Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Shortbread #SundaySupper

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust #SundaySupper

On Grey’s Anatomy this week (which was an amazing episode) Meredith, in her signature voice over, said no one waits for their world to explode, their life to change.  But that’s never been true for me.

Since I can remember, I have been waiting for my world to explode, in ways both good and bad.

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

The good isn’t so hard to deal with.  Waiting for an agent.  A publisher.  A friend.  For someone to see my work and love it.  Waiting for that moment of bliss when my parents and I will jump up and down crying tears of joy.

I mean it’s no fun waiting for those things, but they aren’t haunting and give me hope for the future.

The bad explosions, they’re not so fun.  Maybe it’s because I’m so creative, but I’ve always been a what if, worst case scenario kind of girl.

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crustq

When Mom leaves the house, I sometimes worry she will get in an accident.  When Mom and Dad are gone together, it’s even worse.  I worry I don’t appreciate Dad enough.  I’m just waiting for one or both of them to be gone.

There are the times when my stomach hurts and I worry it’s an appendicitis.  A runny nose might be spinal fluid (Grey’s is to thank for that one too).

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

The house might burn down.  We might crash the car.  I might fall down the stairs.  My world might explode.  And even though I think about it all the time, I’m not prepared for it.  None of us can be.  We can take precautions and be careful, but explosions happen without warning.

So we hug and make plans and have fun and talk and cook and bake and make the most of what we have and pretend we aren’t waiting for explosions.

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust are the perfect summer dessert that can transport us to another world, a happy world, because everyone is happy when they are baking.  These are pretty easy to make and so full of bright, lemon flavor.

The shortbread crust is taken to another level with poppy seeds.  But really, it’s that gooey lemon topping that makes us fall in love with lemon bars.  How can you not want to dive right in to that goodness?

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

Crust
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Zest of 2 lemons
Filling
Zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter, sugar, flour, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. This is easily done by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work too. The dough should come together and be soft and pliable. Press it evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 17-20 minutes until light golden brown.
  3. While it bakes, make the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, sugar, eggs, and flour. Be sure it is fully combined and pour it over the hot crust. Bake for about 30 minutes until a golden brown crust has formed on top but it is not fully set.
  4. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars and serving. Lemon 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 an hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Costco Connection

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http://piesandplots.net/lemon-bars-with-poppy-seed-shortbread-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes! Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

Sunday Supper Small Bites Recipes for Entertaining

SMALL STARTERS

PINT-SIZED PROTEIN

DEMI-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.

 

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/

 

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.

 

Gooey Cinnamon Cake Bars

Gooey Cinnamon Cake Bars

My TiVo gave up on me last week.

It was Thursday night and suddenly it worked slower than a snail. I couldn’t even watch HD programs. The horror, I know! But my TiVo was seven years old and outlasted three TVs, so buying a new one wasn’t the worst thing ever.

And it went in easily. Only three cords. But it was just teasing me. Because once the CableCard went in things got … interesting.

Gooey Cinnamon Cake Bars

Comcast tried to activate it … at nearly midnight. But it didn’t work after several phone calls, some lasting thirty or more minutes. With the Oscars on Sunday and me having to watch TV without a DVR (how did I manage?!?), I was in meltdown mode.

The next day, after unplugging several times, reinstalling the CableCard, and talking to seriously the most helpful person at Comcast or Xfinity or whatever they want to be known as today, it worked. The premium channels are still missing, but other than that it’s all good.

Gooey Cinnamon Cake Bars

And let me say I am so in love with my new TiVo Roamio. Who needs match.com when I can have TiVo???

I’m also pretty in love with these Gooey Cinnamon Cake Bars. They are best the next day after they are extra moist and well … gooey. I really like the top in all of its gooey glory and the cinnamon sugar topping.

I actually ran out of granulated sugar and made the whole recipe with brown sugar instead. Best decision ever! It adds extra flavor and moisture and makes these totally irresistible. I think I’ll grab one and catch up on some TV watching!

Gooey Cinnamon Cake Bars

Gooey Cinnamon Cake Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

Base

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

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

Gooey Layer

¼ cup light corn syrup

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

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Topping

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

Instructions

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

Make the base. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work. Beat in the egg and milk. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined. Spread into an even layer in the prepared pan.

Make the gooey layer. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, milk, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work. Beat in the egg. Mix in ½ cup flour, followed by half of the corn syrup mixture. Mix in another ½ cup of flour, the rest of the corn syrup mixture, and then finish with the final ¼ cup of flour. Place dollops of this gooey mixture on top of the base and spread into an even layer.

In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Sprinkle over the cake.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are set but the center is still soft and gooey. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars. 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 for about an hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Moveable Feasts from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

http://piesandplots.net/gooey-cinnamon-cake-bars/

Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars

I can’t believe the holiday season is nearly upon us. Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I was celebrating last Christmas. I demand time to slow down!

Other than my issues with time vanishing before my eyes, I’m having another problem. I don’t have anything on my Christmas list.

I’m trying to think of things. Big things, small things. Fun things, practical things. It’s just not happening though.

This is totally not like me. Typically the list of things I want is about a mile long. From the time I was a little girl asking for a multitude of Barbies and accessories to now when I ask for clothes and shoes Barbie might be happy to wear, I’ve never been light on wants.

Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars

Perhaps 24 years of accumulating stuff has left little for me to want. Plus a lot of the things I want aren’t tangible. Unless one of you know an agent looking to represent a new screenwriter or a way to magically teleport me to California. Or maybe I’m just – shudder – becoming an adult.

I’m sure my list will come along eventually. If not, the pressure’s on Mom and Dad to come up with gift ideas all on their own. Surprises are the best.

Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars

One thing I do want this holiday season is to keep extra pounds from creeping up. While I fully intend to eat my favorite foods in moderation, as always, I’ll be sticking to mostly healthy foods just like any other time.

Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars are a great compromise. While they aren’t going to replace traditional cinnamon rolls, these healthy, gluten free treats are a flavorful, filling breakfast or snack sure to keep you on track.

Ooey, gooey from almond butter, they also have crunch from walnuts and chia seeds, along with warmly spiced cinnamon. A simple, optional glaze adds a little extra sweetness and that great cinnamon roll twist. They are a gift all their own this holiday season!

Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars

Cinnamon Roll Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

Bars

2 cups old fashioned roll oats, gluten free if necessary

¼ cup oat flour, gluten free if necessary

1 cup walnuts

¼ cup chia seeds

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup creamy almond butter

½ cup honey

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon water, or more if necessary

Instructions

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

In a large bowl, stir together oats, oat flour, walnuts, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon until fully incorporated.

Add oil, almond butter, honey, and vanilla and stir until distributed and a thick dough is formed. Pour into prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and partially set on top. Cool completely in pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, vanilla, and water. Add more water or sugar as needed until a thick, yet spreadable glaze is formed. Drizzle over bars. 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 1 hour or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

http://piesandplots.net/cinnamon-roll-granola-bars-sundaysupper/

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

Drinks

Appetizer or starter

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

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.

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

http://piesandplots.net/cherry-pie-bars/

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

http://piesandplots.net/sweet-cherry-crumb-bars/

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

http://piesandplots.net/vegan-gluten-free-breakfast-bars/

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

http://piesandplots.net/pecan-bars-sundaysupper/

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.

http://piesandplots.net/caramel-peanut-butter-and-jelly-bars-sundaysupper/

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

 

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