blondies

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

Posted by on Nov 14, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | 0 comments

This original recipe combines salted caramel chips (my new favorite ingredient) with my beloved macadamia nuts to make something innovative and amazing.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

These Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies are soft, chewy, and nigh divine. Plus, if you’re in a hurry, they are fast to make and bake.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

That’s exactly what I needed when I created this recipe. I had another recipe result in total disaster (it happens to us all!) and I needed another platter of baked goods, fast, for my husband to take to work…

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

… where these bars were declared a new kind of crack. All of the bars were scarfed up. Not bad for an emergency oh-crap-what-can-I-throw-together recipe.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

If you need to sub another kind of nut in this recipe, I think pecans and walnuts would work especially well. I do suggest sticking with the balance of 1 cup white chocolate and 1 cup salted caramel chips, though.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

Caramel chips are very strong–like butterscotch chips in that way. They are a great ingredient, but you don’t want to go overkill. Plus, this way you’ll still have half a bag for another recipe. Scroll back on Bready or Not for some suggestions!

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

 

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

These delicious, fast-to-make bars utilize salted caramel chips, a fantastic new innovation on the baking aisle. These bars are chewy and sweet with a welcome crunch from the macadamia nuts.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup salted caramel chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, oats, salt, and baking powder. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir in the two kinds of chips and macadamia nuts until just distributed.

Smooth out the dough in the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center passes the toothpick test. Cool completely before using the foil to life the contents from pan to slice on a cutting board.

Store in a sealed container with parchment or wax paper between the layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Posted by on Oct 31, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, pie, pumpkin | 0 comments

Happy Halloween! Today I bring you a major treat, no tricks. These Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars will boggle your mind in the best kind of way.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

That’s because these bars really do, in fact, taste like a combination of Snickerdoodles and Pumpkin Pie. Crazy, right?

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

And since those two things are delicious, that means these bars are REALLY REALLY GOOD. Not just the flavors, but the combination of textures.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

That’s because these are soft and dense, easy to eat in hand or with a fork. The ones in the middle might end up a little gooier, though. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

The list of ingredients looks long but it actually comes together pretty fast. The ingredients are so alike, I didn’t even bother washing the bowl and beater, which saved a lot of time and effort.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

This makes a full 13×9 pan, so this is perfect for a potluck or family gathering. They might get softer after the two day point, but they will still be tasty.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

 

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

This recipe magically melds Snickerdoodle Cookies and Pumpkin Pie in a convenient, delicious bar. Make this treat to feed a hungry crowd!

  • Cookie Layer
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pumpkin Pie Layer
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

To make the cookie layer, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Once they are smooth, add the eggs and vanilla. Next, mix in the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan.

Next up is the pumpkin pie layer. No need to wash the bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar followed by the eggs and vanilla. Add the baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and flour. Once they are just mixed, fold in the pumpkin puree. Spread the everything over the cookie layer.

Spoon together the topping and add it evenly over the top of the dough.

Bake for 38 to 41 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (though it may still be softer when cut). Cool at room temperature at least an hour, then chill in fridge for several hours. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board to slice up.

Keep stored chilled in a sealed container between waxed paper layers. Best consumed within 2 days; bars get mushier after that, but are still tasty.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

Posted by on Oct 17, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, pumpkin | 0 comments

Caramel chips are a new and awesome thing in stores, and I couldn’t help but try pairing them with pumpkin in these bars. The result? YUM.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

This is modified from a recipe I shared about a year ago for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

I didn’t simply switch out the kinds of chips. I also decreased the spices. I wanted enough to add some flavor, but I didn’t want them to be spice cake-like as in the old version.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

The use of bread flour creates bars that are especially thick and cakey. Unlike a standard frosted cake, these travel very well. The bars are nice and cohesive.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

I like to place waxed paper between layers to prevent sticking and melting chips (because in Arizona, well, it’s still hot at this time of year).

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

 

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

These Pumpkin Caramel Chip bars are dense and cakey, with just the right amount of caramel chips to complement the pumpkin.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups caramel chips, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Stir in most of the caramel chips; coating them with flour will keep them from sinking as they bake. Set bowl aside.

In a big mixing bowl, combine the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Once that's mixed, slowly blend in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Pour the batter into the ready pan and smooth out. Sprinkle the remaining caramel chips over the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test in the middle. Cool completely. Lift up by the foil and place on a cutting board to cut bars. Store in a sealed container at room temperature or chilled. Since pumpkin can be a little sticky, use parchment or wax paper between stacked layers of bars.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Caramel Chip Bars

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Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Posted by on Sep 19, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, lemon | 0 comments

Welcome to MACADAMIA NUT MONTH! Why is this Macadamia Nut Month? Because next month on the 23rd, the final book in my Blood of Earth trilogy comes out! Macadamia nuts are a big product of Hawaii, and Hawaii is a major setting in Roar of Sky. Plus, macadamia nuts are awesome.

If you love these nuts, get ready to bliss out. This month includes recipes for:
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies 
Lemony Macadamia Nut Bars (today)
Mini Fruit Cake Loaves to make now for the holidays (macadamia nuts optional)

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Sweet, tart, crunchy, fresh: these Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies have it all going on.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

My husband loves good lemon treats, and these met his whole-hearted approval–and his co-workers apparently went bonkers for them, too.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

I’m honestly surprised there aren’t more goodies out there that combine lemon and macadamia nuts. It’s such an awesome combination.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Here, the chewiness of the blondies is amped up by a very thin glaze that soaks into the bars while they are still hot. I was afraid the glaze might make them too sweet, but it turned out perfect.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

If you have leftover macadamia nuts around, do remember to store them in the fridge! Their high fat content can cause them to spoil at room temperature, whereas they will keep for ages in the fridge.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Trust me, no one wants to eat rancid nuts.

Modified from Epicuricloud.

Come back next week for a  recipe with optional macadamia nuts: mini fruit cake loaves, quite customizable with the dried fruit and nuts! And please preorder Roar of Sky!

 

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

These lemony blondies are full of crunchy, chewy perfection. A thin glaze on top adds a necessary sweet boost.

  • Bars
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • zest of 3 lemons; reserve a pinch for glaze
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • reserved lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar. Add eggs one at a time followed by the lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Stir in the flour and salt. When those are just incorporated, add the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

Pour the batter into the ready pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test in the middle.

Immediately after that is done baking, make the glaze by stirring together the confectioners' sugar and reserved lemon juice and zest. Use a chopstick or similar tool to poke small holes across the top of the blondies. Pour the glaze over the top and use a spoon to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top.

Let pan cool completely. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board. Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container with wax paper or parchment between the layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

If you’re craving candy bars–a lot of candy bars–this recipe will result in a casserole dish of Twix-like yumminess.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

These are a bit softer than Twix, but the similarities are there. The crust is like cakey shortbread topped with caramel-sweet dulce de leche. Chocolate finishes off the top.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

As the pictures show, there are some crumbs. Very delicious crumbs. I found the chocolate layer on top stayed soft, even after chilling.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

This is the perfect recipe for feeding a large crowd. If you cut them into long rectangles, like Twix, you’ll have a lot!

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

But if you have leftovers, no worries–these keep well for days in the fridge, and you can also freeze them between waxed paper layers. Just thaw them in the fridge when your craving strikes again.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

Modified from Twixy Shortbread Bars in Better Homes & Gardens.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

 

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

This recipe creates a big pan of soft Twix-like candy bars! Note that the dough needs to chill prior to baking. The finished bars keep best in the fridge, but they can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 13.4-oz can dulce de leche
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 12-ounces (1 bag) semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 13x9-inch pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl beat the 1 1/2 cups butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla. Beat in the flour. Press the dough into the prepared pan and set in fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Bake the pan with dough for 20 to 25 minutes, until set and turning light brown. Cool on rack.

Spread contents of dulce de leche can evenly over the crust.

In a saucepan on medium heat, warm up the whipping cream, 6 tablespoons of butter, and corn syrup until they are just boiling. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and vanilla but don't stir! Let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir until nice and smooth. Cool another 10 minutes, then pour chocolate over the dulce de leche. Spread it evenly over the top. Cover and chill for an hour or two.

Use the foil to lift contents of pan onto a large cutting board. Slice into bars.

These homemade candy bars keep best in the fridge, and can also be frozen (and later thawed in fridge). If at room temperature for a prolonged period, the bottom crust may get soggy.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Posted by on Aug 8, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

I’d like to thank my past self for setting me up to re-discover this Oatmeal Caramel Bars recipe.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

When I was home last Thanksgiving, my mom gave me a stack of her old recipes and food magazines to go through. A lot of the material dated to the 1970s and ’80s and went straight in the recycle pile.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Mixed in with everything else, though, I found some little food magazines I had bought back in 1999 as I looked toward getting married. One of them highlighted favorite recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

This recipe, originally titled Oatmeal Carmelitas, dated from the 1960s. I knew I had to make it.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

The recipe essentially makes a big, fat candy bar. Oatmeal forms the crust, while the middle consists of chocolate chips and gooey caramel.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Yeah. This isn’t a health recipe, but wow, is it good. This was worth being published again in 1999–and again now, with some new tweaks.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

 

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

These bars are like big, delicious candy bars loaded with oats, chocolate, and caramel! Note that they should be well-chilled before slicing into bars and will be more cohesive if stored in the fridge as well. Modified from magazine Best From 50 Years of Bake-Off, May 1999.

  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Filling:
  • 1 14-ounce caramel ice cream topping
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all crust ingredients until crumbly. Reserve half, about 3 cups, for the topping, and press the rest into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the caramel and 4 Tablespoons of flour.

When the crust is done baking, sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans over the top, then drizzle evenly with the caramel mixture. Add the reserved crumb mixture on top.

Return to the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for an hour or so, then set in fridge to completely chill for several hours or overnight. To cut, use the foil to lift contents to a cutting board. Slice into bars.

Store in sealed container in fridge with layers between pieces of parchment or wax paper. Bars will stay more cohesive if chilled; they are gooier at room temperature.

OM NOM NOM!

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