blondies

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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Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, maple | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Glazed Maple Blondies

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 | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

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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Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, maple | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Chip Bars

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 | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

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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