Meyer Lemon Bars

January 28, 2013 in bars

I’m giving away a copy of Carla Hall’s Cooking with Love – make sure you enter! (And did you see that Carla actually commented on that post?! Crazy!)

This is the first year I’ve gotten my hands on meyer lemons. The past couple years I’ve seen them at the store and said, “I’m gonna go right home, find a recipe, and then come back for these!” And then by the time I make it back to the store, they’re gone. The season is just so short! So this year I snatched a bag up as soon as I spotted them.

My husband loves lemon bars and even though he’s doing the Paleo thing, I knew he’d cheat for them. So obviously I made some. Because I live to sabotage his diet. You really can’t go wrong with lemon bars. Sweet and tart all at once with a shortbread crust. I mean, there’s nothing I don’t like about them. If you can find meyer lemons, I definitely suggest trying them out in bars. (I was at the store yesterday and saw them so I’m hoping you will still be able to find them too.)

One year ago: Superbowl Snacks
Three years ago: Italian Bread

Meyer Lemon Bars

from Treats

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the finished bars
pinch of salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
For the filling:
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup meyer lemon juice (from about 4-5 medium lemons)
finely grated zest from the lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in to 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

    To make the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 9x9-inch square pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. Put the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly, about 2 seconds just to combine. Add the butter pieces and process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the entire pan bottom.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 - 23 minutes.
  4. To make the filling:
  5. In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and whole eggs until combined. Whisk in the sugar, meyer lemon juice, zest, and salt.
  6. Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), about 6 minutes.
  7. Immediately pour the curd through a fine-mesh steel strainer set over a bowl. Stir in the heavy cream and pour the curd into the warm crust.
  8. Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the bars from the pan and cut into squares, wiping the knife blade clean between cuts as necessary. Sift powdered sugar over the bars.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/01/28/meyer-lemon-bars/

Mississippi Mud Brownies

August 29, 2012 in bars

I didn’t plan on sharing these brownies with y’all. I was so disappointed with how they looked when they came out of the oven and even more disappointed with my photos. But then the other night I had a Lean Cuisine for dinner and then chased it with 3 of these and decided that ehh, they might be hideous but they were way too good to not share!

They are brownies that are covered with peanut butter, marshmallows, pecans, and a chocolate frosting. So basically all my favorite things.

These are so quick and such an easy way to jazz up the regular brownie. You could even start with a brownie mix which is probably what I’ll do next time just to make it even easier. And yeah, I will definitely be making these again. And again and again! That good.

One year ago: Almond Bliss German Chocolate Cake
Two years ago: Baking with Betty

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Ingredients

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cups peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cups pecans, chopped and toasted
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray it with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1/2 cup butter, sugar, and 3/4 teaspoons vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing sure each is fully incorporated. Mix dry ingredients into batter just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. When brownies are done baking, combine peanut butter and oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds to soften. Pour over hot brownie and spread it to the sides. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven to bake for 3 more minutes, or until the marshmallows puff. Remove from oven and top with toasted pecans.
  5. To make frosting, combine confectioners sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of the milk and heat until the mixture just comes to boil. Pour this mixture into confectioners sugar/salt mixture and beat on moderately high speed until smooth and glossy. If frosting is not pourable at this point, add remaining 2 tablespoons of milk Lastly, beat in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, then pour evenly over puffed marshmallows and pecans.
  6. Let cool completely in refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Cut into squares.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/08/29/mississippi-mud-brownies/

Butter Brownies

July 17, 2012 in bars

If you’ve been reading for a couple years (bless you) you might remember when I went to NYC with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter for a recipe contest. We were asked to create a holiday-ish recipe and I had my heart set on a white chocolate peppermint brownie but couldn’t get it to work. The white chocolate just didn’t melt well for me and after 5 or 6 failed attempts I ended up giving up and doing a regular brownie.

Well, recently Tracey made some white chocolate brownies and said that the key was to not let the white chocolate get too hot. It was a total duh! moment for me and I immediately put white chocolate chips on my grocery list because I had been wanting to make these Butter Brownies forever!

The name is kind of deceiving  – I mean, they do have butter in them but they’re really white chocolate brownies. They are fantastic and amazing and if you love white chocolate and almond extract, you will have trouble not eating the entire pan. I would say the texture of them is closer to a blondie than a brownie but I only used 1 jumbo egg – if you substitute 2 large eggs like the recipe says, I bet you’d get a softer bar.

To melt the white chocolate without overheating it, I melted the butter and then poured that over the white chocolate. That way the chips were never really over the heat source (double boilers even failed me with the white chocolate). It worked perfectly! And you better believe I’ll be doing a white chocolate peppermint brownie win the holidays roll around again!

Two years ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars

Butter Brownies

12 - 16 brownies

from Fat Witch Brownies

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces white chocolate chips
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 jumbo egg, room temperature (can substitute 2 large eggs)
½ teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment or spray with oil.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
  3. Put the white chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl.
  4. Put the butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour this mixture over the white chocolate chips; let stand for about 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to stir and make sure all the white chocolate chips melt. Let cool slightly before proceeding.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg and extract together. Slowly whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it to the edges. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/07/17/butter-brownies/

Baked S’mores

July 13, 2012 in bars

Last week I bought a box of graham crackers, a 6-pack of Hershey’s bars, and 2 bags of marshmallows so that we’d have s’mores supplies for the rest of the summer. Do I even need to tell you that we’ve already torn through all that? And to make it worse, I’m scared of the grill so we’re doing stove s’mores and then huddling together in the kitchen as we stuff our faces. It’s real cute.

I did manage to get these Baked S’mores made before we ran out of supplies and I’m so happy I did! I think I like them even better than regular s’mores because instead of whole graham crackers you do a graham cracker crust sort of deal so they’re ridiculously buttery. And the crust stays nice and soft! They’re so perfect.

The recipe calls for marshmallow fluff but I used regular marshmallows – they kind of melted into the crust. You can’t see them but you can definitely taste them. I would definitely use fluff if you want it to look like real s’mores but the marshmallows worked fine if you aren’t too worried about appearances.

One year ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Two years ago:
Chicken Pesto Pizza
Four years ago: Lemonade Iced Tea Sorbet

Baked S’mores

Ingredients

½ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1â…“ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 super-sized (5 oz.) Hershey’s chocolate bars
1½ cups marshmallow fluff (I used regular marshmallows)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray with cooking oil (optional).
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated.
  3. Sift together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until just combined.
  4. Divide dough in half and press half of it into an even layer on the bottom of prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough, break if necessary to get it to fit in a single layer.
  5. Spread marshmallow fluff evenly over the chocolate layer.
  6. Roll out the remaining dough, just large enough to fit in the 8×8-inch pan. Place dough on top of marshmallow fluff and press down slightly. (Alternately, you can piece it together on top of the fluff instead of rolling but the top might crack apart during baking.)
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until deeply golden. Cool slightly before cutting.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/07/13/baked-smores/

Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chunk Bars

July 2, 2012 in bars


I want to thank each and every one of you for the kind words over the past week. I’m happy to tell you guys that the Waldo Canyon Fire is 55% contained (!!) which is absolutely insane! I don’t think anyone expected this much progress so quickly.

It was a crazy scary week and even though we were a relatively safe distance from the fire, our bags were packed and by the door. I took the below photo minutes before they announced that the fire had done exactly what we all hoped it wouldn’t do: it “exploded” and made it’s way into a neighborhood. It was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen. They had to evacuate 26,000 people in a matter of minutes. Horses were being let loose because their owners had no other option. It was awful to watch on television and I can’t even imagine being one of those people who watched fire going up their street as they drove away.

It’s also been truly amazing to see this community work together. The news would say “Firefighters need socks!” and within minutes the #waldocanyonfire stream on Twitter would be filled with photos of cleared out store shelves. If you are looking to donate, check out HelpColoradoNow.org. And Erin will be doing a bake sale for the High Park Fire starting on Sunday – I’ll be sure to remind you because I know you want to bid.

So about these bars.

This is the second time in the past few months that I’m going to tell you something is pretty much German chocolate cake frosting spread onto a crust and baked. (First time here!) And just like that time, I decided to make these based solely on the recipe name and then was all WTF once I got halfway through the recipe. I really don’t know why I do this to myself.

But the bars are awesome so I guess that’s all that matters! Like I said, it’s like the pecan frosting you put on German chocolate cake but with chocolate chips included and then that’s baked on a shortbread-ish crust. They were so easy to throw together and they’re pretty much foolproof if you’re looking for something easy to maybe take to a 4th of July BBQ.

One year ago: Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chunk Bars

from The Modern Baker

Ingredients

For the crust:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
For the topping:
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
4 eggs
â…” cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2â…” cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. To make the crust:
  3. Sift together the flour, baking power, and salt; set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. On the lowest speed, beat in the flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix only until the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  6. Put the dough into the prepared pan and press it to all the sides. Bake until it is puffed and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while you make the topping.
  7. To make the topping:
  8. Place brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Start whisking in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla; then fol in the coconut, pecans, an chocolate.
  9. Spread the topping evenly over the crust.
  10. Bake until the filling is set and brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Cool the pan on a wire rack. Use the parchment to lift out of the pan an cut into squares.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/07/02/coconut-pecan-chocolate-chunk-bars/

 

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