blondies

Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, maple | 0 comments

Most of the sweet treats I make go with my husband to his work. These Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars left everyone there dazzled and amazed.

Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

I confess, they turned out even better than I anticipated, too, though I knew from the start they combine many of my favorite things: soft and chewy blondie bars, cinnamon chips, more cinnamon and sugar on top, and a touch of maple glaze.

Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

I actually debated whether or not the glaze was necessary. Would it be too sweet?

Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

I soon found out that no, the glaze was not too sweet. It adds just a little extra oomph to complement the existing sweetness in the bars.

The bars travel keep and travel well, too. I kept them chilled in the fridge–I live near Phoenix, after all, my kitchen tends to be warm year-round–in sealed containers, with waxed paper between stacked layers. We found the bars were amazing after three days, but it’s kind of a miracle they lasted even that long.

Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

These things are GOOD. Really good. Even by Bready or Not standards.

Modified from Taste of Home 13×9 Holiday Special Issue, 2015.

Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

These stunning bars are a cinnamon-lovers dream, sweet but not too sweet. This is an easy dessert that will stun people.

  • Bars
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cinnamon baking chips
  • Topping
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

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

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar, followed by the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Fold in the cinnamon chips.

Spread batter in the pan. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle them all across the top of the batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and the middle passes the toothpick test. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, combine all three ingredients in a small bowl until smooth in texture. Drizzle over top of bars and let set for fifteen minutes.

Use foil to lift contents onto cutting board. Slice into bars. Store in an airtight container between layers of wax paper, either at room temperature or refrigerated.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | 0 comments

Lemony. Fresh. Perfection. Those words are the best way to describe these incredible bars.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Not only are these delicious, but they are easy to make. A food processor is especially handy as you can chop up the nuts and then add in the rest of the crust ingredients, too.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

To soften the cream cheese for the filling, leave it at room temperature for a bit, or do what I usually do: place the cheese on a plate and microwave for like 5 seconds. Then flip it over and zap again, if needed. It just needs to be soft enough to blend, not cooked.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

I confess, I sometimes get nervous when I do dessert bars with bottom crusts. Because sometimes, no matter how I compress them into the pan, they fall apart when the bars are cut apart. Not so here! They were surprisingly cohesive. (Here’s hoping you have the same experience.)

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

That cohesiveness makes these dangerously easy to eat. These bars have it all going on. Buttery crumb. Nutty crunches here and there. Vivid lemon flavor in the creamy filling.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

I’d like to report how long these can last in the fridge, but I don’t know. I make these bars, and they are suddenly GONE. Poof.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

A Bready or Not Original! Bake up a large dish of delicious, lemony-fresh bars in under a hour.

  • Crust
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • Filling
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 boxes (16 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 eggs

Prepare a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.

Use a food processor (or knife and cutting board) to chop up pecans to small pieces. Add flour, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and butter to bowl, and blend with pecans until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mix; press the rest into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until it's just turning golden.

As the crust bakes, combine all of the filling ingredients until fairly smooth.

Pull the crust out of the oven. Pour filling over the top and smooth to the edges. Crumble the reserved crust across the top.

Bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges are golden and the middle is set.

Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour, then place in the fridge to completely chill.

Use the foil to lift the bars onto a cutting board for easy slicing. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

Posted by on Apr 25, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

Frosted sugar cookies are awesome, but let’s be honest–they are kind of a pain. Individual cookies that need to be frosted individually. It’s time-consuming and messy.

Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

Simplify the process! Make sugar cookie bars. Bake up the whole pan in under 25 minutes. Let it cool. Frost. Slice. EAT.

Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

The cookies are like shortbread in texture, buttery and firm. The frosting layer is just the right thickness and sweetness.

Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

Color the frosting however you wish; I like to use Americolor dyes. And sprinkles. Sprinkles make everything better, right?

Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

The end result is a basic and delicious frosted sugar cookie. They’re easy to pack for a party or potluck, too–stack them in a container with wax paper between the layers!

Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

Modified from Lauren’s Latest.

Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

Bready or Not: Sugar Cookie Bars

If you need a lot of frosted sugar cookies in a hurry, this recipe is exactly what you need! Bake up the shortbread-like cookie layer, let it cool, then frost the entire pan before slicing them into bars.

  • bars
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons milk or half & half
  • food dye
  • sprinkles, if desired

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and white sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and both extracts, then the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Evenly compress the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Completely cool.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, two tablespoons milk, and a few drops of food dye. Add more milk to reach a spreadable consistency. Lift the uncut cookie bar out by the foil, then spread frosting on top. Add sprinkles. Slice bars. Store in a sealed container, stacked between wax paper layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Posted by on Apr 4, 2018 in biscoff spread, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | 0 comments

Cookie butter makes everything better. This is a maxim of life. It is proven true yet again with these Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Cookie butter is found by the peanut butter in most grocery stores in the US these days. The most popular brands are Biscoff and Speculoos, but Walmart, Kroger, and Sprouts even have their own jars now!

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

What does cookie butter taste like? Well… rich, buttery cookie dough rendered into peanut butter-like form. That’s the only way to describe it.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

In this recipe, the cookie butter flavor amps up the inherent baked-good yumminess of these bars. Add white chocolate and macadamias along with that? Oh yeah.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

You end up with a ribbon of cookie butter through the middle and swirls across the top. These effectively acts like a thin frosting, as these otherwise aren’t heavy duty on sweetness.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

The bars rise a lot as they bake and end up quite cakey. They hold together well, so you can cut them small, if you want.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

I want to mention macadamia nuts again. They are lovely in this recipe, adding a sporadic crunch and buttery flavor that goes oh-so-well with everything else.

 

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Cookie butter (aka Biscoff spread, Speculoos, and various store brands) creates luscious bars with some macadamia nuts added for crunch! These thick bars will store well at room temperature for as long as a week, if they last that long.

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 2/3 cup + 1/2 cup creamy cookie butter spread, divided

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

In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add in both sugars, followed by the eggs one by one, then the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually mix into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.

Spread half of the dough in the bottom of the pan. Mixture will be thick. Use an uneven spatula to spread 2/3 cup cookie butter in an even layer over the dough.

Top with remaining dough and spread to edges. Dollop the 1/2 cup of cookie butter here and there over the top, then use a butter knife to swirl it into the dough.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the middle passes the toothpick test. Dough will rise a great deal.

Cool completely in pan. Use the foil to lift up bars for easy cutting. Store sliced pieces in a sealed container at room temperature for as long as a week.

OM OM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Mar 14, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, cheese galore | 0 comments

Earl Grey tea and cream cheese team up in delicious bar form in these delicious Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Last August, I featured Matcha Cheesecake Bars. I decided to modify that recipe using Earl Grey.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

The result: WOW. Earl Grey has a slight heat to it when eaten in baked goods (like, say, Earl Grey shortbread).

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Here, that contrasts wonderfully with the smooth and creamy cheesecake swirls. I’m not a big cheesecake person, but I’m in awe of how good this basic recipe is.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

This is a recipe to make cheesecake haters love cheesecake. That’s not a statement I’d make lightly.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

I’ve been told these are excellent with coffee… but if I may, I suggest indulging while enjoying some Earl Grey tea. Hot. Captain Picard-style.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

 

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

This Bready or Not original recipe uses the pleasantly warm spices of Earl Grey to season cool cream cheese. The result is a memorable, delicious recipe that just might convert cheesecake haters to the ways of cheesecake.

  • 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
  • 2 tea bags Earl Grey (scant 1 tablespoon)
  • 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 bowl before the next stage, if desired.

To make the cheesecake layer, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, butter, flour, and the contents of two bags of Earl Grey. 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 to 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!

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Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, mint | Comments Off on Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

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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