Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oat Bars

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I haven’t baked in a long time ~ since well before Christmas.  My daughter did all the Christmas cookie baking and I was thankful for that.  She is an awesome baker/cook (she made the best Thanksgiving turkey I have ever had!)!  I was looking forward to baking something and found this bar recipe as I was going through some cookbooks the other day.  I had all the ingredients so I tried them.  They are delicious!!!  At first I thought I would leave out the coconut but the flavor is great ~ not overpowering like it can be sometimes.

I made the whole recipe in my mixer.  Since the dough is thick, after mixing it up, spoon it into your prepared pan.  I found it easier to pat it in the pan with my clean hand rather than a spoon or spatula.  Also, don’t overbake.

Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oat Bars

Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oat Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup coconut
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Mix in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, soda and salt.

Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats and coconut; then add chocolate chips and pecans mixing until combined.

Pat dough into a lightly greased 13×9 glass baking dish.

Bake at 375º for 20 minutes.

Cool and cut into bars.

Makes 12-15 bars depending on how large they are cut.

Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Oat Bars 2

Source:  Where Hearts Gather

Happy Cooking!

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Vintage Recipes Series ~ Cream Cheese Squares

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I have a collection of old handmade recipe albums, recipe card boxes and a box full of recipes that I have been collecting for several years.  If I see someone’s recipe card collection for sale, I just can’t pass it up.  I feel bad that someone’s hard work collecting these recipes is being sold so I buy them and put on my bookshelf.  I have recipes from the 20s through about 2005 or so.  Some are not vintage but I have no idea what to call them.

Collection

Collection 2

Some recipes are written on the backs of envelopes and some are typed out neatly on cards.  It’s really a treasure trove of someone’s life in the kitchen.  It’s fun to go through them.

I decided that a few times a month, I would pick a recipe, make it, and blog about it.   Many of these recipes have no attribution or even a publishing date and are handwritten.  If it does have any publishing info, I’ll post it.  Except for the box of recipes that I have collected, I have no idea who even belonged to these boxes/albums.

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As you can see from the picture, the ingredient list in this recipe ~ Cream Cheese Squares ~ is a mess.  Luckily, there aren’t too many ingredients.  The recipe looks like it’s from the late 70s or early 80s from a column called Common Sense Cooking by Ruth McDaniel.  I did a bing search and it looks like Mrs. McDaniel has passed away.

These cream cheese squares are delicious!  They are cheesecake in bar form.  The recipe is easy however, saving 1 cup of the base to sprinkle on top is too much.  One-half cup would be plenty.

Cream Cheese Squares 1

Cream Cheese Squares

1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts ~ I used pecans
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsps milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cream butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add flour and chopped nuts and mix to make a crumb mixture. Reserve 1/2 cup and set aside. Press remainder in greased, 8-inch square pan. Bake 15 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool while you make the cream cheese mixture.

Blend sugar and cream cheese in a medium bowl with a mixer until smooth. Add egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat well until smooth. Pour over warm crust and sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 25 minutes.

Cool and cut into squares.

I keep them in the refrigerator because I like cheesecake cold but the recipe doesn’t say anything about keeping them there.

Makes 9 bars.

Cream Cheese Squares 2

Cream Cheese Squares 3

Happy Cooking!

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

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Oh my ~ these are delicious!  I know red velvet everything is big right now and I don’t usually follow trends but this recipe sucked me in.   I actually made them around Valentine’s Day and I put the recipe aside and forgot about it until I downloaded the pictures and there they were.

I chose to try this recipe because it made the brownies from scratch ~ no boxed brownie mix was involved.  I am trying to stay away from boxed mixes especially since it’s so easy to bake from scratch without all the preservatives.  I also liked that it didn’t use a whole bottle of red food coloring like so may recipes do.  Be careful when using it because it turns everything red.  The only thing I did different from the recipe was to leave out the nuts.

Brownies 1

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownies:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

Brownie layer: Melt the butter either on the stove top or in the microwave and pour into a large mixing bowl. In order, add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions. In an small bowl, whisk the eggs and stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour until combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Save 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside. Pour what’s left into the prepared pan.

Cream cheese layer: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Gently spread this mixture on top of the brownies mixture in the prepared pan.

Using a spoon, drop the remaining cocoa batter over the top of the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife or a skewer, drag it through the cream cheese layer and the dropped batter to create a swirl effect.  Try not to mix in the brownie layer on the bottom as much as you can.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 8 servings

Adapted from Food Network

Brownies 2

Brownies 3

Happy Cooking!

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Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares

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This is another yummy recipe from Gooseberry Patch’s new cookbook!  If you would like a chance to win a copy of this cookbook, please go to THIS POST and post in the comment section and let me know what your favorite thing to eat for breakfast is.  I get hungry every time I read through the comments!

I have been making these bars for a long time ~ 20 years at least.  They are one of our favorites ~ especially my son.  Since he moved away, I don’t make them much anymore so it was nice to see this recipe in the cookbook.

They are easy to make and I make mine just a touch different but these are very, very good.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares
Submitted by Jody Geary from Rockland, MA

2 (8 oz) tubes crescent rolls
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened ~ I use less fat
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
cinnamon and sugar mixed

Unroll one tube of crescent rolls in a 13×9 pan and stretch to fit if needed and pinch the seams together.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar; spread over the rolls in the pan.

Top with the other tube of crescent rolls, carefully stretching and pinching the seams together as best you can.

Drizzle the melted butter over the top and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until the bars are golden.

Store cooled bars in the refrigerator.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup Treats

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Today, my recipe for Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes is the recipe of the week at Gooseberry Patch.  I don’t think I’ve posted this recipe here so grab it over there.  It’s really good and can sit in the slow cooker for a bit if the rest of your meal isn’t ready.

This recipe is all over Pinterest and it looked really good and easy to me.  Once I made it, I thought it was just OK while the rest of the family thought it was great and ate them all up.

Now this recipe uses lots of packaged products so if you want to make them from scratch I think it would work fine.

I happened to have a square muffin pan but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use a regular muffin pan.  Just make sure you grease the pan ~ the recipe didn’t call for it but it’s super hard to get them out of the pan if you don’t.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup Treats

1 box brownie mix (milk chocolate or fudge or use your favorite)
1 pkg miniature peanut butter cups
1 pkg Nestle Chocolate Chips (they are in squares in the pkg)

Generously grease a square muffin pan.

Take one chocolate chip cookie and press in the pan to cover bottom as in the picture above. Place one unwrapped peanut butter cup upside down on top of the cookie dough. Spoon some brownie dough over the peanut butter cup, covering it.

Bake at 350º for 18-20 minutes or until brownies are done.

Makes 12 treats.

Happy Cooking!

Granola Bars

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I made these to take to a friend’s brunch on Christmas Eve.  They are super easy to make and are just delicious.  You will never buy granola bars again.

The recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, nuts, etc., but at my local grocery store they sell something called Brain Food.  The one type that I chose was pumpkin seeds, nuts, and raisins mixed together so I used the entire container of this (I think it was 16 oz) instead of each individual ingredients.  I also added a small bag of dried cranberries.  I used fat free sweetened condensed milk to save some calories and this worked perfectly and is how I will make them in the future.

I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it’s a keeper!

Granola Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)

Preheat an oven to 350º.

Line a 13×9-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper; an inch or so of parchment paper should stick up on 2 sides to form lifting handles.

Mix both oats, pumpkin seeds, both nuts, cranberries, and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl and spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes, using slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars.  I went longer for crunchier bars.

Let the bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Let the bars cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 bars.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Perfect for Summer Lemon Bars and Some Chitchat!

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Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!  I hope you have a great day!

We had a wonderful time at our niece’s wedding in Boston ~ she was a beautiful bride and I hope that she and her new hubby have a fabulous life together.  Right now they are in Paris for their honeymoon ~ how great is that?

The happy bride and groom:

To keep this food related, their wedding cupcakes were made by the daughter of Chef Todd English ~ red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese and white chocolate frosting:

On to the lemon bars…this recipe is easy and so lemony!  They are perfect for any time of year but really seem to hit the spot during the summer. Please use fresh lemon juice and zest in this recipe or they won’t be nearly as delicious.

Lemon Bars

Crust:
1 cup butter, room temperature (no substitutes, they just taste better with butter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour

Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tbsps flour
zest of 1 lemon
4 eggs
2 fresh lemons, juiced (no substitutes)

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a mixer bowl, blend together the butter, 2 cups of flour, and 1/2 cup sugar. I mixed it in my KitchenAid ~ it won’t come together in a ball. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and zest then add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk until well combined. Pour filling over the baked crust.

Bake for 20 more minutes.

The bars become more firm as they cool.

Makes anywhere from 12 to 14 servings depending on how large or small they are cut.

Happy Cooking!