blondies

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

Posted by on Aug 12, 2020 in apples, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, pumpkin | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Chewy Filled Bars

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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            Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, british, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            Millionaire Shortbread. Gorgeous. Delicious. A little bit of extra effort to make, but SO WORTH IT.

            Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            I wanted to concoct the best-possible Millionaire Shortbread. This involved strenuous testing of recipes. Much baking. Much reliance on test subjects (husband and his co-workers).

            The resulting feedback? I wrote it down.
            “This shortbread is enjoyed, and feared.”
            “To call them excellent would be an insult to your wife.”

            Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            So yeah. The test subjects approved. I personally would rank this up there with my best all-time bakes, because it really combines the best of everything.

            Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            The shortbread layer is firm yet soft. THEN THAT CARAMEL. It is thick, luscious, and sweet. The chocolate provides the perfect balance, especially with the help of some Maldon salt flakes.

            Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            Do note that the ganache needs to be semisweet chocolate, or an even darker variety. Milk chocolate is just too sweet against that thick caramel. I say that, and I usually prefer milk chocolate.

            Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            I wish I could say how long this keeps in the fridge, but my test subjects were a bit too voracious to provide perspective on that point.

             

            Bready or Not Original: Millionaire Shortbread

            This Millionaire Shortbread is pure rich indulgence, and so worth the extra effort to make!
            Course: Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: British
            Keyword: bars, chocolate, cookies
            Author: Beth Cato

            Ingredients

            Shortbread Crust

            • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 cubes, softened
            • 1/3 cup white sugar
            • 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
            • 1 egg yolk
            • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
            • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
            • 1/2 teaspoon salt

            Caramel

            • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
            • 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter
            • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
            • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
            • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            • 1/4 teaspoon salt

            Chocolate Ganache

            • 11 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
            • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 stick
            • Maldon sea salt flakes for top, optional

            Instructions

            Shortbread base

            • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 baking pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
            • In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Follow up with the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Scrape bottom of bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
            • Gradually work in flour along with the salt. Don't overmix. It should still be crumbly. Drop dough into prepared pan and compress into an even layer. (A piece of waxed paper and a heavy glass make this easier.)
            • Bake shortbread layer for 20 to 25 minutes, until edges are turning golden brown. Set pan aside to cool while the next layer is made.

            Caramel

            • In a large saucepan at medium heat, stir together the condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Stir constantly as it rises to a boil. Immediately drop heat to low, and continue to stir nonstop for about 10 to 15 minutes, until mixture turns a deep caramel color and thickens up; watch out, the caramel can spit out of the pan at times!
            • Remove pot from heat and promptly stir in vanilla extract and salt.
            • Pour caramel over the shortbread, using an uneven spatula or knife if needed to smooth it into an even layer. Cool pan for several hours until it reaches room temperature, or set in fridge to chill.

            Ganache topping

            • In a microwave-safe bowl (or, alternatively, on the stove top in a pot) melt together the chocolate chips and butter. Once it can be stirred smooth, pour over the caramel. Spread out into an even layer. If desired, sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes over the top.
            • Chill in fridge to let chocolate harden for at least 30 minutes. Use foil to lift contents of pan onto a cutting board. Let chocolate warm again, just a touch, perhaps for 5 or 10 minutes, before slicing into bars (otherwise, the chocolate will crack rather than be sliced through).
            • Store bars in fridge with waxed paper between layers. Keeps for days.

            OM NOM NOM!

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