chocolate

Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

Posted by on Jan 25, 2023 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, nutty | 0 comments

I’ve used almonds in many cookie and bar recipes, but these Marcona Almond Bars are especially decadent and good.

Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

First of all, the base recipe starts with browned butter. Almond butter is also mixed in, which adds to the taste and texture. There’s just a touch of spice involved. These bars are really about the almonds.

Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

What makes Marcona almonds different? They are from Spain, for one, and have the skin removed. They have a high standard of quality, a buttery, clean, crispness to them that is especially nice in contrast to chocolate. (They are also great on a Spanish-themed cheeseboard with things like Manchego cheese and membrillo paste.)

Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

These bars are delicious for a snack or dessert, and they look especially pretty in their simplicity.

Modified from February 2014 issue of Food & Wine Magazine.

Bready or Not: Marcona Almond Bars

These are, dare we say, elevated almond bars thanks the combination of browned butter, chocolate chips, and salty Marcona almonds. Modified from February 2014 issue of Food & Wine Magazine.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: almond, bars, cookies
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • large saucepan
  • 9×13 pan
  • offset spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups light brown sugar packed
  • 5 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup roasted almond butter
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Marcona almonds 9 ounces
  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips 11 ounces (1 bag)

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set off-heat to cool for about 30 minutes.
  • Start oven preheating at 325-degrees. Place a large strip of aluminum foil in a 9×13 pan and apply nonstick spray or butter.
  • Add the sugar, eggs, almond butter, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon to the cooled browned butter. Mix until smooth. Add the flour. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the almonds and 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to even out dough. Scatter the remaining almonds and chocolate chips over the top and lightly press in.
  • Bake for 60 minutes. The middle should pass the toothpick test. Cool at room temperature, speeding process in the fridge, if desired. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

    Posted by on Jan 18, 2023 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

    How do you make Chocolate Chip Cookies better? More chocolate, of course–in this case, a chocolate disc inside these Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate makes them extra delicious.

    Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

    Fun fact up front: this is a modification of my most reliable, most-baked cookie recipe. The differences: add another cup of chocolate chips, and remove the chocolate discs. These Soft Batch-esque cookies are the ones I make whenever I go home to California. I usually have a round or two frozen in case of urgent cookie needs at home, too.

    Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

    This new take on my old favorite adds a luscious chocolate layer right in the middle. If you can’t find the Ghirardelli version of these discs, seek out another one, or even use a pinch of chocolate chips! A Hershey’s Kiss or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup would work, too, though you might need to add some extra dough to seal them inside.

    Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

    Even better, these cookies will keep for weeks, if you have the fortitude to make them last. That makes these great for gift-giving, cookie exchanges, and mailing (if you’re not someplace hellishly hot).

    Bready or Not: Soft Batch-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate

    Delicious, reliable chocolate chip cookies–made even more chocolaty by being stuffed with extra chocolate. Since these are stuffed, they are large cookies, a real treat! Can't find the Ghirardelli Wafers? Use a pinch of chocolate chips, chunked chocolate, or a candy like Hershey's Kisses or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: chocolate, cookies
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • tablespoon scoop
    • cookie sheet

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 large eggs room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups chocolate chips
    • 10- ounces Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers
    • flaked salt or coarse sugar to sprinkle on top, optional

    Instructions

    • Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, which takes several minutes in a mixer. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    • The cookies can be made right away, but texture is thicker if the dough is chilled for several hours or overnight. Cover with plastic wrap if it will be in for a while.
    • When it’s time to bake, preheat oven at 350-degrees. Use a tablespoon scoop to form a ball of dough. Make a deep imprint and shove a chocolate wafer inside. Fold and press the dough to completely encase. Repeat, spacing them out to allow for spread on the pan. If desired, sprinkle some flaked salt or coarse sugar atop each to provide extra texture and flavor.
    • Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until the cookies look golden and set. Let them continue to rest on pan for 5 to 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
    • Store in a sealed container at room temperature. These cookies can keep for weeks.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not Original: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge Redux

      Posted by on Dec 28, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, fudge, maple, no-bake dessert, nutty | 0 comments

      Let’s finish off the year 2022 by reviving a recipe first on Bready or Not in 2016: Maple Cookie Fudge!

      Bready or Not Original: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge Redux

      This is a shortcut fudge without any need of a candy thermometer or stress. I like to use the microwave, but you can use the stovetop if you want. You can keep the maple cookies chunky, if you desire, or grind everything to crumbs–your choice! I actually like some small chunks mixed in for texture.

      Bready or Not Original: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge Redux

      The maple flavor is nice and consistent here, not cloying, while the marshmallow fluff grants the texture some extra oomph. The nuts add an extra flavor and crunch, but you can omit them if you want.

      Bready or Not Original: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge Redux

      This maple cookie fudge is just about perfect if you ignore the pesky nutritional side of things.

      Bready or Not Original: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

      This Bready or Not Original uses maple crème cookies as the base of a fantastic microwave fudge. The fudge should be stored in the fridge, but also keeps very well at room temperature for parties and potlucks.
      Course: Dessert
      Keyword: chocolate, maple, no bake, quick fudge
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9×13 pan
      • aluminum foil
      • nonstick spray or butter

      Ingredients

      • 3 cups white chocolate chips
      • 12.3 ounces maple crème cookies crushed/chopped/maimed, about 20 cookies
      • 7 ounces marshmallow fluff
      • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
      • 1 teaspoon maple flavor
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1/2 cup chopped nuts walnuts, pecans, macadamias, etc

      Instructions

      • Prepare a 9×13 pan by lining it with foil and applying nonstick spray.
      • Either in microwave or on stovetop, carefully melt chocolate with sweetened condensed milk and marshmallow cream. If microwaving, do it in short bursts because it can burn fast! Stir often.
      • When the mix is smooth, add the maple flavor and vanilla. Fold in the maple cookies and nuts. Pour fudge into the prepared pan. Use an uneven spatula to smooth out the top.
      • Refrigerate at least 3 hours, until the fudge is firm. Cut into bite size pieces. Keep stored in fridge between layers of wax paper. Unlike some other quick fudges, this will keep well for hours at room temperature.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not: Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

        Posted by on Dec 14, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

        These Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are a fantastic holiday treat. They truly do taste like gingerbread and chocolate together, a great combo if ever there was one.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

        These are made even better by the crunchy outer coating of Swedish pearl sugar, too. If you haven’t baked with it before, you’re in for a treat, This stuff is great on cookies and also pastries. You can find it on Amazon. [affiliate link]

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

        The end result is a cookie that is firm to hold, but soft and chewy to bite into, with the sugar crunching pleasantly between the teeth.

        Need other recipes with Swedish pearl sugar? I can help!

        Swedish Cinnamon Rolls in the Bread Machine

        Pearl Sugar Ginger Cookies

        Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

        These soft, chewy cookies are imbued with strong flavors of gingerbread and chocolate, a perfect combination! The Swedish pearl sugar on top adds a complementary crunch. Makes 40 cookies with a teaspoon scoop. Modified from King Arthur Flour.
        Course: Dessert, Snack
        Keyword: chocolate, cookies, gingerbread, swedish pearl sugar
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • baking sheet
        • parchment paper
        • teaspoon scoop

        Ingredients

        • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1 teaspoon baking soda
        • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
        • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
        • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1 Tablespoon baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
        • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 cube) room temperature
        • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
        • 1/2 cup molasses
        • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
        • 7 Tablespoons Swedish pearl sugar

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
        • Stir together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.
        • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until they are light and creamy. Add molasses. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
        • Measure the pearl sugar into a bowl. Use a scoop or spoon to create balls of dough. Roll them in the pearl sugar and then set spaced out on pan.
        • Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Let sit on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
        • Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not: Peppermint Truffle Bars

          Posted by on Dec 7, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies, mint | 2 comments

          These Peppermint Truffle Bars are loaded with peppermint flavor, perfect for the holiday season or year-round!

          Bready or Not: Peppermint Truffle Bars

          If you like chocolate peppermint (or know someone who does), this is the recipe for you. A shortbread base is topped with a dense layer of soft chocolaty goodness infused with peppermint extract.

          Bready or Not: Peppermint Truffle Bars

          As with many chocolate recipes, this one has a deeper flavor if you make it a day ahead. Build that info your baking plans.

          Bready or Not: Peppermint Truffle Bars

          To make for neat bars, I cut off the edges. These are not to be wasted, of course–set them aside for select people to enjoy, and present the neatly-edged bars to a more discriminating audience.

          Modified from Best Holiday Recipes from Taste of Home 2011.

          Bready or Not: Peppermint Truffle Bars

          These Peppermint Truffle Bars are loaded with peppermint flavor, perfect for the holiday season or year-round! Modified from Best Holiday Recipes from Taste of Home 2011.
          Course: Dessert, Snack
          Keyword: bars, chocolate, mint
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • 9×13 pan
          • nonstick spray
          • wax paper
          • heavy glass

          Ingredients

          Bottom crust

          • 3/4 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed (1 1/2 sticks butter)
          • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
          • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
          • 1/4 teaspoon salt
          • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

          Chocolate layer

          • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
          • 3/4 cup milk or half & half
          • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cubed
          • 4 large eggs room temperature
          • 2/3 cup white sugar
          • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

          Instructions

          • Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil and apply nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 325-degrees.
          • In a large bowl, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Add vanilla. Dice in the butter. Mix ingredients until the butter resembles fine crumbs. Distribute into prepared pan. Use a piece of waxed paper and a heavy glass to compress the dough into a firm layer.
          • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. In the meantime, start mixing the top layer.
          • In a large pot, combine the semisweet chocolate, milk, and butter and cook on low heat until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for a bit.
          • In a large bowl, beat eggs and white sugar until it is smooth and thick. Add the peppermint extract and the chocolate mixture. Beat until incorporated and smooth. Pour over the bottom crust.
          • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the middle is set and passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan on a rack, then place in fridge to set for several hours or overnight.
          • Use foil to lift contents onto a cutting board. Slice into bars. Store in sealed container or individually wrapped in the fridge.

          OM NOM NOM!

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            Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

            Posted by on Nov 23, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

            These Gingerbread Brownies are the perfect holiday season treat–or make them year-round, because they are just that good.

            Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

            These are soft, moist, and dense in texture. The chocolate flavor hits the tongue first, followed by the pleasant warmth of ginger. The combination is fantastic.

            Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

            If you want to aim for an especially nice presentation, cut off the very edge of the brownies all the way around, then slice the interior into nice squares or rectangles.

            Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

            Unfortunately, someone has to eat those leftover edge pieces. Oh, darn.

            Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

            These gingerbread brownies are soft and delicious, the best parts of two fabulous treats combined into one.
            Course: Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: American
            Keyword: bars, brownies, gingerbread
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • 9×13 pan
            • aluminum foil

            Ingredients

            • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
            • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
            • 1/2 teaspoon salt
            • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
            • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
            • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped or in chips
            • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1 stick
            • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
            • 1 cup brown sugar packed
            • 2 large eggs room temperature
            • 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses

            Instructions

            • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line 9×13 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter to grease bottom and sides.
            • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
            • In a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pot, melt together the chocolate and the butter. Stir in the ginger. Let set to cool for ten minutes, then stir again.
            • In a large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, eggs, and molasses. Mix in the chocolate. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and even out.
            • Bake for 24 to 28 minutes. The middle should pass the toothpick test.
            • Let bars cool for several hours, speeding the process in the fridge if desired. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board for easy slicing. Store in a sealed container.

            OM NOM NOM!

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