100 Grand Rice Krispy Treats

100 Grand Rice Krispy Treats: Whisk Together

 

Books:  So with a lot of time on my hands this weekend, here are the books I read!

The Crossover

 

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander – Ok, I am forgetting the other books for book club next month and using this one instead!  Poetry, motion, deeply felt characters, fast moving plot, themes and solid ending.  It is all there.  I highly recommend it for anyone that wants a fast summer book and over age 11 or 12.  It is listed as Young Adult, but should be really be over 6th grade.

24300186

 

Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution: I rarely purchase cookbooks.  But after getting this one from the library and starting to realize I wanted to make almost everything in it, I decided it would just be easier to buy the book.  America’s Test Kitchen shows you how to make GOOD slow cooker meals.  Most of them online are mushy because they instruct you to cook everything way too long.  But ATK does it right!  I can’t wait!

18225037

 

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff:  I really liked this book!  It is slow in the beginning, but it has a great moral and story to tell.  The protagonist is a 5th grader who has a genius for a father.  Unfortunately, Albie is not as good at numbers and has trouble at school.  This book walks him through those troubles.  Every child will have some sort of trouble – academic or social – at some point in their life.  This book deals with those issues very well and appropriate for any age to read.

37190

 

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo: This book won the Newberry Medal.  It depends on who the audience is.  A 4 year old might find the “clout to the ear” over and over disturbing.  But a middle or high school student would really grasp the themes of light and darkness, hope and despair.  The rat named Chiaroscuro is a perfect example of character names with meaning.  I recommend this book with its familiar narration similar to Lemony Snicket – but with reservations for younger children.

100 Grand Rice Krispy Treats-2413 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I love 100 Grand candy bars.  They are delightfully sweet and crunchy and caramelly.  So, I tried to make them myself in bar form.  After dipping so many homemade Star Crunch Bars, I thought I would try to make these simpler, less time consuming, but just as delicious.  Layers of crunchy rice krispies, milk chocolate, and caramel come together for a fast and fun treat to make.

100 Grand Rice Krispy Treats-2414 on Whisk Together

Keep these in a cool casserole carry-all and take them to your next picnic!  Ours were gone in less than half an hour.  The white chocolate drizzle is not necessary…. just makes them pretty.  Sprinkles would be fun, too.

100 Grand Rice Krispy Treats-2399 on Whisk Together

Since making these, I’ve come to realize you can make rice krispy treats in the microwave and not have to stand over a stove for 15 minutes!  Plus it easier for the kids to make them in the microwave as well.

100 Grand Rice Krispy Treats
 
:
Ingredients
  • 4 Tb. butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows (small ones melt faster)
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • 1 package (11 oz.) caramel bits (like Kraft) or 11 oz. unwrapped caramels
  • 2 Tb. milk
  • 12 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • 1 oz. white chocolate bar or chips
Instructions
  1. Rub butter all over a 9x13" pan to coat it or use non stick foil to line it.
  2. In a great big microwave safe bowl, melt the butter for 30 seconds. Cover and watch carefully so the butter doesn't explode.
  3. Microwave until melted or almost melted.
  4. Toss marshmallows with the butter. Use a spatula to stir them around. Put bowl back into the microwave using 30 second intervals to melt the marshmallows. Once most are melted, keep stirring to melt the rest further.
  5. Add crisp rice cereal. Fold in using spatula. Once combined, press the mixture into the prepped 9x13" pan. This is easier using a little cooking spray on the back of a spatula and pressing that onto the sticky mixture.
  6. In another medium sized microwave safe bowl, add the caramel and milk. Microwave for about 2 minutes total - stirring at 30 second intervals - until melted. Pour the melted caramel over the rice krispy mixture.
  7. Place the milk chocolate chips in the same caramel bowl, or another bowl, and microwave for about 1-2 minutes - stirring every 30 seconds - to melt the chocolate chips. Remember they may burn, so if only a few chips remain simply keep stirring until they are all melted together. Pour the chocolate onto the caramel mixture. Or, I find easier to dollop the chocolate all over and then spread it out with an offset spatula.
  8. In a small bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Pour into a small ziplock bag and cut off one corner. Now drizzle all over the milk chocolate layer. Or sprinkle sprinkles... or peanuts... or whatever would be yummy. Cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

Perfect Lemon Bars

Perfect Lemon Bars-2545 on Whisk Together

This is for those of you who have made the last post’s Strawberry Lemon Pancakes and have leftover lemons!

Summer Book List:  I realized summer starts like next week and have nothing to read!  Here are some of the books I’ve requested from the library to read this summer.

Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin

Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935  by Claudia Clark

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine  (YAF)

The Girls Who Went Away:  The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler

Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky

Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lade of DNA by Brenda Maddox  (I always wondered about her when we learned how DNA was discovered in Biology class and she never got the Nobel Prize….)

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (YAF)

I am trying to pick between two book club books:  Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Or pick something new from the list above?  .

Perfect Lemon Bars-2549 on Whisk Together

I learned that Twizzlers are NOT candy and Dairy Queen does NOT sell ice cream.  Crazy.  Hmmm maybe they should make Twizzlers into a Blizzard!  Well anyway… to briefly explain … as you know the FDA has definitions and regulations on our food.  Since Twizzlers contains flour, it cannot be considered technically a candy.  Dairy Queen’s ice cream is not technically ice cream.  I knew this… but didn’t know why.  It is because it only contains 5% butterfat.  In order to be qualified ice cream in the USA, it must have 10% butterfat content.

Perfect Lemon Bars-2541 Whisk Together

Recipe:  I’ve seen and probably made those Krusteez Lemon Bars several dozen times.  If it’s in a box, it must be terribly hard to make right?  And it must taste better from the box, right?  NOPE.  These bars are easier and tastier.  They have the perfect balance of sweet and tart.  The crust is crispy, but not too crispy.  The lemon filling is soft and sweet.

If you are lucky and here in the spring time, you can visit Sheridan’s Frozen Custard who makes a Lemon Lush Concrete.  They freeze and put these babies into a vanilla custard concrete and mix it all hope.  Oh my lemon heaven!

If you want pretty powdered sugar on them to stay a while, I would recommend the non-melting sugar.  I know King Arthur sells it.  Regular powdered sugar will melt into these bars in about 15 minutes.  Non-melting sugar will stay pretty all day.  There’s the secret!

Perfect Lemon Bars-2557 on Whisk Together

Perfect Lemon Bars
 
:
Ingredients
  • Crust
  • 1 and ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12 Tb. cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • Filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and ⅓ cups sugar
  • 3 Tb. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • ⅔ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or good bottled juice (3-4 lemons)
  • ⅓ cup milk (whole or 2% or 1%)
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Take non stick foil or parchment paper and line a 9x13" pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients together for the filling: flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the butter. Pulse the food processor until the flour and butter looks like coarse meal. (I have done this without a processor as well by freezing the butter and grating it on a cheese grater.)
  3. Pour the crust into the pan and press down. Make sure you press up the sides at least ½" or so as well.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Pop the whole pan into the fridge for 15-30 minutes while the oven heats up.
  6. Bake crust for 20 minutes - it should be a light golden brown.
  7. For the filling: whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, zest, juice, milk and salt.
  8. Pour filling onto hot crust. Bake another 20 minutes. The entire pan should not jiggle a lot and should feel mostly firm when pressed with your finger. Cool completely. Then cut and serve with sprinkles of powdered sugar.
Notes
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

 

Holy Moly Brownies

Holy Moly Brownies-1863 on Whisk Together

 

I saw these “holy heck brownies” on Pinterest and then used the King Arthur Flour recipe to make the brownie because it had more chocolate in it.  Everyone loved these brownies!  Dark, fudgy, chewy, just the perfect bar to take anywhere.  This version makes a 9×13 pan and snickers inside.  Use up the rest of the Halloween candy or from the Easter egg hunt! 🙂

Here is a photo of the cookies for this weekend.  My sister LOVES the St. Louis Cardinals and so we had these cookies made for her birthday:

St Louis Cardinals Cookies on Whisk Together

 

Then, to be totally topped off, her friend’s mom made this super spectacular good enough for a wedding cake.  I wish I had had my good camera on me, but usually I leave it at home:


Daffodil Cake on Whisk Together2

 

Well, now that your mouth is watering from brownies,

Holy Moly Brownies-1875 on Whisk Together

and cookies,

Holy Moly Brownies-1872 on Whisk Together

 

and cake,

Holy Moly Brownies-1867 on Whisk Together

 

Here is the recipe for Holy Moly Brownies.  Perfect for Easter because brownies go with everything.

Holy Moly Brownies
 
:
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. (1 cup/2 sticks/16 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 2 and ¼ cups (15.75 oz.) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 and ¼ cups (3.75 oz) Dutch Process Cocoa or Hershey’s Dark Cocoa*
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder**
  • 1 Tb. vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ cups (6.25 oz) AP flour
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
  • 1 cup caramel sauce
  • 10-15 fun size snickers, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray or Baker’s Joy.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Just before completely melted, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Continue to stir and heat until the mixture is hot but NOT bubbling - about 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate big bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. It will thick, but beat until it is smooth.
  4. Stir the hot butter/sugar into the cocoa/egg mixture. Keep stirring until smooth.
  5. If you want the chocolate chips to melt in and not be chunky, put the entire bowl in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Add flour slowly and fold in. You are kind of making muffins here – folding the flour into the mixture in order to avoid creating gluten.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the pan. Pour into caramel sauce. Sprinkle snickers bars. Scoop the rest of the batter on top and spread with an offset spatula. Bake for 40 minutes. Toothpick should be clean with a few crumbs.
  8. Cool on a wire rack. I like them even better the next day.
Notes
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

 

Applebee’s White Chocolate & Walnut Blondie Copycat

Maple Walnut Blondie-1637 on Whisk Together

Update:  I haven’t read many books since the last post.  I have been working with my Silhouette machine making vinyl tiles, cards and brainstorming an Etsy store idea.  Here are some of the tiles I have made with vinyl.  I took the floor tile from the hardware store and had a LOT of fun with it.  Some things I learned about vinyl are:  The oracle 651 vinyl has survived my dishwasher over a dozen times!  Here are the cups that have gone through the dishwasher:

Creeper Cups on Whisk Together

Here are a few of the tiles I was playing around with.  I thought the first one would be neat next to the coffee bar at church.

Jesus Tile on Whisk Together May the Road Tile on Whisk Together

Our MOPS group also did this awesome painting together like one of those group painting classes.  It was so much fun!  I made mine coral because I thought that would be pretty with the blue/grey walls.

Painting-1588 on Whisk Together

 

Maple Walnut Blondie-1629 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  Warm, chunky blondie, gooey melting vanilla ice cream and creamy sauce with a hint of maple topped with walnuts.  I made this recipe several times a long time ago when we used to attend another bible study group.  It was their favorite!!  Everyone requested it and loved every bite.  The key I found is to make sure the blondie is nice and hot before adding the ice cream and sauce.  It takes the dessert from okay to outstanding.  Everything can be made ahead of time – the bars and the sauce – even by a couple of days.  Or, freeze the blondies if you need more time.

I have had the white chocolate and walnut blondie at the restaurant before and find this is a very close match.  I’m not sure I could tell the difference side by side.  Applebee’s no longer sells this at their restaurant, so if you want to have it again – this is your chance!

The recipe is fairly straight-forward and easy to put together.  The components are not a hassle since I just cleaned my mixing bowl in between steps.

Maple Walnut Blondie-1668 on Whisk Together

Applebee's White Chocolate & Walnut Blondie Copycat
 
:
Ingredients
  • Bars:
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 and ¼ cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chunks or chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tb. maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • vanilla ice cream
  • additional chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. For the blondies:
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan with baking spray or shortening.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with mixer and/or whip attachment. Stiff peaks should form after 3-4 minutes.
  4. Mix in butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. The batter might look a little chunky, but beat until smooth.
  5. In medium size bowl, sift the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  6. Slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Add milk, white chocolate and walnuts. Stir until they are incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 40 minutes. The blondies will turn golden brown and a toothpick in the center will come out clean. Once cooled, then you can slice the bars
  8. For the sauce: mix everything together in a mixing bowl. Beat until combined. Use immediately or store in the fridge until the blondies are ready.
  9. To serve: Heat the blondies and sauce in the microwave until warm. Cut a square of blondies if not already cut and plate it. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Spoon sauce on top and sprinkle with walnuts.
Notes
Recipe from Todd Wilbur's "Top Secret Recipes 2"

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Choco Peanut Butter Granola Bars on Whisk Together

 

Book:   I have found another Alton Brown book!  How does he have the time?  Well, anyway it is “I’m Just Here for More Food: Version 2.0 Baking”.   This is probably the BEST baking book out there for understanding baking.  I love love love King Arthur Flour and all of their recipe books.  But, if you want to understand WHY things work in baking this is the book for you!  I love the humor and the detail in the book.  Probably the best of the 3 in the series in my opinion.  If you get it from the library, make sure it is the later edition.  The first run through had some bad edits.

Choco Chip Peanut Butter Granola Bars_1 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  So, back when Maddox was around 3 years old his favorite thing for breakfast was:  Quaker Oats Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  He would eat 1 for breakfast and a glass of milk (which was consumed on our 90 second drive to preschool that started 15 minutes after he woke up!).  What can I say?  I hate waking sleeping children.  Anyway, this recipe is no -bake just like the other Trail Mix Bars I have made in the past.  One pan makes a lot of chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness.

As with many no bake recipes, you can substitute peanut butter for almond butter and the chocolate chips for another dry ingredient.

Choco Chip Peanut Butter Granola Bars on Whisk Together

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • heaping 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups quick oats or old-fashioned oats cut down in the food processor
  • 2 cups rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)

Instructions

  1. Take out your 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Create a sling in the pan with wax paper or foil. (Tip: Non stick aluminum foil is super easy in sticky recipes!) Make sure the foil hangs off the sides 1-2".
  2. In a great big glass or ceramic bowl, mix the corn syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Cook for 1 minute in the microwave. Stir it up a bit. Cook another minute in the microwave.
  3. Add cocoa, vanilla and salt. Stir some more!
  4. Fold in the oats. Fold in 1 cup of rice cereal. The mixture is now going to get really thick. I added the second cup of rice cereal, but if it gets too hard to stir then stop adding rice cereal.
  5. Stir in 1/2 of the chocolate chips. Press the mixture into the pan. Use the back of a spatula or greased hands to press down on the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top and press them in lightly.
  7. Cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours or freezer for 1 hour. Use the sling to lift the batch of granola bars out of the pan and slice with a big knife. You can individually wrap them and store in the fridge, or freeze some for lunches later, or leave them in the pan covered and eat as you go!
  8. Recipe from Averie Cooks
http://www.whisktogether.com/2015/02/18/chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-granola-bars/

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Granola Bars
makes 12-16 bars

2/3 cup light corn syrup
heaping 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed)
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups quick oats or old-fashioned oats cut down in the food processor
2 cups rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)

Take out your 8×8 or 9×9 or 7×11 pan.  Create a sling in the pan with wax paper or foil.  (Tip:  Non stick aluminum foil is super easy in sticky recipes!)  Make sure the foil hangs off the sides 1-2″.
In a great big glass or ceramic bowl, mix the corn syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Cook for 1 minute in the microwave.  Stir it up a bit.  Cook another minute in the microwave.
Add cocoa, vanilla and salt.  Stir some more!
Fold in the oats.  Fold in 1 cup of rice cereal.  The mixture is now going to get really thick.  I added the second cup of rice cereal, but if it gets too hard to stir then stop adding rice cereal.
Stir in 1/2 of the chocolate chips.  Press the mixture into the pan.  Use the back of a spatula or greased hands to press down on the mixture.
Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top and press them in lightly.
Cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours or freezer for 1 hour.  Use the sling to lift the batch of granola bars out of the pan and slice with a big knife.  You can individually wrap them and store in the fridge, or freeze some for lunches later, or leave them in the pan covered and eat as you go!

Recipe from Averie Cooks

Freezer Meal Book & Rocky Ledge Bars

Rocky Ledge Bars_2 on Whisk Together

 

I have tried for a year to re-page number my book to no avail.  If someone knows how to unformat a document in Open Office that would be great.  My other option is to copy and paste it into a new document section by section, but somehow copying and pasting the book also transports the old page numbers that I don’t want in it.  SO – instead I am bestowing THE freezer meal book version 1  – until I get the page numbers sorted out.  I am also posting it early because I have another Freezer Meal Presentation this evening and would like to have it up.  It is in PDF format.  I had it formatted to print as a 8×10 book, however, yet again, this is what caused the page number.

Here is the link to “How to Freeze (Almost) Everything”

Here are the documents that go with the book such as inventory lists, etc.

Recipe List Color

Ingredients in Freezer

Freezer Method Guide

Bag Labels for Meals

Freezer Meal Inventory Color

Rocky Ledge Bars_3 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I have made these several times before I started blogging.  It’s fun to watch the kids unwrap all the caramels and help add the toppings.  We had a great time making these – omit the marshmallows on top and you can freeze them!  This dessert is very sweet, but a wonderful combination of chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, caramel and marshmallows.  It is like a blondie on crack really.  Good for a crowd or a family with a sweet tooth 🙂

Rocky Ledge Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature (unsalted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 and 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
  • 1 cup white chocolate
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips or toffee chips
  • 18 wrapped caramels cut up, or use 1 cup caramel bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Put a sling in your 9x13 pan with either nonstick foil or parchment paper. If it slides around too much, spray the bottom with cooking spray or butter.
  3. In a great big bowl, mix the butter and sugar by hand or with a mixer.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla.
  5. In a not so big bowl, whisk together the dry stuff: flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add flour mix to wet and stir to combine.
  7. Add ONE HALF of each of the mix ins. ONE HALF cup of marshmallows, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and caramel bits.
  8. Mix into the batter. Spread batter into pan. If it is too sticky, spray your spatula or hands with some cooking spray. Sprinkle the rest of the chips, etc. on top.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes.
  10. Cool on cooking rack. Remove from the pan and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set up. Store at room temperature.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/10/07/rocky-ledge-bars-freezer-meal-book-v-1/

Rocky Ledge Bars
serves 20-24

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature (unsalted)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 and 1/4 cups AP flour
2 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
1 cup white chocolate
1 cup butterscotch chips or toffee chips
18 wrapped caramels cut up, or use 1 cup caramel bits

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Put a sling in your 9×13 pan with either nonstick foil or parchment paper.  If it slides around too much, spray the bottom with cooking spray or butter.
3.  In a great big bowl, mix the butter and sugar by hand or with a mixer.
4.  Add eggs and vanilla.
5.  In a not so big bowl, whisk together the dry stuff:  flour, baking powder and salt.
6.  Add flour mix to wet and stir to combine.
7.  Add ONE HALF of each of the mix ins.  ONE HALF cup of marshmallows, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and caramel bits.
8.  Mix into the batter.  Spread batter into pan.  If it is too sticky, spray your spatula or hands with some cooking spray.  Sprinkle the rest of the chips, etc. on top.
9.  Bake 30-35 minutes.
10.  Cool on cooking rack.  Remove from the pan and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set up.  Store at room temperature.

 

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies

 

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars on Whisk Together

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I thought these would be perfect for Valentine’s.  We have made them in single and double batches for big and small crowds.  The cheesecake portion is really divine – I actually like it better the next day cold out of the refrigerator.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars_2 on Whisk Together

 

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 16

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (8 Tb. or 1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup natural baking cocoa/unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tb. liquid red food coloring
  • 3/4 tsp. white vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8" or 9x9" pan with baker's joy, cooking spray or parchment paper. Use a 9x13" pan to double the recipe.
  2. In a great bit bowl: mix melted butter, sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, coloring, and vinegar.
  3. Add eggs.
  4. Add flour. Fold in white chocolate chips (optional). Pour into the pan.
  5. In a medium bowl: mix cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Drop this mixture onto the red bar mixture in large spoonfuls. Swirl with a knife. Less is usually better here.
  6. Bake the 8x8 or 9x9 pan for 28-30 minutes. Bake a 9x13" pan for 38-42 minutes. Cool, cut and eat!
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/02/14/red-velvet-cheesecake-bars/

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars_1 on Whisk Together

Recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson on Food Network

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars on Whisk Together

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m not a huge fan of chocolate.  I had a friend about 5 years ago who didn’t like it at ALL.  I couldn’t understand her!  What?  You crazy woman?  5 years later, I totally get it.  I know I’m weird.  BUT – I do like this dessert.  Okay, so I love pretty much any homemade dessert, but this one is AWESOME.  Like swooning, ask for your hand in marriage awesome.  Why this recipe is awesome:

1.  Well, they are just delicious!  Buttery, chocolatey home-cooked cookie goodness in a pan!
2.  They are fast.  No waiting for batches of cookies to come out.  No dollops of dough.
3.  You could make a million versions.  Leave out the caramel.  Add in peanut butter chips, or M&Ms, or skittles, or … wait a minute.  Skittles?  Okay, maybe not.  But what about salted popcorn and raisenets?  Or butterscotch chips?  The combinations are quite endless.
4.  The ingredients are standard.
5.  They taste great slightly warm from the oven.  Drool.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars
serves 16-24

2 (10 oz) and 1/8 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12 Tb. butter, melted and cooled (I made them also with 8 Tb. butter and 4 Tb. Greek yogurt!)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips
10 oz. caramel candy (like Kraft), unwrapped
3 Tb. evaporated milk or cream

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray or grease 11×7″ or 9×9″ pan.
2.  In a medium bowl:  whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
3.  In a great big bowl:  cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 2-3 minutes.
4.  Add egg and egg yolk.  Scrape and mix.  Add vanilla.
5.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time – about 3 additions.  Stir in chocolate chips.
6.  For the caramel:  put the caramels and cream into a microwave bowl.  Heat for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Heat and stir every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes.
7.  Now, take half the cookie dough and press it into the pan.  I would recommend using damp hands.  The water doesn’t like the butter in the dough which will keep your hands clean.
8.  Pour the caramel mixture on top of the cookie dough.  Try to leave a small gap (about 1/2″) between the caramel and sides of the pan.
9.  Press the rest of the cookie dough on top of the caramel.  Work in batches.  Once it is all covered, take a look and fill in any gaps.
10.  Cook for about 25-35 minutes.  The top will be golden and the edges will just start to brown.  The top will be set and not gooey.
11.  Cool and eat!  They were still warm after 2 hours, but cool enough to cut through for everyone to have a bite. *I advise you do NOT pre-cut them and serve on a platter.  I advise highly to serve out of the casserole dish that they were baked in.  Sometimes the caramel oozes and does not look pretty at all when they are cut and served on a platter.  But they taste awesome and work GREAT served in the baking dish itself.  Plus, it is fewer dishes to clean!

**Variation** Leave out the caramel candies and cream/milk combination.  Bake the chocolate chip bars in a 9×13″ pan.

Recipe from Two Peas and their Pod

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Oatmeal Fudge Bars on Whisk Together

This is a another lightened up recipe.  Original bars were 260 calories each, 12 grams of fat and 7 grams of saturated fat.  These lightened up Oatmeal Fudge Bars are 160 calories 6 grams of fat and 3.5 grams saturated fat.  Chocolate lovers will LOVE them.  The chocolate lovers in the house ate them up before I could take a photo, so this is the one that was left.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars (Light)
16 bars

1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tb. unsalted butter, melt and cool

Filling:
1/2 cup AP flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder or coffee powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz (2 cups) mini marshmallows
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Take your 8″ square or 9″ square pan and then pull a large piece of foil (or nonstick foil) out so that the edges hang off about 1-2″.  This will let you remove the bars and cut them nicely.  Use some cooking spray on the foil if it is regular foil.

2.  In a medium bowl:  whisk dry stuff:  flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly.  Set aside 1/4 cup.   Put the rest in the 8″ pan and press down.  Bake for 20 minutes and cool.

3.  In a bowl, whisk the filling dry stuff:  flour, espresso powder and salt.

4.  In a large microwave bowl:  mix chocolate chips, marshmallows and skim milk.  Melt in the microwave and stir every 30 seconds or so.  It should take 1-3 minutes to melt.  Cool a couple minutes.  Stir in vanilla and flour mixture.

5.  Put the chocolate mallow mixture over the baked crust.  Take the 1/4 cup of reserved sprinkle and put that on top.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cool 2 hours.

Recipe from “Comfort Food Makeovers” by America’s Test Kitchen

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