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/

 

Gluten Free Peanut Protein Blondies

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

Gluten Free Peanut Protein Blondies

We’re not quite two weeks into the New Year and I’m determined to make this year my best yet.  I’m working on several writing projects, clearing the house of clutter, and focusing on eating clean, nutritious foods like Jif Peanut Powder.

Shopping at Walmart

 

I really enjoy good for me foods, so this isn’t a huge deal, but I’m not great at eating protein, so I’m placing emphasis on that for my 2016 eating habits.

Jif Peanut Powder

 

Jif Peanut Powder

Luckily Jif Peanut Powder is here to help me out.  It is made from only fresh roasted peanuts, no added sugar or salt; plus it has 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter while still keeping all the protein.  This makes Jif Peanut Powder the perfect food for diets, cleanses, and keeping new years’ resolutions.

Even better is that Jif Peanut Powder is just as tasty as the peanut butter we all know and love.  And once you taste my Gluten Free Peanut Blondies, you will love Jif Peanut Powder as much as I do.

Making the blondies

Whether you eat these blondies as a quick breakfast on the go, an energy boosting snack, or a not so guilty pleasure dessert, you will love them.  They are full of peanut flavor.  The blondie itself is soft and a little chewy – the perfect blondie texture – and the peanuts add some crunch while the carob chips add just a bit of decadence.

These blondies are naturally gluten free and made from simple ingredients that you can pick up on your next trip to Walmart (like I did) or you may even have in your house right now.

Gluten Free Peanut Protein Blondies

I also want to say a quick Happy Birthday to Dad!  He’s at work, but rest assured he found one of these blondies in his lunch bag :)

Be sure to check out Jif Peanut Powder and make these blondies.  We’ll conquer our new years’ resolutions together.

Gluten Free Peanut Protein Blondies

Gluten Free Peanut Protein Blondies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9 blondies

Ingredients

1 cup Jif Peanut Powder

½ cup honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ cup carob chips

½ cup peanuts

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together Jif Peanut Powder, honey, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, carob chips, and peanuts until well combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan.

Blondies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 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 the microwave about 30 seconds.

http://piesandplots.net/gluten-free-peanut-protein-blondies/

 

Apple Crisp Granola Bars

Apple Crisp Granola Bars

I’m behind the times a lot. When I was young I was the last person to learn swear words. Jokes went over my head and the politics of being popular in school just didn’t click with me.

I’d like to think I’ve caught up since then. I try to stay up on fashion and entertainment. I follow news events and consider myself well read. But things always slip past me.

Apple Crisp Granola Bars

Like Harry Potter.

I remember buying the first book at a grade school book fair, but I couldn’t really get into it. I was probably a little too young. I’d like to go back to the books one day, but for now, I’ve started the movies.

Typically I watch a movie every Friday and Saturday night. Most of the time I find something in the new releases OnDemand, but this week, there were few choices. After scrolling through Amazon and trying to think of something, Mom suggested Harry Potter.

Neither of us were sure we’d like it, but it seemed as good an option as any.

Apple Crisp Granola Bars

I’m in love and obsessed and I’ve only seen the first movie. It’s smart and funny and cute. It has the right balance of seriousness without being terribly dark. I like the characters and find it reasonably easy to follow. Where have I been all these years?

At least I found it now, I guess. I’ll be finding more time to watch Harry Potter and you need to find some time to make these Apple Crisp Granola Bars. Luckily in the busy holiday season, you won’t have to find much time since these gluten free go to snack or breakfast treats are no bake.

They have all my favorite flavors from apple crisp – apples, oatmeal, cinnamon, nuts – plus a heaping helping of peanut butter. If there’s anything that could make apple crisp better, it’s peanut butter. You will love these chewy, crunchy, hearty, healthy bars. Don’t be late to this recipe :)

Apple Crisp Granola Bars

Apple Crisp Granola Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

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

1 ½ cups puffed rice cereal (gluten free, if necessary)

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

½ cup walnuts

½ dried apples, chopped

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for an additional minute. The mixture should be bubbling. If it is not, microwave for an additional 30 seconds.

Stir in the vanilla, followed by the oats, cereal, and cinnamon. Once well combined, stir in the walnuts and apples.

Pour into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Using a sharp, preferably serrated knife, cut into bars. Bars 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 about an hour.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

http://piesandplots.net/apple-crisp-granola-bars/

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars #SundaySupper

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars

So I spent a year on match.com. It was interesting to say the least. And at the end of that year I am certain I am no closer to finding love than I was before I joined.

There are a lot of guys who seem great on match … unfortunately none of them responded to my emails or winks. Maybe it was because I don’t want children or because they didn’t see a connection forming with me, although I really don’t think a couple hundred guys could think that. Mom thinks a lot of them probably aren’t that in to it.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars

I tend to agree with her. Even when I started emailing and then texting with a guy, most stopped after a few days with no explanation. It’s frustrating to be in that situation.

I went on five dates with five different guys. Two dates were terrible, one was bad, and two were pretty good. Unfortunately even the two good dates didn’t result in second dates. There was no spark with one and the other guy found someone better.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars

Most of the guys who approached me on match were not guys I’d ever consider dating. EVER! They were creepy, ugly, too old, and more. I had to block a few guys and ignored a few hundred … hoping they’d go away.

Sometimes I get down about my experience, hoping that something more would have come of it. It’s hard to think it’s all them and not me. However, I don’t think I’d ever find my soulmate on match. I may try Ok Cupid on Joanne’s recommendation (plus it’s free), but really I’m focused on my career and trying to believe that there’s some kind of plan out there for me.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars

When I’m down about being ditched an hour before a date, I need a treat and these White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars definitely fit the bill. They are easy to make and don’t require any baking. Plus, they’re an easy grab and go snack or treat and last in the refrigerator for awhile. Because some weeks have more than one crappy guy. Oh, plus these are gluten free.

You have to be a serious peanut butter lover to like these, but I know there are plenty of us peanut butter obsessed people out there. So whether you’re single or married, dumped or in a relationship, make these bars.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 32 bars

Ingredients

2 12 ounce bags white chocolate chips

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or shortening

1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup Mini Reese’s Pieces

Instructions

Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal.

In a microwave safe bowl, place 1 and ¼ bags of the white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until fully melted. Pour into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Place the pan in the refrigerator.

In a medium bowl, stir together the peanut butter, vanilla, and sugar until a thick, non-greasy mixture forms. It should not be crumbly. Add more sugar if it needs to be thicker and a little more peanut butter if it needs to be smoother.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator once the chocolate is set, about 10 minutes, and top with the peanut butter mixture, spreading it into an even layer.

Microwave the remaining chocolate with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Pour over the peanut butter mixture and smooth to cover it all. Top with Reese’s Pieces, pressing them into the chocolate.

Refrigerate until firm before cutting into bars. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freeze, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

Recipe adapted from The Gold Lining Girl

http://piesandplots.net/white-chocolate-peanut-butter-truffle-bars-sundaysupper/

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

Savory Snacks and Sides:

Labor Free Main Dishes:

Sweet Treats and Drinks:

Labor Free Labor Day:

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 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.

 

Peach Breakfast Bars

Peach Breakfast Bars - a hearty, vegan, adn gluten free breakfast treat!

Last week I went to see my friends at the dentist. Hi, ladies! I never thought going to the dentist could be fun, but here I am looking forward to my visits. And they look forward to them as well. We all enjoy chatting and catching up, but mostly, I think they like the treats 😉

So I made a seriously amazing treat. It wasn’t too hard to make, it featured peaches, and it tasted ah-mazing. Oh, and it’s vegan and gluten free.

I tasted it hot out of the oven. Packed some up for the dentist. Ate one for breakfast. Saved some for the freezer. I couldn’t stop craving another one. I was planning my post … and then I realized something.

I forgot to take pictures.

Peach Breakfast Bars - a heart, vegan, gluten free breakfast treat!

It was one of those moments where you wonder where your head went. So I made them again. And now I can present you with Peach Breakfast Bars.

Let me tell you, worse things have happened than having to make these again. They are seriously so good. Though I wouldn’t quite call them healthy due to the sugar in them (maybe you could swap in honey or maple syrup), they are full of oatmeal, nuts, peaches, and cinnamon, so I definitely think they’re breakfast appropriate.

With the glaze (yeah a little more sugar – but I wouldn’t skip it), they almost have this apple … er, peach fritter thing going on. They’re dense and chewy and super satisfying. Make these once or twice or more, just make sure you give them a try.

Peach Breakfast Bars - a hearty, vegan, gluten free breakfast treat!

Peach Breakfast Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Bars

3 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 ½ cups gluten free flour (I used Cup4Cup – I wonder if oat flour would work)

1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¾ cup olive oil

4 cups chopped peaches, peeled and pitted

1 cup pecans

Glaze

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2-5 tablespoons water

Instructions

Make the bars. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Add the oil and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the peaches and pecans and stir until they are well distributed and the mixture is completely moistened.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and set on top.

Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and water. Add more sugar or water until a pourable glaze is formed. Pour evenly over the hot bars.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up 5 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 the microwave 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Nutmeg Nanny and How Sweet It Is

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

Peach Oatmeal Bars

Peach Oatmeal Bars

I try not to complain about anything that has to do with summer. Really. I love sun and warmth. Flowers and trees full of leaves. I can even get along with the bees if they just focus on their honey making job and steering clear of me.

What I can’t deal with are thunderstorms. Yes, I know, we need rain, though preferably not measured in inches at a time. Rain is one thing though. nice, garden variety rain that makes you feel all cozy and want to curl up on the couch with a good book or movie. I can handle that kind of rain.

Peach Oatmeal Bars

Pouring rain, pelting the window. Thunder that makes me jump a mile in the air. Lightning that makes the darkness suddenly flash as bright as the sun. That throws me off course in a way I can’t describe.

And when it wakes me in the middle of the night from a deep sleep and keeps me awake for the better part of an hour, the noise far too loud and alarming to be soothing, well that almost makes me wish for fall. Almost.

A day or two of thunderstorms is more than worth the price of admission to summer, but if we could keep them to a minimum and the nice days with sunshine, puffy clouds and a gentle breeze coming at us frequently, that would be much appreciated.

Peach Oatmeal Bars

By looking at the extended forecast, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, but a girl can dream.

When I am cooped up inside with rainy days, I love to bake even when it’s hot out. I whipped up these Peach Oatmeal Bars not too long ago. They are perfect for summer. Easy to make, full of fresh fruit, and wholesome oats and nuts, these are sure to be on your summer to-do list.

The contrasting textures add complexity to this dessert that is not too sweet. It would be perfect with a cup of coffee or tea and dare I say, I think these are even breakfast appropriate.

Peach Oatmeal Bars

Peach Oatmeal Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

Filling

4 cups diced fresh peaches

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Crust and Topping

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups quick cooking oats

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup walnuts

Instructions

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

Make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together peaches, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.

Make the crust and topping. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, add the butter and mix in with your hands until the mixture forms clumps and starts to come together.

Place just over half of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Press down firmly with your hands. Stir walnuts into the reserved crumb mixture.

Pour filling over the crumb mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown. Cool completely in pan before cutting into pieces and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 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 30 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Land O Lakes

http://piesandplots.net/peach-oatmeal-bars/

Lemon Brownies #SundaySupper

Lemon Brownies

I need lots of sunshine in my life. And when the actual sun isn’t present, which is frequent here in Michigan, I turn to Mom. She is my sunshine when that big star in the sky is hidden behind clouds and snow and other yucky things or when even at its brightest, said star isn’t enough.

My life is unique, unlike no one else’s and in flux constantly as I wade my way through the turbulent waters and try to find my place in the world. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with a mom who stands by me no matter what.

Lemon Brownies

She comforts me when I’m crying about things big and small. She helps me come up with ideas for my writing. Seriously, she should get a job as an editor. She bakes and cooks with me and does the dishes, even when she doesn’t want too. She goes shopping with me, and every once in awhile buys things on a whim.

She tells me things are going to work out and all my dreams will come true (or at least some of them) when I can’t see that ever happening. I imagine she sometimes doubts it too, but she never tells me. And most of all, she loves me. The love of a mom is a powerful thing, more powerful than even the sun sometimes.

Lemon Brownies

I know my life and Mom’s life haven’t turned out in the way we hoped as of late, but I won’t give up and things will get better. One day soon, maybe I can take some of the pressure off of Mom and be the sun in our worlds. She can take over as the moon.

When Mom needs a little extra sunshine, we love to make lemon desserts together. These Lemon Brownies were one of our favorites. I’ve made Orange Brownies before, but they were more like orange cake. These are definitely brownie like. They are rich, dense, and almost gooey in the center. The lemon flavor shines through and the glaze, applied when warm, melts in, intensifying that gooey brownie-ness.

Celebrate Mom all the time, but make today extra special with these Lemon Brownies!

Lemon Brownies

Lemon Brownies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 9 large brownies

Ingredients

Brownies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Glaze

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan.

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in the lemon juice, followed by the flour and salt. Mix until just combined.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

Toward the end of baking time, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon zest and juice. Add more sugar or juice as necessary until a thick, but pourable glaze is formed.

Poke holes in the brownies with a toothpick and spread the glaze on top. Cover the whole thing. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting 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 the microwave 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Foodista

http://piesandplots.net/lemon-brownies-sundaysupper/

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

Celebratory Sips

Starters and Salads

Hearty Mains

Treats and Sweets

5 Favorite Pancake Toppings by Sunday Supper

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.

Peanut Butter Carob Bars #SundaySupper

Peanut Butter Carob Bars

Picnics are one of those things that always sound fun when other people talk about them. They even look fun when I see them in the movies or even driving by a local park.

The sun is shining. A gentle breeze blows. The picnic blanket and basket are perfect. The food is delicious. There’s soothing music playing.

Peanut Butter Carob Bars

But I know the reality (even if I’ve never had a picnic). Bright sunshine will suddenly give way to dark clouds and a downpour. The wind will blow me, the food, the blanket, and everything else in its path. The food will be soggy or poorly made or just generally no delicious. And the only music will be car horns and the too loud stereos that accompany them.

Okay, so maybe I’m being overdramatic (MEEEEEEE? NOOOOOOO! Never!), but I swear, if I had a picnic, I’m sure that’s exactly what would happen.

Your picnic will almost certainly go better.

Peanut Butter Carob Bars

Especially if you make these Peanut Butter Carob Bars. Seriously, I wanted to grab a spoon and eat straight from the pan while these were piping hot out of the oven. Okay, so I may have done that, but only to take a taste of the corner, for quality assurance purposes.

These start with a chewy, gooey, slightly underbaked, super peanut buttery, oatmeal cookie base that on its own is to die for. But then you spread more peanut butter on top. Don’t be skimpy! And top that with a cooked carob frosting that I could eat with a spoon.

Hot, these are possibly one of the best things ever. Don’t get me wrong, they are still great at room temperature, but do yourself a favor and take a giant, messy taste when these come out of the oven. Then grab the rest for your picnic.

Peanut Butter Carob Bars

Peanut Butter Carob Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting

1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick unsalted butter, cubed

¼ cup carob powder

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

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

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

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking soda, 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 would work too. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the peanut butter and vanilla. Fold in the flour until completely combined.

Spread batter in an even layer into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bars are setting around the edges but still very soft in the middle.

Dollop peanut butter on top of the bars. Allow to sit 1-2 minutes, then spread into an even layer.

Make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add carob and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and then the confectioners’ sugar. Pour the frosting over the peanut butter layer and spread so it evenly coats the bars. Allow to cool before cutting and serving, or throw caution to the wind and dig right in!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

http://piesandplots.net/peanut-butter-carob-bars-sundaysupper/

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

Appetizers:

Beverages:

Main Dishes:

Sides:

Soups and Salads:

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. 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.

 

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