Category Archives: cookies, bars, brownies

Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Bark

First: this blog is on my nerves. When I open the main page, the categories and search function don’t show up. WHAT A PAIN.  I’m kind of over wordpress but don’t know where else to go.  Anyway, when I come to this blog to search my own archives I usually know exactly what I’m looking for, so in google I’ll type juliecooks sugar cookies.  Or juliecooks french bread. Anyway, I know there’s not many friends and family that read here, but if you do, maybe that will help.

Now, the yum.

via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Do you read that blog? It is one of my stand by blogs for recipes. They’re family friendly, usually easier/faster, use normal ingredients, and her archives are nice and easy to search. Anyway. This was the treat we made this week.  It was super easy and super yummy. She calls it “salted chocolate toffee pretzel bark” and if you want, add a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the chocolate when it’s done. I wasn’t in the mood.

It’s super easy: Preheat oven to 375. Take 8 oz (1/2 a one lb bag) small pretzels, broken into little pieces, and put them on a foil lined jelly roll pan. Then in a pot combine 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter. Nice and healthy. Stir until combined and then when the little bubbles show up, let it cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Right away, pour over the pretzels. Don’t worry if every pretzel isn’t covered because it will spread out more in the oven.  Bake for 5 minutes inside the oven. As soon as you take it out, sprinkle 1 cup to 1.5 cups of chocolate chips on top. Let them sit for 2-3 minutes and then use an offset spatula to spread them around and make a nice chocolate layer.  It will harden in awhile if you leave the pan out, we put it in the fridge to harden the chocolate.  When it’s hard, peel off the foil and break into little pieces.

I haven’t done Christmas neighbor gifts for a few years but I might do this in December for the neighborhood. It’s SO good.

s’mores cookie bars

Our Memorial Day was really cold and mostly wet. Since we didn’t get to do any of the fun traditional kick-off-summer activities, we made these s’mores cookie bars. They were fabulous, and I’m a fair weather fan of actual s’mores!

 

Picture and recipe from Lovin’ from the Oven.

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
  3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Karrie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was surprised this recipe wasn’t here!

This is the perfect recipe for someone who appreciates the perfect chocolate chip cookie – soft and chewy.

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs

MIX WELL, then add:

1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
bit of salt

MIX WELL, then add:

3-4ish cups of flour

Here’s secret #1…you need to add enough flour so that you can roll the dough into balls without it sticking on your hands BUT stop adding flour as soon as you reach the “un-sticky” stage.  I start by adding 3 cups of flour, mixing it in really well, then adding about 1/8 – 1/4 cup more at a time until you get to the right amount.

THEN, stir in 1/2 bag of chocolate chips . 6 ounces or so.

Bake at 350 for 7-8  minutes, and not 30 seconds more.  That is secret #2.  At 8ish minutes, the cookies will look like they need another 2 minutes.  Take them out anyway, and let them sit until almost cool.

Secret #3, taught to me by a college roommate.  Put the cookies in an airtight container with a slice of bread.  The bread will go stale, the cookies will stay soft.  When the bread gets hard, switch it out for a new slice.  Voila!

 

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Sensing a theme here? Fall = pumpkin. New baby in the house = not much real cooking going on. Grilled cheese, quesadillas, soup nights and EASY old favorite recipes are where it’s at now.

I found this on babble’s Family Kitchen. It’s a KEEPER. I actually had an acorn squash I’d found in the pantry that was still good that I cooked up and pureed to substitute in this recipe instead of opening a can of pumpkin.  I added a tiny bit of red food coloring to the squash since yellow would’ve just looked weird with the brownies.  Now it’s orange and tastes great. This makes one heavy duty pan of fabulous brownies.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a 9″x9″ cake pan with nonstick spray.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chocolate and remove from heat. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth.

In a large bowl beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 3-4 minutes, until thick and pale yellow. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat just until combined.

Put about a third of the batter into another bowl and stir the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg into it. Stir the chocolate mixture into the remaining batter and spread a little more than half of it into the prepared pan. Top with the pumpkin mixture, then drop large spoonfuls of the remaining chocolate mixture on top. Swirl a knife through both to create a swirled effect.

Bake for 40 minutes, until just set and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Makes 16 brownies, each with 296 calories, 13 g fat and 1 g fiber (6.8 WW points).

Peanut Butter Bars

Realizing how many of my “recipe box” recipes aren’t on here…most of them!  This is a fast favorite.

Cookies:
1 c flour
1 c oatmea
1/2 t soda
1/2 c butter
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c peanut butter
1 egg

Mix and press into an ungreased 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.  After they are totally cooled, frost with:
1/4 c butter
2-3 T milk
1/4 c peanut butter
1 3/4 c powd sugar
1 t vanilla