Tag Archives: bars

Very Berry Pie Bars

24 May

Memorial weekend signals the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to celebrate the sunshine than picnics, BBQ’s, and lots of ripe berries?

Very Berry Pie Bars 5

Can’t decide if you crave pies vs. dessert bars?  No problem.  We can go hybrid and do it BOGO style.  Two in one.  Bargain hunters, this one’s for you.

It’s a win-win combination.  Think of it:  a buttery and toothsome crust, plus crumbly topping with hints of zesty lemon strewn throughout.  Creamy, thick filling bursting with sweet, juicy berries.

Very Berry Pie Bars

These fresh berry pie bars are the best of both worlds, with tasty pie crust, crumble topping, and plummy filling.   Minus the fuss of actually making a pie.  This “pie” comes in the form of  an easygoing, happy-go-lucky pie bar that’s easily made ahead of time and even easier to dig into.

Very Berry Pie Bars 3

These berry pie bars can happily be made the night before, chilled in fridge, and sliced when ready to devour.  I sliced mine into smaller squares to feed a crowd, and there was plenty to go around.  For easy serving plus cute factor, just house the individual squares in pretty cupcake liners.  These are best served chilled, so keep ’em cold until dessert time.  They won’t sit around long once you bring them out.

Enjoy, and happy Memorial weekend!

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VERRY BERRY PIE BARS (makes one 9×13)

For the crust and topping:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
Zest of one large lemon
1 1/2 cups salted butter, cold

For the filling:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 cup greek yogurt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
Juice of one large lemon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
30 oz any mixture of fresh blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F.  Generously grease a 9×13 pan along bottom and sides.  Set aside.

In bowl of a food processor, lightly pulse together the flour, sugar, and lemon zest just until blended.  Cut cold butter into slices and add to bowl.  With a few short pulses, cut the butter into flour mixture just until mixture is crumbly.  Small bits of butter remaining is fine.  (Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter if you don’t have a food processor.)

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the flour/butter mixture for the topping.  Pour the rest of the mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.  Press firmly for an even layer of crust on bottom of pan.  (It’s easy to press evenly with the flat bottom of a water glass or ramekin.)  Bake crust about 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove baked crust from oven, but keep oven on.

Combine eggs, sugar, Greek yogurt, flour, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Carefully fold in the berries with rubber spatula.  Gently spread filling over the baked crust.  Sprinkle reserved topping over the filling, to make an even layer of crumble topping.

Bake about 75 min to 90 min or until topping turns golden and bars are set.  Cool completely at room temp before putting in fridge to chill.  Chill several hours or overnight.  Cut and serve cold.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Annie’s Eats, via the Pastry Queen

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

15 May

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars.  This post needs no words, really.  A picture is worth a thousand, right?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars 1

But I do have a small back-story.  It went like this:

Hubby:  I have a Dessert Challenge Day at work coming up.  Do you have an idea for what I can make?

Me:  Awesome!  I’ve totally got ideas.  What’s the date of the Dessert Challenge?

Hubby:  Tomorrow.

Me:  (Silence. Blink. Blink.)

After I recovered from the mini shock, my excitement to bake something yummy kicked in.  I’d been hankering for Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars for quite some time.  No better excuse than a Dessert Challenge to break out these decadent treats.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake bars 2

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  This was so, so worth it.  So worth the late-night baking and kitchen blunders that occur as a result of late-night baking.  Hubby was making an entire pan for work, and I was making another pan for me.  A little chaos in the kitchen.  Note to Self:  Make this during normal hours and pay attention =  it’s a cinch!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars 3

There’s something here for everyone.  Flavorful graham cracker crumb crust for all the crust-lovers.  Thick, rich cheesecake for cheesecake fans like myself.  Chocolate chip cookie dough full of gooey chocolate for cookie buffs.  Decadent and rich.  Smooth and creamy.  Textured and chewy.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

You can taste the crust, cheesecake, and cookie all separately yet it all marries together like a match made in heaven.

You have to try this.  Your taste buds will thank you.  And your family and friends will look at you with speechless awe.  Enjoy!

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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE CHEESECAKE BARS (12 servings)
* serve cold for best taste and texture

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
7 TB melted, salted butter

Cheesecake Filling:
12 oz cream cheese, room temp (indents when lightly pressed, but not melty at all)
1/3 cup sugar
1 extra large egg, room temp
1 TB pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 TB salted butter, room temp (indents when lightly pressed, but not melty)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 TB granulated sugar
1 TB pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips (mini chips turn out more gooey)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325F with rack on lower middle.  Line 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper, with enough hanging over handles to make a “sling.”  Oil the parchment paper.

Make Crust:  Mix melted butter and cracker crumbs together until resembles wet sand.  Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom of pan.  Bake for 7-8 minutes.  Remove pan to rack, but keep oven on.

Make Cheesecake Filling:  In bowl in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy and smooth.  Mix in egg and vanilla on low until incorporated, taking care not to overmix.  Pour cheesecake batter into prepared crust.  Set aside.

Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:  In bowl on stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and mix just until combined.  Slowly mix in the flour on low speed just until combined, taking care not to over mix.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop clumps of slightly-flattened dough evenly on top of cheesecake batter.  Continue until all cookie dough is evenly distributed across top of cheesecake.

Bake 30-40 minutes, until top of dough feels mostly dry and entire pan looks mostly set if given a gentle shake.  It will continue to set up as it chills.  Move bars to cooking rack to cool completely.  Chill several hours or overnight.  Lift bars out by sling and cut.  Keep cut bars in fridge until ready to serve.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from mybakingaddiction

Note:  Leftover bars can be wrapped and stored in freezer.

Luscious Key Lime Bars

22 Apr

Spring envy is sooo rampant around here as everyone awaits completion of our final (please, let it be the last one) dump of snow.  In case you didn’t see the post date, it’s April 22.  Our ridiculously late spring is supposed to make an entrance this weekend, and the entire state will suddenly bust out walking, biking, playing, and dancing.  Or just standing.  Outdoors.

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I recently posted one of my favorite spring treats here.  It’s time to break out my other favorite spring treat.  Key lime bars.  Luscious, because they are unbelievably and unforgettably amazing.

Luscious Lime Bars 6

Limes tempt your senses with their freshness and springy-ness.  You already know of their cocktail virtues, but did you know the Lime stars in its own to-die-for dessert?

Luscious Lime Bars Cooks Illustrated

I was truly surprised at how fabulous these Lime Bars are.  The batch I brought to a gathering left me nothing but crumbs to bring home.  My kiddos and hubby inhaled every small bit they could get their hands on.

Luscious Lime Bars 5

These Lime Bars are sweet and lightly tangy, rich and creamy, light and smooth… all at the same time.  That decadent filling sits on top of a crisp textured, perfectly sweetened crust.

You will l-o-v-e this.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE: KEY LIME BARS (one 13×9 pan)

INGREDIENTS

For the Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
2 TB grated lime zest
1 cup fresh lime juice, from 6-8 limes
1/8 tsp salt
2 (14 oz each) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
powdered sugar, for dusting

For the Crust:
10 oz animal crackers (i.e., Stauffer’s Original)
6 TB packed brown sugar
8 TB salted butter, melted and slightly cooled

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325F, with rack on middle position.  Press a long sheet of heavy-duty foil into the corners and up sides of 13×9 pan, with enough foil hanging over edges of pan, for super easy removal later.  Grease foil.

Pulse animal crackers in food processor until evenly fine.  Add brown sugar and salt and process to combine.  Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are moistened with butter evenly.  Press crumbs firmly and evenly into bottom of prepared pan.  Bake until golden brown, 18-20 minutes.  Cool while making the filling.  Leave oven on.

In medium bowl, stir cream cheese, zest, and salt with a rubber spatula until soft and creamy and fully incorporated.  Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk vigorously until combined and no lumps of cream cheese remain.  Whisk in egg yolk.  Add lime juice and gently whisk until fully combined.  Mixture will thicken slightly.

Pour filing into crust.  Spread to corners and smooth the surface.  Bake until set and edges begin to pull slightly away from sides, 23-25 minutes.  Center will still be a bit jiggly.  Cool on wire rack to room temp.  Cover with foil and refrigerate until fully chilled.  Remove bars from pan using foil.  Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving.  Keeps for days in fridge.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Cooks Illustrated cookbook

Pumpkin Bars with Biscoff Crumble

13 Nov Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

There’s no denying it … ‘Tis the season for pumpkins galore.  Gone with the carving variety, in with the baking ones.  Actually, you won’t find my baking pumpkin inside these particular pumpkin bars, since my cute little orange gourd is awaiting its transformation into our Thanksgiving pie.  But, back to the bars.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

If you’re looking for something scrumptiously pumpkin, that’s not followed by the word “pie,” and that’s a fool proof crowd-pleaser, search no further.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

“YUM!!”  That’s exactly what I scribbled on my recipe notes after taking a bite into these.  I am fond of baking dessert bars, as they are pretty fuss free and generally turn out well.  I’ve wanted to make pumpkin bars for awhile, and decided to try out these Biscoff ones because they sounded exceptionally delish.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

Can you capture the delightfully tempting aroma and taste of these little squares, just a little teensy bit?  Imagine something in between a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin bread.  Sink your sweet tooth into a chewy, moist, flavorful filling – sandwiched between a crisp bottom crust and a crunchy cookie topping.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

The bottom crust stays nicely crisp with the inclusion of oats and pecans.  The crumb topping is heavenly, with lots of Biscoff cookie goodness.

I must credit my father-in-law for his hand in my Biscoff cookie addiction, as he has a knack for bringing us packages of it when he visits.  After I realized they aren’t studded with artificial anything, I started looking for them at stores, and noticed how quickly they flew off shelves.  Now I keep some in my pantry just in case someone needs a natural pick-me-up 🙂

Bake a batch and watch them disappear.

RECIPE (one 9×13 pan)

INGREDIENTS

Bottom Crust
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup pecans, diced

Crumb Topping
1 cup of the above crust mixture
1 cup crushed Biscoff cookies
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Filling
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/8 cup olive oil
2 cups pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F.

Crust:  In a large bowl, combine both flours, oats, sugar, butter, baking soda, and salt.  Beat at low speed until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in nuts.  Reserve 1 cup for crumb topping.  Press remaining mixture on bottom of a greased and floured 13×9 baking pan.  Bake 15 minutes on middle rack.  Set aside to cool a bit while you make the filling.

Filling:  In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, butter, oil, and pumpkin until well mixed.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger.  Fold dry and wet ingredients together until well incorporated.  Pour filling onto pre-baked crust.

Topping:  Mix together 1 cup of reserved crust mixture, 1 cup Biscoff cookies, and cinnamon.  Sprinkle on top of pumpkin filling.  Bake 30-33 minutes on middle-lower rack.  It’s done when toothpick comes out mostly clean.  (A few tender crumbs attached is perfect.)

Cool and chill before cutting.  Once that first piece is out, the rest should be easy.  Cut into bars and store in fridge until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

By chewoutloud, adapted from Biscoff Recipes

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