blondies

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, mint | 0 comments

If you want a treat that is decadent, gorgeous, and loaded with peppermint, bake this up.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

But once you put the peppermint bits on, eat them within a few hours. That’s right, this recipe has the same issue as the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks a few weeks ago.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

See that picture above? That’s what the peppermint does, melting to look like stained glass. It’s a purely cosmetic issue; the bars still taste fine and the peppermint even retains a slight crunch.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

The solution to this is pretty easy, though. Add the peppermint bits right before serving, or just omit them. Or be prepared to eat them with oozy peppermint on top, as they’ll still taste fine!

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

With that disclaimer done, I can say these things taste absolutely delicious. I mean, hello, blondies topped with cream cheese frosting! These are practically a cake.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Modified from County Living, December 2015.

 

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

These blondies deliver sheer holiday decadence! Peppermint, white chocolate, and cream cheese frosting work together in a glorious way. Do note that the crushed peppermint bits will melt after a few hours, regardless of the temperature at which the bars are kept. They’ll still taste fine, but they don’t look as pretty!

  • blondies
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cup (1 bag) white chocolate chips
  • frosting
  • 16 ounces (2 boxes) cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermints

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Apply nonstick spray or butter to an aluminum foil-lined 9x13 baking pan.

Beat together butter, both sugars, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and peppermint extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir the dry mix into the butter mix. Add the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake until golden brown and the middle passes the toothpick test, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack until room temperature, or place in fridge to chill.

When the blondie base is no longer hot, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until they are light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Spread frosting over blondies. Freeze for 30 minutes or chill in fridge for several hours to set.

Add crushed peppermints just before serving. NOTE: after a few hours, the peppermints will melt, regardless of the temperature of the bars. It looks weird, but tastes the same, even retaining a slight crunch. Other than that, the bars keep fine in the fridge for at least 5 days.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

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Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, pumpkin | 0 comments

Pumpkin and chocolate make for the perfect pairing in these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars!

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I modified the original recipe to incorporate bread flour, creating bars that are fabulously dense and chewy.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

This is essentially pumpkin spice cake with freckles of chocolate chips.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Unlike a standard frosted cake, these travel very well. The bars are nice and cohesive.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

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

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

On the subject of chocolate chips, be sure to toss the majority of your chips in with the flour. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom as it bakes!

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Modified from What’s Gabby Cooking.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

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

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate 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 [not organic]

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 chocolate 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 chocolate 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.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

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Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

I’m presenting many wonderful matcha baked goods this month, but this one, dear readers, is the most delicious. The most divine. The most appropriate way to celebrate the release of Call of Fire.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

My husband takes most all of my baked goods to work. These Matcha Cheesecake Bars earned a rare and vociferous response.

To directly quote, with expletives replaced Mad Lib style to make this work-safe and kid-safe:
“She needs to laminate that [noun for excrement].”
“Those were [verb for copulation, -ing] on point.”

Yeah. This recipe is a winner.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Plus, these bars are ridiculously easy to make. You make a crust. Mix up some green cheesecake. Do some layering and swirling.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Mind you, I’m not a big cheesecake person, but thanks to the cookie-like crust, these are not rich like standard cheesecakes. You really get the best of everything here, and the matcha powder adds a wonderful fresh flavor and a lovely green tint.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Do note that the type of green tea you use may produce different results. I used a Rishi sweet green tea blend that includes sugar, making it ideal for lattes or baked goods. [Addendum: Readers have baked this recipe using standard matcha powder and have been delighted with the results! So use whatever green tea you have handy. If you want it sweeter, just add a touch more sugar.]

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

I plan on re-making this with a variety of teas. Look for another version of this recipe in the coming months!

Adapted from Every Day Dishes.

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

This incredible recipe will please cheesecake lovers and convert non-cheesecake eaters as well. Note that different green teas may produce different results in taste and tint; sweet matcha powder will obviously contain more natural sweetness, but the recipe turns out well when standard matcha is used, too.

  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake layer
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tb all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tb matcha (sweet or regular)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs and the vanilla extract, followed by the combined dry ingredients.

Use an uneven spatula to smooth out HALF of the batter in the prepared pan. Place the other half in another bowl for now. Clean the mixing bowl before the next stage, if desired.

To make the cheesecake layer, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, butter, flour, and matcha powder. Mix in the egg and vanilla until it is mostly smooth.

Pour about HALF of the cream cheese mix on top of the batter in the pan and smooth it out. Dollop the remaining crust and cheesecake batters over the top, and use a butter knife to swirl them together.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test in the middle. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then place in fridge to continue chill and set for another hour or two.

Lift it up by the aluminum foil and place on a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a lidded container in fridge, with waxed paper or parchment between stacked layers.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

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Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, cookies, maple | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

If you like chewy maple goodness, then these Maple Raisin Bars are for you!

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

So you ever look at a recipe and think, “Hey, that looks good, but I want to change half the ingredients around?” That’s how this recipe came about. I look at another recipe and decided to give it an overhaul. Golden raisins instead of apricots. Honey instead of molasses. And so on.

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

The result? Chewy, cakey bars with delightful gems of golden raisins sprinkled throughout. The turbinado sugar on top adds a special sparkle.

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

They taste kind of like gingerbread just, well, without any ginger. That’s the closest comparison I can make.

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

Even better, these keep well for days at room temperature, and they can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

Yep, these will be greatly enjoyed. Now or later.

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

A Bready or Not Original! These Maple Raisin Bars are like chewy gingerbread bars, minus the ginger. The nommable crumb is made extra-chewy by the golden raisins spread throughout. Store them at room temperature, or freeze for later!

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup milk (almond milk is fine)
  • 3 teaspoons turbinado sugar

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

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir in the raisins. Set bowl aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together maple sugar, oil, honey, and milk. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry until fully combined. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, making sure the raisins are well distributed. Sprinkle turbinado sugar all over the top.

Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, until the dough has puffed and it passes the toothpick test in the middle.

Let it cool completely. Lift out of pan with the foil and cut into squares. Store in a sealed container with waxed paper or parchment paper between the layers. Will keep well at room temperature for days, or can be frozen for weeks.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Maple Raisin Bars

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A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in apples, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cake, cookies | Comments Off on A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

I have shared many takes on snickerdoodles and many versions of apple cake and pie. This time, I combine apple cake and snickerdoodles to make something especially awesome.

A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

These Apple Snickerdoodle Bars are incredibly straightforward to make. The most time-consuming thing is peeling and dicing the apples. The batter comes together fast, the apples mix right in, and you top the whole thing with a cinnamon-sugar layer.

A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

In under thirty minutes of baking, BOOM. You have created a masterpiece.

A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

Seriously, if you love apples and snickerdoodles, a piece of this will be like heaven. It is dense and tender, not crumbly at all. The topping crisps up in an amazing way.

A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

I store these cut-up between wax paper layers in the fridge. They also freeze well.

If you’re bonkers for these bars, freezing them might help with the matter of restraint.

A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

If you love apples and snickerdoodles, one of these bars will be like heaven! This produces a full 13×9 pan of dense, tender, blissful bars. Store them in a sealed container in the fridge; bars can also be frozen.

  • Bars
  • 2 cups peeled & diced baking apples (2 medium apples)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Topping
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Apply nonstick spray or butter. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.

Peel and dice the apples; stir in some flour to lightly coat to prevent browning as you prepare the batter.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Once that is just combined (it will be very thick), add the diced apples.

Dollop the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. In another small bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon. Use a spoon to cover the top of the batter with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the top is set and the middle passes the toothpick test. Let cool at room temperature and then chill in the fridge. Use the parchment or foil to lift the bars out for easy cutting on a board. Store bars in a sealed container in the fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

 

A Bready or Not Original: Apple Snickerdoodle Bars

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Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

These Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars are thick, lush, and oh-so-good.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

I had to make this recipe twice to get it right. The first time I made it, I chilled it for only a few hours and then started to cut up the bars. It became a huge, awful mess. I was embarrassed by how they looked–crumbles more than bars–but my husband took them to work and people went crazy over them.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

It turned out, the recipe produced something seriously delicious… but it sure needed a lot more time to set.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

Therefore, I made them again. I also tweaked it from the original by taking out extra pecans and adding the essential ingredient of cream of tartar. I mean, what the heck? Something can’t be named Snickerdoodle and lack cream of tartar!

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

This time, I let the bars set in the fridge for almost a full day before I sliced them. The top crackled but the bars stayed cohesive–and my husband’s co-workers went bonkers over them, yet again.

This recipe makes a lot, too. The bars fill a 13×9 pan all the way to the top! Have a lot of containers handy, or keep them in the original pan with plastic wrap or foil over the top.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

These Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars would wow a crowd at a holiday potluck! The leftovers keep well for days, too.

Modified from Shugary Sweets.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

These Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars are thick and lush, filling a 13×9 casserole pan all the way to the top. Be sure to read through the full recipe before you start–the baked bars need to set overnight in the fridge, at minimum, before being cut, or they’ll make a delicious mess.

  • Crust
  • 8 ounces graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Snickerdoodle layer
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Topping
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Line a 13x9 baking dish with aluminum foil so that it is covered on the bottom and all four sides; apply nonstick spray or butter. Set dish aside. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers with pecans and sugar until everything is reduced to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until it clumps.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of prepared baking dish. A handy way to do this is to lay a piece of wax paper over the crumbs, then use a glass to compress the bottom crust. Form an even layer.

Next, start the cheesecake filling. In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour over the filling over the graham crust.

Time for the cookie dough top crust! Clean up the bowl and use it to beat the butter with sugar for 2 minutes, until it's fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Add the baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon, and cream of tartar. Use your hands to form flat pieces of dough to lay atop the cream cheese. Fill in the holes until you form a cookie dough lid.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon topping, and sprinkle that over the top layer.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cookie dough layer should be completely cooked and golden, even if the middle still jiggles a bit. The cheesecake bars will completely fill the pan.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Once it's cooled, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight or full a full day. THIS IS IMPORTANT. It will be delicious if you cut into it early, but it will also be a complete mess when cut!

After the bars have had a long chill, cut them into bars and keep stored in fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

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