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Dessert Bars

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It has been a sadly long time since I posted anything. A a crazy work schedule has left me with very little free time for hobbies but I’ve still been having fun cooking and making new things when I have time 🙂 A couple weeks ago it was my birthday so I made a bunch of dessert bars to bring into work. Bars are so easy and quick to make and quite forgiving on changing and varying ingredients. These were all so delicious! I think my favorites were the lemon bars (I love lemon!) but the nanaimo bars, maple bars, and raspberry bars were close behind.

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Peach Bars

I took advantage of peaches being in season to make these delicious bars. They taste like little bites of peach pie. Yum!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 10 tbs unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium peaches, peeled and chopped (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
  • Make the crust/topping: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender or two forks until it reaches coarse, pea-sized crumbs. (I personally mixed the dry ingredients in my blender and then added the cold butter and pulsed till the butter mixed in)
  • Set aside 3/4 cup of the mixture to be used for topping and mix with pecans. Evenly press the remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Make the filling: Whisk the egg and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add the flour, salt, and spices. Whisk until combined. Fold in the peaches. Remove crust from the oven after 15 minutes and pour the filling over hot crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat/pecan mixture. Bake for ~35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for 2 hours before cutting into squares.

Adapted from SallysBakingAddiction

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts! These are nice and tangy with a flaky crust and you don’t need to add any food coloring for them to have a nice yellow color. These have a thicker crust than some recipes.

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Ingredients:

  • ›3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ›1 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ›1 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • ›6 eggs
  • ›1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • ›6 tbs all-purpose flour
  • ›1 cup lemon (or lime) juice
  • ›zest of 2 lemons or limes
  • ›Confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and butter. Pat dough into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly golden. While the crust is baking, whisk together eggs, white sugar, flour, and lemon juice until frothy. Pour this lemon mixture over the hot crust.
  • Return to the preheated oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares.

Nanaimo Bars

These are a treat from Canada. They have a chocolatey coconut crust with a creamy filling and hard chocolate top. They are AMAZING! Everyone always loves them and they disappear right away.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 5 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut 
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tbs heavy cream
  • 2 tbs custard powder (or vanilla pudding mix if you can’t find custard powder, custard power can sometimes be found in international foods section with food from Europe or in baking aisle)
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 (1 oz) squares semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons butter

Directions:

  • In the top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Slowly pour half of the mixture into a bowl with the egg, stirring continuously then pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the chocolate mix. Stir until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs and coconut. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8×8 inch pan.
  • For the middle layer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and custard powder until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.
  • While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons butter together in the microwave or over low heat. Spread over the chilled bars. Let the chocolate set before cutting into squares.

Maple Walnut Shortbread Bars

These are very simple and delicious. It’s best to use good quality maple syrup so the flavor comes through.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbs pure maple syrup (plus more to drizzle)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Combine the flour and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a mixer. Mix in the softened butter until a dough has formed. Press into an 8×8-inch baking dish lined with foil, and prick with a fork.
  3. Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. While the shortbread is baking, beat the egg in a mixing bowl along with 1/3 cup brown sugar, maple syrup, and walnuts. Pour the walnut mixture over the hot crust, and return to the oven. Continue baking until firmed, 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with a small amount of maple syrup. Cool completely, then cut into 1-inch squares to serve.

Funfetti Bars

These are very gooey cakey treats! They’re great if you like white chocolate.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles, divided
  • 1/2 cup (from a 14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8” pan with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray.
  • Mix together cake mix, butter, and egg until a thick dough forms. Add 1/3 cup sprinkles and stir until incorporated.
  • Press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips and remaining 1/3 cup sprinkles. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top. Separate remaining dough into small balls and evenly space over the top of the bars. Press down to flatten.
  • Bake bars for about 30 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Cool completely before slicing, otherwise the mixture will be too gooey to cut.

Recipe from CrazyForCrust

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cornflake Bars

These are great alternative to rice krispie treats with a peanut butter base on corn flakes instead.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 10 cups cornflakes cereal
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

Directions:

  • Cook syrup and sugar until mixture comes to a boil. Stir constantly; do not overcook.
  • Remove from heat, add peanut butter, and stir until smooth. Pour mixture over cornflakes in a large bowl. Mix until cereal is thoroughly coated. Stir in marshmallows. 
  • Spread in a buttered 9 x 13 inch pan and press down lightly with buttered hands. When cool, cut into squares.

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

These are very simple and absurdly good. You can easily substitute out other kinds of preserves to get other flavors.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil.
  • Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Chocolate Toffee Filled Brownies

These brownies are so gooey and delicious. You can use different kinds of candy bars in the middle to get different flavors. They are great with the toffee bars in the center. You can cook the brownies to different levels of doneness depending on preference.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package brownie mix (ingredients to make the mix: egg, vegetable oil, water)
  • Candy bars with almonds and toffee chips (I used Symphony bars, you can use other kinds of chocolate bars to make other variations)

Directions:

  • Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.
  • Line a 13″x9″ cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray (for thicker brownies use an 8″x8″ pan instead).
  • Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter.
  • Bake according to package directions (if making thicker brownies then cook for longer). Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. This makes it easy to cut the brownies into squares.

3 Responses to “Dessert Bars”

  1. KW

    I have all the ingredients for the Maple Walnut bars so I am going to make them right now! However, it looks like you goofed because you have walnuts in the title and grocery list, but pecans in the process description.

    I’m so glad your back, I probably am going to be making at least three of the other recipes besides the maple bars. I like the idea of bringing a bunch of different varieties of cookie bars.

    Reply
      • KW

        They were really really good! I only have a 9×9 pan so the shortbread was a little thinner. I think next time I would probably increase the recipe, maybe not double it but 1.5x times it. I always find recipes for 8×8 pans but I never can find that size at the store! I should probably order one from Amazon.

        Anyway, it was a great recipe. I will probably do the Nanaimo bars and Funfetti bars soon. And the chocolate toffee brownies, because it’s always nice to have different things to do with box recipes. I love a lot of your posts, but this one is probably my favorite! I got so excited as soon as I saw you added a new post.

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