Apple Pie Bars

It seems that every once in awhile there is a “food trend” that really sweeps the food world and just so happens, this time, it is one I am interested in – apple pie bars! I developed a recipe awhile back for pecan pie bars and they were a hit, so I figured, why not dabble in the apple pie bar world? I love my apple pies with streusel on the top, so naturally my apple pie bars have a lot of streusel! These are best made the night before serving because they need to be chilled in the refrigerator for several hours. Use whatever apple variety you wish but, for these, I did Macintosh. They are flavorful, firm and crisp.

Apple Pie Bars

For the crust…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white all-purpose flour

For the apple pie filling…
2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

For the topping…
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Start by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Make the crust. In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter, white granulated sugar, pure vanilla extract and salt. Combine well. Add in the white all-purpose flour and stir until a dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Make the filling by combining the prepared apples, white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt. Sit aside for a few minutes while you prepare the topping.

To make the topping, combine the quick oats, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon and white all-purpose flour. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add to the mixture. Using clean hands, combine together until the mixture resembles rocky sand.

Place the apple pie mixture evenly into the prepared crust. Try to place the apples into a single layer. This will take a little time but can easily be accomplished.

Next, top evenly with the topping mixture. Drizzle over the melted butter.

Place in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature. Once cool, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. When ready to serve, lift bars out of the pan using the aluminum foil and cut.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://pin.it/itzlwxltqnzj5e

Advertisements

Mississippi Mud Brownies

I still sing the song when I spell out Mississippi. Do you? Do you know which song I am talking about? You know, the one that helps you remember how to spell it? No!? Ok. Maybe it is just me then. Anyways, these “Mississippi Mud Brownies” are delicious any way you spell them! Some people add toasted pecans to the tops of the brownies (with the marshmallows) but I prefer to leave them out for a number of reasons. Highly recommend you try these! Homemade brownie, topped with smooth peanut butter, marshmallows and a silky chocolate frosting. Hello, YUM!

Mississippi Mud Brownies

For the brownies…
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups mini marshmallows

For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, white granulated sugar, large eggs and pure vanilla extract. The mixture will be bright colored, smooth and glossy.

Next, whisk in the pure vanilla extract.

Whisk in the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

After baking, leave oven on and remove brownies. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Spread evenly the smooth peanut butter all over the top of the brownies.

Sprinkle on the marshmallows. Place back into the oven for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting whisk together the melted butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, whole milk, pure vanilla extract and powdered sugar until smooth and glossy.

Frost the brownies evenly then refrigerate for one hour before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://pin.it/6uyq6nwxxqyhz7

Chew This! Pecan Pie Bars AND Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column features not one but TWO delicious recipes for foolproof bar desserts! My “Pecan Pie Bars” and my “Rice Krispie Treat Brownies” are both fabulous and perfect for your Holiday table!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is all about my recommendation for a different cookbook when it comes to baking and different types of flour! Send me a message, call or text me – even email – with your questions and I will be happy to help! 765-520-8332 or blaisethebaker@gmail.com

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!

Pecan Pie Bars AND Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 3rd 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Dessert Bars are perfect for Holidays
Blaise Doubman

Lately I have been testing and developing recipes using the “bar” method, whereas you create some type of dough, and or filling, and bake in a large 9×13-inch pan and cut into bars once baked and cooled. You can take just about any type of cookie dough recipe and transform the cookies into “bars” by using this method, and when pressed for time, it is so much easier to spread into one pan instead of dolloping up each cookie. Same goes for cakes! People ask me all the time if you can take a recipe for a cake, calling for two 8 or 9-inch pans, and bake it instead in a 9x-13-inch pan. Yes, you can! This method of baking got me thinking about different types of pies that could be made into “bars”, as well as brownies that could be “bars, yet brownies”. Yes, this is how my mind works most of the time. Ha! The results were fantastic!

I started with the pecan pie bars. Pecan pie is my favorite pie on earth and my favorite recipe is that of a traditional, old-fashioned pecan pie that I shared with everyone several columns ago, right here! I do have a recipe in my cookbook for a “Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie” which is tasty and delightful too, but for my bar recipe I wanted to stick with traditional. I made a crust recipe, placed it into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan, baked the crust, made the filling, baked the filling, allowed it to sit awhile and chill and the results were fantastic! Better than a traditional pecan pie because transformed into “bars”, the pie suddenly becomes a portable food. Portable pecan pie, how bad could that be? When developing the Rice Krispie Treat Brownies I wanted to combine the two, brownies and the cereal treats, but could not think of a way of holding them together. Then I thought about marshmallow cream and it worked! The combination of and texture of the brownie with the crunch of the cereal treats and the marshmallow sandwiched inside really makes for something fun and different. I would recommend trying both of these desserts to serve to your family and friends at your Holiday table!

Pecan Bars and Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Each of these dessert bars are the perfect make ahead dessert! Whip up a batch of both, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to three days. You will find that after both of these dessert bars chill they are not only easier to cut and serve, but the flavors really have a chance to come together. The Rice Krispie topping on the brownies can also be made with Cheerio cereal or Frosted Flake cereal. Each makes one 9×13-inch pan and serves about 20-25 people depending on the size of pieces cut for each. These are deliciously rich desserts!

For the Pecan Bars…
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, soft
½ cup white granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups white corn syrup
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecan pieces

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. In a large bowl beat together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and salt. Slowly stir in the white all-purpose flour and mix until it becomes a soft dough. Press the dough into the prepared pan with clean wet hands. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

To make the filling, combine the beaten eggs, white corn syrup, light brown sugar, pure vanilla extract and pecan pieces in a large bowl. Whisk this together until small bubbles appear in the mixture. Pour the filling over the warm crust and place bake into the 350 degree F oven for 35 minutes. You will know when it is done because the filling will be firm and not jiggly. Remove and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating. Chill at least 4 hours before cutting and serving the bars. Serve alongside vanilla ice cream if desired.

For the Rice Krispie Treat Brownies…
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, soft
2 cups white granulated sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup white all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 jar (7.5 oz) Marshmallow Fluff
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups Rice Krispie cereal

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Fold in the unsweetened cocoa powder, white all-purpose flour and the salt. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the edges pull away from the pan. Once bake remove and allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, frost the top with the Marshmallow Fluff, spreading evenly along the top and sides. Place into the refrigerator while you finish making the topping.

To make the topping, combine the peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir until melted and glossy. If you need to microwave more, do so in 30 second intervals. Once melted and glossy, add in the Rice Krispie cereal and stir well to combine and coat all of the cereal. Remove the brownies from the refrigerator and top with the topping, spreading evenly.

Wrap with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting and serving.

Ask and Answer: Sheila Cole Dellinger would like to know what recipes or cookbook I would recommend for someone who has allergies against regular all-purpose flours. Shelia, I would recommend “Flavor Flours” By: Alice Medrich. You can find this cookbook available online and wherever books are sold. Alice is a genius in the kitchen is known for her extensive work on pastries and chocolates. Recently she has been winning awards and gaining followers for her newest venture into diverse types of flours, ranging from almond, coconut and rice flours.

PIN IT: https://pin.it/un3bu4drbruuer

Nancy’s Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache

I love Nancy Fuller and I love her cookbook and show on “Food Network”. This recipe is hers and it is fabulous! Chocolate and peanut butter – what could be better!? I have made a few changes to the recipe based on my personal taste buds.

Nancy’s Peanut Butter Bars with Chocoalte Ganache

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Prepare an 8×8-inch square baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, graham cracker crumbs, smooth peanut butter and melted unsalted butter.

Once combined, pour into prepared pan and pat down evenly with clean hands.

In a medium size microwave safe bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Whisk until glossy.

Pour carefully this mixture over the pressed peanut butter mixture and spread evenly.

Refrigerate for one hour before cutting.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/DutxK13

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Who does not love the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It is traditional, delicious and comforting all rolled into one. I got to thinking about that, and thought – why not transform that sandwich into a dessert? I thought about peanut butter and jelly cookies (my Grandma Barbra eats jelly on top of her peanut butter cookies) but decided for it to be portable, and less messy, it would need to be a “bar” of some kind. The first time I tried these with less jelly, but in the end, decided they needed more jelly. These are absolutely perfect!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, slightly melted
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups smooth peanut butter
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups strawberry jam or jelly

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and spraying a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Next, line the pan with parchment paper, and spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray. This will ensure the bars to be easily removed when finished baking.

In a large bowl, combine the slightly melted butter and white granulated sugar until throughly mixed, light in color and creamy.

Next, add in the pure vanilla extract, large eggs and smooth peanut butter. Combine this and mix together well.

Finally, add in the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Stir this together just until everything is combined throughly.

Place over half of this mixture into the prepared pan, spread and push down evenly with clean fingers. You want the base to be as even as possible – this is important.

In a medium sized bowl, place the strawberry jam/jelly and stir well until it turns into a spreadable consistency.

Place the jam/jelly on top of the dough base and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon.

Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top of the jam/jelly. Don’t worry about consistency here – just crumble as evenly over the top as you can.

Place in preheated oven for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving. This is best kept refrigerated.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/tQLd6RD

Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal Bars

Someone once said that I had too many cookie recipes… is that even possible!? Who could have too many cookie recipes!? I may need to change the type of person I associate with… Ha!

These are not really a “cookie” by definition, but a “bar”. They are a spin on my “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies” – but with cinnamon added, maple syrup added, chocolate chips left out – and the dough is pressed and baked in a pan instead of divided into cookie dough balls and baked. Simple, right?

These are chewy, flavorful and delicious served warm, or chilled! A friend of mine actually eats these for breakfast on the go… genius idea! 

Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal Bars Blaise the Baker

Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal Bars

2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking oats)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light and fluffy in texture.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the pure maple syrup and pure vanilla extract.

Next, add the white all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt all at once and stir until just combined.

Finally, gently stir in the oatmeal.

Place dough into prepared pan, and smooth out the corners and top.

Bake in preheated oven for exactly 25 minutes.

Allow to cool, then cut into desired pieces and serve.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690242312821/