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Archive for the ‘Bars’ Category

Vegan Brownies

What do you do when in a foreign country with 13 teenagers who don’t speak very much English? You bake with them. This couldn’t be any more of a win-win situation: the kids get to have fun in the kitchen doing something different, and I get to, along with them of course, eat something hopefully baked correctly and delicious that I miss from back home.

In steps the best friend who likes to be healthy and suggests that we make vegan brownies using weird ingredients that I’ve never heard of before but decide to give a try. I mean really, what the heck is okara and who in their right mind makes peanut butter from scratch in a blender (only peanuts, nothing else added), I don’t get it. But she had all of the ingredients and I was willing to be adventurous. After all, I am in Thailand.

The baking process itself went well, no lost limbs, no fires, no language mistranslations, we even got to play hangman post clean-up while waiting for the brownies to bake. However, if you ask the students the end result was less than satisfactory. Apparently Thai people don’t get the chocolate/peanut butter combination that the rest of the world obsesses about. Too much peanut butter they complained about, too gooey, too rich. Are these real teenagers? I don’t understand. (However they are super precious and do love frozen yogurt, proof provided in these pictures, so we get along just great!)

Further proof that the brownies weren’t the biggest hit? While playing speak only English Uno (very educational!) after lunch, the students decided to raise the stakes and make the loser of each game eat a brownie. Everyone was in fits of laughter and on the edge of their seats hoping to not be the unfortunate loser who had to eat a brownie. Because there isn’t anything worse in life than eating a brownie…

I thought the brownies were great. Obviously. They are different than normal but so they should be considering that they are vegan and super healthy. And as if I was going to complain about getting to eat all of the left overs that my students didn’t want!

 

 

 

Vegan Brownies

1 1/2 cups sugar         2/3 cups cocoa powder

1 cup peanut butter     1 cup soy milk

2 tsp vanilla                 1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder     1/4 tsp salt

1 cup okara

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with wax paper.

In a large bowl mix together the sugar, cocoa powder and peanut butter.

Stir in the milk and vanilla.

Add the okara and mix until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool before cutting since the brownies will be quite moist/mushy otherwise.

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Amongst other things, the men in my life have been blessed/cursed with a sweet tooth. Fortunately this works out very well for me, who enjoys baking things, and them, who enjoy consuming copious amounts of sugar.

What to do for Father’s Day and the boyfriend’s birthday? Easy. Chocolate. And peanut butter. Aka the way to any (especially my) man’s heart.

So remember the Sex in a Pan? Believe it or not this is even better. I know, who would have thought that something could be better than Sex in a Pan…but it is.

Rather than a plain crust, brownies were used as the base. Then a peanut butter cream cheese layer, followed by chocolate pudding and whipping cream. Did I mention that this is two layers so now repeat all of those layers? Yes this is big, yes this is delicious, yes this is going to take us a week to eat through, no I am not complaining.

Happy belated Father’s Day to all of the father’s out there. Sorry to inform you that I have the best one ever and I love him a lot. Be jealous. Seriously.

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle

Adapted from The Enchanted Mommy

Brownies layer. . . I used this

Bake your brownies the day before and let them cool completely.

Cut the brownies into cubes and put half of them along the bottom of a trifle dish or large bowl.

Chocolate Pudding Layer

1 large package chocolate pudding    2 cups milk

Combine the ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Allow the pudding to thicken in the fridge.

Whipping Cream Layer

2 cups Heavy Cream
3-4 tbsp sugar     1 tbsp vanilla

Beat cream on high speed until soft peaks form.

Add the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Stick the bowl in the fridge until needed.

Peanut Butter Layer

1 cup creamy peanut butter       1 cup cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar                        2 tbsp milk

Beat peanut butter and cream cheese together until creamy.

Add icing sugar and mix well.  Add 2 tbsp milk and combine.

Take 1 cup of the whipping cream mixture from the fridge and fold it into the peanut butter mixture until just combined.

Layering

Once everything has been prepared you are ready for layering. This can be done in any order. I went with brownies, peanut butter cream cheese, chocolate pudding, whipping cream and repeat. Then top with sliced Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

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Best Cocoa Brownies

I know this seems boring, I know this seems simple, but a) sometimes the simple things in life are the best (that’s the saying right?) and b) sometimes a lot of simple things added together make something crazy amazing.

These are brownies. Simple brownies. Seriously amazing brownies. Like bake them and your entire house will smell amazing for a day, you will be tempted to devour the whole pan in one sitting, and the neighbours and their kids will show up prepared with milk, kind of brownies.

Can we just talk about brownies for a second please? Brownies are so diverse it’s amazing. I mean think about it: cakey brownies, brownies with icing, chewy brownies, brownies with nuts, blonde brownies, fudgy brownies, thin brownies, thick brownies, boxed brownies (because sometimes they are really good) and don’t even get me started on those two bite brownies from a bag that can instantly turn a bad day into the best day. I think I’ve found a new life goal…to find the best brownies out there…

These brownies might come close since they fall into the chewy and fudgy and thin categories. They are also delicious on their own, crazy good served with ice cream and probably one of the best things that I have ever consumed when combined with a few other ingredients, more on that later though…

 

Best Cocoa Brownies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

10 tbsp butter          1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt               1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs                      1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water.

Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is slightly.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.

Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes.

Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

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Slutty Brownies

You know that you must be doing something right when it comes to baking if someone emails you a recipe and not so subtly hints that you should probably make said recipe and bring it in to work for everyone to enjoy.

When this happened to me a few weeks ago I knew that today was the day to make that request come true. After all, it was a pretty epic request that fortunately didn’t disappoint.

Have you noticed a trend in regards to the names of recipes that I’ve been making lately? Sex in a Pan, now Slutty Brownies, I can only imagine (okay I’m not actually imagining) what the next recipe will be called…

But seriously. Slutty Brownies. One layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, a layer of whole Oreo cookies and then brownie to top things off. Pure over the top deliciousness.

Yes the recipe does take a bit of time to make, but all good things in life take time. Although, the process could always be sped up by using a pre made cookie dough and a brownie mix. Buuuut add me to the list of snobs who prefers almost all desserts handmade.

Ps. I think these should be called diabetes brownies, or cardiac arrest brownies, it might be a bit more fitting. But who am I kidding, hand me another piece.

 

 

 

 

Slutty Brownies

Adapted from Eat, Run, Read

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

1 cup softened butter        1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar         2 large eggs

1 tbsp vanilla                    2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda              1 tsp salt

Mini milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of the prepared pan.

Top the cookie dough with a layer of Oreos.

Brownie Layer

1 cup butter          2 ¼ cups sugar

3 large eggs           1 ¼ cups cocoa

1 tsp salt               1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp vanilla          1 ½ cups flour

In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter and sugar, stirring until the butter is melted. (Avoid allowing the mixture to bubble)

In a large bowl beat the eggs with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla till smooth.

Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour, stirring until combined.

Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes.

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Felicia Bars

Procrastinate: to put off until another day or time; defer; delay.

Well that word certainly sums up what I’m doing right now. As I sit here needing to plan lessons and mark papers and get ready for the week all that I can think of is everything that I want to bake. This is not good.

Productive: having the power of producing.

That is 100% what I need to be right now. Spending time on Pinterest and Facebook is not helping my productivity. Staring out the window at the sunshine makes me want summer that much more. Watching the clock tick has turned into a fun past time, and thank goodness for baking and baking blogs which make the time go by even faster. As if that’s what I need right now…

Making Felicia Bars wouldn’t be a form of procrastination. I don’t think.

Who Felicia is I’ll never know. What I do know though is that these bars are amazing and delicious and remind me of my childhood and they take no time to make. Butterscotch chips, mini marshmallows, coconut and rice krispies, what’s not to love?

You have my permission to join me in procrastinating whatever it is you need to avoid doing and make these instead. In no way is that a waste of time, I promise.

Felicia Bars

1/4 cup margarine

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup Rice Krispies

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 pkg mini colored marshmallows

In a saucepan melt the margarine, peanut butter and butterscotch chips. Allow to cool.

Pour the remaining ingredients into the pan and mix until well combined.

Pat into an 8 x 8 pan and refrigerate.

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Please tell me that you have hopped onto the Pinterest bandwagon. Ever need to waste a few hours of time? Pinterest is the place to do it. I’ve been slightly obsessed for roughly a year now and can definitely say that I’m a better person because of it (okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration). But for real, hop onto the wagon, it’s a good place to be.

Justification as to why Pinterest rules my life…I’ve since become more crafty. As in I did one craft. Aka I boosted my craftiness 10 fold at least. But seriously, I made this, and I’m so obsessed and in love with it. So simple to do as well, so get on it.

I’ve also discovered a million new places that I want to travel to, have been witness to countless good outfits that I will never be able to afford, house decorating tips that force me to remember that I am a mid-20 year old without my own place, oh and I also have a board for all of my wedding wants. Not that I’m planning a wedding…or am engaged…or am anywhere near being engaged. And now I’m feeling slightly embarrassed and self-conscious…

All of those reasons aside, my most favourite thing of all is the access that I have gained to millions and millions of amazing recipes that I never would have known about before. Good thing I am basically a wannabe 45 year old housewife. For example, this avocado chicken? Delicious. Homemade granola bars? Genius.

A few days ago I decided that I had gotten lazy, complacent if you will. Rather than always “pinning” recipes I needed to get to work and start making the things on my food board. This recipe is where I started.

Knock off Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Basically these are equally as delicious as the real thing, are probably the easiest dessert that I have ever made, and they also keep well for days in the fridge…as if that will be necessary though.

So get pinning, but more importantly don’t just pin, make the crafts, bake the food, travel to the amazing places. Don’t get complacent.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs       3 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter                      1 cup melted butter
1/2 bag chocolate chips                         1-2 tbsp butter
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the icing sugar. Add the peanut butter and the melted butter and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 pan and stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes.
While the peanut butter mixture is cooling, melt the chocolate chips and 1-2 tablespoons of butter.
Pour the chocolate over the peanut butter mixture and spread evenly. Put the bars in the fridge and allow the chocolate to set.

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No Bake Granola Bars

Granola bars. Pivotal to anyone’s existence.

Elementary school recess was probably the best creation ever. What could be better than digging in the sand, swinging on the monkey bars and swings, playing California kick ball, making routines on the bike rack bars…holy walking down memory lane here.

What else was the best? Recess snacks. Um hello Dunkaroos, Soda-licious, Fruit Roll-Up, Fruit by the Foot, Teddy Grahams, bags of chips, freezies, mini Oreos…and I wonder why my fat years hit from grades 4 to 7.

Come high school everything changed. Recess was for talking to friends in the hallways, walking to the next class and last second meetings. Those sugary sweets were also replaced by the granola bar. Very mature of me, I was a high school student after all.

Now that I’m back in high school I figured it was time to resurrect the recess granola bar. But this time the granola bars are home-made, which is probably the best thing ever because I can make whatever I want.

This week it was all about the peanut butter, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Maybe not the healthiest choice but there’s always next week which will probably be filled with craisins and almonds. So excited about this; endless combinations, endless opportunities.

 

Yes I am going to town on this one.

No Bake Granola Bars

Adapted from LaurensLatest

1/4 cup butter               1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar      1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups oats                    1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp mini chocolate chips + 2 tbsp butterscotch chips (or whatever fillings you want)

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside.

In a small pot, melt butter, honey, peanut butter and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes.

Pour in vanilla and stir.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients.

Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. Be sure to press them down so they stick together.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Press down lightly.

Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Store at room temperature.

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