blondies

Bready or Not: Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast | 0 comments

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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Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

We’re kicking off the Christmas season with a recipe that’s been a favorite of mine since 2003: Soft Gingerbread Bars!

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

My original recipe was clipped from the inside of a Land O Lakes butter box. Before trying that recipe, I had associated gingerbread with dry, hard cut-out cookies.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Land O Lakes enlightened me. They taught me gingerbread could be rendered into soft, chewy bars that were a sugary equivalent to crack cocaine.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

These bars have been a household favorite ever since. You can cut the gingerbread into fancier shapes, but I prefer basic bars. These bars are soft and luscious, embodied with the divine scent of Christmas itself.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Plus, this is the perfect recipe when you’re low on time–it mixes together quickly and bakes in under 20 minutes. No standing around the oven for an hour, waiting for batch after batch of cookies to be done.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

As soft as these bars are, they are surprisingly durable. When my husband was deployed in the Navy, I mailed several batches to him overseas. I packed them in Gladware with napkins for padding, and they survived the journey, intact and tasty.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Modified from the original recipe at Land O Lakes Butter. Originally posted at Bready or Not back in 2012 on Live Journal.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

These soft, thick gingerbread bars whip together in no time and bake in under 20 minutes! They are surprisingly durable, too, and keep well for weeks for mailing–even to overseas. Plus, they smell and taste like sugary heaven. Modified from a Land O Lakes recipe.

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • Topping
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll or large bar pan with aluminum foil.

Combine the 1 1/4 cups sugar, butter, egg, and molasses in a large mixer bowl. Mix until creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, and spices and mix until just combined.

Press the dough evenly into the pan. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of sugar across the top. Dust the sugar with your fingers to fill the nooks and crannies.

Bake the pan for 16 to 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely. Cut into bars or other shapes. Try to resist eating them all.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

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Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in biscoff spread, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

Last week I shared Peanut Butter Ecstasy Bars. This week I switch out the peanut butter for a version that tastes even better.

Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

The top and bottom layers use cookie butter (Biscoff, Speculoos, whichever!) while the middle layer uses just a touch of Nutella. That combination is luscious. Cookie dough and chocolate. Guh.

Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

I mentioned before that the peanut butter version can be crumbly, especially the edge pieces. Well, this new variation is even messier. Karmic balance for the extra deliciousness, right? The middle pieces were a touch gooey, even as the edge pieces pretty much shattered as they were cut.

Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

That’s not a bad thing here, though. These pieces are delicious. Lap them up. Save them to top ice cream or yogurt. Just please, don’t let them go to waste.

Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

Mind you, they’ll also go to your waist, but that’s a totally separate dilemma.

Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

This variation of my Peanut Butter Ecstasy Bars uses Biscoff or Speculoos for the crust and Nutella in the filling for a fantastic cookie dough-chocolate combination. They might be crumbly and messy (especially the edges), but you’ll want to gobble up every morsel.

  • Crust:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff or Speculoos Cookie Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Filling:
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutella or similar chocolate spread
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, mix butter, cookie butter, and sugar. Add the vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour. Set aside about 1 cup of the dough, and firmly press the rest into the prepared pan.

Using the same bowl, make the filling. Beat together the eggs, Nutella, and two sugars. Spread this over the unbaked crust. Sprinkle the reserved dough over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the dough it set and golden. Cool completely in pan. Slice into bars. The bars may be crumbly, especially the edge pieces, but every bit is delicious. Keeps for at least 3 days in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Biscoff-Nutella Ecstasy Bars

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