Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bars, Bars, Bars!

Hello friends! I went a little crazy baking tonight! This is good news though...I needed to make up for my sad little post last night! Every recipe I tried out tonight was brand new (and one recipe I even kind of made up as I went...) and I am so happy that everything I baked turned out! I know it all turned out because I may have done a little sampling as I went...

Anyways, as for what I did today...well I didn't do alot! I got out to do a little Christmas shopping this afternoon (reluctantly since it's SO cold...when it is this chilly all I want to do is stay in...and bake). I was so surprised at how packed the malls were though with the cold and awful roads! Needless to say I needed a little refueling when I got home. Mom and Dad went to the farmer's market this morning, and brought this little treat home!


I absolutely love this gives you awful garlic breath though. But it definitely, definitely worth it.

I had tried the labaneh from the Happy Camel stall before, but had never tried their pitas...oh my god! This was honestly the best pita I've eaten in my entire life. They were so tender and fresh tasting...and healthy! Definitely worth a try if you stop by the farmer's market!

For dinner we had a good roast beef, a salad and cauliflower smothered in cheese sauce. I was so hungry for some dinner tonight that I FORGOT to take a picture of it! Hopefully the abundance of recipes I've got for you tonight make up for that little slip-up!

The first recipe was one I had never tried...but the title of it really caught my eye...I just had to make it! These bars were really easy, look great, and taste even better!

Mound Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs, oreo crumbs, or a combination of both
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
4 cups flaked coconut
1 (12 ounce) package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the crumbs, sugar and melted butter, and pat into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Combined the condensed milk and coconut and spread over the graham/oreo crust (this can be done as soon as the crust comes out of the oven). Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
When the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips immediately so that the chocolate melts and sticks to the bars. Alternatively you could melt the chocolate chips and spread the melted chocolate onto the bars for a smoother look!
Cool completely and cut into squares!

We just had about a cup left of graham cracker crumbs left in our cupboard, but we did have some oreo cookie crumbs, so I did about a cup of each, and the crust tasted great!

I was a little sick of melting chocolate after this week (such a messy clean up) so I just tossed the chocolate chips onto the bars, still taste great!

After the mound bars, I was in the mood to invent, this is what I came up with (it turned out!!!):

1 1/4 cups of butter
1 or 2 sleeves of graham crackers
1 cup packed brown sugar
1  (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips
walnuts and additional chocolate chips to top (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil.
Melt 1/4 cup of the butter and pour into the cookie sheet, making sure it coats the entire base.
Lay out as many graham crackers as needed to completely cover the cookie sheet in a single layer.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the mixture is boiling, turn heat down to low and let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk. Pour half of this mixture over top of the graham crackers on the cookie sheet.
Toss the cup of chocolate chips into the second half of the mixture and stir until the chips are melted, then also pour this onto the graham crackers.
Using the mixing spoon, create a marbled effect on the cookie sheet by stirring together the chocolate, and non-chocolate caramel mixtures partially!
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and slightly darkened.
Once the bars are out of the oven, you can sprinkle them with walnuts or chocolate chips (or anything else you'd like)!
Cool completely and enjoy!

I am so excited that these turned out well! The sticky caramel set up really nicely after it had cooled completely, and these babies taste soo chocolatey and are bursting with rich caramel flavor! I decided to leave half the pan "plain" and sprinkle the other half with chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. I don't know what to call these things but they definitely need a name!

After I whipped up the untitled bars I felt like making some fudge, I hadn't in so long...and it's so easy! I decided on making some maple walnut fudge (I guess I kind of had a chocolate/caramel/walnut theme tonight). I make my fudge the easy way, in total it probably took less than ten minutes!

Maple Walnut Fudge

2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons maple flavored extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with tin foil.
Combine the butter, evaporated milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the marshmallows, white chocolate chips and maple flavoring.
Stir until the marshmallows and chocolate have melted, then pour into the baking pan.
You can add the walnuts directly into the fudge if you like, or just sprinkle them on top!
And you're done!

This fudge is great, it sets up so quickly! It is the easiest thing ever to make, yet somehow always impresses!


The final baked good I whipped up tonight was something I had never tried before for some reason, and I have no idea why, because it was a cinch to make and will really add a lil' diversity to the load of Christmas baking I've got going! Anyways, here is the recipe!

Peanut Brittle

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if you use salted peanuts)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups peanuts
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda

For this recipe it is important to have everything ready to go, because it comes together really fast, and having to stop mid-recipe to measure something out could mean a big burnt sugary mess!
Butter a cookie sheet or other large pan.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and water in a saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a boil.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the peanuts, and continue to cook (stirring frequently) until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F (if you have a candy thermometer) or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
Remove from heat and immediately stir in the butter and baking soda.
Pour the mixture onto the buttered pan as quick as you can. If you need to spread it out at all, you can use two forks to pull the mixture where it needs to go!
Let the mixture harden then break the candy into pieces to serve!


I ate quite a bit of the peanut brittle is so addictive... Cleaning up the dishes from the peanut brittle wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! Just wash everything under the hottest water your tap produces and it's easy!

Well, there they are: four easy, delicious bar-type recipes to add to your Christmas baking! I've still got a few dishes to do tonight from my baking extravaganza, so I better go, hope you enjoy these!




Tatomme P. Flanagan said...

Bars are so festive.

You're so festive.

I love festivities.

A little over a week Miss Mariel. XOXOXOXOXOX

Karine said...

Wowowow impressive job! :)

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