Home Home Home Home Home Home Home
CakeSpy

Featured Post:
Of Eating Disorders and Food Blogs

 

 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!

 

Gallery

Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com

This area does not yet contain any content.
Craftsy Writer

Entries in bar cookies (25)

Saturday
Nov302013

Pucker Up: Lemon Walnut Bars Recipe

Lemon walnut bar

After Thanksgiving, people crave light treats that will make them feel refreshed, in contrast to the fullness they may have felt over the holiday.

These Lemon Walnut Bars are perfect, because owing to the lemon they taste refreshing, and the addition of oats gives them the slightest tone of healthfulness.

But don't worry--they're not actually healthy. With creamy sweetened condensed milk and plenty of butter, rest assured, these are definitely dessert.

Lemon walnut bar

I had a brief love affair with the lemon crumb bars sold at Tully's Coffee Shops in Seattle a few years ago--they certainly weren't fancy, they were made by a commercial bakery in the area and wouldn't be what I would consider "artisan". But there was something about the tart-sweet lemon filling paired with a streusel-like topping that had me hooked.

So when I saw a recipe for Lemon Walnut Bars in the new cookbook Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes From a Little Neighborhood Bakery (also the source of this fab marshmallow recipe), I knew I had to try it.

Lemon walnut bar

Seriously, this recipe is a classic. It's like the bars I so loved at Tully's, but tastier since they were baked fresh. The filling is tart with lemon but so smooth and creamy with the sweetened condensed milk, which makes it almost like a key lime pie filling, but with lemon. The sweet-salty streusel has all of these notest that work well with the lemon: brown sugar, coconut, walnuts, and oats--which make it also slightly crunchy, and a perfect texture complement to the creaminess. I promise, if you love lemon bars and you love crumb cake, you will adore these squares. You won't be able to stop eating them. 

Lemon walnut bar

Lemon Walnut Bars

adapted from Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes From a Little Neighborhood Bakery

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (dark)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, coconut, walnuts, and baking powder. Pour in the melted butter and mix until the butter is evenly distributed. Press half of the oat mixture into the prepared pan, and press it in firmly. If you wanna, line the bottom with a strip of parchment to make for easy removal later.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the consensed milk and lemon uice until thick and combined. Pour the mixture over the base. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to make sure it's an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the filling.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden on top.
  6. Remove from oven and cool completely into the pan. Run a knife along the edges of the pan. Cut into bars.

 

Tuesday
Aug272013

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Oatmeal Bars, with Love from Haydn

Haydn Bars

When it comes to cookbooks, are you attracted to the unusual ones? 

Well, you're not alone. I simply cannot pass by a rummage sale, secondhand store, or bookstore's dollar rack without checking out the unusual cookbooks they always seem to have.  I've found a few great ones this way, including my personal fave, Cooking in WetLeather (a biker recipe book). Yes, it exists. 

At a yard sale recently, I was purchasing a $10 sofa and this book caught my eye: Haydn in the Kitchen.

haydn2 haydn

Since I was already shelling out for the sofa, they gave it to me for free. Score!

As it turns out, this recipe book was put together by the Denver Symphony Guild to benefit the orchestra. Unfortunately, the recipes have little to do with famous composers, and the only way that they incorporated music was to call the chapters things like "Symphonic Variations", "Finales", and "Intermezzi". Nestled in the Intermezzi chapter was a recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. 

I made a few changes to the recipe, one of which was using honey peanut butter, and then I added banana. Oh my, were they ever good. Sort of in the blondie family, but with a much more mellow, rounded flavor. The rich peanut butter with the golden, sunshine-y honey. haydn7 haydnbars2

The moist and gooey banana bits. The vaguely healthy tasting oats, adding a nice nuttiness. The slightly caramel-y taste from the brown sugar. All in a fairly dense bar cookie. They're very, very good. 

They certainly disappeared quickly in my house. Bet they'll disappear faster than a symphonic overture (is that a thing?) in yours, too. 

Haydn Bars

Makes 16 - printable version here.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup honey peanut butter (or, plain peanut butter with 1 teaspoon honey mixed in)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/2 a banana, cut into small pieces

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cream the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until smooth (or as smooth as the chunky peanut butter will get). 
  3. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure that they're mixed fully.
  4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients all together, until combined.
  5. Spread in your prepared 8x8-inch pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan, then slice into squares. These bars keep well for 3 to 4 days, well wrapped.
Thursday
Feb142013

Salted Butterscotch Cashew Shortbread Bars 4 Eva

Salted butterscotch cashew shortbread bars

Salted. Butterscotch. Cashew. Shortbread Bars. It's necessary to pause while considering the sum of these awesome parts, which heighten the experience of each to a sort of baked goods nirvana state.

It's a recipe that I came up with for the Walkers Shortbread challenge, but for the event, I honed and perfected it, and here is what I consider the absolute ideal version of the recipe. 

Salted butterscotch cashew shortbread bars

I'll tell you the truth: I didn't win the competition with these. But I think that I win at LIFE, because I have the ability to make this recipe whenever I want! Me and my Salted butterscotch cashew shortbread bars Plus, when it came to the end of the event, there were only a few left, so I think the crowd liked 'em! 

Salted butterscotch cashew shortbread bars

I should mention that it was a great event, btw. I got to meet Susan of Girl in the Little Red Kitchen, who brought a killer cheesecake (and who like me is a proud pug parent): Walkers shortbread event

Serena of Big Apple Nosh, who brought these ridiculous Hazelnut Banoffee Tartlets: Walkers shortbread event

and Emily of Nomnivorous, who brought the most beautiful boozy pie I've ever seen; I got to hang out with Alejandra Ramos and a bunch of other cool dudettes (and a couple of dudes).

Oh oh oh! Here is the recipe. I should note that you'll see that the pan I used is bigger--I doubled the recipe and it worked fine.

Oh, and--you're so very welcome.

Salted butterscotch cashew shortbread bars

Printable Recipe here!

Salted Butterscotch Cashew Shortbread Bars
Makes 1 big serving (kidding. sort of)

  • 2 boxes Pure Butter Shortbread
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (10 to 11 ounces) butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I suggest cashews or pecans)
  • coarse sea salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Combine the cookies and melted butter in a food processor or blender with a pulse mode. Press it into the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges. Remove from the oven.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the butterscotch chips, corn syrup, butter, cream, and vanilla. Cook and stir over medium heat until smooth.
  4. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with the nuts; press down lightly. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Cut into bars when totally cool. 
Friday
Aug102012

Donut Hole Blondies Recipe

Donut Hole Blondies

Photo: Domestic Rebel

Donut-Hole Blondies are purely experimental. It was kind of those moments where you walk by the donut holes and think to yourself thinking to them, you’re going into a blondie today. 

Oh, you don’t talk to food? Nevermind.

They're a popular recipe on my blog for a reason: they're sweet yet salty and are completely delicious.  Blondies are my absolute fave for their rich brown sugar-y flavor, but adding donut holes to them elevates that flavor to crazy levels of awesomeness.  Also, donuts are known as being the best food ever.  Just a fact for you. 

Donut Hole Blondies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar (light preferred)
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pkg glazed donut holes (like the pop’ems kind or from your local market/bakery), cut in half

Procedure

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter together over medium heat until butter melts, the sugar dissolves, and the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Stir in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Stir in the flour one cup at a time, then the baking soda and baking powder. Stir in 3/4 of the chopped donut holes and pour into the prepared pan. Top with a couple more donut hole halves and sprinkle with sea salt (you may not use all the donut hole halves but uh, think of something else to use them for?)
  4. Bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or until center is set and blondies are lightly golden. Cool for about 1 hr before cutting into squares. Store airtight for 2-3 days.

About the author: Hayley is The Domestic Rebel. She believes in cake mix, overdosing on sparkles & eating that extra cookie. And she really, really loves cupcakes.

Friday
Mar232012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chewy Peanut Butter-Caramel Bars

Peanut butter caramel cookies

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

What happens when Millionaire's shortbread meets peanut butter? Total deliciousness, that's what!

And these ones are not only delicious but quite easy to prepare, says Sandra Hilbert of Fort Littleton, PA, who invented this recipe for the Pillsbury Bake-Off: "Pillsbury sugar cookies jump-start these ooey-gooey bars. A few additional ingredients create an awesome flavor combo!"

Chewy Peanut Butter-Caramel Bars

36 Bars

  • 1package Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1/2cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
  • 1can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1bag (11.5 oz) Hershey's® milk chocolate baking chips
  • 1/2cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2cup finely chopped Fisher® Dry Roasted Peanuts

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan (dark pan not recommended) with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray or line with nonstick foil. Evenly arrange cookie rounds in pan.
  2. Bake 24 to 26 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 15 minutes on cooling rack.
  3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in condensed milk, brown sugar and granulated sugar until blended. Add graham cracker crumbs; mix well (mixture will be thick). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly, or until slightly thickened. Pour caramel mixture over warm cookie crust, spreading evenly.
  4. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips on High 1 minute to 1 minute 20 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Stir in peanut butter until blended. Spread evenly over caramel layer. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
Wednesday
Mar142012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Peanut Butter Crunch Layer Bars

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

It's time to hit the bars. No, I don't mean to drink mai tais. I mean bar cookies, and boy are these ones good-looking: Peanut Butter Crunch Layer Bars.

They're a finalist in the upcoming Pillsbury Bake-Off, invented by Becky Pifer of Blanchard, MI, who says "Create ultimate bars in an easy way, starting with refrigerated cookie dough. Toffee, nuts, butterscotch and chocolate all rolled into layered goodness." That's a whole lot to love in just one bar.

Peanut Butter Crunch Layer Bars

Makes 36 bars 

  • 2 rolls Pillsbury® refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
  • 3/4 cup Heath® Bits 'O Brickle toffee bits
  • 1 cup Reese’s peanut butter baking chips
  • 1 3/4cups Fisher brand Nut Topping
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
  • 1 bag (11 oz) butterscotch baking chips
  • 1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan (dark pan not recommended) with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. In large bowl, break up 1 1/2 rolls of cookie dough. (Refrigerate 1/2 roll cookie dough for another use.) Add toffee bits, peanut butter chips, 1/2 cup of the nut topping and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon or knead with hands until well blended. Press evenly in bottom of pan.
  2. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  3. In large microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butterscotch chips on High 2 to 2 minutes 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth.
  4. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/4 cups nut topping; press in lightly. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Store covered.
Monday
Nov212011

You Say Nanaimo: Chocolate Cranberry Nanaimo Bars Recipe for Serious Eats

It's a fact: Nanaimo Bars are delicious. They're a decadent no-bake treat named for the Canadian city in which they were invented, comprised of a chocolate-graham-coconut crust, a custard-buttercream middle, and a chocolate topping.

But they also dress up nicely for Thanksgiving, as proven in this chocolate-cranberry variation.

The Canadian classic takes a tart-but-sweet Thanksgiving turn by adding dried cranberries to each of the three layers. The resulting seasonal variation is bound to delight family and friends at Thanksgiving festivities and start the holiday cookie season off sweetly.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Thursday
Oct272011

Smear Campaign: Smearcase Recipe for Serious Eats

If you ask me, a baked good had better be great to get away with an exceedingly unappetizing name like Smearcase.

And happily, it is—this little-known Baltimore specialty, introduced to me by Rachel Rappaport of Coconut & Lime, is sort of like a thinner-crusted cousin to the pride of St. Louis known as Gooey Butter Cake. A dense, cakey crust encases a big ol' smear of gooey cream cheese-based custard filling; when sliced into squares, it's sort of like cheesecake condensed into a bar cookie form.

Note: While not strictly traditional, I added a handful of lightly roasted walnuts to the top of my Smearcase, with delicious results.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Thursday
Jun162011

Pastry Profiles: Oatmeal Fudge Brownie at Gill's Deli, Rutland VT

Gill's Deli in Rutland, VT, is famous for its sandwiches.

But, you know, they also have a nice little array of home-baked goodies too.

When I went to Gill's as a sandwich ambassador for Serious Eats (my title, not theirs) I was able to scope out the bakery case, too, and pick up some treats.

But the one I want to tell you about is the Oatmeal fudge brownie.

Sort of like a chocolate fudge bar cookie on the base, this baby was studded with a sweet, crunchy oat topping which added a nice, nutty flavor, as well as a satisfying heartiness to the bar. Not a fancy treat by any means, it was a nostalgic, lunchbox style treat that was charming to find among the sandwiches, and worth picking one up if you find yourself in the environs.

Gill's Deli, Rutland, VT. Online here.

Gill's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Thursday
May192011

Pastry Profiles: The Majestic Bar from Corina Bakery, Tacoma WA

Riddle me this. What's a Majestic Bar?

No, it's not a bar at which they serve grandiose alcoholic beverages (though, come to think about it, such an establishment wouldn't be so bad, would it be?).

No, the Majestic Bar, at least at the lovely and amazing Corina Bakery in Tacoma, WA, was described like this to me:

"Like a magic cookie bar but with frosting & MORE chocolate chips." 

I know--like poetry, right? Of course, if you're not familiar with the Magic Cookie Bar (also called Hello Dolly Bars and 7 Layer Bars, and other names), let me give you a primer. This decadent bar cookie starts out with a graham cracker base upon which several layers of deliciousness are piled, including but not limited to sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and nuts. They are rich and delicious. They also make a great pie, with the ingredients distributed slightly differently.

But when you make the upgrade to the Majestic Bar, you're on decadence overload, in the best way possible.

To sum it up: If you are what you eat, you might just become the Monopoly Man by the time you finish this big bar of awesome.

Of course, Corina also has a very worthy case full of other stuff, like this:

The Majestic Bar, available at Corina Bakery, 510 6th Avenue, Tacoma WA; online here.

Corina Bakery on Urbanspoon

© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.