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Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

24 Sep

2Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 2
When I think of fall, pumpkin and apples always come to mind. But another flavor profile that screams fall to me is caramel. Whether it’s caramel cornrolls, cake, cider or apple pie, it’s always fall when I consider them.  It’s rich, sweet and creamy and salt always makes it better.Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 1
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 1
We had some friends over recently for a Husker game and I wanted to try a recipe from one of my new cookbooks and when I flipped to these salted caramel rice krispie treats in Sally’s Baking Addiction I knew the search was over. Everybody loves a thick, chewy rice krispie but these are elevated to a whole new level with a homemade salted caramel and a finishing sprinkle of flaked sea salt. Are you drooling yet?
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 4
Not only are they easy but they are the perfect treat to enjoy on a crisp, autumn night while watching the game.
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 7
Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

For the caramel:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp.salt

For the rice krispies:
4 Tbsp. butter
1 (10 oz.) bag marshmallows (regular or mini)
4 1/2 cups rice krispies
1/2 cup salted caramel from above
sea salt, to sprinkle

1. For the salted caramel: Heat the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. It will start to form clumps and melt into a thick brown liquid; be careful not to burn it. Once the sugar has melted completely, add the butter. The mixture will bubble rapidly. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the butter is completely melted then stir in the heavy cream and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Pour into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool and thicken before using.

2. Lightly spray a 9×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the marshmallows until they are completely melted and incorporated into the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal. Gently fold in half the salted caramel.

4. Dump cereal mixture into the prepared pan and gently spread it out. Drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce then sprinkle to your liking with the sea salt. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 3

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

16 May

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 2
These dense, chewy cookie bars are bursting with peanut butter and two different kinds of chocolate. They start out with my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe then huge handfuls of peanut butter M&M’s, dark and white chocolate are mixed in for some crazy good decadence. Then they immediately get taken to work with Joel because I have no self control. And apparently his co-workers don’t either because they were gone before lunch.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 1
I did save a little square for Noah and I to share because you know, I have to be able to tell you about the deliciousness. Gosh, the things I do for you! I really didn’t have to try them since I’m pretty sure the ingredient list and pictures speak for themselves. Who wouldn’t want to inhale one of those? Well, besides someone allergic to peanuts. That would be a bummer.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 4
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 1/4 brown sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. half and half or milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup peanut butter M&M’s
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream peanut butter, shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg; mix well. Stir in milk and vanilla.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in M&M’s, dark chocolate and white chocolate.

3. Grease a 13×9 and spread cookie dough evenly. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 5

Butterfinger Blondies

14 Apr

Butterfinger Bars 5
My mixer hasn’t seen much action the past few months and Noah really wanted to make a pretend birthday cake. Yep, he’s a weird but very very smart child. He can think of any excuse for dessert. He’d been throwing me a pretend birthday party all morning and what’s a party without cake? I have trained him well.

So, these aren’t cake but I had them on my mind since my mom raved about them days before when she had sampled them at a luncheon at work. It didn’t take much convincing to make blondies instead of cake since they had frosting AND chocolate.
Butterfinger Bars 3
I also assume you all have been really missing the sugary goodness around here so I decided I would sacrifice for you and sample one of these bars as my cheat for the week. Oh, the things I do for you guys! But then they were immediately wrapped up and sent to work with Joel. I just couldn’t be trusted with them in the house.
Butterfinger Bars 1
They are chewy and gooey with all kinds of butterfinger goodness throughout the blondies and frosting. Make sure to bake them just until they are set for ultimate deliciousness. Let me warn you, they are incredibly rich so just a few bites will satisfy your sweet tooth sufficiently.
Butterfinger Bars 4
And make sure to keep these in mind to use up those extra butterfingers after Easter!

Butterfinger Blondies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 16 “Fun Size” bars)

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 4 “Fun Size” bars)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. On low add your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined. Stir in your chopped Butterfingers.

2. Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is JUST set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

3. For the frosting: cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Add in you powdered sugar on low speed. Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth Stir in your chopped Butterfingers. Spread on your cooled blondies





Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore’s Cake Bars

16 Sep

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
That’s quite a name, huh? I have been on a huge pumpkin kick lately, it is September after all (even though it still doesn’t feel like it). I have so many delicious recipes to share with you guys it’s been hard to keep it to just one a week.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
I didn’t plan on making these bars but when I spied the pumpkin spice marshmallows at the store, they somehow jumped into my cart so I had to figure out something yummy to make with them. I was experiencing a major lack of creativity and for a few days could only think of rice krispie treats. But I wanted to share something more decadent. I was thinking and thinking, then smore’s popped into my head. Pumpkin and chocolate totally go together so I knew it would be a good combination.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
I went searching through my saved dessert recipes and came across this one. I knew it was something I could alter into a delicious, spicy, fall treat. The original recipe called for yellow cake mix and white chocolate chips but to combine well with the pumpkin marshmallows, I decided to go with a spice cake mix and half dark, half white chocolate. If you prefer one kind of chocolate over the other, go with just that but I couldn’t decide which would be more delicious so I went with both!
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore’s Cake Bars
recipe adapted from Picky Palate

1 box spice cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick butter, softened
4 1/2 full graham crackers
5 ounces white chocolate chips
5 ounces dark chocolate chips
2 cups pumpkin spice marshmallows
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with tin foil that’s been generously sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure foil goes all the way up and over the edges.

2. Place cake mix, egg, and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until a nice dough forms. similar to a cookie dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with graham crackers, white and dark chocolate chips then marshmallows. Top with remaining half of dough pressing evenly. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top.

3. Bake for 28-33 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes then take a knife and run along edges to loosen marshmallow (this will make your life easier when pulling foil out of pan to remove bars.  Let cool completely then remove bars from pan with foil edges. Cut into squares and enjoy room temperature or chilled.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars

Frosted Zucchini Brownies {Gluten and Lactose Free}

23 Aug

Frosted Zucchini Brownies
My zucchini supply is finally starting to wind down, thank goodness. As much as I normally like zucchini, I will be happy to not see it for awhile. I had picked the last few right before we were heading out for Kansas City to visit our new nephew and see the Royals play the Red Sox and I knew I wouldn’t have time to do something with them for dinner but didn’t want them to go to waste. So, I decided I would whip up a baked good to bring along for the weekend.

I’ve mentioned before that our nieces eat gluten and lactose free so that can sometimes make things difficult. A lot of gluten-free recipes I come across use about 50 (exaggerate much?) different kinds of flours that I just don’t want to invest in since it’s only a once and awhile thing for us. But I do always keep a box of gluten-free all-purpose flour around for such occasions. I have had pretty good success switching the gluten-free version for regular flour in most recipes.
Frosted Zucchini Brownies
When I whipped up these brownies, I followed the recipe exactly and the batter was incredibly dry and I just didn’t feel comfortable with it. I decided to mix in an egg and then it was the perfect consistency. And an added bonus was that it made them more dense, rich and cake-like. The zucchini kept them moist and I promise you can’t taste it in the finished product. It’s almost like it melts away in the batter.

This may not be the healthiest way to use up that last bit of zucchini growing in your garden but it is quite delicious and is still a way to sneak in some veggies. You could totally trick your kids or significant others…I tried with Joel but he isn’t a big chocolate fan so he didn’t want them. Darn, I love foolin’ that guy.
Frosted Zucchini Brownies
Frosted Zucchini Brownies
recipe adapted from

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the Frosting:
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegan margarine (or regular if dairy isn’t a concern)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup almond milk (or regular)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

2.In a large bowl, mix together the oil, egg, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

3.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Oatmeal Creme Pie Bars

3 Jun

Oatmeal Cream Pie Bars 3
We had our big ultrasound last week and everything went perfectly! Baby measured in at the 49th percentile with very long legs…taking after its daddy already. Baby was a wiggle worm and was constantly trying to suck its thumb. It was just so wonderful to see the little one and have that validation that everything was going well.

Noah went with us and he absolutely loved hearing the baby’s heartbeat. He kept saying “hear the heartbeat again” and the ultrasound tech did three or four separate times for him. She was awesome. On the last one, I recorded it so he can hear it anytime.
Oatmeal Cream Pie Bars 1
So to celebrate the good news, I came home and ate one or three of these. They are one of the most amazing desserts I have made in a long time.

As a kid, I remember my mom loving oatmeal creme pies. We didn’t have them very often but it’s something that always stuck in my mind. So, when I came across this recipe I bookmarked it and kept it in the back of my mind for the perfect occasion. When I was searching for the perfect Memorial Day dessert, I remembered this and knew my family would love it. In a little over a day, we destroyed the entire pan and we didn’t even feel bad about it.
Oatmeal Cream Pie Bars 2
They really do taste like the real thing, just without all the nasty preservatives. I don’t mean to be bossy, but you have to make these. Ok?

Oatmeal Creme Pie Bars
recipe from Heat Oven to 350

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons molasses
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. malted milk powder

1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
pinch of salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 pan with foil then coat with non-stick spray. This step is important as you have to lift the bars out to cut them in half. In mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in applesauce, molasses and eggs until combined.

2. Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, quick oats, cinnamon and malted milk powder in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to the mixer and mix until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes.

3. Let bars cool in the pan for 5 minutes then gently lift out by the foil and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

4. Once the bars have cooled, combine all the filling ingredients in a mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.

5. Using a long, serrated knife carefully slice the uncut bars in half horizontally. Gently remove the top then spread the bottom half with the filling. Replace the top then cut into bars.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Squares

15 May

Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Bars 4
We are heading to Fargo on Friday to visit our old stomping grounds and I’m really excited! It’s been 5 months since we moved and although I’m finally starting to feel at home here, I still really miss our first home. And I’m totally ready to eat some delicious food including pizza, burgers and doughnuts….I should make sure to pack some maternity pants so I have some extra room.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Bars 2
But first on the list is driving by our old house. Our first home together, the home we brought Noah home to after he was born, the home where I instilled a love of cooking in Noah. And one of Noah’s favorite things to make and eat is granola bars. I can’t believe that I haven’t shared any with you all here.

We were taking a trip to Kansas to visit Joel’s family so I wanted to bring a treat that was dairy free for my mother-in-law and something that Noah would enjoy too. These granola squares fit the bill perfectly. They tasted cookie-like but included healthier ingredients that make it a little easier to indulge your sweet tooth.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Bars 1
Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Squares
recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

3/4 cup Trader Joes Cookie Butter or Biscoff Spread (or nut butter of  your choice)
2 Tbs.p coconut oil
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
sprinkles, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick spray or line with foil for easy cleanup.

2. Melt the biscoff and coconut oil in the microwave. Stir in the honey/maple syrup, egg and vanilla until combined. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

3. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it out. The original recipe states to bake for 21-24 minutes but mine took more like 30 minutes. Bake until no longer gooey and edges turn golden brown.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Bars 3

Brownie Nests

27 Mar

Brownie Nests 3
These chewy, super fudgy brownies are amazing on their own but by adding a few crispy Mini Cadbury Eggs they become divine and festive too. And they are easy to boot. What’s better when you have a dozen things to prepare for Easter dinner?

I, of course, had help from my little man while making these and goodness does he have sticky fingers and a love for those little eggs. If you have the same problem around your house, you may need to buy three bags!
Brownie Nests 4
Joel had to work super late a few days in a row so Noah and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make an Easter treat early to share with you all while surprising Joel and his co-workers with a well deserved sweet. I kept two at home so we could sample them and delivered the rest and Joel came home with an empty bowl! So, I think they were a hit!
Brownie Nests 1
These are a fun little dessert for the kiddos and adults alike. I love that they are little so you can practice your portion control. Not that even one is really a healthy choice since it’s three types of chocolate topped with chocolate crispy coated eggs…. Sorry, but I made no claim to be providing you with healthy Easter treats. Make sure to check out some other delicious (and still not healthy) treats for your Easter dessert table at the end of the post!

Brownie Nests
yields approx. 54 brownie nests

2 bags Mini Cadbury Eggs
1 fudgy brownie recipe, ingredients mixed but not baked

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tin liberally with non-stick spray. Fill each halfway with brownie batter. Bake for about 12 minutes, making sure they are still a bit soft in the middle.

2. Let cool for about 5 minutes then remove from the muffin tin to cool completely. Gently press three mini Cadbury eggs into each mini brownie.

Check out these other delicious options for Easter:
Cherry Dump Cake

Cherry Dump Cake – Joel’s favorite
Lemon Hush
Lemon Hush – my favorite
Cheesecake 2
Key Lime Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
Jello Cookies 9
Jello Cookies
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Lemon Bars
Classic Southern Lemon Bars

Superbowl Roundup 2013

30 Jan

Looking for some yummy treats to whip up for the Super Bowl? Well, you are in luck because I have compiled a list of delicious appetizers, main dishes and desserts that would be perfect for the big game.

Crispy Baked Asian Wings – they take a little extra work but they are well worth it. Make sure to cook a huge batch because they will disappear fast. Mix up the flavors with bbq, honey mustard and buffalo.

Asian Wings

Cheesy Bread – This is simple to throw together and always a huge crowd pleaser. How could you go wrong with bread and cheese?
Cheese Bread

Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken – I don’t think anything needs to be said for this one.

Easy Stromboli – When I think of Super Bowl food, pizza automatically pops into my head. Stromboli is easy to make for a crowd and super portable.
Stromboli 5

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Super Bowl food is typically high in calories (ie delicious) so these are a great alternative and healthy option.
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Blue Moon Cupcakes – Beer, cupcakes, football. Yep.
Blue Moon Cupcakes

Chocolate Guinness Cupakes – Just in case you prefer your beer with chocolate!
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Football Brownie Bites – Obviously these are perfect for the game. So fun and festive!
Football Brownie Bites

Frito Bars

4 Jan

Frito Bars
I have been overwhelmed lately to say the least with the state that our house is in and just life in general. The kitchen is unpacked for the most part…the pantry is still a mess. So, I still haven’t really cooked all that much but I’m looking forward to getting into a new rhythm in my new kitchen.
Frito Bars
I actually made these bars a few months ago for a Husker get together and I can’t believe that I never shared them with you until now. I love the sweet and salty combination so these are pretty perfect for me. Joel is a huge Special K Bar fan (also known as scotcheroos) and these are very similar but with a saltier, crunchier bite. I don’t care for butterscotch so I like these better because they are all peanut butter plus they have peanuts which is always a good addition in my book.
Frito Bars
Frito Bars
recipe from Jennifer Cooks

10 1/2 ounces Fritos corn chips, lightly crushed
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips

1. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, bring the sugar and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.  Stir in corn chips and peanuts and gently stir until coated.

3. Pour corn chip mixture into greased baking pan and spread evenly.

4. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute; stir and then microwave for 30 seconds more, if necessary to melt.

5. Drizzle melted chocolate over Frito Bars and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.


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