White Chocolate Toffee Blondies

February 21, 2013

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So the other night I set out to whip up a quick dessert, but wanted to do something different from my good old, easy quick dessert standby…the brownie. As it turned out, I didn’t stray far when I decided to go with a close cousin of said brownies…the blondie! Blondies get their sweet, caramel taste from brown sugar. Unlike the brownie, there is no chocolate in the batter. But all of you chocolate lovers out there need not despair, blondies are very customizable. Once you’ve mixed up the versatile blondie batter, you can throw in whatever extras you like to jazz things up. So go wild with the chocolate chips if you like! I decided to go with White chocolate and Toffee bits in these bars and was very pleased with my choice. These White Chocolate Toffee Blondies were thick and dense with both a gooey center and also a chewy outer edge. Yum, Yum, triple YUM!

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And they were very easy to make. You only need dirty one bowl. Not to mention, they were somewhat addictive. Folks just couldn’t leave them alone, coming back for seconds and thirds. It’s a good thing I cut them in such small squares…You know that way there’s fewer calories…no matter how many of those little devils you snatch up! At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it works…

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White Chocolate Toffee Blondies

recipe adapted from: the sweet mash

yield: 16 blondies 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter​
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar​
  • 2 eggs​
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla​
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour​
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder​
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt​
  • 3/4 cup toffee bits
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips​

Directions:

Preheat oven ​to 350° F. Spray an 8 x 8″ baking pan with cooking spray.

Melt butter in microwave. Stir in brown sugar and let cool for 3-5 minutes until it is warm, not hot.​

Stir in the eggs and vanilla. ​

Pour flour, baking powder, and salt over the butter mixture. Stir until just combined. ​

Fold in the toffee bits and white chocolate chips.​

Smooth into baking pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs. ​If you feel the blondies are getting too dark, cover with aluminum foil.

Enjoy!


Biscoff Brown Sugar Bars

January 28, 2013

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Biscoff you say? Yum! I’m sure everyone is familiar with Biscoff cookies by now, but just in case you’ve gone totally hermit and don’t know what Biscoff is, Biscoff cookies were originally made by the Lotus Bakery in Belgium in 1932. Overseas they are referred to as Speculoos Biscuits. These cookies are really delicious and have a caramelized cinnamony taste. You may have eaten one if you’ve flown anywhere recently, because many airlines have been serving them as a snack since 1984. I really love them, completely unadorned, just all on their own. But they dress up nicely as well. A little over a year ago I blogged about Biscoff Crunch White Chocolate Chip cookies, which are deee-lish! Definitely check those out if you haven’t done so. And now I’m thrilled to report that you can not only get the cookies here in the good old US of A. But you can get the spread!

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That’s right…Biscoff Spread! And just like peanut butter, you can get a smooth version or a crunchy version which actually has little bits of the Biscoff biscuits crumbled up in there. Heaven! Recently I found a recipe that calls for the spread. Not that I’m not happy to just eat it directly out of the jar with a spoon, or my fingers if said spoon is unavailable. Or, you know, if I can’t reach a spoon fast enough….Anyway….Biscoff Brown Sugar Bars are fantastic! You get all of that lovely, gooey cinnamony Biscoff spread filling cradled in a buttery shortbread crust. I particularly like how the top of the bars bake up all crinkly and crackly. And of course, I used the crunchy spread, so the occasional bit of the gooey filling in my bars had a little extra crunch to it.These little devils are pure bliss with a cup of tea or coffee. Make yourself some soon!

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Biscoff Brown Sugar Bars

Recipe from: Handle the Heat

yield: 16 bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt

For the filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff spread, or other cookie spread
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugar, flour, and salt until mixture is well combined and moistened. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let cool.

For the filling:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the eggs, sugar, Biscoff, and flour until well combined and smooth.

Pour the mixture over the cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until the middle is just set. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into 16 bars to serve. Bars can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Enjoy!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

September 11, 2012

Here’s one for all of you salty/sweet loving folks out there and believe you me, I am a card-carrying member of your club. Not to mention, this little recipe gem has peanut butter (another favourite of mine) thrown in as well. The title really says it all: Chocolate…Peanut Butter…Pretzel Bars. Yuuuuum! How wonderfully decadent! In just one of these little squares you not only get your salty/sweet fix, but you also get a fabulous texture convergence of the crispy crunchy base and the silky smooth topping.

As if the sinfully delicious taste isn’t enough to inspire you to make these bars, I might add that they are very easy to put together. No oven time is required.  Which is definitely a plus when you live in Virginia in the summer. (speaking of which…it is now September and I am DONE with all of this heat and humidity. Could someone please pass that message along to whoever is in charge of the Virginia climate…) All you need is the good old microwave oven. And you’ll be totally finished and popping these bars into the fridge to chill before you even know you’ve started. However one taste of these delightful little bars will make folks believe you laboured over them all day. What are you waiting for…hop to it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

recipe from: Craving Chronicles

yield: 9 medium-sized bars or 16 small bars

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter Base:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups pretzel crumbs, fine
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 heaping cup semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Line 8×8 pan with foil. Spray with baking spray.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt peanut butter and butter together in microwave (about 1 minute on HIGH). Stir in pretzel crumbs, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Spread evenly into prepared pan and refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan or microwave-safe container, heat heavy cream to near boiling (1-2 minutes on HIGH, depending on your microwave). Pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. (If needed, microwave on DEFROST 10 seconds at a time to finish melting.) Pour chocolate over chilled peanut butter base. Chill.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting. Lift foil to remove from pan, then slice into bars with a pizza cutter. Store in refrigerator.

Enjoy!


Mud Hen Bars

February 17, 2012

Bet I’ve got your attention huh? I’m sure you’re wondering what in the heck is a “mud hen”. I certainly didn’t know either. However, when I looked over the ingredients in these delicious bars, I knew I had to make them and all of my pondering about that hen ceased for the moment. These bars have a delicious cookie base, which once baked, gets covered with marshmallows and semi-sweet chocolate chips. And as if that wasn’t enough, then you cover the lot of it with a brown sugar meringue and pop it in the oven to bake. That rich chocolate melts, the marshmallows bubble up into the meringue, which puffs up to a crispy, crackly cloud. Oh my Giddy Aunt!!! These bars are amazing!

Once I polished off the whole pan (just kidding….sort of…)

I started wondering how such a delicious treat can to have such a bizarre name. Well, it seems a Mud Hen is a type of bird with really short wings and rather long legs that lives in swamps and marshes. The poor little thing has a hard time getting airborne and has to pedal along the water for quite a while, stirring up a bunch of mud in the process. Hence Mud Hen.

The bird himself caught kicking up some mud!

Apparently some folks think that the lovely meringue topping on this bar resembles that muddy water. While eating that lovely crunchy meringue I can absolutely say that I never once thought of mud. But, there you go. Don’t let the odd name and mysterious origins dissuade you from making these amazing bars. They are very easy to prepare and gorgeous right out of the oven. They will not disappoint! And the name will undoubtedly inspire conversation at any event to which you bring them!

Mud Hen Bars

recipe from twopeasandtheirpod

yield: 24 bars

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, divided (1 egg, 2 yolks, and 2 egg whites)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I added this)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I left these out)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks (put aside the whites for later.) Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Blend until just combined. Spread mixture into 9×13″ pan. Sprinkle with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and nuts-if using.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the brown sugar. Spread mixture evenly over marshmallows and chocolate chips. Bake for about 30 minutes or until bars are a deep golden brown. Let bars cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.

Enjoy!


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