Monday, February 11, 2008

Cookies and Bars

My friend Hilary asked me for some bar recipes, you know, lemon bars, oatmeal bars etc. I told her I'd write a blog post and include an assortment of bar recipes. For those that know me, you know that I love peanut butter and chocolate. What could be better than a peanut butter and chocolate brownie?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Chocolate Batter:
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa, unsweetened
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips

Peanut Butter Batter:
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
2 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 to 5 tablespoons water

Grease and flour a 13x9-inch baking pan. In mixing bowl, cream 2 cups sugar and 1 cup butter until light and fluffy. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and 4 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Gradually add 1 1/2 cups flour, cocoa, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in peanut butter chips.

In a small bowl, cream peanut butter and 1/3 cup butter. Add 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour; blend well. Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread half of the chocolate mixture in prepared baking pan. Spread the peanut butter batter over chocolate batter. Spread remaining chocolate batter over top. Gently cut through layers with a knife to create a marbled look.

Bake brownies at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until top springs back with lightly touched in center with finger. Brownies should begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan.
In a medium saucepan, melt 3 squares of chocolate with 3 tablespoons of butter, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, along with enough water to make frosting smooth and spreadable. Spread frosting over the cooled brownies and cut into bars.

Cherry Bars

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pitted and halved fresh sweet cherries
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Put butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Grease the sides and bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add to butter mixture; beat 3 to 4 minutes, or until smooth batter forms. Spread half the batter in prepared pan. Scatter cherry halves over batter. Place spoonfuls of remaining batter on top of cherries; gently spread to cover fruit. Sprinkle almonds on top. Bake in a preheated 350° F. oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle comes out clean.

Carrot and Spice Bars

1 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 cup bran flakes cereal
2 eggs
1 jar (2-1/2 ounces) puréed baby food carrots
3/4 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 13X9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine milk and margarine in large microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until margarine is melted; add cereal. Let stand 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk to blend. Add puréed carrots, grated carrot, raisins, orange peel and vanilla.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add to carrot mixture, stirring until thoroughly blended. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Insert tines of fork into cake at 1-inch intervals. Spoon orange juice over cake. Sprinkle with pecans; press into cake. Cut into 40 bars before serving.

Layered Bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup peanut butter chips
1-1/4 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup candy-coated candy or baking bits

Preheat oven to 340°F. Lightly spray sides of 13X9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour butter into pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over butter. Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Sprinkle with coconut, peanut butter chips, cereal, chocolate chips and candies; press down gently on candies.

Bake 25 to 27 minutes or until top just begins to brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Black Forest Brownie Bars

2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter or margaine, cut into pieces
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whipped topping
2 cups cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, melt one cup of the chocolate chips with the butter, on very low heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in eggs. Gradually stir in flour, sugar, vanilla nad baking soda. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Spread into greased 13x9 pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Spread on whipped topping. Top with pie filling. Cut into squares.

Raspberry and Chocolate Bars

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine

2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2 cups chocolate chips

To make the crust:
Prehead oven to 375 degree. Combine flour and sugar in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Dough should be coarse crumbs. Press onto bottom of greased 9x9 pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Should be set, but not brown.

For topping:
Combine flour, pecans and brown sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blend. Your dough will be course crumbs.

Spread jam over hot crust. Spring with the topping and chocolate chips. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Should now be golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Minty Brownies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips divided
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (16-ounce) container prepared vanilla frosting
1 (4 1/2-ounce) tube chocolate decorating icing

For Brownies: Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Combine sugar, butter and water in medium saucepan. Bring just to a boil, over medium heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat.

Add 1 cup morsels, peppermint extract and vanilla extract; stir until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in flour mixture and remaining morsels. Spread into greased 9-inch-square baking pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

For Frosting: Spread vanilla frosting over brownie. Squeeze chocolate icing in parallel lines over frosting. Drag wooden pick through chocolate icing to feather. Let stand until frosting is set. Cut into bars.

Audrey :)


GoMommy said...

Holy cow that all sounds delicious! I will have to get on this with my boys!
The soups sound so good too! There is nothing better on a cold day than a hot bowl of soup!

CarolynT said...

Yum. You know, I work at a Culinary school and they simply don't have enough of this type of food..."feel good" sweets. Sometimes you just need a good brownie. THanks for the recipes!

Daiquiri said...

Hi Audrey - those layered bars sound so good! My mom made something similar when I was growing up, but they have walnuts in them. My oldest daughter is allergic to them...I think I'll try your recipe as a substitue for one of my childhood favorites. Thanks!

BTW...I love Tupperware! You must have THE most organized home with access to all that good stuff!

Have a great day,
Daiquiri :)

Kerry said...

Yummy they all sound sooooo gooood!

Scarlet said...

Peanut butter & chocolate...a winning combination. I'll have to try these!