Archive for the ‘Bars’ Category

Playing Vegetable

In a time of sugar, sugar, and more sugar, I give you a relatively healthy indulgence.  These zucchini carrot bars carry their own weight, needing no frosting or other adornments.  They’re sweet enough to rest nicely among your taste buds and delicious enough to want seconds and thirds.  Don’t worry, though, I have some real sweet treats in the works for you.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars

2 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, honey, and vanilla.  Stir in the carrot and zucchini.
In another bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon.  Whisk to blend together.  Stir in walnuts.
Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir until just combined. Spread batter into a lightly greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen.


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Contains Nuts

Peanut butter and chocolate are close contenders in my world of sweet treats. There are times where I can get such a craving for peanut butter that a spoon is the only thing I need to cure all foreseeable troubles.  But then there are those times where a nice little serving of creamy, dreamy chocolate is just the thing to make me swoon.  Though I have to say (I’m sorry, dear chocolate) peanut butter usually pulls ahead in my book.  These blondies feature my wonderful weakness and they are wonderfully wicked.

Peanut Butter Blondies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray an 8-inch square baking pan.

Stir together butter and peanut butter until well blended.

Stir in brown sugars.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Add to peanut butter mixture; beat until blended.

Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake until toothpick inserted 2 inches from edge of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 35-45 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool completely.

Adapted from yumsugar.

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Cheery Coconut

I feel like coconut is one of those love it or hate it type foods.  Whenever I happen upon coconut as a topic of conversation, I find that people either give me the “oh, I looooooove coconut!” response or I get a stank face (you know, that not-so-nice face that people probably shouldn’t make but do make when having a “hate” moment).

Anyway, I’m in the love category and I was having a hankering for it.  Since cherries were on sale (again with the sales), I decided that coconut and cherries would make a great combo.  I didn’t want to make a three-tier coconut cake with homemade cherry filling (mmmm, maybe next time) so I opted for the ever-easy bar.  These bars are pretty sweet and Lee made mention that they reminded him of an alternate version of pecan pie.  Yum.

Coconut Cherry Bars

1 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar

2 large eggs
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of fresh pitted cherries, chopped
1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine first three ingredients using a pastry cutter until you have a fine crumb mixture.  Press into a 9×9 pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned.

Mix together the remaining ingredients then pour over the baked crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until set and lightly browned on top.

Adapted from The Kitchen Magpie.

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What a peach

This past weekend we found ourselves over at my parents’ house.  My brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew were up from Florida and we were all meeting up to have a little ho-down.  Or maybe we all just chatted, ate, played, and went in the boat.  Either way, I was thinking it would be nice to bring something to the party.  I had some nice peaches ready and raring to go from the $0.99/lb. sale at the supermarket (score!).  I wanted something that was fairly easy to make AND to eat so i decided that squares were a preferable choice. I really enjoyed these squares, which were reminiscent of a lovely little crumble, and everyone else was in agreement (double score!).  I could definitely see myself substituting a variety of fruits in this recipe to accommodate the various seasons.

Peach Crumb Bars

For the Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
5 cups diced or sliced peaches (about 7 peaches, peeled)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

For the Dough: In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter, then mix in the egg. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan. Place the pan and the remainder of the dough in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

For the Filling: Place the diced (or sliced) peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the peaches and mix gently.

Spread the peach mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the peach layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

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Yesterday was my cousin’s graduation party and I wanted to bring something for the food table.  At first I was just going to bring some assorted goods from a bakery, then I thought, “where is my head!”  I actually think I got scared after I did a little at home sampling of one of their so-called whoopie pies and, well, just no.  Needless to say, I was a bit unsure about the quality of the other things I’d purchased.

So into the kitchen I went.

I’m still working on wheedling down my fruit supply so I dug through and picked out a few apples to use in a full-fat, full-delicious apple pie bar recipe.  The result?  Yummy, I want another one, I could eat the whole pan goodness.

Apple Pie Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used granny smith)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs one at a time until completely mixed together and smooth.  Mix in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and stir until all of the flour is incorporated.
The dough will be pretty thick at this point but muscle through and stir in the apple chunks.

Spread dough evenly into your greased pan.  You may want to use your hands for this step.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown all around.
Let cool completely before cutting.

Recipe adapted from The Velvet Bird.

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Today is Mother’s Day, which means that today’s post is dedicated to my momma!  We actually celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday by eating, drinking, and taking public transportation (my parents love the T — like, seriously).

The parents came out to Boston, did a little on-street parking, hung out, and then we all headed out to Atlantic Fish Co for a little brunch/lunch action.  Unfortunately I was completely caught up in the day and forgot to take any pictures of our event but I swear, everything was wonderful!  Unless my mom was lying…

But what about the presents, you say?  Yes, yes, there were some of those, too.  There was a bleeding heart plant, a few sets of earrings, and, oh, are those the ingredients for peanut butter brownies?  My mom’s favorite?  Yes siree!

oh yeah

I couldn’t help but to use the Reese’s egg in these brownies.  In my mind, the egg is the best ratio of peanut butter to chocolate in all of the Reese’s products.  Adding such a wondrous creation to another wondrous creation could only result in a unicorn being born.  Somewhere.

chocolate chocolate chocolate!

Peanut Butter Brownies

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon espresso powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 Reese’s peanut butter eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occassionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder and set aside to cool.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Place the six Reese’s eggs evenly in the pan. Pour the other half of the brownie mixture into the pan, using a rubber spatula to gently push the batter over the Reese’s eggs and into the corners evenly (the batter will be rather thick).

Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick comes out with fudge-y crumbs, about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.  Store covered.

mmm peanut butter

Love you mom!

Recipe adapted from Piece of Cake.

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