Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime!

I sometimes shout that when I or Mom or Dad have something to share.  It’s a fun exclamation to express my interest in sharing or hearing, which is almost always high.

I love talking and listening, connecting with people I love by sharing about our days and ourselves.  Plus, life is sometimes isolating and boring sitting at a computer and typing away all day, so storytime is something special.  Something to be savored.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

But I can’t take credit for the exclamation.

In my freshman year of high school, we were all required to take health.  The teacher was a down to earth woman who tried to relate to us as equals more than treat us as inferiors.  She was a pretty decent teacher, but the school didn’t appreciate her and let her go after that year, as opposed to some of the other teachers, like the old lady who never moved from her desk and formed coherent sentences only some of the time.  But I digress.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Health wasn’t a super difficult, heavy class like many of the others.  It was a fun, interactive way for us to learn about ourselves and how to make life the best it could be.  So she wanted to make it fun as much of the time as possible.

She would tell the class stories, to which the girls, most of whom were very popular and didn’t much care for me, would exclaim “storytime!”

In the moment, I probably found it annoying and rolled my eyes, just waiting for the day to be over.  But all these years later, more than I care to think about, I like it.  It brings me joy, as it did them then.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime is always a good thing.  So are any desserts with melty marshmallows.  Like these Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars.  These take smores to a whole new level with an oatmeal cookie base that is soft and chewy.  In the middle are tons of peppermint marshmallows that add a fun, subtle flavor, though vanilla will work just fine, and carob in my case, or dark chocolate, in your case, chips.

Serve these warm out of the oven or heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to enhance the smores experience.  Gather the family, have smores bars, and storytime.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 heaping cups mini peppermint marshmallows
1 ½ cups carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Press about half the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the marshmallows and chips. Spread clumps of the remaining dough on top, covering as much of the filling as possible.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes before serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Reheat or thaw in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars #SundaySupper

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

You probably know this about me by now, but I like fancy things.  I have since I can remember.

I have two memories from preschool: being sent home for chicken pox, which I did not have at the time, and wanting a dress similar to one a girl named Allison was wearing.

I wore Mom’s clothes, bought high heels before any other girl my age, wouldn’t leave the house without lipstick at age five, and hated playing and getting dirty at recess.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

An early obsession with home shopping channels led to ordering a gaudy giant cubic zirconia ring when I was about six.  I wore it for years and it was set in real gold.  Now I’ve graduated to other real stones, though my parents probably wish I would have stayed in the home shopping phase.

It’s just in my blood, you know, to wear makeup and hair spray my hair until it doesn’t move and wear dresses and heels and jewelry.  I can’t explain it, it’s there, in m DNA.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

This attraction to fancy things extends into other realms like food.  Definitely food.  Like when I have fish shipped in from Seattle (shout out to my friends at Pike’s Place Fish!) or order truffles whenever a restaurant happens to have them (okay this has only happened once, but I’m ready for a sequel).

And these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars.  I know you’re like nothing is fancy about a PBJ anything, but you are oh so wrong.

First combining anything with cheesecake automatically takes it up a notch, but the real fancifying ingredients are the red currant jelly and peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

Sure, you could use plain old grape jelly to top off this decadent treat (just make sure you use jelly whatever flavor you choose), but when I saw red currant in the store I knew I had to buy it.  The bright, slightly tangy flavor is perfect and something different without being weird.

I know you are thinking the peanut brittle is just a garnish, but it’s not.  At all.  It adds crunch and a buttery peanutty flavor that brings the whole thing together.

Get fancy and make these bars!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

Crust
4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Filling and topping
32 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 ½ cups red currant jelly
½ cup peanut brittle, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
  2. Make the crust. In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt until combined and the crust holds together when pressed. Pour into the prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom and ¾ the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for about 12 minutes until light golden brown. Cool while you make the filling.
  3. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
  4. Make the filling. In a large bowl cream the cream cheese and peanut butter using a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar slowly while the mixer is running. Add in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla bean paste and mix until light fluffy and well combined. Pour into the baked crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top and the filling wiggles in the center. Cool for about 2 hours.
  5. Once the cheesecake has cooled for awhile, heat the jam in a medium microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted without too many lumps. Pour evenly over the cheesecake and tilt it to cover the surface completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight until set completely.
  6. Once chilled, cut into bars, sprinkle with peanut brittle, and serve. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Filling adapted from Martha Stewart

Additional chilling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes.  Thanks to Wendy from Wholistic Woman for hosting!

Finger Foods

Hors d’oeuvres

Seafood

Sweets

Veggies

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.

Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

You guys, there’s this bright light in the sky and I don’t know what it is.

Oh, that’s the sun???!!!

You’ll have to forgive me for not recognizing it.  I can’t remember the last time the sun was out.  This winter hasn’t been that bad as far as winters go.  We recently had a ten day stretch during which even low temperatures did not dip below freezing.

Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

But it has been so dark and grey and lifeless and downright depressing I can’t even.

Winter has me down.  This happens every year, but this year it’s stronger than ever.  Maybe it’s because I was making the same wishes last birthday as I did a little over a week ago on this one and because year after year things build and build and build until they come to a head.

I want to frolic outside in the sun and take walks and eat outside and be happy and not have to slather lotion and oil and all things moisturizing on my skin.  Please tell me I’m not alone.

Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

I won’t be alone in loving these Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars.  I made these years ago, before the blog and loved the filling but not the crust.  Then I made them again recently with a different crust that tasted great but totally fell apart.

Enter test three.  These are the winner.  The filling is as gooey and rich as ever with tons of crunchy nuts.  The base is a vanilla bean olive oil shortbread.  I know olive oil in shortbread sounds weird, but trust me, it is heaven.  It provides a fruity, light note against the rich filling.

Winter is no match for these bars.  Well, really it is, but we can pretend it’s not while we make them.

Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

 

Caramel Nut Shortbread Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
Filling
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups untoasted nuts, I used half pecans and half walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. generously butter a 9 by 13-inch pan.
  2. Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, butter, oil, and vanilla bean paste until a thick dough forms that holds when squeezed together. If it falls apart, add a bit more oil until it holds. Press into the prepared pan, bringing some of the dough up the sides. Bake for about 15 minutes until just barely golden brown.
  3. While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a medium saucepot, stir together butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened and foamy.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Be careful! It will bubble up. Place pan back over the heat and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees or about 10 more minutes. I actually did this without a candy thermometer. It’s rather forgiving and you can always test for soft ball stage in a bit of cold water.
  5. Add the nuts and cook an additional 2 minutes. Pour filling over the hot crust, spreading into an even layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Filling recipe adapted from Food and Wine

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Apple Crumble Bars

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SingWithPost #CerealAnytime #CollectiveBias

Apple Crumble Bars

You all know I am a movie junkie.  I write screenplays and am so hoping you all will get to see one of my scripts on the big screen one day soon, and I watch movies all the time.  I have old favorite playing in the background while I write and bake and take photos and I try to watch at least two new to me movies every week.

Movies are really special because they make us feel.  They inspire us and make us laugh and cry and bring us together in ways we might not expect.  The experience of watching a great movie for the first time whether in the theatre or at home is unparalleled.

Apple Crumble Bars

While my favorite movies are all over the place in terms of genres, I have a serious weakness for animated flicks.  Perhaps it’s because it brings out the kid in me and reminds me of those simpler days, but it’s also because today’s animated movies are outstanding.

And while I haven’t seen it yet, I have no doubt SING is going to be a new favorite.  It looks so uplifting and is all about following dreams – that sounds perfect for me!

cereal-collage

When I’m watching movies, I love to have a snack.  Who doesn’t?  These Apple Crumble Bars totally fit the bill.  What makes them even more special than typical apple bars is that I incorporated Honeycomb cereal into the crust and topping and Honey Bunches of Oats Almond into the topping.

Post cereals have a wide variety of cereals, so at least one is sure to suit everyone’s tastes.  Plus, that variety means there are always a few options from breakfast to snack to dinner and dessert.  Cereal is good for so much more than eating with milk in the morning.

Apple Crumble Bars

The crust on these bars is like an awesome shortbread but with so much more flavor thanks to the cereal and some cinnamon.  The apples are tender but not mushy and have more cinnamon for that warm spice and fresh lemon juice for balance.  The topping might be my favorite with walnuts that that Honey Bunches of Oats in big clusters.  I couldn’t stop at just one of these bars and I bet you can’t either.

Plus, right now select Post products have special packaging for SING.  You can use the information on these boxes to enter the SING National Sweepstakes for a chance to win $100,000 or movie tickets.  To enter all you have to do is enter codes found on the specially marked boxes into the sweepstakes website.

Be sure to head to Walmart and pick up a few boxes on Post cereal like I did!

Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Crumble Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

Crust and Topping
1 ½ cups Honeycomb, crushed
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Almond
1 cup walnuts
Filling
6 heaping cups apples, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
Juice from 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch pan.
  2. Make the crust and topping. In a large bowl, stir together Honeycomb, flour, salt, cinnamon, sugars, and ¾ of the melted butter. Stir until clumps form. Press ¾ of this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Add the Honey Bunches of Oats, walnuts, and remaining butter and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together apples, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice until fully combined. Pour onto the crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown, filling is bubbling, and apples are tender.
  4. Cool bars completely in pan before cutting and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen individually, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.
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Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars - vegan and gluten free

Have you ever been to the state fair in your state?  I hadn’t until this weekend.  The Michigan State Fair has a long history and was originally in Detroit.  After funding evaporated it disappeared for a bit until it was reinvigorated at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

I’ve been on a kick of doing everything I can this summer and Novi is not terribly far from home, so we headed to the state fair.  We weren’t sure if we would enjoy it, but we didn’t have anything else to do, so we went in with an open mind.

Once we found a parking spot, which was a but challenging and hilariously made Dad super impatient, we headed inside to get our wristbands and explore the indoor portion of the fair.

Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars - vegan and gluten free

There were tons of vendor booths with locally made products and local business owners.  While a few of the vendors were a little too pushy in trying to sell their product or service, most of them were very nice and we picked up some local honey and some roasted lentils for snacking.  There was even a mini farmers’ market which was cute.

There was a showcase of things that had won fair prizes from paintings to quilts to floral arrangements to baked goods.  I really enjoyed exploring the wonderful things people had made.  Of course, the animals made up a large portion of the indoor exhibit.  There were giant cows, tons of adorable goats, baaing sheep, and some pigs that we didn’t get a good look at.

We headed outside on what I am fairly certain was the nicest Labor Day weekend ever weather wise.  It was seriously perfect out – 80s, sunny, a gentle breeze.  We explored the numerous food stands with all the classic fair foods: hot dogs, fries, ice cream, cotton candy, funnel cake, roasted corn, before walking around the rides, games, and more animal exhibits with adorable bunnies and beautiful birds.

It was a lovely day and I really hope if you have the chance to explore a state fair near you, I really hope you go.  It’s such a fun, relaxing summer experience that really is quintessential.

Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars - vegan and gluten free

You know what else is quintessentially summer?  These Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars.  I made a purely peach version last summer, and I only improved them by adding blueberries.

These are vegan and gluten free and kind of healthy, loaded with oats and fruit and nuts.  And they are crazy delicious.  I want to sit down and eat the whole pan.  They have this almost fritter thing going for them with the glaze and gooey interior, but they are much, much healthier than fritters.

I’m not letting summer go and you shouldn’t either.  We have Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars and fairs to keep things sunny!

Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars - vegan and gluten free

Peach Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Bars

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 ½ cups gluten free flour or all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Scant 1 cup olive oil

1 cup walnuts

3 cups chopped peaches

1 ½ heaping cups blueberries, picked over

Glaze

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. oil a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the vanilla and oil and stir to combine. Add the walnuts, peaches with their juices, and blueberries and stir until the mixture is combined and no dry spots remain.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown and mostly set on top.

Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, adding more sugar or lemon juice as necessary until a drizzleable glaze is formed. Drizzle glaze evenly over hot bars.

Serve warm or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Bars may also be individually frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 30 – 60 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Nutmeg Nanny and How Sweet It Is

http://piesandplots.net/peach-blueberry-breakfast-bars/

Cherry Garcia Bars #SundaySupper

Cherry Garcia Bars

I read this article the other day about how a father took his daughter to see Hamilton.  It wasn’t exactly about the uber famous musical, but instead about how it will be a lasting memory for the author and especially his daughter.

The article got me thinking about my relationship with Dad.  Mom gets a lot of the glory because we spend a lot of time together.  We cook, bake, clean, shop, take walks, and more together, while Dad is at work.  And sometimes Dad doesn’t get enough credit, though I do try to give him a fair amount.

While Dad and I have conversations in the evenings sometimes and occasionally watch movies together that don’t suit Mom, those memories tend to fade away, but the big outings we’ve had together and the events we’ve experienced stick with me in a meaningful way as the article described.

Cherry Garcia Bars

There was that time ten years ago he took me to Neiman Marcus (every dad’s dream, right?) to buy a few pairs of previously selected shoes.  As we walked into the shoe department he reached for one of the pairs I was about to buy … or rather he was about to buy for me.

As if in slow motion, I reached forward saying “Noooooooooooo,” but it was too late.  He had seen the price.  They remain one of the most expensive pairs of shoes in my closet.  After all three pairs of shoes had been rung up, the salesman put the receipt in the bag so Dad never had to look at the final total.

Oh, and then there was when he took me to see Kathy Griffin (also every dad’s dream, right?).  We had great seats, and I enjoyed the show, but imagine most of the Real Housewives and Kardashian references went in one ear and out the other.  He sat patiently though, taking pictures of Kathy and waiting with me to see if she would sign autographs after the show.

Not too long ago, we went to see Book of Mormon.  Mom typically goes to see plays with us, but the show was so popular when it came to town, I had to purchase tickets on the secondary market (Hey, StubHub!), and they were so pricey we decided to get only two front row tickets.

Cherry Garcia Bars

We both enjoyed the show so much.  Dad really does enjoy seeing plays and musicals, so this was a real treat and bonding experience for us.  The theater was packed, but being so close to the stage, we felt like we were the only ones in the room.  And with stress running high for both of us, it was a welcome relief in which we laughed over and over again.

While I do like when I can do something with both of my parents, I do think the times I do something with just Dad or just Mom tend to stick out in my mind more as wonderful memories that I wish I could relive.  So here’s to more bonding time with Dad.

And to these Cherry Garcia Bars.  When I pulled them out of the oven, they looked a bit … unassuming.  But the taste is out of this world.  The bourbon, maple syrup, and vanilla sing through like a beautiful symphony (which Dad and I also saw together.  He sat mostly patiently as I was riveted and he was … not 😉 ).  The cherries burst in with their juicy flavor.  And the shortbread crust.  OMG! I will be using that recipe again and again.

Cherry Garcia Bars

Cherry Garcia Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 18 - 24 bars

Ingredients

Crust

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup granulated sugar

Seeds from ½ vanilla bean

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

3 large eggs

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons bourbon

Seeds from ½ vanilla bean

4 cups cherries, halved and pitted

¾ cup carob or dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.

Make the crust. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, flour, and salt. Mix until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake about 17 minutes, until light golden brown.

While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, syrup, salt, butter, eggs, flour, bourbon, and vanilla bean seeds. Mix until fully combined and lightened slightly in color.

Once the crust comes out of the oven, toss the cherries and chocolate or carob chips with the remaining tablespoon of flour until well coated. Pour the chocolate and cherries on top of the crust. Spread into an even layer.

Top with filling, making sure it soaks into all of the corners. Bake an additional approximately 30 minutes. They should be bubbling and may seem overly buttery … but wait. Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or frozen, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Wanderlust Kitchen

http://piesandplots.net/cherry-garcia-bars-sundaysupper/

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

Appetizers & Snacks:

Beverage:

Breakfast:

Condiments & Sauces:

Desserts:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Plus What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day from Sunday Supper Movement

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. 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.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Can you tell I’m obsessed with peaches?  Here on the blog you’ll find tons of them.  From this peach cake which I make every summer to peach granola bars, peach crumb bars, peach oatmeal bars, peach breakfast bars.  I’m sensing a pattern.

I don’t know why, but I just love peaches.  Nectarines are cool too, but peaches are the star in my kitchen.  They are juicy and flavorful and summer in a tangible form.  I buy more peaches than I probably should, but when I see them at the store or Costco, I just can’t resist.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

I eat at least one every single day in the summer, more if I can.  And then I bake with them.  I try to keep coming up with new and exciting peach recipes for you and these Peach Coconut Crumb Bars are going to be a huge hit with you.

They are a bit messy, but messy food tastes good.  These bars are easy to make, vegan and gluten free, and perfect to share with friends or bring to a party.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

The base is pretty sturdy with the juicy filling where vanilla bean paste really makes those peaches shine, and then the sandy topping adds fun texture and flavor, especially since I added some flaked coconut to the topping.

While these aren’t quite health food, they fit most dietary concerns and are full of nutrition.  Whether you eat these for breakfast, snack, or dessert, be sure to make the most of peach season with Peach Coconut Crumb Bars.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 ½, plus 2 tablespoons cups all-purpose gluten free flour mix (I love Bob’s Red Mill)

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3 cups coconut oil, room temperature

5 cups peaches, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together oats, 1 ½ cups flour, brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, and baking powder. Add coconut oil and work into the dry ingredients using forks or fingers until well combined and mixture resembles sand.

Pour 2/3 of the crust mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into the pan. Bake for about 13 minutes, until light golden brown.

While the crust is baking, make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together peaches, remaining 2 tablespoons flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla bean paste.

Once the crust is out of the oven, pour the filling over it. Add the coconut to the remaining crust mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the filling and bake an additional approximately 30 minutes until golden brown on top.

Cool completely in pan. Once cool, cut into bars and serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 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 about an hour or in the microwave about 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Texanerin Baking

http://piesandplots.net/vegan-and-gluten-free-peach-coconut-crumb-bars/

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

Many of you probably know that I live in Michigan … and also that I wish I lived in California.

It’s not necessarily that Michigan is a bad place to live.  Okay, in the winter it’s just not my thing.  Living somewhere that makes me want to stay inside for roughly six months of the year seems like a bad way to live if you ask me.

But this time of year and into summer and then fall, assuming we don’t go directly from snow to 80s back to snow again, there is something quite nice about it.  The bright blue sky, the flowers, hummingbirds, trees, it’s all very nice.

There are many lakes in the area that are beautiful.  Ornamental flowering trees are very popular and stunning as they bust out overnight and then slowly transition into leafy behemoths.  It’s so nice to head out to some of the hottest new restaurants, in what has become a foodie town.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

But at the end of the day, I don’t really think Michigan is where I belong.  I feel like my ambition, red lipstick, and Louboutins would fit in much better in California than here where I get odd looks as though I am from outer space … or maybe just California.

Still, I am here in Michigan … for now.  In addition to all those other nice things I mentioned, the coming of warm weather brings with it many wonderful foods: ramps, asparagus, blueberries, and of course cherries.

Michigan is the cherry capital.  While many varieties of cherries are grown here, it is perhaps best known for tart cherries.  I love finding fresh ones, but those aren’t quite out yet, so I picked up some dried tart cherries.  They make a great snack, but they are even better in these Carob Cherry Crumb Bars.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

I must admit, I didn’t really feel like making these bars the other day and Mom didn’t think they sounded that good.  But I had signed up for this hometown celebration Sunday Supper and so I forged ahead.

I am glad I did.  These bars … they are incredible.  I think they may have been intended to be drier and more shortbread or cake like, but mine are ooey gooey and fudgy.  The bottom is a little shortbread-y, while the filling is practically molten with plump dried cherries in nearly every bite.  The top is a bit crumbly and sandy with the snap of carob chips.

Chocolate can absolutely be substituted for the carob.  Whichever you use, make sure you try these bars, because I promise you will love them wherever you live.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups dried tart cherries

2 ½ sticks unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup water

½ cup carob or cocoa powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted

2 cups plus 7 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg

2 tablespoons pineapple vodka

½ cup carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan. Line it with parchment leaving a 2-inch overhang and butter the parchment.

Bring cherries, 2 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in an additional ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Set aside.

Whisk together carob or cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, coconut, and 2 cups flour. Blend in remaining 2 ¼ sticks butter, cut into small cubes, using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press 3 cups of this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together egg, remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, and pineapple vodka until well combined. Stir in the dried cherry mixture as well as the remaining 7 ½ tablespoons of flour. Spread mixture over baked crust.

Stir the carob or chocolate chips into the remaining crumb mixture and spread over the filling.

Bake about 50 additional minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan. Once cool, lift out of pan using parchment and cut into bars. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, individually, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

http://piesandplots.net/carob-cherry-crumb-bars-sundaysupper/

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

Appetizers:

Beverages:

Breakfast:

Salads:

Sauces:

Side Dishes:

Soups:

Main Dish:

Desserts:

Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

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

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

People are often surprised at how much I eat, particularly when it comes to dessert.  Don’t get me wrong, most of the time it’s oatmeal, wild fish, and kale.  All foods I love just as much as treats.

I can eat the crispy skin from two pounds of king salmon no problem.  I devour blueberries like they are going extinct.  And on those days when I eat dessert, I sometimes can’t stop.

This is okay with me; we all have and need cheat days.  They keep me sane and satisfied.  They keep life fun, and since I exercise and eat right most of the time, they are a healthy and natural part of my life.

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

These Fudgy Frosted Brownies are one of those desserts I couldn’t stop eating.  Hot out of the oven with the frosting melting all over the place, they are just ridiculously good.  And then even when cooled they have a fudge like texture that is truly unbeatable.

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

My parents couldn’t stop talking about how rich they thought they were, though delicious, and I just wanted MORE!  If you don’t have a giant sweet tooth like me, you may only want a small piece, otherwise, be prepared to give these away to friends and neighbors and coworkers and basically everyone because you will need to get them out of the house before you eat the whole pan.

These decadent brownies are easy to make.  I made them with carob (which you should really try because it’s fab!) but cocoa will work too.  And I have a super fun recipe using them coming up on Sunday, so don’t miss it!

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 24 brownies

Ingredients

Brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

½ cup carob or cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting

½ stick unsalted butter, very soft

¼ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

¼ cup carob or cocoa powder

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together butter, carob or cocoa, and sugar until well combined. Add the flour. Then stir in the eggs and vanilla until the batter comes together.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

While the brownies bake, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together butter, milk, and carob. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until a spreadable frosting is formed. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk. If it is too thin, add some more sugar.

Spread the frosting over the hot brownies. Serve warm or cool completely in pan before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Brownies may also be frozen, individually, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw in the microwave about 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Life in the Lofthouse

http://piesandplots.net/fudgy-frosted-brownies/

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

Soooo … Guys … I have some news.

I am officially in the quarter finals of the Bluecat screenplay contest!!!!!!!!!

I found out last night during the Super Bowl and cried happy tears for the first time in my life, and then Coldplay started singing, so the tears kept coming.  By the way, I love Coldplay and wished there was more of them during the show … but I digress.

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

I might only be 26 but I have worked on my writing and hoped for a moment like this for years.  It was such a relief and shock and all the things.  I am so grateful because it means maybe I am a good writer and I can make it.  I’m still on a high today.

It’s just the first step in a lot of steps … seriously like a million, but a step in the right direction is more than I have taken in a long time.

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

For now, I’m going to keep writing and hope that I make the semi-finals.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me!!!  I declared this my year, and maybe the power of positive thinking and believing in myself (some of the time anyway) really is working.

You know what else is making this a great year, these Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars.  These are almost as good as placing in the quarter finals.

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

I swapped out flour for old fashioned and quick oats, added tons of peanut butter and mini Reese’s Pieces and then some carob chips.  Feel free to use chocolate chips, of course.

I was a little afraid the oats wouldn’t hold together, but they totally did, and I was left with the oatmeal cookie of my dreams.  It is soft and chewy and insanely gooey with an underdone center and tons of Reese’s Pieces and chips.

I highly recommend that you eat these warm or pop them in the microwave before devouring because that intensifies the gooey.  Mom declared these one of the best things I’ve ever made and I have to agree.  As I was cutting them up, I kept taking little samples for myself.  You’ll be doing the same thing.

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 18-24 bars

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats, gluten free if necessary

1 ½ cups quick cooking oats, gluten free if necessary

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup mini Reese’s Pieces

1 cup carob or chocolate chips

Instructions

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

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work as well.

Add both kinds of oats and baking soda and stir until well incorporated. Fold in the Reese’s Pieces and chips.

Pour into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake 30-40 minutes until puffed, golden brown and mostly set in the center. Do not cook until it is all the way set or the bars will be dry. Cool completely in the pan (or don’t ;) ), cut into bars and serve. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.

http://piesandplots.net/gluten-free-monster-cookie-bars/

 

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