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Frosted Zucchini Bars

9 Oct

I will never be a truly successful blogger. Want to know why? Because I get all excited about my blog for about 6 months…then I get lazy. Or busy. Or both. And my poor blog suffers. However! If you stick with me, I promise that I will get to the ever-growing list of recipes. Promise.

Anyone else have zucchini coming out their ears from their over-successful garden? Yeah…me either. We actually have a ton of tomatoes this year (the ironic thing being, I’m the only one in my entire house that eats them) but our zucchini never made it. I think there’s something wrong with us. All of our neighbors got a ton! I’ll trade a few of my tomatoes so I can make these. 🙂 My sister passed this batch along and they look so good!!! (it’s times like these that you curse the fact that your sibling lives clear across the country and you can’t skip over to have a taste)

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Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
    • 3/4 c. sugar
    • 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 2 1/2 c. flour
    • 1 Tbsp baking powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 c. zucchini, grated
Frosting
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Blend in zucchini.
  2. Pour into greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool.
  3. Prepare frosting. Add more milk if necessary to get right consistency. Spread over cooled bars.

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http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/2011/07/cinnamon-frosted-zucchini-bars/

 

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S’more Brownies

29 Sep

Just spent the last 2 weeks slaving over nine, rather complicated, Shakespearean costumes. Loved it…but I almost went insane. As did my puppy, who was abandoned outside the whole time because I simply could not sew and watch his every move at the same time (he’s a chewer). But don’t you worry, he was able to find ample entertainment. Our drip system will have to be replaced and a few plants have now been replanted about 10 times each. Not sure my husband is happy that I sacrificed the back yard :), but hopefully he’ll forgive the dog…and me.

Here’s my peace offering:

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Ingredients:

  • 14 full graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • one batch of your favorite brownie recipe (boxed or homemade, make as directed but do not bake)
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

First make the graham cracker crust. Put 10 of the graham cracker and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Add butter and mix until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9×12 pan and bake at 350  for 9-10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from over and let cool for 10 minutes.

Pour on the brownie batter and cook for another 20-25 minutes until almost set.

While baking, crush the remaining graham crackers by hand and combine with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Scatter mix over the brownies and cook for 5-8 minutes until marshmallows are melted and slightly toasted.

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http://bloomdesignsonline.com/2014/01/make-it-monday-brownie-smores.html

Eskimo Bars

12 Jul

I had my doubts about these. Homemade magic shell layer? How well can that turn out…really? Turns out, pretty darn great! I opted to go for the no-dip version, because dipping them was a little tricky and a lota messy (I lack a certain coordination apparently – that and my chocolate must have been a little on the warm side because it was melting my ice cream right off the brownie).  So, I drizzled instead. I poured a layer of caramel sauce (I used a jar of caramel ice cream topping) between the brownie and the ice cream layer instead of dipping it as well. This was both good and bad. I liked having everything together without having to worry about double dipping every time I wanted my caramel fix. However, it made the ice cream a little slippery and my layers didn’t want to stay stuck together. I plan on remedying this eventually (I’ll keep you posted if it works…or you try it and let me know ;)). I’m guessing that if I use my thicker homemade caramel instead of the store bought kind, then I think it will serve as a more effective glue between the ice cream and brownies.  Darn. I hate having to remake recipes over and over again until I get them right. Especially when they involve brownies and ice cream and caramel. It’s just torture. But, someone has to do it…and eat it…every time. Darn. 🙂

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INGREDIENTS

 

Brownie Layer:
    • 10 tablespoons butter
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Ice Cream Layer:
    • 1 quart good-quality vanilla ice cream (storebought or homemade)
Magic Shell Layer:
    • 3/4 cup coconut oil
    • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Caramel Sauce:
  • 1-2 cups good-quality storebought or homemade caramel sauce

 

DIRECTIONS

 

  1. For the brownies, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set the mixture aside until it cools slightly (is warm to the touch not hot). It will look gritty but it will become smooth once the other ingredients are added. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack and then chill in the refrigerator or freezer until thoroughly cold – this will help the brownies hold up well to the ice cream layer that’s coming.
  4. For the ice cream layer, soften the ice cream to spreading consistency (leaving at room temperature for 15-20 minutes should do the trick), then spread an even layer across the chilled brownies. The ice cream layer should be about an inch thick. Put the pan in the freezer until very firm (1-2 hours).
  5. For the magic shell, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the coconut oil and chocolate chips. It helps if the bowl is more tall than wide so that when you dip the bars, the chocolate mixture is deep and not super shallow. Microwave for one minute intervals at 50% power until the chocolate is melted. Stir the mixture until it is smooth. It will be fairly runny.
  6. Remove the pan of brownies from the freezer. Gently lift the foil handles and remove the ice cream layered brownies from the pan. Cut the browines in half. Then, working with one half at a time (you might want to return the other half to the freezer if your kitchen is overly warm), cut rectangle into long, thin bars, about 1-inch by 4-inches. You should end up with 8 or so bars per half. Repeat with the remaining half. It is best to put all the cut bars onto a tray or plate and keep them in the refrigerator while dipping so they stay as cold as possible.
  7. Place a baking rack over a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper or even aluminum foil (to help with cleanup). Working one-by-one, gently hold the ice cream bar at the base of the brownie and dip it quickly into the chocolate shell mixture (tilt the bowl to help deepen the chocolate for easier dipping) until completely coated and place on the baking rack. Your hands will get messy but I promise it’s worth it! Repeat the dipping process with each bar. After I dipped about 5-7 bars and the chocolate shell had hardened (it sets up very quickly, especially if your ice cream and brownie is very cold), I gently removed them from the cooling rack and put them in the freezer so the ice cream didn’t melt and kept dipping the other bars that were waiting in the freezer.
  8. Make note that the chocolate shell mixture will want to stick to the baking rack so pry the eskimo bars carefully off the baking rack so the chocolate shell doesn’t crack as you separate them from where the chocolate has hardened to the rack.
  9. When ready to serve, remove the eskimo bars from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for 5-7 minutes. Warm the caramel sauce until it is runny and slightly warm but not overly hot (you don’t want any burned fingers).
  10. Dip the eskimo bars in the caramel and enjoy!

 

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Original recipe: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/outrageous-eskimo-bars/

 

 

 

 

Key Lime Bars

22 Mar

Spring has sprung, and so has my craving for all things citrus!!! Take a step out of the traditional lemon-bar box and throw in a little key-lime twist. 🙂 The crust on these almost makes me more happy than the filling – almost. Yummy.

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Ingredients:

Crust –

1 cup flour

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup pecans, chopped finely

1/4 cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling –

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup sugar

2 tsp key lime zest

1/4 cup key lime juice

1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350^F. Lightly butter and 8×8 baking pan.

For crust: Sift together flour and powdered sugar. Stir in pecans and coconut. Add butter. Press lightly in pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.

While crust is baking, beat together eggs, sugar, zest, lime juice, and baking powder. Pour mixture over baked crust. Bake 13-17 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and center is set. Cool completely. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.

 

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookie Bars

19 Feb

My husband came upstairs and said, “Whatever that is that you made – it actually tastes really good.” To some, this may seem a little…snarky? But coming from my husband – a man who’s dessert intake in strictly limited to rice crispy treats and brownies – it was a huge compliment. He ate one of my desserts, of his own free will, and he liked it.

These turned out a little more cake-y than sugar cookie-y for me…it was my first try and I very well could have mixed them funny (I think I forgot to press the batter into the pan) – but regardless, they were really good. Definitely a repeat!

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Ingredients

    • 2 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3 1/2 Tbsp powdered milk
    • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softenend
    • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3 Tbsp sour cream
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and powdered milk for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Add in eggs one at time mixing until combined after each addition. Blend in sour cream and vanilla. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Butter and 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then with buttered hands gently press and spread cookie dough into an even layer in dish. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 17 – 21 minutes. Allow to cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Stir in vanilla. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar and continue to mix until fluffy.

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Original recipe: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/08/cinnamon-roll-sugar-cookie-bars/

Almond Joy Brownies

13 Feb

My children are on some sort of sugar high tonight. And I’m not…I am most defiantly not. This morning my husband rolled over and said, “I’m tired. How about you?” I said, “I’m always tired.” I can’t wait to wake up one morning and feel completely rested. It will happen – it will.

I almost forgot to take pictures of these – I literally grabbed the last 3 brownies :). I also almost lost the recipe! And this is not one that I want to lose – so, so yummy! I have a hard time finding good home-made brownie recipes. Is it sacrilege to prefer boxed over home-made? I like most home-made recipes ok, but they are never gooey enough. Or if they are gooey, they are grainy. I have endless complaints. But I really like the base brownies in this recipe, which makes the coconut and ganache toppings just straight out of heaven.

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Ingredients

FOR THE BROWNIES
1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (64 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds

FOR THE COCONUT FILLING
2 1/2 unsweetened coconut (you can use sweetened coconut, but if you do, omit the confectioners’ sugar)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

16 whole almonds

Chocolate Ganache

4.5 ounces milk, white, bitter-, or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
scant 1/2 cup (about 7 ounces or 218 ml) heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.

Bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and (now melted) chocolate together into smooth and glossy

To make the brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour and 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.

Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in the almonds until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow brownies to cool completely before topping with the filling.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the coconut and sugar, stirring until all of the coconut is evenly coated. Add the heavy cream, and stir until well combined.

Assemble: Press the coconut mixture on top of the cooled brownies, spreading it evenly. Chill the brownies for 20 to 30 minutes in the freezer.

While the brownies are chilling, make the ganache.

Once the brownies are chilled, top with the whole almonds, then pour the ganache over the top. Allow to set up for an hour or so before serving.

* I put the ganache over the brownies and then, after chilling, cut into squares. It ended up being a little messy – the ganache preferred sticking to my knife over the coconut. I would suggest cutting brownie squares first and then putting ganache over each one individually – unless you don’t care what they come out looking like 🙂

Original recipe: http://bakingdom.com/2013/03/almond-joy-brownies.html

Gingerbread Bars

9 Jan

I’m totally past the acceptable limit of gingerbread, I’m sure – the holidays being over and all that jazz. But I really love the whole ‘bar’ cookie thing and I can’t pass this one by. So, close your eyes and pretend it’s Christmas all over again. 🙂

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

3/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325^F. Line jelly roll pan* with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bow, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla, and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes, or until it turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes or until edges are barely starting to brown. Cool completely.

For the frosting: Whip all ingredients together until smooth. Spread overtop cooled bars and cut into squares. Serve immediately or store in air tight container.

*If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, you can use a glass 8×8 dish and add 2-3 extra minutes to baking time.

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Banana Bars

8 Nov

A little less good for you than straight banana bread, and a little too good to be able to eat just one. When our pan got polished off, my four year old cried. Guilt requires me to make another batch…darn.

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Ingredients:

Bars-

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

3 eggs

2 cups mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Spread into a greased jelly roll pan (15x10x1). Bake at 350^F for 20-25 min. Cool and frost

Cream Cheese Frosting-

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients well and spread over cooled banana bars.

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Sugar Cookie Bars

28 Jun

We had some sweet neighbors bring our family dinner after the baby was born, so I had to (had to) make treats to thank them. Unfortunately, I didn’t give them all away and decided to eat half the pan myself. I have a deep and abiding love for sugar cookies, but I kind of hate to make them – they are a pain. Mix the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, hurry up and cut out your shapes and re-roll and re-cut…all before the dough gets too warm to work with. And if you aren’t fast enough, you have to re-chill and then start all over again. A lot of work! No good. So I only make them on real special occasions (I will have to do it eventually because I do have a killer recipe – super soft and fluffy…but I’m getting way ahead of myself! you’ll get those on one of those special occasion posts :)). So! Imagine my delight, stumbling upon this awesome recipe that gives you some smashing sugar cookies in super simple bar form. Hopefully I didn’t find it so easy that I make them all the time. Remember that baby bulge I still have to get rid of?

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Cookies:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 of an 8 oz block) softened
1 tsp vanilla (I used almond extract for half of the frosting)
ÂĽ tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda and stir with a whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet (use a 13 x 18 pan). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean (they won’t look done so do the toothpick test). Cool completely and frost.
For the frosting: Combine butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk a little at a time and mix until smooth and spreading consistency. You may not need all the milk! Spread over cooled cookie bars.