Incognito Peanut Butter Bars

Yup, I am at it again with the Peanut Butter. Be honest though, can you ever have too many desserts with Peanut Butter and Chocolate?? I think not.

This recipe comes from my Grandma’s recipe box. Deceivingly these were titled Peanut Butter Bars, but as you can see these look more like a brownie than a Peanut Butter bar! In reality these moist little bars are more like a brownie with a slight Peanut Butter undertone than what I think a Peanut Butter bar to be so I am changing their name to Incognito Bars (because the PB flavor is undercover in these chocolatey-looking bars).

These bars are thick, moist and all in all very good. I will be making these again and I really liked the simplicity of the recipe and how quick they came together.

*Next time I might increase the amount of Peanut Butter by 2 TBS and increase the amount of cocoa powder to 3TBS total(decreasing the amount of flour by 1 TBS so the texture and consistency of the bars remains unchanged). I might also add mini chocoalte chips or those mini Reese’s PB baking cups or chips to the batter before baking.

As you can see, I have several ideas in mind for these little babies in the near future because these bars were very good and worth a try.

I tasted one of these babies while they were warm and found the flavor of both the chocolate and Peanut Butter to be too subtle for my liking. I felt they needed to be “Jazzed” up a bit. So, I whipped up a simple Chocolate/Peanut Butter ‘frosting’ and topped with crumbled a Butterfinger bar.

The Result? MMMMM, finger licking good!

I did notice, however, after cooling the flavor of the bars themselves seemed to deepen a bit and you can taste the chocolate and peanut butter a little more than right out of the oven. Because their flavor seems to deepen after they set a few hours/overnight you may want to try these bars after they have cooled and set without the frosting/candy bar topping to see if you feel they need that extra sweetness.
I found them to be great with the additions by my tooth has been known to be pretty sweet!

I would rate these bars:
Plain and warm out of the oven a 6
Plain the next day a 7
With frosting and candy topping an 8

Incognito Peanut Butter Bars
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 TBS cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (if desired)
Chopped/Crushed Candy bars (if desired, Butterfinger’s pictured)

Preheat oven to 325.
Line an 8×8 pan with foil and spray with PAM.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
In a medium mixing bowl cream the peanut butter, butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture.
Spread batter in pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool.
Frost if desired and sprinkle with crushed Butterfinger bar (as pictured) or Chopped Reese’s PB cups.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (Optional)
1/2 cup Peanut Butter (creamy)
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1 TBS shortening

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, stir toghter Peanut Butter, chips and shortening until smooth. You can add more Peanut Butter or Chocolate chips depending how much frosting you want and to taste.
Gently Spread Evenly over bars. Sprinkle with crushed/chopped candy if desired.

S’more Bars

These bars are very good, messy, but good!
I got the recipe out of an old church cookbook and couldn’t wait to try them because they combine the goodness of a S’more: graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in an ooey gooey bar. Another reason these bars caught my eye is that they do not require any bake time! Perfect for summer days when you don’t want to use your oven but still want a tastey sweet!

These were a breeze to make and so good that I was eating them out of the pan with a spoon before they were cool. After cooling some they were easier to cut and serve, however, they did crumble a bit but the taste makes up for the mess factor in my opinion!
I am not sure how long these would stay fresh and chewy because I took them to work and they were gone in minutes.

I would rate these bars a 7.5 (they lost .5 points for difficulty serving)

S’mores Bars
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter (no substitutions)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
15 crushed graham crackers (I used 9 rectangular crackers)
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Line an 8×8 pan with foil and spray with PAM.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup marshmallows and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the egg, butter, sugar and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly until it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour mixture in bowl with the graham crackers, marshmallows and chcolate chips. Stir to combine. (Marshmallows and chips will melt a bit).
Fold in remaining marshmallows and chips.
Press mixture into prepared pan.
Cool until set. Remove foil and bars from pan, cut and serve. Store in airtight container either room temp or in fridge (if during warm months).

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars

I have been craving a Peanut Butter sweet lately and had a jar to use up. I went searching for a recipe and found this winner on the Jif website! I did top the bars with some chopped Reese’s cups before covering in marshmallows because I had some to use up and really Reese’s PB cups make any dessert a little better! These taste fabulous!

I really really liked the taste and texture of these bars. The base has a nice Peanut Butter flavor and is light in texture. It is topped with a layer of melted Peanut Butter and then covered Marshmallows (and chopped PB cups in my version) and then baked again until the Marshmallows puff and bec0me light brown. Do not overbake or the Marshmallows will be hard and crisp.

My one complaint about these bars is that they are VERY difficult to cut and eat. The marshmallows stick to the knife (even after greasing the knife) when cutting making them not look too pretty. Also, the PB/marshmallow topping does not stay on the base while cutting and eating. The topping stuck to the knife and got pulled off of the crust slightly. This happened again while eating. I do admit, that I did not allow these to cool completely before cutting and serving so that may have been the problem. The seperation of the cookie base and toppings did not affect the taste, these were soooooo good!! For flavor I give them a 9! The chopped Reese’s PB cups really added that extra Peanut Butter flavor I was craving and will continue to add them when making this recipe. I will definately be making them again very soon. Next time I will cool completely to see if that makes a difference in cutting and serving.

I rate these bars an 8 (with the addition of chopped Reese’s cups) even though they were very hard to cut and serve

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
adapted from Jif
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 salt
1/2 cup Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
7-8 individual Reese’s PB cups chopped (more or less to taste)

Heat oven to 350.
Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish with PAM spray.
In a large bowl combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, peanut butter, sugar and egg.
Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Beat until well blended.
Cover. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Press into prepared dish. Bake 20 minutes or until light brown.
Do not over-bake. Cool 2 to 3 minutes.
Place peanut butter in microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute. Pour over cookie base. Spread to cover.
Cover Peanut Butter layer with chopped Reese’s PB cups and marshmallows. Return to oven. Bake 5 minutes or until marshmallows are light brown. Do not over-bake.
Loosen from sides of dish with knife. Remove dish to cooling rack.
Cool completely.

Basic Blondies

Once again I made a batch of Blondies. It is a recipe I have made a million times but just haven’t taken pictures. I had my camera out tonight so I thought I would snap a couple pictures to share.

I am in love with this recipe and love its versitility. I have tried more combinations of add-ins than I can count and each time they turn out Delish! I added toasted pecans, toffee pieces and white chocolate chunks to this batch. Here are some other variations I have really enjoyed but feel free to mix and match add-ins to meet your tastes!

I rate this recipe a 9

PB chips/Milk Chocolate Chips/Reese’s Pieces
Dried Cranberries/White Chocolate Chunks/ Toasted Walnuts
Toffee pieces/Toasted Pecans/Butterscotch chips
Diced apples/cinnamon/Cinnamon chips
Reese’s PB cups, chopped/ Grated Hershey’s bar
Toasted Coconut/Macadamian nuts

Blonde Magic Cookie Bars

Magic Cookie Bars that is!
I LOVE the famous Magic Cookie bars, also known as 7 layer bars. The first time I had one of these chocolate/butterscotch/coconut goodies was at a church bakesale when I was a little girl. Ah the memories.

As a child I loved the taste, as an adult I also love that these bars are so quick to prepare and the possibilities are endless for the goodies to layer on. I had a bunch of slivered almonds to use up so I created a chocolate-free Magic Cookie bar, as I have named the Blonde Magic Cookie Bar. Ok, it’s not chocolate-free as it does use white chocolate, but it is still Blonde! ha ha

I based my recipe off of the one from the Eagle brand website but altered it greatly. These bars turned out great! The toasting of the nuts and coconut before baking really intensify the flavors and the white chocolate melts to creamy goodness with its mild taste pairing beautifully with the almonds, coconut and almond flavored Sweet and Condesed Milk. All of this goodness lies atop a tender and buttery graham cracker crust. This recipe is a definate keeper in this house!

I rate these bars an 8

Blonde Magic Cookie Bars
adapted from Eagle Brand
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used 4 whole graham crackers and 1 half)
7 ounces (1/2 can) Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
1 cup coarsley chopped white baking chocolate (NOT white chocolate chips, they melt differently)
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut (toasted)
1 cup slivered almonds (toasted)

Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8×8 inch pan with foil. Lightly spray with PAM.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Evenly spread coconut on half of baking sheet and the slivered almonds on the other half.
Toast in preheated oven for 10 minutes stirring every 3 minutes for even browning and to prevent burning.

In 8×8 baking pan, melt butter in oven (can be done while coconut and almonds are toasting). Once melted remove from oven. Sprinkle crumbs over melted butter and gently pat to cover bottom of pan.
Combine the 7oz. of Sweetened Condensed Milk and Almond extract, stir to combine.

Once the coconut and nuts are finished toasting remove from oven. Evenly sprinkle almonds over prepared crust, next sprinkled the chopped white chocolate over the almonds.
Evenly sprinkle the toasted coconut over the nuts and chocolate. Gently pour the Sweetened Condensed milk/almond extract mixture evenly over coconut layer.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Want one?

Cinnamon Cheesecake Swirled Blondies

I haven’t baked forever (stupid work, keeping me busy) and couldn’t wait to whip up some goodies this morning. I had half a block of cream cheese that needed to be used up and decided to experiment a bit and add a Cheesecake Swirl to a slight variation of my Basic Blondie recipe.

The results were great, even though the colors of the cheesecake swirl and the blondies blend together so it is hard to distinguish between the two visually. The cinnamon in the Cheesecake swirl was not overpowering and complimented the cinnamon chips and the hint of cinnamon I added to the blondie recipe nicely.

These were really good warm with a scoop of cinnamon icecream and warm carmel sauce drizzled over the top. MMM.

I rate these bars a 9

Cinnamon Cheesecake Swirled Blondies
6 TBS butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Hershey’s Brand Cinnamon Chips (optional, white chocolate chips or walnuts would be good as well)

Cinnamon Cheesecake Swirl
5 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon (more or less to taste)
2 TBS flour
1 tsp pure Vanilla
1 egg yolk

In bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, flour and vanilla beat until smooth. Add egg yolk and beat just until combined. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8×8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 mintues.

Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour baking powder and cinnamon.
Mix in Cinnamon Chips and/or nuts or other chips (if using)

Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Dollup cinnamon cream cheese mixture over blondie batter in pan.
Run a knife through the blondie and cheesecake layers to create a pattern or swirls.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until set in the middle. (I baked for 27 minutes)Cool on rack before cutting.

The Ultimate Bar Cookie

If you want a treat that will satisfy that sweet tooth of yours this is your recipe! I originally got this recipe from a lady I volunteered with at Habitat for Humanity project. She brought these as our afternoon treat; these did not last long at and after one bite I knew I needed more. I kindly asked and she wrote down the recipe for me. After a quick internet search for the source I found a similar one here at CDkitchen.

This is a recipe (if you can call it that) that I have been using and adapting (based on what ingredients I have on hand) for years. I love the fact that it is so adaptable based on what you have in the kitchen pantry and freezer. My favorite topping combination is White chocolate chunks, semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips and walnut pieces. But have tried many topping combinations and have yet to find a “bad” one.
I love the brown sugar shortbread-like crust and the toffee mixture that sinfully holds all of the toppings to the crust. These cookie bars are very sweet so you can get away with cutting them small.
You can cut these bars into squares or do what I did for a cute presentation.
I used various sizes of round cookie cutters to cut the bars after they had cooled and chilled slightly for easy cutting.
The remaining bar pieces I store in a tupperware container in the freezer and use as a topping for my icecream. MMMMMMMMM. I love treats that keep on giving.
I rate these bars an 8
The Ultimate Bar Cookies
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
**
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (any of the following, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans)
1/2 cup white chocolate — coarsely chopped
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
**
3/4 cup butter (NO substitutions)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a 9×13 pan with foil.
Beat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter until fine crumbs form. Pat mixture firmly into bottom of foil lined baking pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven.
Sprinkle nuts and chocolate (or other toppings) over the hot crust.
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together 3/4 cup butter 1/2 cup brown sugar, stirring constantly until bubbly. Once it starts bubbling cook and stir for 1 minute.
Pour mixture evenly over nuts and chocoalte in pan. Make sure not to get too close to the edges of the pan or it will burn to the sides.
Bake 15 minutes more or until just bubbly around edges.
Cool in pan on rack. Cut into bars.
** You can use any toppings that you and your family enjoy. Try mixing and matching your fave nuts or chocolate. I have also created a variety of combinations using dark chocolate bars chopped, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, toasted coconut, Reese’s pieces, Reese’s pb cups chopped, crushed Fritos etc.

Grandma’s Oatmeal Fudge Bars

This is a recipe my grandma used to make when I was little. It is great for family get-to-gethers, church functions, bake sales and pot lucks because these bars make a ton and are always a hit with both adults and kids.

These bars have a sweet smooth layer of chocolate-fudgey goodness is nestled between a crust and topping made with wholesome oatmeal. I find that these bars provide just the right amount of sweetness without being tooth-achey-sweet which makes these a favorites for adults and children.
My grandma always made these using a 10×15 jelly roll pan when making these bars. Using this size pan ensure even baking of crust and filling and increases the amount of bars you get out of the recipe. I did not have a jelly roll pan so I baked mine using a 9×13 pan. If you do this the crust for the bars and the fudge layer are thick and don’t cook quite as evenly as I had to bake mine for about 35 minutes for the fudge layer to set which made my crust a little dry and over done. Either way they tasted super yummy but I think I will put off making these again until I buy a jelly roll pan for even tastier results.
NOTE: This recipe is from
a hand written cookbook my grandma gave me. I am not sure where she originally got the recipe, if you know its origin let me know and I will cite it.
I rate these bars an 8 but they would be a 9 using a 10×15 pan and the amounts below
Grandma’s Oatmeal Fudge Bars
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teasponn baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker quick cooking oatmeal.
2 cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (15 oz.)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, walnuts or pecans) *I did not use
Preheat oven to 325.
Grease and flour a 10×15 jelly roll pan. *I used a 9×13 pan
In a large bowl sift together flour, soda and salt. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl. , beat together softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined. Add vanilla and mix well.
Slowly add the sifted flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in oatmeal.
Gently spread 2/3 crust into bottom of prepared pan. Reserve the rest for topping.
Make the filling:
Over Medium-Low heat, melt together chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt. Stir until smooth. Remove mixture from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts if using.
Evenly pour filling mixture of crust but keeping filling about a 1/4 inch away from side of pan so it does not stick to side while baking. Evenly dollup top of filling with remaining oat mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping is light brown and fudge layer set but not solid. Don’t overbake these bars or they can become dry.

Cool in pay on rack until set. Can chill to set faster. Keep stored in airtight container either room temp or in fridge.

*I used a 9×13 pan and baked for 38 minutes for the fudgey layer to set but this caused the crust to be a little too done compared to my grandma’s bars baked in a jelly roll pan. The bars were also a little hard to cut because of the thickness of the crust and filling. They were very good though! Everyone at work raved about them and there no complaints.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

Look at those bars! Who does not love the combination of caramel and chocolate?

Wow, I had forgotten how great these bars are. I love the texture of the slighlty crisp crust with the gooey caramel layer filled with nuts and chocolate.
I have been making these since high school (one could say it was my “signature” dessert back then). The recipe comes from our dear friends at Pilsbury and is so easy I used to have it memorized.
The thing I love about these bars is that they are great warm, room temperature or even straight out of the fridge (which is where I keep them during the summer months or the caramel gets a little too gooey for eating with your hands). The oatmeal/brown sugar crust provides a nice and hearty base for these bars and keeps them from being overly-sweet.
I rate these bars a 9
Here is the recipe directly copied from the website. My changes are in red.
Oatmeal Carmelitas

2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour (I used Gold Medal)
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened (I used butter)

1 (12.5-oz.) jar (1 cup) caramel ice cream topping
3 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour (I used Gold Medal)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup Milk chocolate and 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I usually use Walnuts but omitted nuts this time)

Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease 13×9-inch pan.
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until crumbly. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan.
Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine caramel topping and 3 tablespoons flour; blend well.

Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.
Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Return to oven; bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set.
Cut into bars.

Yellow Sheet Cake

While I am a HUGE chocolate cake lover, my heart belongs to the Yellow Cake. I tried my hand at making one from scratch and was very pleased with the results. After searching through several cookbooks for a recipe that was worthy of sacraficing my Homemade Yellow Cake Virginity I decided I was more comfortable using a recipe already blogged about for my “first time”. I turned to Nic at bakingbites and found what I was looking for! I followed her recipe to a “T” with the exception of adding a drop of Yellow food coloring to bump up the Yellow in my Yellow Cake.

Take note, as she uses a unique mixing method (blends the butter with dry ingredients before adding the wet) which produces a cake that has the most tender crumb you have eaten. The cake baked up light, fluffy and oh so delicious. and nothing takes a Yellow Cake over-the-top better than Chocolate Frosting.
I was so pleased with the cake that could not wait to taste it. Instead of making homemade chocolate frosting, I busted out my favorite canister of Chocolate Frosting and proceeded to enjoy the fruits of my labor with a good slathering of Chocolate on top (just the way I like it).
Let me say, while boxed Yellow cake mixes totally rock my world, this recipe has sent my world into a tail-spin!
I rate this cake a 7.5
Yellow Sheet Cake
from bakingbites
2 ½ cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup milk (I used whole)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 drop Yellow Food Coloring
Chocolate Frosting
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 9×13 inch sheet pan with parchment paper, or lightly grease it with shortening or oil (butter will produce a harder “crust”).
Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed to blend. Cut butter into 4 or 5 chunks and drop into the bowl with the flour. Blend on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.
In a large measuring cup, combine eggs, milk, vanilla and food coloring. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With the mixer on low, pour 1 cup of the egg mixture into the bowl. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the egg mixture. Continue to beat at low speed for an additional 30 seconds, until liquid is fully incorporated.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds, if necessary.Pour into prepared 9×13 pan and spread batter evenly with a spatula. Tap gently a few times to eliminate any bubbles.
Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.Let cool for 30 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely. Frost with Chocolate Frosting and Enjoy!