NO BAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL BARS

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL BARS
1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups rolled oats
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
¾ cup chunky peanut butter

  • Line a 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract over low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Add the oats, cinnamon and kosher salt, cooking and stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes.
  • Pour half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  • Spread out the mixture evenly, pressing down.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the peanut butter. Heat on high in the microwave, in increments of 30 seconds, stirring in between each increment, until melted and fully combined.
  • Pour MOST of the chocolate mixture into the pan over the pressed oats, reserving about ¼ cup for drizzling.
  • Top with the remaining oats and drizzle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate mixture.
  • Refrigerate AT LEAST 4 hours, but preferably overnight until set.

MYSTERY INGREDIENT ~ BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

MYSTERY INGREDIENT ~ BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

3/4 cup canned plain unseasoned black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup applesauce
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, FINELY chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup QUALITY cocoa powder
1 LARGE egg
2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon FINE sea salt
Powdered sugar, garnish (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 8 inch baking dish with foil, leaving enough hanging over the edge to be used as handles.
  • Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine beans, applesauce and chopped chocolate in food processor and process until smooth.
  • Add sugar, cocoa powder, egg and vanilla. Process again until well combined.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  • Add flour mixture to bean mixture processing JUST until combined.
  • Spread batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until center is firm and edges are puffy.
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • Lift by foil and cut into squares.
  • Garnish with powdered sugar.

CHERRY CRUMBLE BARS

CHERRY CRUMBLE BARS

BARS
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 LARGE eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon PURE almond extract
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cans (21 ounce) COMSTOCK cherry pie filling (see notes)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey nut granola, crushed

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a large (12×17) jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add salt, eggs, and vanilla and almond flavorings and continue stirring until fully incorporated.
  • Add flour and baking powder and mix until just combined. Reserve 1 3/4 cup of dough.
  • Spread and gently press half the dough into the prepared baking pan.
  • Top with cherry pie filling.
  • To the remaining 1 3/4 cups batter add in the brown sugar and granola pieces.
  • Drop remaining batter in small pieces over the cherry filling.

  • Place pan in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.Turn pan halfway.
  • Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cool completely before glazing.

GLAZE
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk

  • 

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth and drizzle over the bars.
  • Cut into squares and serve.

NOTES:

  • This recipe works well with apple, lemon and peach also as well as the apple/cherry or apple/blackberry combinations.
  • This can be made in 2 9×13 pans to stretch farther. When I do that I use a 3rd can of pie filling.

BUTTERMILK FUDGE BROWNIE CAKES

BUTTERMILK FUDGE BROWNIE CAKES
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease 13×9 inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • In a 2 quart saucepan combine water, butter and cocoa powder bring it JUST to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Add cocoa mixture to flour mixture, beating on medium until thoroughly combined.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla, beating 1 minute more. Your batter will be thin and that’s okay.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 25-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Pour warm frosting over brownies, spreading evenly.
  • Cool at least one hour before cutting into bars.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK FROSTING
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons buttermilk
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped roasted walnuts or pecans, optional

  • Combine the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring JUST to boiling.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.
  • Topped with roasted nut of choice if desired.

GRASSHOPPER CHEESECAKE SQUARES

I’ve made Creme de Menthe Brownies for years, but when I found this recipe over at The Kitchen is My Playground I instantly fell in love.

The classic combination of a Grasshopper cocktail (creme de cacao and creme de menthe with cream) turned into a beautifully layered cheesecake treat is so very delicious! and a nice change from the deeper, darker and heavier brownie version.

GRASSHOPPER CHEESECAKE SQUARES Yield: 9 squares
1 1/2 cups (30-40 cookies) chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (gingersnaps are also quite good)
1/4 cup butter, melted
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 LARGE eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons white creme de cacao
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons green creme de menthe
2 drops green food coloring (optional)
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate squares, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter, mixing well.
  • Press cookie crumb mixture into the baking dish. Set aside.
  • Beat cream cheese for a minute at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Stir in creme de cacoa.
  • Scoop out 2 and a 1/2 cups of the cheesecake batter and pour it over the cookie crumb crust, spreading evenly with a spatula.
  • Stir creme de menthe into remaining cheesecake batter.
  • Using a spoon or small measuring cup to work with small amounts of batter at a time, GENTLY pour the green cheesecake batter on top of the white cheesecake batter in the baking dish. You don’t want to disturb the layers too much.
  • Bake 45 – 55 minutes.
  • Cool to room temperature and then chill over night.
  • Cut cheesecake into small bars. cutting the bars prior to putting on the chocolate drizzle helps keep the drizzle intact and pretty.
  • Microwave chocolate squares in 20 second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval.
  • Add melted chocolate to a ziplock bag and seal.
  • Snip a very tiny hole in one corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the bars. 
  • Store covered in the refrigerator. 

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP CARAMEL PUDDING COOKIES

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP PUDDING COOKIES

Yields 2-3 dozen cookies – Do your own experimenting with pudding flavors and/or chip flavors!  Adapted from Life in the Loft House

1 cup salted butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 – 3.7 ounce box GODIVA instant caramel chocolate pudding mix
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 – 11 ounce package QUALITY milk chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment.
  • Sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, or stand-mixer, combine the butter, sugars, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla.
  • Beat on medium speed until creamy and combined.
  • Gradually add in the flour and baking soda to the mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Drop batter by tablespoons on un-greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for only 9 to 10 minutes. They may not seemed fully baked, BUT THEY ARE! DO NOT OVER BAKE!
  • Remove from oven and let cookies rest and cool on the cookie sheets. There is no need to transfer them to wire racks, but be sure to cool them completely before putting them in the cookie jar.
  • Enjoy these delicious devils by dunking them in milk! ♥

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

These cookies are meant to be dense because they are served warm with ice cream or drizzled caramel. For best results do NOT just eat them directly from the jar. If you want to just eat the cookie only, for the best flavor and texture heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds first 😀

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES ala MOLLY YEH

Level: Easy Total: 45 min Active: 25 min Yield: 12 servings

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 
2 cups light brown sugar 
2 LARGE eggs, at room temperature 
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract 
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
1 cup milk chocolate chips 
Flaky salt, for sprinkling 

  • Place an oven rack in the middle position.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper an set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until JUST combined, scraping down the bottom and sides as needed.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix slowly until JUST BARELY combined.
  • Mix in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop out a slightly-heaping, 1/2-cup scoop of dough and place on a prepared baking sheet.
  • Lightly press the dough to flatten into the shape of a hockey puck. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing 6 cookies on each baking sheet and making sure to evenly space apart.
  • Sprinkle the tops with flaky salt.
    Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

NOTES:

  • The additional flour in this recipe makes for a more substantial cookie that stays firm. The recipe I’ve been using for decades uses 3 1/2 cups flour and only 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Molly’s recipe called for semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips. The flavor of chips is up to you and your flavor palette. I used semi-sweet mini chips and milk chocolate.
  • After placing on baking sheet they can be frozen for use at a later date. If baking from frozen start checking the cookies for doneness at the 20 minute mark.

 

The Revival of the INCREDIBLE MYSTERY FUDGE

Last weekend my friend who is the local Eagle’s Auxiliary president held her last fundraising function for the year. We did a Paint-N-Sip event at the post. We had a great turn out and in the end made a hefty sum to add to the scholarship fund. We did raffle tickets for some incredible baskets, served a small lunch, sipped mimosas and had a great time. It wasn’t my pick for a painting, but it was for a good cause 😀

One of the things we did to raise money was hold a guessing raffle. I made a BIG batch of my incredible mystery fudge. This recipe originated 15 years ago or so when I was approached by Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce to promote their cookbook and sauce. I can’t find the sauce anywhere around here, but it tastes suspiciously like A1 sauce so that makes a great substitute. No one was able to guess the mystery ingredients, but we had some wild guesses – everything from mayonnaise to pop rocks 😀

INCREDIBLE MYSTERY FUDGE
12 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
2 sticks butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce or A1 sauce
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3/4 cups heath bar bits (optional)
3/4 cups chopped pecans (optional)

  • In a microwave safe bowl combine the Velveeta, butter, Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce and chocolate.
  • Microwave on high 2-4 minutes, stirring every minute until mixture is smooth and well blended.
  • Pour the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  • Gradually add the chocolate mixture while beating with an electric mixture until well blended.
  • Beat in the vanilla.
  • Stir in the nuts, heath bar bits or your desired combination totaling 1 1/2 cups.
  • Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.
  • Cover and chill until firm.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHEWY BROWNIES

These are made from one of the gift jars I made for Christmas presents. They are a simple and perfectly delicious treat for any day 😀

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHEWY BROWNIES
Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 22 mins Total Time 27 mins

1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Sift together all dry ingredients.
Place into a jar or airtight container.
Add chips to top and seal tightly.

On a tag add the following:

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS:
½ cup butter, melted, then cooled
2 LARGE eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray an 8×8 square baking dish.
  • Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.
  • Mixing with a wooden spoon gently add the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  • Add melted butter into mixture mixing just until incorporated.
  • Spread batter in a prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes based on your consistency desire.
  • Cool completely before cutting.

ELVIS COOKIES ala DUFF GOLDMAN

Duff says that the King deserves a cookie. And you know what, he’s absolutely right, and I for one am so glad Duff created a cookie for him! Elvis was known for some odd eating combos and this cookie showcases them all – bananas, peanut butter, garlic, bacon, pretzels… YEP I said garlic. I always make a recipe as written the first time and then adjust from there. I did include the garlic, but I WILL omit it next time. Hubby couldn’t taste it, but I could.

ELVIS COOKIES ala DUFF GOLDMAN yields 30 cookies
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
BIG pinch of baking powder*
1 garlic clove, minced **(optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 VERY ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup pretzel crumbs (about 5 ounces hard pretzels smashed)
10 bacon strips, cooked crisp and chopped FINE

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine the butter, peanut butter, molasses, sugar, baking powder, garlic and salt, mixing until all one color.
  • Add the bananas, mixing until all the same consistency.
  • Add flour and gently mix until incorporated with no lumps.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips, pretzel pieces and bacon.
  • This is my little addition – chill the entire batch of dough for 1 hour before using.
  • Place large walnut sized spoon fulls onto prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Chill baking sheets 10 minutes.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until golden on the outside and gooey in the middle.
  • Cool on wire rack.

*NOTE: Duff qualifies this by saying yes, he said a BIG pinch of baking powder and to get over it 😀

**NOTE: Duff claims that the garlic isn’t weird and that there is actually a long standing tradition of putting garlic in chocolate chip cookies. I have to admit t does sound weird, but in reality no weirder than the bacon 😀 But like I said hubby couldn’t taste it, but I could so I will omit it next time and leave it up to you.

CHRISTMAS OATMEAL COOKIES

This recipe is really versatile!  You can make it like plain old oatmeal cookies or you can roll it our and use cookie cutters at Christmas time, glaze them and decorate with sanding sugar!  Today’s picture is a “June” version.  I’ll try and get a picture next Christmas to add to this post.

CHRISTMAS OATMEAL COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
1 LARGE egg
1 teaspoon QUALITY vanilla extract
2 1/4 quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup small chopped walnuts’
3/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1/2 cup FINE sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats.
  • Beat together the butter, sugar and egg until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Gradually add the sifted dry mixture into the egg mixture, blending well.
  • Add nuts and chocolate chips.
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 10-11 minutes.
  • Cool.

SHORTBREAD TOFFEE

SHORTBREAD TOFFEE

Buttery almond shortbread with a layer of gooey caramel and a thick layer of chocolate – who could say no to a piece?

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped, toasted slivered almonds
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
2 Giant Hershey Bars
3/4 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts
1/3 cup chopped almonds, pecans or pistachios
2/3 cup broken stick pretzels

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang all long sides.
  • Lightly grease foil.

  • Beat powdered sugar and 3/4 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add almonds, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt just until combined.
  • Press on bottom of prepared pan.
  • Bake until golden brown, 25 to 28 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes or so.
  • Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute, stir and melt 10 more seconds at a time until smooth.
  • Immediately spread chocolate on top of the shortbread layer and spread even with an offset spatula.
  • Immediately sprinkle with nuts and pretzels, pressing down slightly.
  • Cool in fridge 15 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.