nutty

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: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

    Posted by on Jan 11, 2023 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake, nutty | 0 comments

    The second week of 2023, and we’re beginning in proper form with a cake. An Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake.

    Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

    This cake isn’t as super-sweet as many. Instead, the olive oil and almonds are what comes through beautifully in the crumb. The glaze finishes things off, and the crunch of slices almonds adds a nice textural contrast.

    Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

    This is the kind of bundt cake that works well for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert. It also works for any season of the year.

    Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

    Modified from a Pompeiian Olive Oil ad.

    Bready or Not: Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake

    This Almond Olive Oil Bundt Cake isn’t as super-sweet as some bundt cakes, so the glaze adds a wonderful touch. Modified from a Pompeiian Olive Oil ad.
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: almond, bundt cake, cake
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 10 or 12 cup bundt pan
    • cooking spray with flour
    • cooling rack

    Ingredients

    Cake

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup almond flour sifted
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
    • 4 large eggs room temperature
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or plain almond milk

    Glaze

    • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk or half & half
    • sliced almonds optional

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Apply baking spray with flour on the interior of the bundt pan.
    • In a small bowl, combine flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    • In a big mixing bowl, beat together sugar and eggs until they are thick and yellow, about three minutes. Slowly mix in olive oil until smooth, followed by vanilla and almond extracts. Mix in the dry ingredients alternatively with the almond milk, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
    • Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, about 50 to 60 minutes.
    • Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes, then invert cake onto the rack to completely cool.
    • Make the glaze. Beat together the confectioners' sugar and milk to make a thick glaze. Drizzle over the top so it oozes down the sides. If desired, top with a sprinkle of sliced almonds. Let glaze set for about 20 minutes. Slice in and enjoy!

    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: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

        Posted by on Oct 19, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

        These Cocoa Pecan Brownies are perfect for when you have a chocolate emergency and need brownies, STAT.

        Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

        (If you don’t know what might constitute a chocolate emergency, my gosh, why are you even here?)

        Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

        In any case, these brownies are great because they mix up quickly in a big pot, and they are a pretty straightforward bake, too. If you don’t like pecans, okay. Omit the nuts entirely, or use walnuts, a mix of nuts, cocoa nibs, whatever. This recipe can flex!

        Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

        The one necessity: you need to enjoy these things. Really savor them. Maybe even stash some in the freezer for when that next chocolate emergency strikes.

        Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

        These classic cocoa-based brownies mix up fast in a big pot, making for easy clean-up!
        Course: Dessert, Snack
        Cuisine: American
        Keyword: bars, brownies, chocolate, pecans
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 13×9 pan

        Ingredients

        • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 3 sticks
        • 3 cups white sugar
        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        • 12 Tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
        • 6 eggs
        • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1 cup chopped pecans

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13×9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
        • In a large saucepan, heat the butter and sugar together on medium heat, stirring often, just until the butter is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and cocoa powder. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in completely before adding the next. Stir in flour. Fold in the pecans.
        • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the very middle passes the toothpick test. Cool at room temperature, speeding the process in fridge if desired. Use foil to lift contents onto a cutting board. Slice up. Store in a sealed container.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not Original: Fruity Pastry Bars

          Posted by on Sep 21, 2022 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, cookies, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Fruity Pastry Bars

          These Fruity Pastry Bars are the perfect treat for a crowd. This recipe makes a nice big pan to share with others!

          Bready or Not Original: Fruity Pastry Bars

          When I make bars like this, I’m always worried about how crumbly they will be. I can report that, at least for me, these were surprisingly durable bars that could even be held in the hand when eating. They barely crumbled when they were cut.

          Bready or Not Original: Fruity Pastry Bars

          I love how they can be customized, too. You can use all sorts of berry preserves; these pictures depict Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves. The rich, bold flavor is lovely with the buttery crust, while the nuts add a great textural contrast. Of course, you could substitute different nuts like sliced almonds, or omit them entirely.

          Bready or Not Original: Fruity Pastry Bars

          Bready or Not Original: Fruity Pastry Bars

          This Fruity Pastry Bars balance bold fruit flavors with a dense, buttery crust. This recipe makes a big batch!
          Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
          Keyword: bars, cherries, walnuts
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • jelly roll pan
          • aluminum foil
          • nonstick spray

          Ingredients

          Bars

          • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (3 sticks) room temperature
          • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
          • 2 large eggs room temperature
          • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
          • 1 teaspoon salt
          • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

          Topping

          • 12 to 13 ounces fruit preserves such as strawberry, cherry, or raspberry
          • 1 cup chopped walnuts
          • 1/4 cup quick oats

          Instructions

          • Line a jelly roll pan with a large piece of aluminum foil. Apply nonstick spray or butter. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.
          • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour and the salt. Batter will be very thick. Grease a hand and use that to pat down about 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of the pan.
          • Wash hands. Spread preserves over the dough. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top. Add quick oats to the reserved dough. Place small handfuls of dough spaced out over the top.
          • Bake for about 35 minutes, until top is set and doesn’t jiggle in middle. Cool completely, speeding process in fridge if desired. Use foil to lift contents onto a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a sealed container. Bars can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

          OM NOM NOM!

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            Bready or Not: Almond White Chocolate Cookies

            Posted by on Sep 14, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Almond White Chocolate Cookies

            These Almond White Chocolate Cookies are quick to fix-up and bake, making them the perfect treat when you need cookies in a hurry!

            Bready or Not: Almond White Chocolate Cookies

            And who among us hasn’t had a few cookie emergencies in their lives, truly?

            Bready or Not: Almond White Chocolate Cookies

            These cookies are light and crisp. The almond flavor is imbued in the dough thanks to almond extract and the almond slivers throughout. White chocolate is the perfect sweet to balance with the nuttiness.

            Bready or Not: Almond White Chocolate Cookies

            Modified from a McCormick product ad.

            Bready or Not: Almond White Chocolate Cookies

            These cookies are fast to make and bake, and are light, sweet, and crunchy!
            Course: Dessert, Snack
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • parchment paper
            • baking sheet
            • teaspoon scoop

            Ingredients

            • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
            • 1 teaspoon baking soda
            • 1/2 teaspoon salt
            • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
            • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
            • 2 large eggs room temperature
            • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
            • 9 ounces white chocolate chips
            • 1 cup slivered almonds

            Instructions

            • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
            • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
            • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs and almond extract. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl as needed. Fold in the white chocolate and almonds.
            • Use a teaspoon scoop to place dough, spaced out, on cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until cookies are set. Immediately transfer to a rack to cool.
            • Store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature.

            OM NOM NOM!

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