Cake Batter Blondie Bars

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can’t go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can't go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

You guys.  These bars are the best things ever.  Ever.

They are straight out of my bloggy BFF Dorothy’s cookbook, Dessert Mash-Ups.  You read Dorothy’s blog, Crazy For Crust, right?  Hers was one of the first blogs I started reading on a regular basis when I started my own blog, and Dorothy was one of the first blogger friends I made.  Seems weird, right?  That you can make these invisible internet friends who sometimes know you better than the friends you have in real life.

Except I’ve met Dorothy in real life a few times and she’s just as sweet and awesome as she is on her blog.  And now she’s a famous cookbook author and it makes me feel super cool to say I know a cookbook author in real life. 😉

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can't go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

Dessert Mash-Ups is super cool because it’s packed with two-fers.  Desserts like Cinnamon Roll Cookies and Snickers Cake Rolls and Death By Chocolate Brownie Cake (OMG!!), and breakfasts (but better!) like Overnight Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast and Carrot Cake Coffee Cake and Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread Muffins.

Believe me, you’re going to want to make everything in this drool-worthy cookbook.  Starting with these Cake Batter Blondie Bars.

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can't go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

These bad boys are super soft, taste just like cake batter (without the use of a cake mix!), and are packed full of sprinkles – pretty much a dessert requirement, if you ask me.

Doodle ate one of these bars just after my photo shoot (actually, he started mid-shoot, see photo above), and immediately asked for a second.  For a kid who usually eats just frosting, polishing off an entire blondie is super high praise.  Make sure you go buy Dorothy’s book – you won’t be sorry!

Cake Batter Blondie Bars
 
Ingredients
For the blondies:
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract
  • ½ cup sprinkles
For the frosting:
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
  • sprinkles, for topping
Method
To make the blondies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. You may also line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt and flour. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter extract and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the sprinkles.
  4. Press the dough into your prepared pan. It's going to be very sticky, and that's just what you want! Spray your hands with cooking spray so the dough won't stick to your hands.
  5. Bake the blondies for 22 to 24 minutes. They'll be slightly golden but just a little jiggly in the middle. They will set as they cool. Allow the blondies to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until crumbly. Add in the vanilla and milk and mix until smooth. Frost the blondies. Top with additional sprinkles.
  2. Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they’re worth it.

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they're worth it.

Earlier this summer, a new Sam’s Club opened not far from our house. I have this love/hate relationship with Sam’s – somehow I’m convinced every time I go that I need 2 jumbo containers of pretzels, 48 jalapeño poppers, 3 pounds of buffalo tenders, a giant container of hummus, and 96 taquitos {I don’t even like taquitos}.

I’m also drawn to the book and magazine aisle.  The absolute very last thing I need is another cooking magazine, but when the Fall Taste of Home Slow Cooker issue beckoned me from an end cap I was powerless to resist.

I spotted these caramel snickerdoodle bars in the back of the issue, and I was just as powerless to resist them.

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they're worth it.

You’ll want to cut these bars into very small squares – they are super sweet.  Even for me, a little goes a {very} long way.  These are the perfect treat to take to a church or work function – somewhere where you can grab a small bite and allow other people to gobble up the rest.

Or eat ’em all yourself, I won’t judge.

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they're worth it.

If you’re not familiar with dulce de leche, you can find it in the baking aisle or in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store.

Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cans (13.4 ounce each) dulce de leche
  • 12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray. Allow the parchment or foil to hang over the sides of the pan, about one inch.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until they are light and fully. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Press mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top of the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are light brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Spread both cans of dulce de leche over the cooled crust. In a medium saucepan, combine white chocolate, cream and corn syrup. Stir over medium heat until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly and then spread over the caramel layer. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  6. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.
  7. Use the foil or parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan. Cut into bars. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
Notes
recipe from Taste of Home

 

XO, Ashley

 

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies

These Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  And the peanut butter cookie dough contains no egg, so it’s safe to eat right out of the bowl!

These Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  And the peanut butter cookie dough contains no egg, so it's safe to eat right out of the bowl!

This is not a dessert for the faint of heart.

Or for the skinny-jeans wearer.

But holy moly, are these peanut butter cookie dough brownies ever GOOD.

These Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  And the peanut butter cookie dough contains no egg, so it's safe to eat right out of the bowl!

Start with your favorite brownie recipe – might I suggest this one?

Add a layer of eggless peanut butter cookie dough…

These Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  And the peanut butter cookie dough contains no egg, so it's safe to eat right out of the bowl!

…and top them with a layer of buttery chocolate.

These Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  And the peanut butter cookie dough contains no egg, so it's safe to eat right out of the bowl!

I also added some chopped peanut butter M&M’s in with the dough, but that’s completely optional.

These are plenty rich enough without ’em.

But if you’re going to blow your diet, you might as well go full force. 😉

These Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  And the peanut butter cookie dough contains no egg, so it's safe to eat right out of the bowl!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 batch brownies, baked in an 8x8 pan and cooled {I used this one}
For the cookie dough:
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup peanut butter M&Ms, chopped (optional)
For the glaze:
  • 3½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Method
For the cookie dough:
  1. Beat butter, sugars, and peanut butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and creamy (about 2 or 3 minutes). Mix in milk and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir in M&Ms, if using.
  2. Spread the dough over the top of the cooled brownies. Refrigerate while you make the glaze.
For the glaze:
  1. Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Once melted, pour the mixture over the top of the cookie dough and spread into a thin layer. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
  2. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

These Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  And the peanut butter cookie dough contains no egg, so it's safe to eat right out of the bowl!

It’s Cookie Dough Week here this week, and I’ve teamed up with some other phenomenal bloggers to bring you lots of other recipes using cookie dough – make sure you check them all out!  And be sure to stop by on Wednesday…I’ll have another fun cookie dough recipe to share {and it takes only 5 minutes to make!}.

Cookie_Dough_Week_updated

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Stuffed Sandies from White Lights on Wednesday

 Cookie Dough Cake Roll from Grandbaby Cakes

 Peanut butter cookie dough topped brownies from Roxana’s Home Baking

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars from Back For Seconds

 Cookie Dough Buckeyes from  Something Swanky

 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pizza from Life, Love and Sugar

 Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars from Crazy for Crust

 Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Stuffed Nutter Butters from The Gunny Sack

 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cookie Cups from Mom On Timeout

 Cookie Dough Chess Pie from The Domestic Rebel

 Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies from Lemons for Lulu

 White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cups from  Simply Gloria

 Cookie Dough S’mores Dip from Beyond Frosting

XO, Ashley

 

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Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing {The Recipe Girl Cookbook Giveaway}

How’s this for decadence?  Irish Cream is incorporated into the batter in these Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing.  It’s also brushed on top of the warm brownies right out of the oven.  Finally, it’s incorporated into the brown butter icing that is spread on top.

Irish Cream is incorporated into the batter in these Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing.  It's also brushed on top of the warm brownies right out of the oven.  Finally, it's incorporated into the brown butter icing that is spread on top.

I made these over the weekend, and was so thankful when Monday rolled around so I could send them off with the Tall Boy to work.  Otherwise, I was likely to eat the entire batch.  These were some of the best brownies I’ve eaten in a long time – and I sort of consider myself a brownie connoisseur.

Actually, everything in The Recipe Girl Cookbook looks simply amazing.  You follow her blog, right?  She has over 2,500 recipes (!!) and I want to make every.single.one. of them.  Recently, I had the opportunity to peruse her new cookbook, and now I have dozens of new recipes I want to try: from French Toast with Crunchy Cinnamon Crust to Sweet Chili Pulled Pork to Mango Margaritas, there’s something in this cookbook for everyone.

Of course, I flipped right to the dessert section, because that’s how I roll.

Irish Cream is incorporated into the batter in these Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing.  It's also brushed on top of the warm brownies right out of the oven.  Finally, it's incorporated into the brown butter icing that is spread on top.

And while flipping through, this recipe for Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing caught my eye.  Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, I felt it was my duty to give these brownies a try.

Not that Irish Cream is necessarily synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s certainly a good excuse to pull the bottle out from the liquor cabinet. 😉

Irish Cream is incorporated into the batter in these Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing.  It's also brushed on top of the warm brownies right out of the oven.  Finally, it's incorporated into the brown butter icing that is spread on top.

You’ll start by incorporating 1/2 cup of Irish cream into your brownie batter.  After your brownies bake, and while they are still warm, you’ll brush more Irish cream over the top.  It sort of melts down into the brownies, and makes ’em extra soft and decadent and marvelous.

Even better?  After the brownies cool, you’ll brown some butter, add in some powdered sugar and a little more Irish cream, and then smear it over the tops of the brownies.  Trust me, these are heavenly!

Irish Cream is incorporated into the batter in these Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing.  It's also brushed on top of the warm brownies right out of the oven.  Finally, it's incorporated into the brown butter icing that is spread on top.

Don’t have Irish cream on hand?  You may use Kahlua in its place.  Lori also suggests adding a teaspoon of espresso powder to the egg mixture – it will intensify the flavor of the chocolate.

I sprinkled a little bit of cocoa powder to the tops of some of mine – purely optional, but you can never have enough chocolate, in my opinion.

Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Irish cream liqueur, divided
For the icing:
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1½ to 2 cups powdered sugar
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a microwavable safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter at 30-second intervals, stirring after each time. Once chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, set it aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and ½ cup of the Irish cream. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. Stir in the flour mixture to combine.
  5. Spread brownie batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top of the brownies crack slightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. While the brownies are still warm, brush them with the remaining 1 tablespoon Irish cream. Allow brownies to cool completely.
For the icing:
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes and stirring constantly, until it is lightly browned. Remove from heat as soon as the butter has browned and then add the Irish cream and heavy cream. Whisk in 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add remaining sugar ¼ cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. The icing should be thick and smooth, but still pourable.
  2. Pour on top of brownies and spread to the edges. Refrigerate until the icing is set.
  3. Store brownies in a covered container for 2 to 3 days.
Notes

Irish Cream is incorporated into the batter in these Irish Cream Brownies with Brown Butter Icing.  It's also brushed on top of the warm brownies right out of the oven.  Finally, it's incorporated into the brown butter icing that is spread on top.

And guess what?  I love this cookbook so much that I want one of YOU to have one of your very own!

How to enter:

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Sometimes the form takes a few minutes to load. You will need to login to the Rafflecopter form using your email address. Be sure to use an email address you check often, as that is how you will be notified if you win.

Fine Print:
You must be 18 years or older to enter. Giveaway runs through February 28, 2014. Winner will be notified via email within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway and has 48 hours to respond to said email or a new winner will be chosen.

Can’t wait and want to order right now?  Click here to find it on Amazon.

Recipe Girl

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XO, Ashley

 

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Marbled Cheesecake Brownies

Take your brownies over the top with a swirl of cheesecake and a sprinkling of red and green M&Ms® Brand Chocolate Candies.

Take your brownies over the top with a swirl of cheesecake and a sprinkling of red and green M&Ms® Brand Chocolate Candies.

I’m basically in denial that the holidays are right around the corner…it seems like just yesterday I was complaining about the heat and cooling myself off with a margarita by the pool.  But with Thanksgiving just next week (!!), that means we’re entering full-on baking mode.

And also?  Full-on baking mode around my house means “Oh, I forgot to tell you we’re having a lunch potluck tomorrow…do we have something “quick” I can take?”

Yep, these Marbled Cheesecake Brownies!  They don’t require much work…but that’s a secret you can keep to yourself.

Take your brownies over the top with a swirl of cheesecake and a sprinkling of red and green M&Ms® Brand Chocolate Candies.

One of the first holiday baking items I buy when they hit the shelves are the big bags of red and green M&Ms® Brand Chocolate Candies.  Use a few for baking, eat a few…use a few for baking, eat the rest. 😉

I love how customizable these brownies are.  They’d be perfect for any holiday by changing the color of the M&Ms® Brand Chocolate Candies you put on top.

Take your brownies over the top with a swirl of cheesecake and a sprinkling of red and green M&Ms® Brand Chocolate Candies.

Are you looking for other fun and festive ideas for this holiday season? I found this recipe for Marbled Brownies – and many more I plan to try – at www.brightideas.com.

Marbled Cheesecake Brownies
 
Serves: makes 32 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 box (8 oz.) reduced fat cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ⅛ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 package brownie mix (choose directions for the cake-style brownies)
  • 1 cup M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies
Method
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar. Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions. Spoon ⅔ of the brownie batter into a parchment-lined 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spoon the reserved cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter. Now scrape the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese mixture. Swirl the tip of a knife through the batter to make a marbled effect. Press M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies into the batter.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes in a preheated, 350-degree oven until slightly moist in the center. Cool completely before cutting into 1½-inch squares.

XO, Ashley

Holiday’s are better with M.  Go to Brightideas.com for recipes using M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies Holiday Blend.  Click. Create. Celebrate.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MARS®. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

White chocolate, cream cheese, and pie filling are the perfect combination in these easy to make Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars.

White chocolate, cream cheese, and pie filling are the perfect combination in these easy to make Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars.

We don’t turn down any kind of cheesecake at my house.  In fact, it’s one of the only desserts the Tall Boy ever requests and/or eats more than one serving of.  But quite honestly, I don’t make cheesecake that often because it tends to be fairly time-consuming and I don’t always possess the amount of baking patience that I should.

But a cheesecake bar?  Now that I can handle.

White chocolate, cream cheese, and pie filling are the perfect combination in these easy to make Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars.

 Especially a cheesecake bar that also uses a can of pie filling – a can of apple cranberry pie filling, at that!

I got a little giddy when I was at the grocery store this weekend and spotted bags and bags of cranberries – I picked up two bags and I’ve already used ’em both.  I’m kind of crazy over cranberries – anyone else??

White chocolate, cream cheese, and pie filling are the perfect combination in these easy to make Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars.

Any flavor of pie filling would work in these cheesecake bars, but I loved that this pie filling from Lucky Leaf combined two of my favorite fall flavors in one!

What’s your favorite flavor of pie filling?

Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
 
Serves: 24 to 30 bars
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups oats (I used old-fashioned, but quick oats will also work)
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) white chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (21-ounce) can Lucky Leaf Apple Cranberry Pie Filling
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats and brown sugar. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture, cutting in with a pastry blender or forks until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Measure out 2½ cups of the mixture and set aside.
  3. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of your baking pan, pressing firmly with floured fingers.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Pour over the crust.
  5. Spoon pie filling over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the reserved flour mixture on top.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cover; and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Notes
adapted from Nestle

Interested in winning your own fall baking kit from Lucky Leaf?  You’ll get a can of Lucky Leaf pie filling, a recipe card, a ceramic pie bird and two pie slice boxes and forks.  It’s the perfect way to kick off your holiday baking!

Lucky Leaf Reader Giveaway

How to enter:
Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Sometimes the form takes a few minutes to load. You will need to login to the Rafflecopter form using your email address. Be sure to use an email address you check often, as that is how you will be notified if you win.

Fine Print:
Open to U.S. residents only. You must be 18 years or older to enter. Giveaway runs through November 17, 2013. Winner will be notified via email within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway and has 48 hours to respond to said email or a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Enter your best original recipe using Lucky Leaf® Pie Filling for a chance to win one of 13 great prizes, including the $2,500 grand prize! Submit your recipe through December 2nd and qualified recipes will be on display in the recipe gallery on the Lucky Leaf Facebook page starting on December 3rd. Check out the official contest rules and more details at Lucky Leaf.

XO, Ashley

Lucky Leaf provided me with product to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

 

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White Chocolate Graham Cracker Crusted Blondies

Hi everyone! I’m on a family vacation this week–after a super crazy summer, we really needed some time away.  But, what’s really cool for you guys is that I have some super awesome friends here guest posting for me while I’m gone.

My girl Lisa blogs over at Wine and Glue, and she’s just about the sweetest person you’ll ever meet.  She does oodles of cool stuff, from Rainbow Heart Cakes to Cake Batter Pudding Pops to Sidewalk Chalk Spray.  Plus, she has a super awesome etsy shop!  And today, she brought you these White Chocolate Graham Cracker Crusted Blondies.  Aren’t you lucky? 😉

Take it away, Lisa!

 

Hi Kitchen Meets Girl readers!!  I’m Lisa from Wine & Glue and I could not be happier to be here!  I blog about all sorts of things from how I spent an afternoon pretending I could sew and making dolls and hooded towels to adventures of motherhood to crazy baking adventures like these White Chocolate Graham Cracker Crusted Blondies!

I originally made these around Easter time when the store had these most amazing white chocolate Hershey’s eggs.

One word.

Yumm!

The big white hunks of white chocolate with the soft chewiness of the blondie and graham cracker crust is pretty amazing.

That said, you could absolutely sub in some white chocolate chips, and they would also be super delicious.

 

But I shall warn you . . .

This is one of those recipes where you tell yourself you are just going to have a little sliver, because you know, little slivers contain like .27 calories . . . and then 82 slivers later you’ve eaten the whole pan.

But, hey, that’s cool!  Because if you do the math, .27 times 82 really isn’t that many calories.

So sliver away peeps!

White Chocolate Graham Cracker Crusted Blondies

For Crust:

  • 10 graham crackers
  • 6 TBSPs butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 TBSPs sugar

For Blondies:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 10 oz bag of Hershey’s Candy Coated White Chocolate Eggs, half of them chopped (or all of them briefly pulsed in a food processor) (Or 10oz of white chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor (or in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin).  Combine with sugar and melted butter and press into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  3. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.  It will start to smell very tasty.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  5. In a large bowl combine the sugar and butter.   Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and gently stir in the white chocolate eggs.
  6. Using a spoon, top the crust with the batter, one scoop at a time, adding the scoops at different spots on the pan.  Gently push the batter down so it is even.  If you add the batter the way you traditionally do, you will pull up the crust and everything will become a jumbled up mess.
  7. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least two hours before cutting into them.
  8. Try not to eat the whole pan.

Looking for more bar recipes?

 

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Holy cow, YUM (um, that’s me, Ashley, saying that). Be sure to stop over and check out Lisa’s site and say hello! Happy Monday, friends!

XO, Ashley

 

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Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies = chocolate cookie gooey heaven.

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - if you use only one base brownie recipe in your life, use this one!  #recipes #brownies

I’ve made these cookies and cream fudge brownies twice in the last week. And for good reason.

They are really that good.  Plus, Doodle asked me to.  I can’t say no to that cute kid.

The first time, I made ’em just for fun…I was craving a rich, dense, fudgy brownie, and I had a bag of Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Candy Drops that needed to be put to good use.

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - if you use only one base brownie recipe in your life, use this one!  #recipes #brownies

After Doodle ate one of these, he immediately asked if I would make a batch for him to take to school to share with his friends.  Because he has a summer birthday, his teacher allowed him to bring in treats this month for an honorary birthday celebration and I’d been brainstorming what homemade treat to send.

Problem solved.

The best part?  These brownies come together in one bowl, and don’t even require a mixer!  This is the perfect recipe for lazy bakers like me.

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - if you use only one base brownie recipe in your life, use this one!  #recipes #brownies

Quite honestly, these brownies are decedent enough on their own – they are truly the best brownie I’ve ever eaten.  And many other bloggers and bakers agree.  This base recipe comes from Alice Medrich’s book Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate.  Whatever else you do in life, I beg you:

make these.

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - if you use only one base brownie recipe in your life, use this one!  #recipes #brownies

After I baked the brownies, I made an Oreo buttercream to smear on top of them.  This buttercream is a slight variation to the one I learned while taking a Wilton cake decorating class years ago – the Wilton recipe uses Crisco, which I replaced here with butter.

Full disclaimer: these brownies are very rich and very sweet – but since I made them for a 5-year old who prefers to eat frosting with a spoon, he didn’t mind.

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - if you use only one base brownie recipe in your life, use this one!  #recipes #brownies

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • approximately ¾ cup Hershey's Cookies and Cream Candy Drops
For the frosting:
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unlsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons whipping cream
  • 5-6 Oreo cookies, crumbled finely (I used the food processor)
  • 5-6 additional Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped, for garnish (optional, but recommended)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8x8 pan with foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides. Spray with cooking spray and set pan aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, salt, and heat on high power, about 30 seconds. Stop to stir, and heat for an additional 30 seconds, checking after 15 seconds. The batter will be almost gritty or sand-like in appearance - that's okay!
  3. Add the vanilla and eggs, stirring vigorously until the batter is well blended. It should look thick and shiny. Stir in the flour, mixing until it is well-incorporated and the batter is smooth, with either a wooden spoon or a whisk. Gently fold in the the Hershey's candy pieces, and then pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick emerges just slightly moist when removed from the center. Do NOT bake for longer than 30 minutes, even if you're tempted. The brownies will firm up as they cool, I promise! I baked mine for 28 minutes, then allowed them to cool on the kitchen counter for 1 hour before frosting.
  5. I stored these in the refrigerator, since I generally like my brownies a tad chilled.
For the frosting:
  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together your sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla and heavy cream and beat on medium speed for another minute. You may add more cream, depending on your desired consistency. Add in your cookie crumbles and mix until just combined.
  3. Spread on top of your brownies, and top with additional Oreo pieces, if desired.
Notes
adapted from [url href="
Nutrition Information
Serving size: one 8x8 pan; about 9 generous brownies
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Lemon-Vanilla Dream Bars

Since I have the winter doldrums, I decided to brighten things up with a snappy lemon bar.

Super easy lemon bars--the white chocolate in the base is the perfect balance for the tangy lemon curd.  #desserts #recipe #lemon

These are not your standard lemon bars with shortbread crust and a tangy, tart filling.

While I do love a good, classic lemon bar, these were certainly a nice change.  More like a blondie in taste and texture than a traditional lemon bar, the white chocolate in the base of these balanced the tanginess of the lemon curd perfectly.

I know that many people hate the word “curd,” and truth be told, it’s not one of my favorite sounding words, either.  But I do love  lemon curd.  I might have just eaten a spoonful (or two) of this straight from the jar when making these.

I’m all about quality control.

In fact, I’m so all about quality control, that I tested a number of these bars just to make sure they were good enough to post.

Super easy lemon bars--the white chocolate in the base is the perfect balance for the tangy lemon curd.  #desserts #recipe #lemon

Yep.  They definitely were.

And, if you’re totally opposed to lemon curd, you could easily substitute any low-sugar jam or preserves.  Just choose something that is a little on the tart side to balance out the sweetness of your bar.  Raspberry would be awesome–and perfect for Valentine’s Day!

This recipe came straight from Shauna Sever’s book, Pure Vanilla.  I talked about her book before when I made her Vanilla Nougat Candy Bar Bites.  Seriously, Shauna is amazing.  I’m still working my way through making every doggone recipe in this book and it has yet to disappoint.

#ican’twearanythingbutelasticwaistpants

Totally worth it, though.

Super easy lemon bars--the white chocolate in the base is the perfect balance for the tangy lemon curd.  #desserts #recipe #lemon

Lemon-Vanilla Dream Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces white chocolate, chopped and divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup lemon curd
Method
  1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350. Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides of the pan.
  2. In a double-boiler or a heat-proof pan, combine butter and chocolate. Stir constantly, until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and salt.
  3. Whisk in your eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in extract and vanilla bean paste/powder. Gently fold in your flour with a spatula. When just a few streaks of flour remain, fold in the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pan—it will be thick.
  4. Dollop lemon curd on top of your mixture by tablespoonfuls. Using a knife, swirl the curd into your batter. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Using the foil/parchment overhang, lift out the entire block and cut into 12 squares.
Notes

Happy Monday, everyone!

And, if you haven’t already, make sure to go enter to win a new Kindle Fire!

XO, Ashley

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Lightened Up Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

So, one of my goals for the New Year includes keeping my pantry organized.

Lightened Up Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies - with two kinds of chocolate, you'll never miss the butter in these!  #recipe #brownies - from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

You know it’s bad when even the Tall Boy can’t stand to open the door.

We finally braved the organizing over our Christmas vacation and started by taking everything out…I blame it on the blogging, but I can’t tell you how many bags of baker’s chocolate and baking chips I have.

This isn’t just me, right?

Anyway, I found a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips I’d totally forgotten about, and knew I had to put them to good use right away. Like in these brownies.

I’ve actually had these brownies bookmarked to make since early last summer, and somehow, the year time got away from me.

Lightened Up Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies - with two kinds of chocolate, you'll never miss the butter in these!  #recipe #brownies - from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

To me, these tasted more like a moist, decadent chocolate cake than they did brownies.  I typically like my brownies to be fudge-like in consistency…but I have to say, these really take the cake.  Er, brownie.

Replacing the butter with applesauce and reduced-fat sour cream lightens up these brownies.  But, with the addition of both cocoa powder and melted bittersweet chocolate, you’ll never miss the butter.

You could certainly add more bittersweet chocolate to the tops of these instead of the peanut butter chips, but I’m never one to turn down a chocolate-peanut butter combination.  Another great thing about this recipe?  It bakes in an 8 x 8 pan, so you’re not tempted to polish off a huge 9 x 13 pan, as I often am.

What’s your favorite way to eat a brownie?

Lightened Up Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies - with two kinds of chocolate, you'll never miss the butter in these!  #recipe #brownies - from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

Lightened Up Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ to ½ cup peanut butter chips
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment or foil, leaving an overhang on two sides. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Heat the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar, applesauce, sour cream, melted chocolate, eggs and oil until combined. Add in flour mixture and mix until just moistened. Do not overmix!
  4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with peanut butter chips. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moistened crumbs.
  5. Cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownies out of pan. Remove foil and cut into squares.
Notes
recipe from Martha Stewart

XO, Ashley

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