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.

Bacon Pinwheels

Cream cheese Bacon pinwheels that is!


When I saw these over on MrsPresley’s blog. I knew I had to try them. The recipe comes from Kraft which means these are simple, tasty and use ingredients you probably already have on hand. These pinwheels bake up fluffy with an Ooey-Gooey-Creamy -Cheesy-Bacony swirl in between flaky layers of crescent rolls. We loved that these took only minutes to prep and bake. Perfect for snacking on while watching the big game.

I rate this recipe an 8

Bacon Appetizer Crescents (or Bacon Pinwheels)
from KraftFoods.com
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I used 5oz. of 1/3 less fat Neufatel cheese)
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese)
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (not in original recipe)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (I used 3 tsp dried parsley flakes)
1 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (I used one 10.1 oz can)

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Spray a baking sheet with PAM cooking spray.

Mix cream cheese, bacon, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, onions, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes and milk until well blended; set aside.
Take two triangular pieces of dough and press the perforations together to seal and create a rectangle. If you are using the 8 oz. cans of dough, divide the cream cheese mixture into 4 equal parts and spread 1/4th of the mixture evenly on the dough. If you are using the larger cans of dough, divide the cream cheese mixture into 6 equal parts and evenly spread 1/6th of the mixture on the dough.

Cut the dough lengthwise into 4 equal pieces, approximately 1/2 to 3/4-inches wide (I cut mine into 1/2 inch pieces). Roll the dough up into a pinwheel and place flat on prepared baking sheet.
Bake according to package directions or until golden in color.

Better Than (you know what) Cake


There are many names for this cake and many variations. My mom used to refer to this as Better than Christmas cake so my sisters and I could ask for dessert without it sounding “R-rated” or spurring a discussion about the “Birds and the Bees” at the dinner table; especially so when we had friends over.
This cake is my sister’s absolute favorite cake. She requests it every year for her Birthday cake. It is so simple to make as it starts with a boxed cake mix, although a homemade one would work as well, but why put in the extra effort when the cake is really just used as a “sponge” to soke up all the ooey gooey goodness in this recipe. I would prefer to bake a cake from scratch when I can truly enjoy its flavor and texture.
As I have said, this cake has many variations and is so versitile. Some recipes call for a yellow cake mix, pineapple and coconut, others use German chocolate cake mix. The possiblities are endless. I will admit that the Yellow cake mix version does not appeal to me in the slightest so I stick to the Chocolate variety. The thing I love about this cake is the longer it sits in the fridge the more moist and delicious it becomes! How many cakes can say that?? This cake is so moist, rich and oh so good. In an attempt to “lighten” it up a bit (especially since the holiday goody consumption is around the corner and my jeans are already a little snug) I modified my usual “recipe” My changes in red.
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I rate this recipe an 8
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Better than Christmas Cake
1 boxed Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (Betty Crocker)
Water, eggs and oil called for with cake mix *I used 1 can Diet Coke in place of all water, eggs and oil
1 12 oz. jarred Caramel Sauce *I used Sugar Free
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk * I used Fat Free Bordens Sweet and Condensed Milk
1 Butterfinger bar, crushed
1 Skor bar, Crushed
1 tub Coolwhip, thawed *I used Sugar free
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Bake cake according to package directions for a 9×13 pan until a few crumbs come out on a toothpick inserted in center.
After removing cake from oven, use the back of a wooden spoon and poke several holes in the cake, making sure not to go all the way to the bottom of the pan or the carmel and milk will pool and stick to the pan making it hard to serve.

Stir together in a bowl the carmel sauce and Sweet and condensed milk. You can heat carmel slightly in the microwave to make it easier to mix.

Evenly pour mixture over the entire cake making sure to pour some into the holes you poked.
Sprinkle the crushed candy bars evenly over the cake. Cover and refridgerate until ready to serve. Best if allowed to chill overnight.
When ready to serve, frost cake with Coolwhip and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
*I like to allow the cake sit out at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the carmel/milk mixture to warm a bit and create a gooey sauce through out the cake.

Triple Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

I do not think you can have too much chocolate. These cookies are soooo chocolatey and will satisfy any Chocoholic’s craving! Be sure to read the directions, you combine the baking soda with the wet ingredients, not the dry like many other cookie recipes.

Because they are a dark cookie, it is hard to tell when you should take them out of the oven, I like to err on the side of caution and remove a bit early. In my opinion a gooey cookie is better than a dry one ANY day!! These pair nicely with vanilla icecream and hot fudge!!
I rate this recipe an 8
Triple Chocolate Chocolate Cookies
2 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Vanilla
2 large eggs
3 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, melt and then cool
2 cups Flour
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunk
1/2 cup white chocolatechunks
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks (milk chocolate would be great!)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, macadamia) optional
Preheat oven to 350.
Melt 30z chocolate in 15 second intervals in microwave safe bowl, stirring after each interval.
Heat until able to stir smooth, Do NOT overheat or it will seize and taste burnt. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugars and baking soda until combined. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until mixed well. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate until combine.
Slowly beat in the flour and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and nuts. Form dough into balls using medium scoop and place on parchement lined baking sheets.
(At this point I chilled and then transferred to tupperware containers to freeze once the balls had set. ) *I would recommend chilling balls for a few minutes before baking to prevent overspreading.
Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 10-14 minutes or until edges are firm to the touch.
Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Coconut Nut Chipsters

I love to bake, as you may have guessed by my blogname! On Friday I whipped up a few batches of cookie dough, formed into balls using my Pampered Chef medium sized icecream scoop (LOVE IT, if you don’t have one, you need to buy this item), chilled and stored in tupperware in the freezer so I can bake them up at my leisure.

This first batch combines several of my favorite ingredients in baked goods: nuts, chocolate and coconut. The higher ratio of brown to white sugar ensures these cookies (if not overbaked) stay slightly chewy even after cooling. They bake up rather thin and not puffy, but I prefer them that way. The brown sugar also provides the finished cookie a slight “toffee” taste similar to that of my beloved Basic Blondies. While the nuts are optional, I would highly recommend adding them, substituting your favorite nut in place of the walnuts is fine, but the nuts really do play off of the “toffee” taste of these cookies nicely!

I rate this recipe an 8

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Coconut Nut Chipsters
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 egg
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips (could sub semi-sweet if desired)
1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips (could sub a different flavor chip or use all chocolate)
1 1/3 cup Coconut (lightly toasting is optional)
1 cup Walnut pieces (or other fave nut)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and creamy. Beat in egg. Slowly add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Gently fold in chips, coconut and nuts by hand just until combined.
Form dough into balls using medium scoop and place on parchement lined baking sheets.

(At this point I chilled and then transferred to tupperware containers to freeze once the balls had set. ) *I would recommend chilling balls for a few minutes before baking to prevent overspreading.

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on sheets for 2 minutes and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

*Next time I might substitute butterscotch chips for the white chocolate chips, I think the butterscotch and nuts will be awesome with the brown sugar flavor of theese cookies!

Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

I LOVE to bake, so when a friend passed along a new recipe for the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie, I had to give it a whirl. These cookies bake up with a slightly crisp exterier and a moist crumb interior. This is not the cookie for those who like nice and soft puffy cookies. However, these cookies are nice and sturdy and after chilling in the freezer for 30 minutes and are perfect with a big ol’scoop of icecream sandwhiched in between two of them! These would travel well and can be easily stacked for shipping as well.
I was a bit surprised by the end result of the cookies. The recipe uses shortening, which I thought would produce a puffy cookie, but I was wrong, yet not disappointed with the results. The flavor of these is just the right combination of chocolate and vanilla. What makes these cookies stand apart from my usual recipes is the use of Milk Chocolate chips (a welcomed change) but SemiSweet chips can be easily subbed. Although I would suggest giving the Milk Chocolate chips a whirl, they are under-utilized in cookie recipes in my opinoin.
I rate these cookies an 8

Milk Chocolate Chippers

1 cup butter Flavor Crisco
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups Milk Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl whisk the flour, salt and soda. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugars until blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
Fold in the flour mixture just until combined.
Fold in the chips.
Bake on parchement lined baking sheets for 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Do not overbake. Cool on sheet for 3 minutes and transfer to rack to cool completely.