! ***Something is up with the linky thing so there may be no links at the bottom. While it is getting figured out, you can go to Big Bear’s Wife at the bottom of her post to see all the links.***

Choco-Cherry Cheesecake Cookie Bars

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Printable recipe with picture

Sugar Cookie layer:
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to cool room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Filling & topping:
1 egg, separated
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
¼ teaspoon almond extract
3 drops red food color
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries, finely chopped, drained on paper towels
1 (12 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and extracts and mix until blended. Add half the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix. Add remaining flour and mix just until flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and soft. Spread and press dough into the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat 1 egg white until frothy. Brush egg white over crust. Bake 3 minutes longer or until egg white is set.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add egg yolk, 2 eggs, the condensed milk, almond extract and food color; beat until well blended. Stir in chopped cherries. Pour cherry mixture evenly over crust. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until set. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, heat chocolate chips and butter over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool 20 minutes. Stir whipping cream into chocolate mixture until well blended. Spread over cooled bars. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe source: adapted from Big Bear’s Wife



Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

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I like to have an arsenal of easy emergency recipes on hand for gifts, and recently added this one because I happened to have a caramel cake mix and dulce de leche in my cupboard when I was scrambling to get something ready for a friend with a birthday, who I was going to see later in the day.  If you can’t find caramel cake mixes in your grocery store, you can request them at your customer service counter like I do, or purchase them online.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (18.25 oz) Duncan Hines caramel cake mix
2 eggs
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter
¼ cup water
1 (12 oz) package semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 (14 oz) can dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 375 ºF.. Spray a 9×13 dish with oil. Combine cake mix, eggs, water, brown sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended. Mixture will be thick. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in greased pan.

Bake for 24 to 27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. While it’s still hot and fresh from the oven, spread dulce de leche over the top and sprinkle chocolate chips over that. Wait five minutes, then use a butter knife or spatula to swirl the chocolate into the caramel. Cool completely in pan. Cut into bars.

Recipe source: adapted from Duncan Hines

No-Bake Granola Cookie Bars

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In Tupperware’s July specials brochure, there was a recipe for Peanut Butter Granola Bites that caught my eye because it was easy and the photo was very appealing.  The best part is that it contained no granola, which I never have on hand, just ingredients contained in granola, which I always have on hand.

However, I just so happened to be running low on peanut butter when I decided it was time to make them (we are always running low on peanut butter because we eat it like crazy), so I adapted the recipe and made my own walnut butter for it.  I have the original printer-friendly recipe here if you want to try that one instead.  I can’t vouch for it since I haven’t tried it yet, but my similar version was very good and I’m sure it is too.  I mine for snacks and even had some for breakfast since they are fairly healthy.

No-Bake Granola Cookie Bars

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 cups raw nuts (I used walnuts)
½ teaspoons salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup honey
2 cups rice cereal
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried fruit, roughly chopped (I used half cherries, half cranberries)

Spread nuts out on microwave-safe plate. Microwave one minute; stir with fingers. Microwave for 1-2 minutes more, stirring every thirty seconds, until toasted and fragrant. Place nuts in food processor bowl with blade attachment in place, and process until nuts go from a meal, to a paste, to liquid. You will have to stop the food processor several times to scrape the sides down. Once it it liquid, add salt (use ¼ teaspoon if you’re using salted butter) and let it run another minute.

While you’re toasting and processing the nuts, start your oats to toasting. Place them in a skillet over medium heat and stir every minute or two until golden and fragrant, about five minutes. Set aside until you’re ready for them.

Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl, microwaving one minute or until melted. Add to the nut butter in the food processor, then pour in the honey. Process until mixture is blended.

Place cereal, oats, cherries, and cranberries in large bowl. Pour the butter mixture over the top and mix until combined. Spray a 13″ x 9” baking dish with oil and spread mixture into the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours, or until firm. Slice into squares and devour.

Recipe source: adapted from Tupperware

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