Tag Archives: bar cookies

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: M&M Sugar Cookie Bars

M&M Sugar Cookie Bars 1

DAY 4: M&M Sugar Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are quick to make, and delicious and fun to eat. They will satisfy kids and grown-ups alike.

M&M Sugar Cookie Bars 2

RECIPE:
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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Nutella Brownies

Nutella Brownies 3

DAY 3: Chocolate Nutella Brownies

Homemade brownies with the extra fudginess of Nutella added to the batter and swirled into the top.

Nutella Brownies 1

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars 1

DAY 2: Lemon Bars

There are some classic desserts that completely live up to their reputation. Lemon bars definitely fall into that category. They are a sweet, tart confection that will make you think fondly of trips to grandma’s house.

Lemon Bars 2

RECIPE:

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (Bars & Brownies): Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies 1

Welcome to the 12th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies! This year, I am focusing on brownies, blondies, and other bar cookies.

A note about cooking bar cookies: If you have trouble with burned edges and raw centers, try using a metal pan instead of a glass or ceramic pan. This is especially true of  bigger pans, 9×13” or larger. You can also bake the batter in 2 smaller square pans instead of one larger one to get more evenly baked bars and brownies.

DAY 1: Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

This is an easy to make dressed-up brownie dessert that starts with a boxed brownie mix. Raspberry jam is swirled into both the brownie layer and the cheesecake layer.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies 2Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies 3Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies 4

RECIPE:

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Salted Caramel Bars

Salted Caramel Bars

DAY 10: Salted Caramel Bars

A tender bar cookie with a sweet layer of salted caramel. You can use caramel sauce from a jar, or try the homemade recipe below. You will never go back after trying it! The salted caramel recipe below makes more than you will need for the bar cookies, but I’m sure you can find other uses for the leftovers (apples, ice cream, pies, your finger).

RECIPE:

Salted Caramel Bars

Makes 16 bars

Salted Caramel Bars

(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup  Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9” square baking pan with parchment paper or nonstick foil; set aside.

Place the melted butter in a large bowl and whisk in the brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold into wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until well mixed.

Press half of the dough into the prepared pan. Pour the salted caramel sauce onto the center of the dough and spread into an even layer, leaving about a ½-inch of space around the edges. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread  until the caramel is covered.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a thin coating of caramel.

Cool the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Cut into 16 squares and serve.

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar
6 Tbs butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized chunks
½ cup heavy cream
1 – 1 ½ tsp flaky or coarse sea salt
1 tsp vanilla (and/or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)

Place sugar in a medium to large saucepan (mixture will bubble up and expand as cool ingredients are added to the hot pan). Cook over medium heat until sugar just begins to melt. Stir gently, trying to keep sugar crystals off of the sides of the pan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts completely and is a medium amber color (about 350°F if you use an instant-read thermometer). Reduce heat to low and quickly whisk in butter chunks, stirring constantly.

Stir in cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour caramel immediately into a glass jar or heat-safe bowl to cool. Do NOT scrape sides or bottom of the pan with a spatula. If you do, you are likely to get sugar crystals into your nice smooth caramel. If the caramel has formed crystals while cooking, you can pour it from the pan through a fine sieve into the jar to remove any crystals before cooling.

Caramel can be kept in a covered jar at room temperature for several weeks.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Almond Toffee Triangles

Almond Toffee Triangles

DAY 9: Almond Toffee Triangles

A shortbread crust, topped with a sliced almond caramel mixture and then baked to perfection.

Easy peasy!

Almond Toffee Triangles 2

RECIPE:

Almond Toffee Triangles

Almond Toffee Triangles

Crust:
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt

Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sliced almonds

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of a 15×10” pan.

Use a mixer to cream butter and powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat in flour and salt. Press evenly into greased pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Topping:
While crust is cooking, prepare topping. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almonds. Pour topping over HOT crust; spread evenly.

Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, or until topping is set. Cool completely. Cut into 2 ½ inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally.

Makes 48 triangles

**To prepare in a 17×13” pan: prepare 1 ½ times the recipe.

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