Monday, July 18, 2011

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Raspberries....ahh my absolutely favorite berry ever.  There is just something about a sweet, tart raspberry that makes me happy.  I had a jar of raspberry preserves that was calling my name so I set out to find a recipe that would do my precious raspberries justice.  I decided to go with a bar, one of my favorite desserts.  I used an oatmeal base and really liked it, but next time I will try the crust of my caramelitas since it is one of my favorites. Either way, it's a winner in my book!

1 cup of packed light brown sugar
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of raspberry jam (I prefer seeds but you can go seedless)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and oats.
Rub in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly and combined.
Press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of pan.
Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge.
Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top and gently press into the jam.
Bake 35-45 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool before cutting into bars.

I store them in my fridge to keep them firm.

Taken from All Recipes

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars

My family loves sugar cookies, but I must admit there are times when messing with the cookie dough is a bit of a pain, not to mention time consuming..especially with a 4 and 5 year old at home.  Sometimes ya just gotta adapt. So when I spotted this recipe floating around blog-land I knew it could be the answer to my sugar cookie time saver!  I used the recipe from Annie's Eats.  Next time I will use a frosting that sets up a little more as I live in a humid climate and it kept melting.   

ahhhh sugar cookie goodness

can ya see the flecks of vanilla bean?... yum!

For the cookies
1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
Zest from 1 lemon (I didn't have a lemon this time around)
5 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a rimmed baking sheet. 13x18 or 12x17

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and butter.  Beat on high until light and smooth.
Mix in eggs one at a time until well combined.
Beat in vanilla, seeds from vanilla bean and lemon zest.  
In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Whisk together.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar.  Beat just until incorporated. 

Transfer cookie dough to pan.  Press into an even layer.
Cook for 10-15 minutes until light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 cups of confectioners sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons of milk
Food coloring (optional)

Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in vanilla, salt and sugar until smooth.
Mix in milk.
Add food coloring if desired.
Spread on cooled cookies and cut into bars.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Well, I did it again.  I bought bananas with the intention of eating them before they got the brown spots.  I personally don't like a banana after the brown spots show up.. a little too mushy for me. So I started my quest for a good banana bread.  My history with banana bread isn't the best one, but let's just blame it on the altitude at which I lived at the time.  As I clicked my way through blog after blog one finally caught my eye at The Sisters Cafe...because there was CHOCOLATE in the bread!  Woohoo now I was excited to tear into those brown spotted bananas!

mmmmm chocolate....
Super moist

2 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas) 
2 large eggs
1/3 cups of sour cream
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium size bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Whisk 
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar and butter.  Beat until well blended.
Add banana, eggs and sour cream.  Beat until blended
Add flour mixture.  Mix just until moist and combined 

Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat for 1 minute until almost melted
Stir until smooth.  Cool slightly
Add 1 cup of batter to chocolate. Stirring until well combined

Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter.
Swirl batters together using a knife.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until wooden skewer comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack for ten minutes then remove bread from pan and cool completely.