blondies

Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

Posted by on Sep 2, 2020 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, nutty | 0 comments

This has been a nutty year. Time to make it nutty in a delicious way with these Mixed Nut Bars.

Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

The amount of nuts here is the equivalent of the can size found in many American stores, but I buy my nuts in bulk. (I’m cheap like that.)

Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

Use whatever combination of nuts you like. I would recommend having at least two kinds mixed in, to make it fun. Really, throw in what you like.

Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

If you’ve followed Bready or Not for a while, you know I love caramel chips. They are awesome in this recipe! They make these bars sweet without it being overkill.

Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

Make this to share with numerous folks. You essentially end up with a 13×9 pan of little candy bars. I imagine that they will keep well for days or even a week, but I can’t testify as to how long. When my husband took these to his work (in those halcyon days when that was allowed), they were gone in hours.

Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

These mixed nut bars are like little candy bars, crunchy and just sweet enough. Caramel chips aren't made of actual caramel, but act like chocolate chips in baked goods.
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: almond, caramel chips, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 13x9 pan

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick

Nutty layer

  • 11 1/2 ounces mixed nuts
  • 1 cup caramel chips plus extra 1/2 cup for top, optional
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.
  • In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the cube of butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Dump into prepared pan and compress into an even layer; a strip of waxed paper and a heavy glass make this easier.
  • Bake base layer for 10 to 12 minutes, until it looks set. Sprinkle nuts over the baked dough.
  • In the microwave, melt 1 cup caramel chips with the 2 Tablespoons butter by cooking for 20 second increments and stirring well between each pass, until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and vanilla extract. Pour over the nuts to cover as much as possible.
  • Bake for 12 minutes. If adding extra caramel chips, do so now, covering any thinner areas atop crust. Bake another 5 minutes.
  • Cool completely at room temperature. Use foil sling to lift contents onto a large cutting board. Slice into bars.
  • Store at room temperature in sealed containers.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

    Posted by on Aug 12, 2020 in apples, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, pumpkin | 0 comments

    I present to you my Chewy Filled Bars: a versatile recipe that can use any number of fruit preserves, fruit butters, or other sweet filling, combined with different nuts or seeds, all to unique, delicious result.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

    These pictures display the recipe using Sprouts Cherry Preserves (with slivered almonds and almond extract) and Sprouts Maple Pumpkin Butter (with pepitas and almond extract).

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

    However, I also made the same recipe using Trader Joe’s cinnamon bun filling (with chopped pecans and vanilla extract) and Apple Cider Spread (with chopped walnuts and vanilla extract). Every single version was awesome.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

    The jarred filling I used varied from 12 to 14 ounces. All worked well, though the Cinnamon Bun Filling required a 40 minute bake to set. I liked mixing in different nuts or seeds to pair with the filling, but you could also omit that ingredient completely, if desired.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

    No matter the mix-ins, the result is a pleasantly thick, chewy bar that is just sweet enough.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

     

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

    This versatile base recipe can accommodate many different fillings, all of them delicious. Pick a jar of fruit preserves, fruit butter, or other sweet filling. Pick a complementary nut or seed. Pick an extract. Mix up. Enjoy!
    Course: Appetizer, Snack
    Keyword: almond, bars, oats, preserves, pumpkin, walnuts
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 13x9 pan

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
    • 2 cups brown sugar packed
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract or substitute vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup slivered almonds or sliced almonds or substitute other nuts or seeds
    • 12 to 14 ounce fruit preserves or fruit butter or other sweet filling; possibilities include cherry preserves, pumpkin butter, cinnamon bun filling, etc

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
    • In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Follow up with egg and almond extract. Gradually mix in flour, oats, and sliced almonds.
    • Set aside 1 cup of dough. Press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan. A piece of waxed paper and heavy glass will help to compress it into a form, even layer. Spread preserves over top. Crumble the reserved dough over the fruit.
    • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until top is lightly brown and no longer wobbly in the middle. Completely cool at room temperature, speeding process in the fridge, if desired. Use foil to lift contents onto cutting board to slice up.
    • Store in sealed containers with waxed paper or parchment between the layers. Keeps at room temperature for days, and can also be frozen for weeks.

    OM NOM NOM!

      Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

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      Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

      Posted by on Jun 10, 2020 in Blog, blondies, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

      Nothing says summer to me quite like blueberry bars, and this version has a delectable crumb topping and loads of blueberries!

      Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

      This is really the best kind of fruit and shortbread combo. The bottom and top acquire a buttery crispness as they bake, the perfect contrast for the oozy, sweet berries.

      Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

      I am frustrated when recipes only list blueberries by cup measurement, which is useless when I’m in the grocery store trying to figure out how much to buy in pints or ounces. I can say that 4 cups or 20 ounces is what you need for this recipe.

      Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

      Be careful at the final stage when it’s time to slice into bars. The blueberries can stick to the foil quite a bit. Therefore, be sure to generously grease the pan prior to baking, and gently pry the foil away when ready to slice.

      Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

      The recipe makes a full 9×13 pan, so be sure you have a lot of people present to eat them. These would be very dangerous treats to keep around when home alone, just sayin’.

      Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

       

      Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

      This recipe makes a 9x13 pan full of delicious bars! The buttery shortbread-like crust is perfectly paired with a generous layer of oozy blueberries.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Keyword: bars, blueberries, shortbread
      Author: Beth Cato

      Ingredients

      • 3 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 cup white sugar divided
      • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • pinch ground cinnamon
      • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temperature
      • 1 egg
      • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
      • 4 cups fresh blueberries 20 ounces

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray. Wash the blueberries and remove any stems or smashed berries, then gently blot dry with a towel.
      • In a big bowl, mix together the flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, the brown sugar, and baking powder. Add the salt and cinnamon. Add the butter and mix until it forms crumbly dough.
      • Pat about 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. A piece of waxed paper and a heavy glass will help compress it into an even layer.
      • In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup white sugar and cornstarch. Gently stir the blueberries to coat. Sprinkle the blueberries over the bottom crust, then crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top.
      • Bake for 45 minutes, but check at the 30 minute point. If it's looking golden on top, cover it with foil then continue to bake.
      • Cool at room temperature, then chill in fridge to make it even more cohesive to cut. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board. Carefully peel back the foil from the edges; a knife might help to hold the bars in place if the blueberry layer is being especially sticky.
      • Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container in the fridge, with waxed paper between the stacked layers.

      OM NOM NOM!

        Bready or Not Original: Blueberry Crumble Bars

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        Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

        Posted by on May 13, 2020 in biscoff spread, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

        Cookie butter and Jelly Bars! These things are soft and chewy, creating a whole casserole dish-worth of luscious goodies.

        Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

        As often as I’ve advocated for cookie butter on Bready or Not, it seems people are always discovering it for the first time. Lucky you! It’s essentially pulverized cookies in spreadable form.

        Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

        You can find generic versions or Biscoff brand at places like Walmart, Target, and Sprouts, and Trader Joe’s is famous for their Speculoos jars.

        Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

        In these bars, cookie butter adds incredible softness and amps up the cookie flavor. That’s right, it has this weird ability to make cookies taste more like cookies.

        Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

        Use whatever jelly or jam or preserves you want. Try not to spread it to the very edge, as it can be very sticky on the foil, even if it’s well-greased.

        Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

         

        Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter and Jelly Bars

        Cookie butter pairs with jelly just as well (if not better) as peanut butter does, but is nut-free for those with allergies. These bars are soft, chewy, and delicious, sweetened just-enough by your choice of jelly or preserves.
        Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
        Cuisine: American
        Keyword: bars, cookie butter, cookies
        Author: Beth Cato

        Ingredients

        • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temperature
        • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 2 large eggs
        • 2 cups creamy cookie butter
        • 3 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1 teaspoon baking powder
        • 13 ounce jelly or preserves or jam, about 1 1/2 cups

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 baking pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
        • In a big bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping bottom of bowl as necessary. Follow up with the eggs, vanilla, and cookie butter, until blended.
        • Gradually mix in the flour and baking powder.
        • Spread about 2/3 of the batter in the prepared pan. Spread the jelly but not quite to the edges. Dollop the remaining dough all over the top.
        • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface is golden and not jiggly, with the middle passing the toothpick test.
        • Cool completely at room temperature or in the fridge. Use foil to lift contents onto a cutting board to parcel into bars. Store in a sealed container with waxed paper or parchment paper between the layers, either in the fridge or on the counter.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          Posted by on Apr 8, 2020 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          These Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars are zippy and fresh, perfect to serve at the holidays and year-round!

          Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          I firmly believe good food should be enjoyed whenever. I suppose some people would try to classify these as a Christmassy thing because they are a kind of gingerbread bar. To that, I say NOPE.

          Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          I’m rebellious. It’s April. Ginger is an awesome spice. It should be confined to no season. Be free, ginger!

          Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          These bars aren’t all about the ginger, though. The spices here are nuanced and delicious, and the lemon plays a pretty big part in the crisp glaze.

          Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          Try to make these things at least a day ahead of when they will be served, too, as they taste even BETTER after sitting in the fridge. I say that, but they are pretty awesome while fresh, too.

          Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          This is the second entry in my April of lemon recipes. Here’s what else you can look forward to this month!

          Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake
          Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars [you are here]
          Cranberry Lemon Biscotti
          Cream Cheese Stuffed Lemon Bundt Cake
          Lemon Frangipane

          Bready or Not Original: Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars

          These Glazed Lemon Ginger Bars are zippy and fresh, perfect for any time of year! One large lemon should provide enough juice and zest for the glaze. Helpful hint: these taste even better after sitting in the fridge for a day!
          Course: Dessert, Snack
          Keyword: bars, gingerbread, lemon
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • 13x9 pan

          Ingredients

          Bars

          • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
          • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
          • 1/2 cup molasses
          • 1 large egg
          • 2 cups all-purpose flour
          • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
          • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
          • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
          • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
          • 1/4 teaspoon salt
          • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

          Glaze

          • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter melted
          • 1 cup confectioners' sugar plus more as needed
          • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
          • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
          • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated

          Instructions

          • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
          • In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg.
          • In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
          • Gradually mix dry ingredients into the wet, until just combined. Fold in the dried cranberries.
          • Pour batter into prepared pan and even out. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until middle passes toothpick test. Cool completely.
          • To make the glaze, in a small bowl melt the butter. Add the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Stir to create a thick, spreadable consistency, adding more sugar if needed to thicken or more lemon juice or water to thin. Spread atop bars. Sprinkle zest over the top. Let glaze set before cutting.
          • Store bars sliced, with waxed paper between layers, in sealed container in fridge. Note that these bars taste even better after chilling for a day! They keep well for several days, too.

          OM NOM NOM!

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            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            Posted by on Feb 19, 2020 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            These delicious Hazelnut Praline Bars are a lot like praline candy, but it fantastic bar form.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            The top of these bars caramelizes. These things are very sweet, with the nuts rendered softly crunchy. The combination of textures is just divine.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            The slight drizzle of chocolate on top is the perfect accent, too. Funny how the tiniest bit of chocolate adds so much in terms of flavor.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            A 6 ounce bag of hazelnuts will be the perfect amount for both the crust and nut layer, too.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            Can you use other nuts? I haven’t tried it in this recipe, but why not? Praline candy traditionally uses pecans, after all. I bet using other nuts–or a combo–would be fine.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            Hazelnuts are sure delicious and fun, though!

             

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Praline Bars

            These very sweet, softly crunchy bars combine hazelnuts with just a touch of chocolate for a delectable treat. A 6-ounce bag of hazelnuts will give you the perfect amount.
            Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: American, Southern
            Keyword: bars, chocolate, hazelnuts
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • 13x9 pan
            • food processor
            • small saucepan

            Ingredients

            Crust

            • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
            • 1 cup brown sugar packed
            • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened, 1 1/2 sticks
            • 2 cups all-purpose flour

            Nut Layer

            • 1 cup hazelnuts
            • 13 Tablespoons unsalted butter
            • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed

            Topping

            • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

            Instructions

            • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
            • Place the 1/2 cup hazelnuts in a food processor. Process until finely ground.
            • In a medium bowl, beat together the next two crust ingredients, the brown sugar and butter. Add the flour and ground hazelnuts. Press crust into pan; a piece of wax paper and a heavy glass makes it easy to form an evenly compressed layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
            • In the meantime, put the remaining hazelnuts in the food processor and give them a quick pulse, just to coarsely chop them.
            • As soon as the crust comes out, sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top. In a small saucepan, warm the butter and brown sugar to boiling at medium heat. Boil for a minute. Pour over hazelnuts.
            • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until edges are bubbling and center is set. Cool completely.
            • In a small microwave-safe bowl, zap the chocolate in 25 second bursts, stirring well between each pass, until it can be stirred smooth. Use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the bars.
            • Chill in fridge for 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set. Use the foil to lift contents onto a cutting board and slice into bars.
            • Store in a sealed container at room temperature or in the fridge with waxed paper or parchment between the layers.

            OM NOM NOM!

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