Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

If you haven’t noticed I’m rather obsessed with the combination of peanut butter and jelly. I already have granola bars, cookies, bars, and puppy chow peanut butter and jelly recipes here on the blog. It’s a classic flavor combination that will never, ever go out of style. I forbid it!

The possibilities of new peanut butter and jelly recipes are endless. You are never going to see me stop posting peanut butter and jelly recipes here on the blog.

Luckily, Peanut Butter & Company is just as obsessed with peanut butter and jelly as me. With back to school season here, Peanut Butter & Company challenged some bloggers to create a new, unique peanut butter and jelly recipe.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

I got thinking about the possibilities and settled on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but not just any peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Oh, no! This is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Rice Krispies treats instead of bread. That’s right! I said it. Rice Krispies treats instead of bread!

Brace yourself for the awesomeness of buttery, sticky, crunchy, marshmallowy Rice Krispies treats surrounding creamy peanut butter and flavorful strawberry jam. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the flavors and textures paired, especially the pop of flavor from the jam. This treat is going to be your new favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Plus, Peanut Butter and Company has generously offered to give one lucky reader 1 jar of Smooth Operator peanut butter, 1 jar of Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter, 1 jar of Seriously Strawberry jam, and 1 jar of Awesome Apricot preserves. Now that I’ve tried their jam, I can’t decide if I like it or the peanut butter better! So flavorful – like eating fresh fruit.

To enter the giveaway, answer the question: What creative peanut butter and jelly recipe would you like to try?

To earn additional entries:
Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

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Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.

The giveaway ends Friday, September 5, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Yum Squad food blogger club, I received product and the giveaway in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

1 10 ounce bag marshmallows (mini or jumbo)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

4 ½ - 5 cups Rice Krispies

½ cup Smooth Operator peanut butter

½ cup Seriously Strawberry jam

2 tablespoons peanut butter chips

Instructions

Generously butter an 8 inch square pan. Set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and butter. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until all of the marshmallows and butter are melted.

Add the Rice Krispies a few cups at a time and stir until fully coated. Continue adding Rice Krispies until the mixture is gooey, but there is not a lot of marshmallow in the bottom of the bowl. Pour half of this mixture into the prepared pan. Press it down into an even layer with buttered hands or spatula.

Spread the peanut butter in an even layer over the treats. Spread the jam into an even layer over the peanut butter. Carefully spread the remaining Rice Krispies mixture over the jam. Press down slightly using buttered hands. Sprinkle with the peanut butter chips and press into the treats.

Cool completely in pan before slicing and serving. Treats may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

Every time I hear the words “back to school” a chill goes down my spine. I’m so thankful those dreaded days are over forever and ever for me. Even so, the commercials about school supplies, the talk on the news, the upcoming sightings of those big yellow school buses. It’s enough to make me want to cry. But then I remember, for me summer is endless and nonexistent all at the same time. If I want to take a day off in the middle of the week just to go shopping I can, but with a blog and big writing dreams, the work is never far away, especially in this age of social media and smartphones.

If you didn’t already guess or know from reading my blog, I didn’t exactly like school. This time of year was perhaps the worst of all. After roughly two and a half months off, going back to the classroom seemed nearly impossible. How could I give up freedom and fun for early mornings and “learning?”

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

In the weeks leading up to the first day of school, the anxiety would creep in as teacher assignments and schedules would come in the mail. Books and uniforms needed to be ordered, supplies purchased. I put off as much as possible until the last minute. I didn’t care if all of my folders had to be neon green as long as it meant I didn’t have to go shopping until the day before school began. Mom did a lot to help me out and relieve the pressure as well, giving me as much of the summer as possible.

Luckily, I never had summer assignments. I feel so bad for the kids who are given reading lists and projects to do over the summer. At the end of one school year, I didn’t even know who the teachers would be the next, so they couldn’t give me assignments. Score! We only get summers for so long, we should get to enjoy them.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

On the first day back to school and many days during the school year, I’d find a note from Mom in my lunchbox or purse. It provided comfort to me, much like little treats like these Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars will provide a fun and comforting treat before, during, or after school.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

These easy to make, no-bake treats are healthy, yet definitely a sweet treat! Full of oats, natural sugar, protein packed peanut butter, flavorful dried blueberries, and Fruity Pebbles and peanut butter chips for a special surprise, these are sure to be a hit for kids everywhere and make going back to school a little easier!  There’s no actual jelly in them, but that classic flavor comes through thanks to the blueberries and Fruity Pebbles.  Plus, as long as you use gluten free oats, these are gluten free!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1 ½ cups quick cooking oats (gluten free, if necessary)

1 ½ cups Fruity Pebbles

½ cup dried blueberries

½ cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter and honey. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave on high an additional minute. The mixture should be bubbling; if it is not, microwave an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the vanilla.

Add oats and Pebbles and stir until fully coated. Add blueberries and peanut butter chips and stir until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly. Refrigerate for about 2 hours to firm before cutting into bars.

Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up 6 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave about 30 seconds.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
Back to School Beginnings

Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers

>Chicken Schnitzle from Panning the Globe

 

Back to School Sips

Back to School Super Snacks

Back to School Sweets and Treats

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

I have always loved when my aunt, Debbie, comes to visit. Since I can remember, I’ve looked forward to her trips to see my parents and me and spend time with us.

She’s my cool aunt. You know, the member of my family, other than my parents, that I look up to, admire, want to spend time with. I distinctly remember her past visits fondly. They involved lots of shopping, watching movies, and going out to eat.

Cherry Pie Bars

I think my all-time favorite visit of hers was a long time ago when we spent a day painting our nails purple, eating pretzel nuggets right from the bag, and watching Spice World. I told you it was a long time ago! I sometimes wish I could transport back to that day.

It had been a very long time since Debbie came to visit, so late last year I asked her if she’d like to take a trip here and go to the Justin Timberlake concert with Mom and me (more on that fabulous show next week!). She said yes! It just took Justin Timberlake to get her to visit; no one can say no to Justin! While it seemed like the concert was eons away at the time, it came up super quickly.

We didn’t waste a single moment of the long weekend. The time flew by and was full of talking, a day of shopping, and some baking! We had to get in the kitchen for some bonding time.

Cherry Pie Bars

We made Cherry Pie Bars. Blackberry Pie Bars are one of my favorite recipes, so I was excited to mix them up with cherries. They did not disappoint. The crisp buttery shortbread with the creamy vanilla filling, and those juicy, sweet cherries is an irresistible combination. Plus, they are equally tasty warm from the oven or cold from the refrigerator. We could not stop eating them!

Even better than the bars was the time spent with Mom and Debbie in the kitchen talking and baking the day away. It’s a memory forever treasured in my mind. I really hope Debbie’s next visit is soon . . . even if it doesn’t involve Justin or Cherry Pie Bars.

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

Filling

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup sour cream

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

6 cups fresh Bing cherries, washed, dried, stemmed, and pitted

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, stir together orange and lemon zest, sugar, flour, and salt until combined. Add butter and work in with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the butter is about the size of peas and has been well distributed.

Reserve 1 ½ cups of the shortbread in a small bowl. Pour the remainder of the shortbread into the pan and press it in firmly. Bake 15-20 minutes until light golden brown.

While the crust cools, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, and vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated. Fold in the cherries. Pour the filling over the baked crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping.

Place the pan on a baking sheet larger than the pan to catch any drips (mine dripped a lot) and bake for an additional 45-55 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool at least one hour before cutting. Bars may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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How Suits Inspires Me + Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

I have been wanting to write a letter to Suits creator Aaron Korsh for awhile now, but I couldn’t find an address to send it to him. Then I realized I have a vehicle through my blog. I figured I’d post the letter here and cross my fingers he’ll read it. Here goes nothing!

Dear Aaron,

When I watch Suits, I think three things. First, “Yay, Suits is on,” because it’s pretty much my favorite show. Second, I wish Harvey was real and would be my boyfriend since he’s smart and handsome and charismatic and basically perfect (am I right, ladies?). Third, I want nothing more from life than to have the opportunity to create a show as wonderful as Suits.

Suits takes me away from my life and all its problems. It makes me happy, makes me cheer for the characters, makes me wish I was a part of the characters’ world. Very few people have the talent you do to create such escapism, but I believe I do.

I have several completed novels, two completed screenplays, and a spec script. I have submitted my novels to agents on several occasions without success. I have submitted one of my screenplays to contests and received positive feedback, which is inspiring. There are, however, very few agents that accept unsolicited submissions from screenwriters.

Because I so admire your work, I was wondering if you would help me get my foot in the door and start my career. I’d appreciate any advice you could offer or any connections you could give me. Seriously, only a moment of your time would mean the world to me. I hope you have had the chance to read this letter. And if you have, thank you for doing so! It only takes one person to make my dreams come true, and I think that person just might be you. Oh, and thank you for creating Suits!

Best,
Laura Dembowski

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

For those of you here for a recipe and not to hear about my dreams, you’ll be glad you stuck around. These cherry crumb bars are crazy good. Yes, making them means pitting a little less than two hundred cherries, but they are worth every moment of the messy work. I recommend investing in a cherry pitter, but you can also pit cherries easily with a paring knife. I’ve done it both ways because summer means pitting lots of cherries for treats like this. The slightly crispy, slightly crumbly shortbread crust, paired with the sweet, juicy cherries, and the slightly sandy, melt in your mouth topping is the perfect combination, just like the world of Suits!

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Sweet Cherry Crumb Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

5 heaping cups Bing cherries, stemmed, pitted, and halved

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar, divided

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9 by 13 inch pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and work it in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the butter is evenly distributed in pea sized pieces and the mixture is crumbly.

In a medium bowl, stir together cherries, 1 cup of the crumb mixture, remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon until well combined.

Pour half of the remaining crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Press it down firmly with your hands and bake for about 12 minutes, until light golden brown.

Allow crust to cool slightly before spreading the cherry mixture on to it in an even layer. Top cherries with remaining crumb topping. Press the topping gently into the cherries. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the cherries are bubbling. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Crepes of Wrath

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Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats #SundaySupper

Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

I’m a computer serial killer. I should be paid for my skills, but unfortunately, they end up costing me . . . big time. A couple years ago my laptop died, and a couple had died before it. The clock battery wore out, and even the people at Geek Squad were like “yeah, I wouldn’t bother fixing it.” So Dad picked up a new one for me. Same brand, nicer model. And pretty much exactly two years later, guess what. It died.

Well, okay, it’s on life support. And I need it to hang in there until I can find the time to set up my new one. And with several promising writing projects and lots of blog posts in the pipeline, it might be a little while. I’ll also be setting up Mom’s new computer, as hers ran the no longer supported Windows XP. Apparently she has a computer green thumb.

Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

I have a sneaking suspicion the clock battery is the culprit this time too. But did I get a different brand this time? Nope. The reason? Apparently in the two years since I made my last computer purchase, most manufacturers have eliminated the CD/DVD drive. WHAT????

I cannot be without a CD/DVD drive. I can’t do it. I run vital computer programs via disc – hello Final Draft and Microsoft Office. And I sometimes still burn CDs. There I said it. I’m the loser without an iPod (not that I want one – I know I wouldn’t use it); I jam to awesome mix CDs. Here’s to hoping I can keep this computer alive and kicking for more than two years . . . but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

After a long, busy week, this Sunday Supper theme of Five Ingredient or Less Recipes was more than welcome. I also made this a no-bake treat. These Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats are easy to make and crazy good. Whenever I make Rice Krispies Treats, I like them, but they don’t live up to my lofty expectations. These? Oh, those expectations are in their Golden Oreo cookie crust dust. These are what Rice Krispies are meant to taste like.

Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

A no-bake Golden Oreo crust that will melt in your mouth sits under the gooiest, chewiest, softest Rice Krispies Treats you’ve ever tasted. That’s because I used a little extra butter and a much higher marshmallow to Rice Krispies ratio. I used Marshmallow Crispy Oreos to intensify that cereal treat flavor, but traditional or Mega Stuf Golden Oreos will work just as well. I think I’ll need another batch of these to keep me company while I set up my new computer.

Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

Crust

25 Marshmallow Crispy or Golden Oreos

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Treats

10 Marshmallow Crispy or Golden Oreos, coarsely chopped

1 10 ounce bag mini marshmallows

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

3 ¼ cups Rice Krispies

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment. Make the crust. Place the Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and process until ground into crumbs. Pour into a bowl and stir together with butter until fully coated. Pour into the prepared pan and press down firmly to form a crust in the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, until firm.

After the crust has chilled, make the treats. In a large microwave safe bowl, place marshmallows and butter. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between to promote melting and prevent burning, until fully melted. Add Oreos and Rice Krispies and stir until fully incorporated. Pour the treat mixture on top of the crust. Spread into an even layer and press down firmly with hands. Refrigerate at least 30 more minutes to set before cutting into bars and serving. Treats may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

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Please check out the other Sunday Supper recipes!

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Appetizers, Salads and Starters

 

Side and Accompaniments

 

Main Dishes

 

Dessert and Beverages

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

 

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Fruity Pebbles Granola Bars

Fruity Pebbles Granola Bars - Gluten Free, No Bake

I’m always hot.  No, not that kind of hot.  I’m talking temperature hot.  I have no idea why, but I’ve always become overheated very easily.  Even in this icy cold winter, I’m warm.  Put me outside and I turn into a human icicle instantly, but inside with the oven on and the heat running, sometimes my face is flush and my body craving a cool breeze.

Some of the heat waves are triggered by stress, others an intense workout, and some have no cause that I can pinpoint, though I do find the heat to be very irritating.  When it comes on I feel like I’m being strangled and find myself willing it to go off.

Fruity Pebbles Granola Bars - Gluten Free, No Bake

In fact, the heat never gets turned up higher than 68 during the day, and at night things dip down to a chilly 59.  It is worth noting I can’t give up blankets when I’m sitting and chilling or sleeping, so that probably has something to do with my being warm.  My parents are always cold.  But they can bundle up.  What am I supposed to do?  Walk around naked?  I’m not Lena Dunham!

This phenomenon must run in my family, as my aunt keeps her heat on 62 all day.  That’s too cold even for me!

Fruity Pebbles Granola Bars - Gluten Free, No Bake

You might wonder why I love summer and want to move to a warmer climate.  Summer brings a different kind of heat that rarely bothers me.  In fact, I crave it on a daily basis.  Plus, I love when the air conditioning comes on, the ceiling fan is always on high, and I have a little tabletop fan that blows cooling air right at me, Beyoncé style.

These Fruity Pebbles Granola Bars were a hot commodity in my house.  Mom, Dad, and I all loved them.  I know I just posted Breakfast Bars, but these no bake, gluten free beauties could not wait!  The hearty, chewy oats, the crunchy almonds, the sweet raisins, and that classic Fruity Pebbles flavor make these totally irresistible.  Plus, those bright Pebbles make me smile!  I know these bars will make you smile too :)

Fruity Pebbles Granola Bars - Gluten Free, No Bake

Fruity Pebbles Granola Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

2 ½ cups quick cooking oats

1 ½ cups Fruity Pebbles

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup almonds, chopped

½ cup raisins

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal later.

In a large bowl, stir together oats and Pebbles. In a medium microwave safe bowl, stir together peanut butter and honey. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave on high for an additional minute. The mixture should then be bubbling. If it is not, microwave it an additional 30 seconds. Stir in vanilla extract

Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until fully combined. Add almonds and raisins and stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed and a cohesive mixture is formed.

Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth into an even layer, then press mixture down firmly with your hands. Refrigerate for about 2 hours to allow bars to firm before cutting. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

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Vegan, Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

Vegan Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

Up until a few years ago, dinner without meat was pretty much unthinkable.  Whether beef, chicken, or pork, my dinner plate was a balance of meat, starch, and vegetables.  Then my taste buds changed and my horizons broadened dramatically.

I realized I don’t even really like chicken, beef and pork taste a lot better when eaten less frequently, and even fish doesn’t need to be on the plate every night.  Some of my favorite dinners are not only meatless, but also vegan.  Quinoa salads, chickpea salads, guacamole, pureed vegetable soups.  I crave these foods regularly.  My ten year old self would be shocked at my current food preferences.

Vegan Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

Because this is primarily a baking blog, almost everything I make is meatless.  So for this meatless Sunday Supper, I wanted to challenge myself and make something vegan.  I can whip up a gluten free recipe in a heartbeat, but vegan recipes are much more difficult.  A lot of recipes just need eggs and/or butter.

Rest assured neither is present in these Vegan, Gluten Free Breakfast Bars.  These are an awesome on the go breakfast or snack.  Though they fell apart a little, their irresistible flavor and soft texture make them a recipe I’ll make again and again.  The almond butter and maple syrup shine through, but the orange juice soaked prunes and apricots are the real stars.  They are little flavor explosions in your mouth!  I’ll be starting many more days with these healthy bars.

Vegan Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

Vegan Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

Vegan, Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

Zest and juice of one orange

½ cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup prunes, chopped

1 cup almonds, chopped

2 cups quick cooking oats

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup almond butter

¼ cup canola oil

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal later.

Place the orange zest in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together orange juice, apricots, and prunes. Set aside to soak while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

In a large bowl, stir together almonds, oats, and cinnamon.

In the same bowl as the orange zest, add almond butter, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir until fully combined.

Pour the orange zest mixture over the oats, and add the dried fruit, leaving excess orange juice in the bowl. Stir until ingredients are evenly distributed and the mixture comes together. Press it into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly golden brown and set. Cool completely in the pan before slicing and enjoying. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Bojon Gourmet

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Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Salads, Soups, Stews and Starters

“Meat”balls

Pastas, Pizzas and Casseroles

Burgers

Tacos & Everything Wrapped

Other Main and Side Dishes

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Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday!
 We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Pecan Bars #SundaySupper

 Pecan Bars

First of all thank you so much for voting for Pies and Plots in The Kitchn’s The Homies Best Sweets and Baking Blog Contest!  Your support means so much to me <3  I finished in fourth place.  While I didn’t technically win, I feel like a winner thanks to all of you.  I mean who would have thought this little blog could compete with all the others out there?!?  I can already tell this is going to be an awesome year!

Here in the Detroit area Fat Tuesday is also known as Paczki Day.  If you are unfamiliar with them, paczki are big, yeast doughnuts typically filled with jelly or custard and coated with glaze or sugar.  They are buttery, dense, soft, and pillowy.  The best jelly doughnut you’ll ever have.  At least that’s what people say and what I remember from being a kid.

Pecan Bars

Last year, Mom, Dad, and I went to Hamtramck, the paczki capital, to pick up some super authentic and sure to be delicious paczki from one of the best bakeries that make the time consuming treats.  It was a cold, snowy day, but it was gonna be so worth it to sink our teeth into these glorious goodies.

The bakery wasn’t that crowded since we went the weekend before Paczki Day, as wait times on the actual day routinely exceed an hour.  It smelled intoxicating and they looked great.  I could barely wait until after dinner for my treat.

Pecan Bars

But wait I did, and when I took that first bite . . . I was not impressed.  They were hard and chewy, almost like bread.  There wasn’t enough glaze.  Or was there any at all?  And the jam tasted like nothing.  I tore open almost all of the paczki, hoping one of them would be good, but they just weren’t.  How could this be possible?  Even the guys at Dad’s work were unimpressed when he took in the leftovers. 

This year, I figured I’d stick to my own treats (though Brown Eyed Baker’s Paczki are on my list for next year!), so I made Pecan Bars and I am so glad I did.  These are the best Fat Tuesday treat ever!  The crust is so buttery and crumbly, and then there’s that filling.  Gooey and caramel-y with tons of toasty pecans.  I kept taking little tastes of these bars just to make sure they were good ;)   Plus, I found these really easy to make.  I think Paczki Day just became Pecan Bar Day!

Pecan Bars

Pecan Bars

Pecan Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Crust

1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons cold water

Filling

1 stick unsalted butter, very soft, almost melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup all-purpose flour

3 cups pecans

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan and line with parchment. Butter the parchment.

Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it is in pea sized pieces. Add the water and continue working the dough until it comes together when pressed. Firmly press the dough in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, and vanilla until fully combined and all streaks of butter are gone. Stir in flour until just incorporated. Stir in the pecans until fully coated.

Pour the pecan mixture over the baked crust and spread into an even layer. Return to the oven and bake for about 30 additional minutes. Cool bars completely in the pan. Once cool, cut bars and store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bars may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Claire Robinson

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Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Cocktails & Other Beverages:

Appetizers:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Desserts:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars #SundaySupper

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

Today is a big day!  I’m celebrating two birthdays: Dad’s and Sunday Supper’s.  I’m so excited!  Some celebrations are just what this dreary January needs.  Clearly, Dad’s birthday is a big deal; it’s even a milestone birthday . . . I won’t say which one.  His present is waiting to be opened and he’s already devoured his birthday treat (ah, the life of a blogger), but I’ll make sure he has plenty of tasty food today.

He is such an important part of my life.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.  I cherish our conversations and one on one time together.  I love when he, Mom, and I do something fun together.  He never stops fighting for me and my dreams, even when we all grow a little frustrated and discouraged.  He is my faithful taste tester, errand runner, and flower planter, and is an invaluable part of my everyday life.  The three of us go together like peanut butter, jelly, and caramel :)   Happy Birthday, Dad!  Here’s to an amazing year, and many more to follow.

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

It’s also Sunday Supper’s birthday!  Sunday Supper is one of the most important parts of my blog life.  It’s no secret I often struggle with my blog and its failure to live up to my lofty expectations.  Sunday Supper has helped my blog grow leaps and bounds, which I really appreciate, but more than that, it’s introduced me to so many other bloggers.  I am part of a community with Sunday Supper.

I look forward to seeing the themes each week.  And then I bound to my computer on Sunday to interact with my blog friends and see what they created.  It has opened up a new world for me and made me feel like I’m a part of something for the first time EVER!  So thank you Isabel and the Sunday Supper team for creating this movement and allowing me to be a part of it.

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

To celebrate these birthdays, I needed a seriously awesome treat, and these Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars did not disappoint.  I knew Dad would love these and I was right.  He still can’t stop talking about them.  I love them too with the peanut butter-oat crust and topping that is a little soft, a little chewy, and sturdy enough to support the fabulous filling of cherry preserves (though you can use whatever flavor you like) and caramel sauce.  I happened to have a jar of Jeni’s Salty Caramel Sauce that was calling my name and it was perfect in these bars.  Plus, they are gluten free and you would NEVER know it!  Though I have a giant sweet tooth, I did find these to be a little too sweet.  I cut down the amount of sugar in the recipe below to combat that.  In addition, a thin layer of peanut butter under the jelly and/or a few peanuts in the topping would be a great twist to add a little more complexity.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love these bars and know you will too.  I think Dad will be requesting them every year for his birthday!

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

 

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: PT10 M

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

½ stick unsalted butter

¾ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)

½ cup jam/jelly/preserves, whatever flavor you like (I used American Spoon Cherry Spoon Fruit)

¼ cup salted caramel sauce (I used Jeni’s)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan and line it with parchment. Lightly butter the parchment.

In a large microwave safe bowl, microwave butter until melted, 60-75 seconds. Add the peanut butter and microwave for an additional 45 seconds. Stir the butter and peanut butter together before adding sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir until fully combined. Add the oats and stir until a thick dough is formed.

Press about ¾ of the peanut butter-oat mixture into the prepared pan very firmly. Spread the preserves in an even layer over the crust. Spread the caramel in an even layer over the preserves. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the caramel.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no crumbs (it will have preserves and caramel on it), the top is golden brown, and the caramel is bubbling. Cool completely in pan.

Bars may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

To add more peanut flavor to the bars, spread ¼ cup peanut butter on the crust before the preserves and caramel and/or add ¼ cup peanuts to the dough reserved for the topping.

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Don’t forget to check out all the other celebration Sunday Supper dishes!

Brilliant Breads and Breakfast Fare:

 

Amazing Appetizers and Cocktails:

 

Spectacular Soups and Salads:

 

Enticing Entrees:

 

Decadent Desserts:

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

 

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

SundaySupper

 

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts #SundaySupper

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

Sweet and spicy.  That’s how I would describe 2013.  Some of it was pretty great.  I feel like I’m doing the best writing of my life (2014 will show if I’m right), I spent a lot of quality time with my parents doing fun things like shopping, going out to dinner with friends, and seeing plays, musicals, and even a concert.  My blog has started to grow, though it is still not where I’d like it to be, and I made some rather tasty food.  But my struggles with trying to get my dreams to become reality, frustrations over blogging, fears about what the future holds, and a few other things I didn’t talk about here on the blog, made it a tough year.

Isn’t that how most of us feel about the years?  That they were good and bad, sweet and spicy.  We look back and think of the things that didn’t go right, the things that didn’t get done, the regrets we have.  And then a decade down the line, when we look back, those mostly little things have hopefully vanished and we only remember the good parts.  Life is always a series of ups and downs, and hopefully in the end, there are more ups than downs.

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

2013 wasn’t my favorite year.  I wanted it to be better.  I hoped it would be better.  And now I’m looking to 2014, hoping, wishing that it has some good things in store.  Only time will tell.  For now, I sit, thinking about this year, and all the things that occurred during it.  Reliving the good bits, and trying to forget the bad ones. 

Regardless of my feelings about the year, it certainly went quickly.  Thinking back, it seems like January was just yesterday, like 2013 just commenced, like I want it back, to do over again, to use my time better.  I was just filled with that nostalgia for 2012, pleading with it to come back; now here I am again.  This time, I’m not asking 2013 to come back.  I don’t want it back.  I’m proud of a lot of the things I accomplished.  And this time, I’m really looking forward to 2014, because I think it has great things in store for me.  I think it’s going to work out.  So, 2014, here’s to you; may you be far more sweet than spicy.

Speaking of sweet and spicy, these Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts are just that.  Okay, so these are definitely more sweet than spicy, but two heaping tablespoons of cinnamon bring that warm, comforting heat, I crave this time of year.  I thought these would be dense and chewy like a blondies, but instead they baked up soft and moist, a dense, cake-like bar that I fell in love with after one bite.  I’m much happier they’re cakey instead of chewy.  The crunchy walnuts are the perfect complement to the cinnamon cake and the vanilla glaze is quite literally the icing on top.  If 2014 is anything like these bars, I think we’ll all be just fine!

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

 

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Bars

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups walnuts

Topping

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Glaze

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup water

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, line it with parchment and lightly butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cream of tartar, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work too. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat until once again light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the walnuts until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread into an even layer. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar for topping. Sprinkle the topping into an even layer over the batter. Use it all.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.

Once the bars are cool, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, water, and vanilla until a thick, but spreadable glaze forms. Add more water to make it thinner or sugar to make it thicker as necessary. Immediately spread glaze evenly over bars. Cut into pieces and serve. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in pieces in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl Cookbook via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Breakfast

Appetizers & Snacks

Main Dishes & Sides

Desserts & Drinks

Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.