blondies

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 | 0 comments

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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Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, maple | 0 comments

This is a repost of an old favorite recipe: Glazed Maple Blondies.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

Last fall when I prepared my Sweet Maple Cookbook, I remade and rewrote my original recipe. This wasn’t just to check the wording in the recipe, but to double check a major modification: using Golden Oreos.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

That’s because some of us, in blighted wastelands (aka Arizona), don’t have a wide variety of maple products available year-round. Maple cream sandwich cookies are a brief Christmastime dream. Golden Oreos, however, are available year-round just about everywhere.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

I found just the right balance of Golden Oreos and additional maple flavor to compensate for the lack of maple cookies. I tell you, my job is so strenuous at times.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

My husband’s co-workers test and comment on most of my sweet recipes, and for them, this is an all-time favorite. Bake it up yourself, and see why!

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

Also, be sure to grab the Sweet Maple Cookbook over on Amazon! It includes this maple recipe and so much more.

Bready or Not Sweet Maple Cookbook

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

A Bready or Not Original! The chewy cookie base contains lovely crunchiness from cookie chunks and white chocolate chips, while the cinnamon glaze brings sweetness and spice. If maple cream cookies are not available, substitute a full package of Golden Oreos and an extra 1/2 teaspoon maple flavor.

  • Blondies:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box maple cream cookies
  • 10 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 2+ Tablespoon milk (almond milk works)

Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Coarsely chop the cookies. Reserve 1/4 cup of the finer crumbs.

In a mixing bowl, blend the butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Add the eggs and vanilla. Pour in the flour mix until just combined, then stir in the white chocolate chips and cookie pieces.

Spread batter in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the blondie layer cool completely. Place in fridge to speed the process along, if necessary.

Combine glaze ingredients in bowl. Add enough milk to make the icing spreadable, not runny. Immediately dollop over blondies and smooth out. Quickly sprinkle on the reserved crumbs. Use fingers to gently press in.

Place pan in fridge to set for hour or two. Use the foil to lift the blondies onto a cutting board for easy slicing. Store refrigerated in a sealed container, between wax paper layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Posted by on Jul 11, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | 0 comments

Salted Caramel Chips now exist. There is hope for our world yet.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

“What makes these chips different than just using caramel chips?” Well, they have the texture of and keep their shape like regular chocolate chips. Caramel bits are more chaotic–they melt, they ooze, they can create a sticky mess.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

More and more stores are carrying salted caramel chips around Arizona. Locally, I have found Ghirardelli (at Walmart), Nestle (at Walmart and several stores), and a Kroger-branded kind (at Fry’s Grocery Store).

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

All three work and have a good flavor, but I liked the Kroger one the least. The color looks more artificial (yeah everything is about these is artificial but…) and the pieces are small and not quite as rich in flavor. Still, their price is good and they aren’t bad, by any means.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

You’ll see these chips used in a couple recipes in the next while–I bought several bags to test out!

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

While I’ll definitely stick to using real caramel in things like pies, these salted caramel chips are now my go-to for cookies and bars.

I do suggest keeping the ratio of 1 cup chocolate chips with 1 cup of caramel chips in this recipe. The caramel chips ARE strong–they are like butterscotch in that way–and the white chocolate adds a different kind of sweetness to balance them out.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

 

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Use a new innovation, salted caramel chips, to create stunning blondies! Ghirardelli or Nestle brands of caramel chips are recommended over store brands, but they’ll all work well. These blondies are chewy and sweet perfection, embodied with the lovely flavor of salted caramel (and without the goop and stickiness of real caramel).

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup salted caramel chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 10x15 jelly roll pan with wide aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, both sugars, and vanilla to create a smooth batter. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the flour mixture. Stir in the cup of white chocolate and cup of salted caramel chips. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake until evenly golden brown and set in the middle, 24 to 27 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature or chill before cutting. Blondies keep for up to 3 days in a room temperature sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

Posted by on May 30, 2018 in apples, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

Last month I shared a recipe for Apple Butter Oatmeal Bars. This time around, I’m sharing easy and straightforward Apple Butter Bars.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

This is a totally original recipe out of necessity. I tried another recipe, and ended up with a crumbly mess. Therefore, I decided to adapt my Lemon Cheesecake Bar recipe.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

That attempt turned out perfect. It’s fast to make, as you don’t have to bake in stages, and the end result was cohesive.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

Do note that these are best chilled. They will get softer if kept at room temperature for a while.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

The taste is phenomenal. The crumb layers taste like vanilla shortbread, with a sporadic crunch from nuts. The thin layer of apple butter adds just the right about of spice and flavor.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

This would be great with other fruit butters, too!

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Bars

This easy recipe will produce a large dish of delicious Apple Butter Bars. The crumb topping tastes like vanilla shortbread, while the thin apple butter layer adds just the right amount of spice and sweetness.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped finely
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 Tb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups apple butter or other fruit butter

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

In a large bowl, blend together flour, walnuts, confectioners' sugar, butter, and vanilla, until it is crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of crumbs; press the rest into the ready pan.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are turning golden brown and crust is set.

Pour apple butter over crust and smooth to edges. Crumble reserved flour mixture all over the top. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool to room temperature then chill in fridge. Use foil to lift out bars to slice. Store in sealed container in the fridge for maximum flavor and cohesiveness.

OM NOM NOM!

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