Category Archives: Bars

Brownies

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Some brownies my roommate Anisha and I made a while back!

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Chocolate Toffee Caramel Bars

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These were made by a recipe given to me by one of my friends Tessa. I first tried these at the PDS potluck which took place after hearing the Surgeon General speak. Yup you heard me right, yours truly got to see Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr.Surgeon General of the Navy and Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in person! This recipe calls for a yellow cake mix and although I enjoy baking from scratch, these were just too good to pass up. I fly home yesterday and as soon as I could, I went to go grocery shopping to buy baking ingredients. Can you believe it? I had cake flour and bread flour in my pantry but no all purpose flour!! I also opened up my pantry to find a giant container of baking cocoa which my mom bought me from Costco making the grand total of 3 cans of baking cocoa. That’s a lot of chocolate cake and brownies! Now back to these squares of heaven, they are extremely sweet and contain some of the good things in life such as caramel, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and one of my favorite candy bars-Health bars. I have to admit that these bars can be too much if you eat too many at a time since caramel is very sweet but that is why you cut them into small squares and eat them with a glass of milk! Recipe from Food.com.

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Dough batter.

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Cutting up the toffee bars which I bought some a market place on campus and brought home over the airplane.

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Mixing up the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and toffee pieces. Yummy!

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All mixed in. The chips and toffee bits were practically falling out of the dough. A sign of goodness!

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Ready to bake.

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After baking.

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The caramel layer. I accidentally burned the caramel a little bit. Oops!

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Crumble the rest of the dough batter on top.

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Done! Now the hard part is waiting so you don’t scorch your lips on the caramel.

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Cut into small bars because these are strong bites of sweetness!

Ingredients
1 package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (I would recommend 3/4 cup)
1 cup white vanilla chip (I would recommend 3/4 cup)
3 (1 1/2 ounce) chocolate-covered english toffee bars, chopped into pieces ( I used 2 bars)
1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter
32 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 In a mixing bowl, add the cake mix, oil, and eggs; stir to combine.
2 Add in the chocolate chips, vanilla chips, and candy bar pieces (mixture will be thick).
3 Press half the mixture into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
4. In a saucepan, add the margarine, caramels, and condensed milk. Cook over med-low heat until the caramels melt and mixture is smooth, stir frequently.
5. Pour caramel mixture over baked crust; spread evenly.
6. Crumble remaining cake mix mixture over the caramel layer.
7. Place back in the oven; bake 25-30 minutes or until the top is set and edges are deep golden brown.
8. Cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around sides of pan to loosen bars.
9. Cool 40 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour. Cut into bars.

Grade: A++
Delicious!!! Little bites of heaven. My friend told me, “Iliana this is really good, no I mean really really good”. My new favorite dessert!

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Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

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As much as I love baking sometimes it’s nice to take a break form using the oven. The oven we have in our apartment is tiny, I’m pretty sure some of my friends have laptop screens that are bigger. This are no bake oatmeal bars with a filling that taste just like peanut butter cups. This recipe is very simple, all you need to do is melt butter, add brown sugar and the oats. For the filling all you need to do is melt the chocolate and peanut butter together. I bought some all natural peanut butter from one of the market places on campus. I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal for breakfast but I do love experimenting with oats in my baking. Recipe is from All Recipes.

Ingredients
1 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Directions
1.Grease a 9×9 inch square pan.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Mix in the oats. Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended. Press half of mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Reserve the other half for topping.
3. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust in the pan, and spread evenly with a knife or the back of a spoon.
4. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer, pressing in gently. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cutting into bars.

Grade: A
These were so delicious and even better so easy to put together. However there was quite a large amount of butter in these and next time I’ll probably cut down. I put these out on the table and in a couple of days they were gone!

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Honey Almond Butter Dessert Squares

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Last week I hung out with my friend Brittany who I know from high school. What I love about her is despite her tiny size, she loves to eat, just like me. Whenever we hang out, all we do is cook and eat food. Seeing this recipe on Bakerella made me think of Brittany, since she lives of honey almond butter. Every time I come visit her dorm, I always see a jar placed on her desk. So instead of using pecan pumpkin pumpkin butter, we substituted it with honey almond butter. This recipe was very simple to put together but the only problem was Brittany didn’t have any measuring spoons or cups in her kitchen. So summoning the inner Rachel Ray in me, I eyeballed everything. We also didn’t have a pan so we used a spring form pan instead. However, it turned out delicious, more of a cake than a bar. It was so good that two my friends Lois and AJ try to steal it when I went to grab something in my room.

Ingredients
18.25 oz. package yellow cake mix, set aside one cup
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
13.5 oz. jar of Honey Almond Butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan.
3. Divide cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl.
4. Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix until combined.
5. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
6. In another bowl, mix pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk until combined.
7. Spread pumpkin mixture over pressed cake mix.
8. Stir the reserved 1 cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
9. Then add the softened butter and mix together until crumbly.
10. Sprinkle over the top of the pumpkin layer.
11. Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into 2 ” squares. Serves 24.

Grade: A+
My stomach was literally bursting from the two lunches I had and pumpkin pie shake but I made room for these!

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Rice Krispies Treats

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Some rice krispies treats I made for my apartment mates after cooking them dinner. This recipe is very simple, only requiring three ingredients and I added some m&m’s for some chocolate goodness. Recipe from http://www.ricekrispie.com

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
– OR –
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Directions
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

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Brownies

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Sorry for being away for so long! Summer is sadly over, and I have finally settled into my new apartment for the year. I made these brownies a while ago but haven’t had time to write about them with class and being lazy has been keeping me busy. I am constantly searching for the perfect brownie recipe and therefore always love to try a new one out. Sadly none of them have topped my personal favorites, brownies made from the Ghiradelli brownie mix. Recipe taken from Cook’s Illustrated.

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Semisweet and bittersweet chocolate.

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Eggs.

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Beating in the melted chocolate.

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Brownie batter!

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Ready to bake.

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Done and cooling.

Ingredients:
5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1¼ cups (8¾ oz.) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour

Directions:
Place an oven rack in lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even layer. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares as desired. Store in an air-tight container.

Grade: A-
Although I can never say no to brownies, these were not the fudgy brownies that I was hoping for. However they were still delicious!

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Brownies with Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Two of my favorite desserts out of the numerous things that I love to devour are the chocolate chip cookie and the brownie. What happens when you combine both of them together? The answer is heaven. There are many combos that go perfectly together: peanut butter and jelly, mint and chocolate, Zac and Vanessa, chocolate chip cookies and brownies…you get the idea. I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while after seeing it pop up on numerous blogs but it wasn’t until today I made up my mind to make it. While I was browsing the baking aisle at Target I noticed brownie mix on sale for $0.73! So I grabbed two boxes and threw them in my cart and made up my mind that I would make these delicious treats. I used an adaption of a recipe from the book Baking from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan for Chipster Topped Brownies. However instead of making the brownies I just made the chocolate chip cookie dough batter. I personally find brownies difficult to make. Since I did not want the cookie dough to overwhelm the brownie layer, I halved the recipe. I then wrapped half of these up to give to my friend Neesha or else I would have eaten them all! Note: last time I did a brownie in a chocolate chip cookie, now a chocolate chip cookie on top of a brownie! Oh how exciting I am!

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Brownie batter.

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Cookie dough batter.

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Ready to bake.

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Done and ready for me to eat!

Here is the recipe for the cookie layer:

1¼ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownies according to the instructions on the box.
2. Pour the brownie batter on an 13 inch by 9 inch pan.
3. To make the cookie dough, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Working with the stand mixer in a cleaned bowl or with the hand mixer in another large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, add the egg and the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Still on low, mix in the chopped chocolate. Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls over the brownie batter and, using a spatula and a light touch, spread it evenly over the batter.
6. Bake for 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Grade: A+
So delicious! Not to chocolatey or sweet and the perfect combination of a cakey brownie with a soft cookie. Honestly if I had no self control and wasn’t trying to live a healthier lifestyle, I’d probably eat half the pan.

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