You guys, I have a confession to make. In all of my years of baking, I’ve never made a blondie. It’s not that I don’t like them – I do! I do my happy dance every time The Cookie Man (as we affectionately call a friend) brings them to monthly game night. I pin and bookmark loads of blondie recipes, but somehow, they always get overlooked when I plan my baking.
So a week or two ago, as my daughter was started to get stir-crazy one weekend, I finally made a batch. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say I supervised the making of a batch. Miss. Hazelnut – 4 in just a few weeks – did almost everything herself. I was super impressed with how well she did cracking eggs, measuring and pouring, and stirring everything together. Really, the only help I provided was leveling some measuring cups and helping her scrape the bottom of the bowl. I love that she’s getting older now and actually able to help in the kitchen. And she loves that special time with me (or with my mom, who visits often), when we can keep her little brother distracted with something else.
These blondies were a hit with everyone, especially the kiddos, who were quite generous with the M&Ms. But I’m not surprised. It’s a Smitten Kitchen recipe, so of course we loved it!
Recipe Note: I used a spatula and hand-mixed the batter for the blondies, but feel free to use a hand or stand mixer.
Valentine’s Day Blondies
Makes a 9×13 Pan
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted; plus more for pan
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 c. Valentine’s M&Ms (a little less than a 10 oz. bag)
Butter a 9×13 pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and stir until combined. Stir in salt and flour. Finally, fold in about half of the M&Ms, adding more if desired.
Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining M&M, more or less, as you’d like. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until middle is set and edges are beginning to brown.
Allow to cool before cutting.
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
There’s an Italian pastry shop near by that does all you can eat pastries one night a week. My husband and a few of his friends get unreasonably excited by this. I mean, the pastries are good, but I honestly can’t eat more than one of the HUGE Italian pastries without feeling like I overdid it. By contrast, my hubby and his friends like to tell stories of who is the reigning champ of pastry eating.
We very rarely go to those all-you-can-eat Monday nights, but every time I think of a cannoli, I think of that shop and my hubby’s stories. I’ve never really had any desire to try making cannolis – I imagined it wouldn’t be worth the trouble of carefully stuffing the delicate shell, which must be done just before serving to maintain that crunchy, flaky consistency. However, this cannoli dip was an easy, fun take on the Italian pastry. It can be whipped up and stored in the fridge until serving.
Serve with graham crackers (we used both honey graham crackers and chocolate graham crackers) or sugared pita chips. If you want to get fancy, portion into phyllo cups just before serving, instead of using as a dip.
Adapted from Emily Bites
Makes 2 cups
- 15 oz. fat-free ricotta
- 3 oz. Marscapone cheese
- 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla paste (or 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
- 1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. mini chocolate chips
Stir together ricotta, Marscapone, confectioners sugar, and vanilla paste. Stir in 1/2 c. chocolate chips.
Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle remaining 1 Tbs. chocolate chips.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.
Are you ready to get inundated with Halloween candy tomorrow night? Maybe it’s leftover candy or maybe it’s the loot your kiddos came home with. How much will you have, and how quickly will it disappear? Is dropping the excess off at work an option for you? Or will it go uneaten for weeks or months, as your coworkers have their own stashes at home they’re eating through?
Want to know a secret? It disappears a lot quicker, especially at work, when you cook or bake with it. You’re bringing something new to the table, something that nobody is sick of (yet). With that in mind, the #SundaySupper crew are sharing some of their favorite recipes for using up leftover Halloween candy.
I went with a no-bake dessert – an rich, peanut buttery, chocolatey bar made with Rice Krispies cereal and topped with our favorite candy bars. I used KitKats and Twix, but peanut butter cups would be amazing on this. It takes only a few minutes to put together, and when I sent it to work with my hubby, was gone in just a few hours. I call that a win.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the #SundaySupper recipes designed to help you use up your Halloween candy, at the bottom of this post.
Leftover Candy Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars
Adapted from Averie Cooks
Makes 16 large squares
Ingredients for the Peanut Butter Crunch Base:
- cooking spray
- 1 c. creamy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)
- 1/2 c. light corn syrup
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 3 c. Rice Krispies cereal
Ingredients for the Chocolate Crunch Topping
- 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter (same used for the base)
- 1 c. Rice Krispies cereal
- Leftover Halloween candy, 1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped, or about 8-15 snack-sized bars (I used a mix of Kit Kats and Twix)
Prep: Line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil. Spray bottom and sides with cooking spray and set aside.
Make the Base: In a large microwave-safe bowl, add peanut butter, corn syrup and both sugars. Microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, and microwave another 45-60 seconds, until well combined and the sugars are mostly melted. Stir in vanilla. Finally, stir in Rice Krispies cereal. Pour into prepared pan, evening out with a spatula.
Make the Topping: In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips and peanut butter. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and pop back in for another 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completed melted and mixed complete with peanut butter. Add cereal to coat. Layer on top of peanut butter base, using a spatula to press evenly.
Finish: Quickly add leftover chopped up Halloween candy, pressing slightly into still-warm chocolate-peanut butter layer. Allow to set for an hour or two, refrigerating if needed.
Store at room temperature. Bars will keep for at least a week.
Looking for more ideas on using up your Halloween candy? Check out the below recipes. And big thanks to T.R. Crumbly from Gluten Free Crumbley for hosting this weekend’s event!
- Candy Bar Blondies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Gluten Free Seven Layer Candy Bar by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Halloween Hangover Blondies by Cricket’s Confections
- Leftover Candy Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars by Books n’ Cooks
- Gooey Candy Bar Brownie Cups by Desserts Required
- Leftover Candy Stuffed Brownies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes by Sunday Supper Movement
- Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Cake by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Pumpkin Chocolate Cake by NinjaBaker
- Candy Bar Truffles by The Crumby Cupcake
- Candy Toffee by Family Foodie
- Candy Filled Lollipops by The Freshman Cook
- Nutty Candy Bar Fudge by And She Cooks
- Butterfinger Biscotti by The Redhead Baker
- Candy Bar Oatmeal Cookies by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Full of Secrets Chocolate Chip Cookies by What Smells So Good?
- Candy Popcorn Balls by Palatable Pastime
- Inside Out Caramel Apple Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Under the Sea Snack Mix by Pies and Plots
- Lemon Drop Chicken Chow Mein by Mindy’s Cooking Obsession
- Snickapplebutterway Salad by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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.
For the past couple of years, I have taken July to highlight some of frozen treats – ice creams, popsicles, drinks and desserts – that have caught my eye. I share some of these recipes here on the blog as well as on social media (if you’re not following me on Twitter, Facebook, or G+, please take a minute to do so!). In honor of this, my contribution to this week’s #SundaySupper Piña Colada theme is a popsicle.
The coconut milk flavor is subtle to nonexistant thanks to the heavy dose of vanilla extract and the abundance of Oreos. However, the use of coconut milk instead of cow’s milk creates a creamy popsicle that I find sometimes lacking in homemade popsicles.
Don’t forget to check out the other Piña Colada-inspired recipes that the #SundaySupper tastemakers have put together for you, below the recipe. I’m loving this week’s contributions, and will be making coconut everything for quite some time!
Cookies and Coconut Cream Popsicles
Adapted from The View from Great Island
Makes 6 Popsicles
- 1 can (5-6 oz.) coconut milk
- 14 Oreos – 6 whole; the remaining 8 crushed
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
In a medium, mircowave safe bowl, heat the coconut milk for 30 seconds, or just long enough for the fat to be able to be evenly distrubuted into mixture. Stir in crushed Oreos and vanilla extract.
In a popsicle mold, add 1-2 tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture. Add whole Oreo. Fill to almost the top, leaving about 1/2-inch room. Insert popsicle stick into the center. Repeat until finished with the Oreos and coconut milk mixture.
Freeze until solid.
Serve: To remove from mold, run the popsicle under hot water for 10-15 seconds, until the popsicle will wiggle out of the mold.
Don’t forget to check out these other Piña Colada-inspired recipes.
- Coconut Granola Bowla by Family Foodie
- Gluten Free Coconut French Toast by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Make Ahead Healthy Piña Colada Breakfast Parfait by Easy Cooking with Molly
- Piña Colada Granola (grain free) by My Life Cookbook
- Piña Colada Nut Bread by Where Latin Meets Lagniappe
- Piña Colada Overnight Oats by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Piña Colada Pancakes by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
Dive in with Sides and Appetizers
Coco-Nutty Main Dishes
- Chickpea Potato Curry by Sunday Supper Movement
- Piña Colada Chicken and Rice by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Piña Colada Chicken Skewers by The Crumby Cupcake
- Pineapple Barbecue Chops with Colada Slaw by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken Curry by Caroline’s Cooking
- Coconut Pound Cake by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Cookies and Coconut Cream Popsicles by Books n’ Cooks
- Creamy Dairy-Free Vegan Coconut Ice Cream by Positively Stacey
- Easy Piña Colada Fudge by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Piña Colada Poke Cake by Crazed Mom
- Homemade Samoas by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- How to make a Piña Colada Flan by Asian In America
- Island Breeze Piña Colada Panna Cotta by The Weekend Gourmet
- Kheer by What Smells So Good?
- Mini Roasted Blueberry and Coconut Cream Trifles by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Piña Colada Bars by Dessert Geek
- Piña Colada Cream Pie by Cookin’ Mimi
- Piña Colada Cupcakes by The Redhead Baker
- Piña Colada Energy Balls by Wholistic Woman
- Piña Colada Ice Cream by Palatable Pastime
- Piña Colada Rice Pudding by Hardly A Goddess
- Piña Colada Trifle by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Piña Colada Upside Down Cake by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Pineapple Coconut Pudding by Magnolia Days
- Samoa Smacky Delicious Mix by Cooking With Carlee
- Toasted Coconut Sour Cherry Sundae by Pies and Plots
- Tropical Fruit Cups by The Freshman Cook
Sweet to Sip Beverages
- Boozy Coconut & Caramel Milkshakes by Momma’s Meals
- Coconut Banana Rum Smoothie by Desserts Required
- Coquito by Monica’s Table
- Lime Coconut Lassi by Food Lust People Love
- Piña Colada Freeze by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Piña Colada Smoothie by A Mind Full Mom
- Spiced Piña Colada by Family Around the Table
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.
For the past couple of years, every July, I share some of my favorite frozen treats that have caught my eye. I have tried very few of the recipes, if any, but the innovative recipe and/or drool-worthy photo had me saving the recipes at a pace there was no way I could keep up with. To kick things off, here are 25 ice cream and sorbet recipes that are sure to entice you to skip the store-bought stuff and make something homemade this summer.
If you try any of the recipes below, please be sure to come back and tell me how it turned out! And if you liked it, show a little love and leave a comment for the blogger as well!
Ice Creams, Sorbets, and More!
- Apple Crisp Ice Cream (from Belle Vie)
- Blackberry Basil Ice Cream (vegan) (from Snixy Kitchen)
- Blackberry Lavender Chevre Ice Cream (from The Kitchen McCabe)
- Butter Brickle Ice Cream with Homemade Toffee (from Chef Savvy)
- Cannoli Ice Cream with Pistachios and Dark Chocolate (from Full Belly Sisters)
- Cardamom Fig Ice Cream (from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen)
- Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream (no churn) (from Nutmeg Nanny)
- Circus Animal Cookie Ice Cream (from Kleinworth & Co.)
- Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (from Simply Recipes)
- Coffee and Donut Ice Cream with Mocha Hot Fudge Swirl (from Melanie Makes)
- Cookie Butter Ice Cream (from Handle the Heat)
- Fudgey Brownie Batter Ice Cream (no churn) (from Beyond Frosting)
- Graham Cracker Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (no churn) (from Cupcakes and Kale Chips)
- Hokey Pokey Ice Cream (from Eva Bakes)
- Lavender Lemon Ice Cream (from The Kitchen McCabe)
- Mango Chili Ice Cream (from Bell’alimento)
- Monkey Bread Ice Cream (from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
- Mud Pie Ice Cream (no churn) (from A Kristen Duke Photography)
- New York Crumb Cake Ice Cream (from Keep It Sweet Desserts)
- Nutella Swirl Toffee Crunch Ice Cream (no churn) (from Cupcakes and Kale Chips)
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream (from The Roasted Root)
- Fresh Pineapple Ice Cream (from The Kitchen McCabe)
- Pomegranate Champagne Sorbet (from The Cookie Rookie)
- Raspberry Chambord Sorbet (from Books n’ Cooks)
- White Chocolate Blackberry Ice Cream (from Life as a Strawberry)
Every month I think things are going to settle down, and every month seems to get busier and more chaotic than the last. I can’t tell you how many times I earmarked a day on the calendar to make bars for this month’s What’s Baking? theme, how many times I pulled butter out of the fridge to soften only to put it back in the fridge later that day.
Thankfully, this month’s hostess, Nichole from Cookaholic Wife, was completely understanding when I emailed her this past weekend to see if I could get this post out a few days late. My in-laws, husband and daughter had just went to the movies and my Little Man was down for a nap, so I was going to whip up the bars, start this post, and hope the photos came out well. Nichole had agreed to to my plan just minutes before and the butter was melted… and Little Man woke up.
Needless to say, I managed to get the bars baked, photographed them before the family could eat them, and here I am, night before it’s due, writing my post. Big thanks to Nichole for letting me submit late!
These bars are part of my Operation Clean Out Freezer. Spring cleaning. My two freezers is in desperate need of it. (There’s inspiration for ya!)
Every year, I stash an extra bag of cranberries in my freezer for some recipe that is sure to strike my fancy during the year. As I was baking this, I couldn’t help thinking that this would be a great recipe for fall. The tart cranberries have a touch of sweetness from the sugar (and of course, the slightly sweet shortbread crust and streusel). This recipe is halved from the version in Fine Cooking Magazine, and rewritten, but not heavily adapted.
Cranberry Shortbread Bars
Adapted from Fine Cooking, Dec 2006 (p. 75)
Makes 16 Bars
- 11 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 c. granulated sugar, divided
- 1/3 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 c. + 1 1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 6 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
Make Crust: Line an 8×8 inch pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine unsalted butter, 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbs. sugar, and salt. Whisk in egg yolk. Transfer 2/3-3/4 of it to the prepared pan, pressing along the bottom to cover. Use a fork to prick all over. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm.
While crust is in fridge, move a baking rack to upper third of the oven and preheat to 325F.
Bake the Crust & Prep the Rest: Remove from fridge and bake crust for 18-22 minutes, until crust is set and edges are beginning to brown.
While crust cooks, combine remaining dough with 2 Tbs. sugar, crumbling with clean fingers. Set aside.
In a small pan over medium heat, combine remaining 1/2 c. sugar, cranberries, and 2 Tbs. water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the sugar doesn’t burn. Lower heat slightly and continue to simmer until cranberries break down and mixture becomes a thick syrup, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
When crust is ready, remove oven and allow to cool slightly. Increase temperature on oven to 350F.
Assemble and Bake the Bars: When crust has cooled slightly, top with cranberry mixture, spreading to cover. Crumble streusel topping throughout.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and set. Do not overcook.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before cutting.
Serve at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
I was pretty excited when Joanna of Kosher Kitchen chose Baking with S’mores Variations as the theme for this month’s What’s Baking? To me, s’mores are a summer dessert. We enjoy sitting outside around a fire pit, toasting marshmallows and making old-fashioned s’mores. I love the flavors, but apart from some s’mores cupcakes (which are amazing, by the way), I haven’t played with the flavors too much. I was thrilled to be able to try out one of the many s’mores-inspired recipes I’ve bookmarked over the past few years.
I, of course, couldn’t help but to choose what might be the most sugar-laden dessert I could find – complete with peanut butter baking chips, two types of candy, and a jar of marshmallow fluff. The photo really does not do these bars justice – they’re super rich and stayed soft, even after a few days on the counter. They definitely we a good start to the workweek.
Peanut Butter S’mores Oatmeal Cookie Bars
Adapted from Mom On Timeout
Makes 24 bars
- 12 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 c. light brown sugar
- ½ c. creamy peanut butter
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- ¾ c. graham cracker crumbs (from about 4 graham crackers)
- 1 c. old-fashioned oats
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
- 2½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1½ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. peanut butter baking chips
- 7 full-sized Hershey’s chocolate bars
- 1 7-oz. jar marshmallow fluff
- 1 c. quartered Reese’s miniatures
Make the Dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until well combined. With the mixer still running on medium speed, add in peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla – all one at a time. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Reduce speed to low and one at a time, add graham cracker crumbs, oats, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and flour. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary. Finally, mix in peanut butter baking chips.
Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Assemble & Bake: Remove dough from fridge. Pour ⅔ of the dough into the prepared pan. Spread into an even layer. Top with Hershey’s bars, then marshmallow fluff.
Stir Reese’s miniatures into remaining dough, and drop onto fluff layer. The dough won’t completely cover the fluff.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven, and let cool completely before cutting.
Serve at room temperature (or, as my hubby preferred, microwave for 10 seconds to make extra warm and gooey) and store in an airtight container.