Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

 

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Russ saw me making these bars the other day, grinned and said, “I LOVE baking season!”. Lol. He certainly does. Him, the boys, and I admit to a fondness for it myself. It’s funny; the rest of the year, I’m not as big on making cookies. I’m more of a quick bread, yeast bread sort of baker The whole plopping cookie dough down, or cutting, shaping, etc, drives me nuts. I shamefully confess that my attention span is that of a four year old in many ways and standing or sitting still to get something repetitive done isn’t a favored pastime. But at Christmas I’m all about the cookies.

The standing long enough to shape or roll though is exactly why I love bar cookies 😀 I get the dough in a pan, top with whatever if that is part of it, bake, cut, eat. What could be easier, right? These are delicious. Not really the type you’d put on a cookie tray though, so don’t use them for that. These are the ones you put out with the rest of the desserts. They are large, hearty bars, meant to be eaten with a fork.

Kind of still on topic, do you have your tree up yet? This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had a real tree. I grew up with fakes ones, used them my whole life, but Russ decided this year that he wanted a  real one. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think I had this vague expectation that the house would suddenly smell all Christmasy and piney. But *sobs* it doesn’t. It’s like having a fake tree in the house, but we have to keep it watered. It IS prettier than the fake tree we had, though. That one had seen better days and I’m pretty sure the mice had attacked it when it was stored in the garage.

Back to the cookies *as she rushes from one topic to the next like a crazed caffeine fueled toddler*, these are fantastic and as I said, perfect for the holiday dessert mix. The crust and topping are similar to a cakey sugar cookie, filled with a sweet and tangy mixture of berry pie filling and chocolate chips. Sugar cookie, fruit, chocolate. Do I even NEED to say more? Seriously; make these. They are wonderful, plus the fact that they use canned pie filling pushes them into the easy category as well, which is always a plus, especially this time of year. *I adapted this from a recipe on the BHG site*

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup shortening, room temp
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 21 ounce cans of your favorite pie filling- I used cherry and strawberry (you won’t use all of the second can)
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Glaze-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond (or vanilla) extract mixed with
  • 2 teaspoons half and half or milk (you may need a touch more cream to get the consistency glaze you like; start with this)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, on low speed, beat together the butter and shortening. Add in the sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of the almond extract and beat well.
  3. Still using the mixer on low *unless you enjoy being covered with flying flour*, carefully beat in 2 cups of the flour. Get a heavy wooden spoon and use that to mix in that last cup of flour.
  4. Scoop out and set aside 1 1/2 cups of the dough. Press the rest into the bottom of a 15×10 inch baking pan. I find the easiest way to do this with sticky dough is to dump it all in the pan, then lightly flour my fingers to press the dough in, repeating the flouring as needed.
  5. Bake the dough at 350 for 12 minutes. it will be just starting to turn a pale brown at the edges.
  6. While it bakes, stir the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract into the pie filling.
  7. After taking the crust out, carefully spread with desired amount of pie filling. I used about 1 1/2 cans. One can isn’t enough; two is a bit too much. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, then dollop spoonfuls of the remaining cookie dough evenly over the fruit filling.
  8. Continue baking at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.
  9. Let cool for an hour, then glaze. The glaze is easy peasy. Just whisk together the glaze ingredients, adding more milk if you want it thinner and drizzle desired amount over the pan of bars. When totally cool, slice into squares.

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Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

 

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28 Delicious Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Leftovers) Recipes for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 2

It’s that time again; time for the annual Thanksgiving post. After almost 6 years of blogging, I have accumulated quite a few recipes that work in this category, so I have to cull some out so as to not end up with a post with 50 different additions. 😛

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. 😀

This Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is my absolute favorite way to make a ham. The ham turns out so moist and tender with such a delicious sweet/salty flavor you’ll keep coming back for.Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham-001This Sesame Soy Turkey Breast is fantastic if you’re a cook who’s willing to leave the traditional box a bit on Thanksgiving. This glaze can also be used on a whole turkey, a chicken, game hen, you name it.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

I know that a lot of families like to serve a pasta dish as one of the main dishes so I’m including our favorite, this Cheesy Sausage And Meatball Pasta Bake. This makes a LOT, so it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, when a lot of people are there, with everyone getting as little bit of each dish.Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta BakeLet’s move on to appetizers; those little bits you put out to keep everyone from storming the kitchen begging for food. 😛  One of my favorite easy dips (and when I say easy, I mean it) is my White Trash Dip. I know; such a classy name, lol. But it is great for appeasing the hungry mongrel hordes and quick to throw together, which is always a plus on Thanksgiving.
White Trash Dip
I have adored Boursin Cheese for years, but man, that stuff is expensive for the small amount you get. So I started making my own years ago. This is soooo good and always a hit. It’s creamy, great with veggies like celery sticks as well as crackers. If you have any left over, it also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts.

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Ahhhh, side dishes. What would Thanksgiving be without 50 side dishes to serve with the turkey and ham? One of my all time most popular posts here at From Cupcakes To Caviar is my Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac And Cheese. This makes a HUGE pan of mac and cheese, so it’s perfect for the holidays.Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & CheeseYou can’t have turkey without mashed potatoes, right?
I was never a mashed potato fan until I made up these Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes. I totally love these. They are creamy, buttery (boy, are they buttery) and with a subtle tang from the cream cheese.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

If you want to go a little different, you can’t beat these Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables. The potatoes and veggies get all crispy on the outside and all soft and tender inside. So, so good.

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I was never a cold pasta salad sort of a person until I made up this Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad a few years ago. It’s great during the holidays for people who may want something a little lighter (and with no meat in it, lol) but still full of flavor.Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad
I have a major thing for Winter squashes. To me, they stand so far above the ubiquitous Summer squashes. I took one of my favorites here and stuffed it to come up with Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries. This is a fantastic addition to the holiday meal or a great light entree on it’s own.

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, right? While I admit to a secret love for the kind that slithers out of the can with a loud plop, I also love homemade cranberry sauce and make a large batch every year. My Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce is a perfect foil for all the rich dishes you’ll be serving. The brandy is completely optional so don’t let that turn you away from it. Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Now we come to the breads. I’m not normally a big one for breads, but hot and fresh on the holidays? I tend to go for them more at that time. And these Angel Biscuits have become a family favorite. Since they have baking powder in them as well as yeast, they are fairly foolproof, which is great for the less experienced cooks out there.

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

The rolls I have been making for years are these Oatmeal Yeast Rolls. They are so fluffy and soft; perfect hot spread with butter or later as a mini turkey sandwich (Yes, I know this is a bad photo. The post is an old one, when my photography skills were sub-par, to say the least. The rolls however, are amazingly good)

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

I love to make a few loaves of bread for Thanksgiving as well as rolls. They are so good with dinner and make fantastic sandwiches the next day. I particularly love to make my Loaded Baked Potato Bread, The flavors in it go wonderfully with a turkey sandwich!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Here in the south, a lot of people like to make cornbread to go with dinner, even on the holidays. My Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread is a favorite. It’s fluffy, not at all dry like so many cornbreads can be, with just a touch of sweetness.

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Then, of course, we have the part of dinner that everyone looks forward to; dessert! And man, you know I have some desserts to share with you! I have to start with the classics, of course, so here is my favorite- my Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie. This one is posted with a really good cornmeal crust, but you can use your favorite crust. Just make sure it’s a deep dish one. Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust
That pumpkin pie tends to be my husbands favorite. Mine however will always be Pecan Pie. I love it slightly warmed with heavy cream poured over it. So bad for me, but so delicious!Deep Dish Pecan Pie

The last few years, my favorite pecan pie has had to vie with this Cranberry Apple Cake. I can’t say enough good things about this cake. It’s absolutely delicious and I can’t imagine the Thanksgiving meal without it now. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, just a wonderful dessert that I look forward to all year.

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

If you want a classic (not to mention, heavenly chocolate goodness 😀 ) you’ll want to make this wonderful Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing This is a favorite with pretty much all age groups, and even those people who say Thanksgiving should be all about the pies. I’m not even normally a cake person and I love it!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

If you want to do a different apple dessert, my Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce would be a great choice. It’s easy to throw together the day before you need it and then just warm up the sauce when ready to cut and serve. Again, I’m not huge on cakes, which is why if you see me posting one, you know it MUST be good.

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Or maybe you prefer a classic apple dessert? I find myself going for this Old Fashioned Apple Crisp all year round, but it’s a delicious choice on Thanksgiving!Old Fashioned Apple Crisp 2

I have a couple of desserts for you that are a bit more elegant, plus not as heavy. The first is one I love; my Elegant And Easy Lemon Almond Cake. This cake is light and filled with the flavor of almond and lemon; perfect for the family members who want a little something for dessert, but don’t want the heavier sweets.

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

The other one is one of my more recent creations- these Skillet Pears With Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce. These are wonderful if you have a smaller gathering. The pears end up tender and juicy and the caramel sauce is fantastic.Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

So, what to do with leftovers once Thanksgiving is over? When you tire of just making a plate of leftovers, I have some things you can do with some of them. If the title says chicken, obviously you can sub in that leftover turkey staring you in the face.

We love Mexican food in my house. Yes, I know that much of what we all call Mexican food has been totally Americanized, but it’s still delicious, so who cares? One of my family’s favorites are these Cheesy Chicken (Turkey) And Chorizo Enchiladas. They have the perfect mix of creamy, spicy and cheesy. I make them all year round, but they are a perfect way to use up leftovers.Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas 2

Everyone makes soup after Thanksgiving. But I have one here that doesn’t need to have you simmering stock for hours on end. I can eat a boatload of my Quick And Easy Turkey, Bacon And Cheese Chowder. This is comfort food at its best and it doesn’t have to cook for hours.Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder

Along the Mexican lines again, I almost always make a pan of White Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas in the week after Thanksgiving. These are soooo darn good and everyone scarfs them down.

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

You may still have some turkey left even after those (I know I will; I always buy too much!) so my Cheaters Easy Chicken (Turkey) And Dumplings never fails me. It’s warming, comforting and filling and tastes great!

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

If you have leftover cranberry sauce (and you know you will), make a loaf of my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. It’s an easy way to use up some of those leftovers and it makes a yummy breakfast or light snack.Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Breadthanksgiving

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Lemony White Chocolate Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

We just got back from church a while ago and I figured I needed to get this written since at this point the muffins are long gone and the photos sitting on my desktop were constantly calling to me saying, “edit me! Edit me!”

Am I the only one who sits in church and while 99% of the mind is listening, the other 1% is totally off on a tangent? Mind you, in my defense, my tangents are pretty much always related to something church-ish (yes, that is now a word because I said so). Today, the gentleman in front of us was singing along and he had a sweet, if somewhat off key voice. The thought popped into my head that when we get to Heaven and our voices are raised praising God, I imagine it will be rather like in church. There won’t be a bunch of people with perfect voices sitting in perfect rows with perfect manners. It will be a mass of voices; the off key, the sweet soprano, the deep bass, the whispering alto and the childish murmurs of the young. I imagine we won’t be sitting on hard benches with politely folded hands; we’ll be shouting and waving our hands in praise as we listen to The Lord speak or shout in awe at the voices of an angelic choir. We’ll be on our feet or on our knees, but we sure won’t be silent. We certainly won’t be boring and worried about Sunday Manners.

I look forward to that in a way I never did when I was going to the quiet Lutheran church I went to as a child. The church we attend now took some getting used to for a lady who was used to quiet services, printed hymns sung in polite unison and above all else, manners, always manners. While I will probably (at least not in this life) never be a person who stands and waves my hands, who sings at the top of my lungs or shouts out “Praise God!”, I take a quiet joy in watching the tiny older lady who sits a few pews in front of us do so. I get choked up when I see the one man who always has his hands raised and a smile on his face that speaks of a elated communion with God. I find it hard to sing without tears as I hear all of these voices raised together in worshipful community and I see the worship leaders looking as though they feel that on that stage, in that moment, is where they want to be above all else. It’s not the songs I grew up with and I admit to being thrilled when we all sang “It Is Well With My Soul” a couple of weeks ago, but nonetheless, I think I have found my place, my home for this lifetime, the people I will watch grow and change over time. I look forward to that too.

Moving onto muffins, if you like the blueberry lemon citrus combo, this should be right up your alley.  Plus, they have streusel! What else does one need in life, right? I need to come up with a recipe for streusel topped streusel to satisfy my streusel addiction. In the meantime, I need to make more of these muffins. They are loaded with fresh blueberries, sweet white chocolate and lemon zest, then topped with buttery, crunchy streusel. These are perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack or even dessert.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Lemony White Chocolate Blueberry Streusel Muffins

  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • Muffins-
  • 1 cup buttermilk mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup good quality white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 15 muffins cups or line with foil or paper liners.
  2. Make your streusel- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until you have pieces that are about pea sized. Set aside
  3. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk mixture and the oats. Let sit for about ten minutes to soften the oats.
  4. In another small bowl (you have someone to wash the dishes, right?), whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a large bowl (last bowl, I promise), stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and lemon zest. Dump the oats mixture into that and stir well.  Pour all of the flour mixture in at once and stir JUST until combined.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries and white chocolate chips.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup to near the top. Top each with a heaping tablespoon or so of streusel and gently press down (you’ll have streusel left over. Just put it in a tightly covered container or ziploc bag and freeze it for another time) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Gently remove from the muffin cups and let cool on a rack.

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Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

 

Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 3

I would apologize for having been gone so long, but you’ve all heard it before. I’ve become like that straying spouse that says for the 12th time, “I promise; it won’t happen again! Trust me!” and then they step out on you again 😛 I do what I can post wise lately and I know that those of you who have been around for pretty much my full five years (Yes! We passed the five year mark early this month. D’you believe it!?) love me anyway.

Are you all as totally sick as me of all the political crap on facebook anymore? I love my friends, but I swear, I can’t scroll half an inch there without being bombarded with “Democrats are evil; no, Republicans are evil!” posts. It is enough to make one want to go live on a deserted island in the south pacific with only a banana tree for food and a macaw for company.  Wait; I wanted to do that anyway. I mean, really, think about it. Bananas are a perfectly good food to live off of (though if I wanted protein, I imagine my buddy the macaw would start looking tasty hehe) and you can’t beat a nice sunny tropical island. Just send me with a few crates of books and a way to play music and it’s all good.

This wasn’t originally going to be a post, but it was too tasty to keep to myself. It’s nothing earth shaking. I was making my original banana bread and I noticed that I had a partial bag of chocolate chips I needed to use up. Then, when I glanced in the freezer for something else, I saw my stored bag of streusel. The two brain cells I have left decided to use both of these things in the bread. I have to say, it’s really quite good. I added a layer of streusel to the middle of each loaf along with a small handful of chocolate chips, then topped each loaf with more of the same. Simple, yet delicious. I sent some in with Joshie for his teacher today and she texted me saying it was fantastic. I soooo love when people enjoy what I’ve made. 🙂

This is a perfect after school snack, great with coffee for a quick and somewhat decadent breakfast (but it has bananas! It must be good for you, right?!), a nice late night treat; just an all around nice baked good to have around. And, as as in the case for most quick breads, this is easy to throw together and get in the oven.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup solid shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups of mashed bananas (this is about 5 to 6 medium bananas)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional, but it adds a nice flavor)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (toast in a single layer in a 350 oven until they are a light golden brown)
  • 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • Streusel-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (optional; with me, nuts in streusel depends on my mood)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease 6 mini disposable foil loaf pans and set aside. Alternately, you can do this in a 9 inch loaf pan, but you’ll have extra that you’ll need to make muffins with.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, on low speed, cream together the shortening and the sugar until well combined. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla, banana and butter flavorings and eggs. Beat well.
  4. Dump in the flour mixture and using a large spoon or rubber spatula, combine JUST until mixed. It’s fine if there are a few lumps or white streaks. I have said before and will say again, you do NOT want to over beat quick breads and/or muffins. You end up with tough rubbery final products doing that. Resist that urge.
  5. Fold in the toasted walnuts. Again; don’t over mix.
  6. Fill each mini loaf pan about half full. Sprinkle with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the streusel and then about a tablespoon of the chocolate chips. Divide the rest of the batter evenly over each loaf, carefully smoothing the top to get it over the streusel. Top each loaf with another 2 tablespoons of streusel and some chocolate chips. If you have streusel left over, it freezes wonderfully.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean  If this starts to brown too much, just lay a piece of foil over the top as it bakes.
  8. Let it sit in the pan for ten minutes, then gently squeeze the bottom of the pan to loosen the loaf and turn it out carefully to a rack to finish cooling.

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Streusel Topped Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 5

 

My favorite Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

It’s time for me to get to enjoy being a Hamilton Beach Ambassador one more time! I always love when I get the chance to share my thoughts on one of their products with you, and I especially love getting to give away whatever that product is to one of you! So, what do we have to talk about today? The most recent thing the lovely people at Hamilton Beach sent to me is their Easy Reach 4 Slice Toaster Oven .

4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door

4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door

This toaster oven is so darn cute! Yes, I just called a toaster oven cute. But really, it is.31334 Other women will understand it, while men will just shake their heads and assume I’m insane; rather like my husband does when I say that those teeny tiny mini sized bottles of ketchup are cute. Inside, this oven is only a wee bit smaller seeming than the typical toaster oven. What makes it seems tinier is it’s lack of bulk. You have a glass door on the front that rolls up rather than opens downward. This has a pro and a con. It makes it easier to get into the oven without worrying about the door getting in your way as you pull things out. BUT… and this is again something most women will “get”; it also means that you can’t set any sort of knick knacks or decorations on top of this oven. On my old one, I kept the cup that held all the keys, my ceramic cow named Herman (don’t ask) and a knick knack that once belonged to my mother in law. With this one, I can’t do that due to the roll top door.
But it makes up for it in other ways. The Hamilton Beach 4 Slice goes from 200 degrees all the way up to 450 degrees. Beyond toasting, you have the already mentioned bake function, plus a broil one. I can see THAT one working great for melting the cheese on top of something or crisping up a food; making burgers.

Did I mention that the door was removable? Can we say “easy cleanup”?! Unlike ones where you end up with a door so splattered and icky that you can’t see through it, with this one, after each use, just take the door off, wash it up, dry it and put it back on. No mess! 31334-04 This comes with a removable rack that can be used in two different positions and a crumb tray that isn’t attached inside, so you can pull it out easily and clean it off.
My old toaster oven? I was afraid to actually COOK anything in it. I used it for toast and frozen pizzas and that was about it. But I knew if I was going to be able to accurately review this for you, I needed to branch out a little. I thought about homemade pizza, then realized that was still hedging my bets; pizza is pizza when it comes to baking. So I finally decided to make one of my family’s favorite cookies; my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies. This cookie isn’t cheap to make generally, so I was counting on this oven to do it correctly and not end up burning the tops or the bottoms like other ones have done. So I took a deep breath and dived in.
IT WORKED!! The cookies came out looking just like they should, though they seemed to finish baking about a minute and a half quicker. Obviously, you can’t fit a full sized tray of cookies in there, but the oven comes with a tray and that tray fits four cookies just fine. If made smaller, you could fit six, but I like generously sized cookies 😀 My sons got a hold of the cookies (I only got ONE cookie! Darn kids!) before I got a photo (I had only made a half batch) so the photo I am using here is my old one, but trust me, there was no difference in the cookies.
As for the cookies themselves, if you haven’t tried these before, now’s your chance! These cookies are awesome, if I do say so myself, hehe. They are ooey gooey, with a slight nutty flavor from the browned butter, but no actual pesky nuts. They have that wonderful soft middle with the crispy edge. You could make a half batch like I did and have enough for the here and now, or make the full batch of dough, freeze half in cookie sized balls, then bake in the toaster oven anytime you get a craving. You can bake straight from frozen; just add a couple of minutes time on.

                         Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown color & cooled
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag Heath Bar toffee chips (or 4 Heath bars, crushed)

 

  1. To brown the butter, in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Let cook,stirring frequently, until it turns a golden brown color. This can take anywhere from five to ten minutes. It will sputter, spit and foam a lot at first then that will stop. Do NOT walk away from this as it can go from yellowish butter to burnt garbage very quickly.
  2. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl, leaving behind all the solid bits at the bottom of the pot (though if you get some in there it’s no big deal. Don’t worry about it.). Let cool.
  3. When cool, pour both kinds of sugar into the bowl with the butter. Beat until well mixed.
  4. Add in the egg and egg yolk, then pour in the vanilla and the cream. Beat on low speed until well mixed.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and at slow speed (unless you want to be covered in flying flour), mix until you have a cohesive cookie dough.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and the toffee bits.
  8. Now you can chill for about an hour if you want. The original recipe says to but I didn’t bother and they were fine.
  9. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. If you don’t have a silicone mat, please go buy one. They aren’t cheap but oh my, they’re worth it. Trust me on this. The first time you use it, you’ll totally understand. Spray the cookie sheet with baking spray.
  10. Scoop the cookies up and place about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
  11. Bake at 350 until golden brown on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Do NOT over bake or they will lose that delicious softness and gooeyness (yes, that is now a word). They should be firm on top if you press one lightly but not hard.
  12. Let cool for a minute on the sheet then transfer over to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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Now for the fun part; the giveaway! Enter below for your chance (chances) to win one of these Hamilton Beach 4 Slice Toaster Ovens for yourself!

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Disclosure-The lovely people at Hamilton Beach provided me with a 4 Slice Easy Reach Toaster Oven With Roll Top Door to review, but all opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

The first graders in Joshies school have their Easter egg hunt tomorrow. He wants me to come be one of the volunteer moms who hides eggs and acts all gleeful to be in a crowd of moms I don’t know. *Sobs* The child is young. He hasn’t yet learned that his mother is a total introvert, with social anxiety issues to boot. While I COULD go do this, and use it as a handy excuse to have a drink later, I think I prefer to go to the Easter egg hunt, cheer him on from the back of the mass of people and then quietly slink off to wait for school to end and Spring break to start. Though Spring break brings with it its own reasons to have a bottle of booze handy.

I already have his first Spring break snackie all ready with these blondies (Did ya see that smooth segue there? Huh, huh, huh?). Generally speaking, I prefer chocolaty brownie type bars, but every once in a while I get a wild hair and want to play with something else.  One of my favorite brownie recipes are these caramel pecan brownies. They are so easy and what you get from that easiness is an outstanding brownie; chewy, chocolaty and gooey. In other words, right up my alley. But the idea had been flitting around in my head to see what else I could do with the basic recipe. I know some people like their chocolate a little more muted and these should please those people immensely. But you know what? The rest of you will love them too. I know I do. These are simple as can be since they use cake mix (yes, cake mix. Quit rolling your eyes; they’ll stick that way.) and bagged caramels. I’ve learned in my many years of life (many, many years) that things don’t always have to be fancy to be delicious. These turned out really well. They are almost candylike in their texture; chewy, but not hard to chew, gooey, with just enough chocolate in them. Plus, the toasted coconut and pecans add a nice crunch and flavor to them. Cut these in fairly small bars. They are pretty rich.

You know the drill… 🙂

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk (you can sub half and half it you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup toasted coconut (350 oven, single layer in a baking dish for about ten minutes; stir once during toasting)
  • 21 ounces (give or take) caramel candy (I used Kraft; it takes about a bag and a half), unwrapped (I assume you know to unwrap them, but I have to be careful here 😛 )
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or half and half (yes, this is supposed to be in here twice)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil; lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, melted butter and extracts. Use a spoon to mix just until combined. It’s ok if there are still some lumps in the batter.
  3. Use your hands (lightly grease or flour them; it helps) to spread/press about half the batter into the prepared pan. It may take a touch more than half; that’s fine. Bake at 350 for five minutes.
  4. While it’s baking, in a medium bowl, combine the caramels and the 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Then continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until the caramels are melted. It’s again ok if there are small lumps and it’s not perfectly smooth. You just want a more or less smooth caramel mixture, but a few lumps won’t hurt.
  5. Pour half the caramel sauce on top of the partially baked crust. be careful spreading it since the crust isn’t cooked all the way and will tear if you’re not gentle. Top this with the toasted coconut, pecans and half the chocolate chips. Then pour the rest of the caramel sauce over the top.
  6. Mix the other half of the chocolate chips with the remaining batter, then spoon dollops of the batter over the top of the caramel. it’s not going to cover it all; that’s cool. Just try to evenly space the dollops over the top.
  7. Put the pan bake in the 350 oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top it browned and the caramel is bubbly.
  8. Let cool in the pan at LEAST a couple of hours (overnight in a cool place is best), then use the foil to lift the blondies out onto a cutting board. If they start to sag in the middle, they aren’t cool enough yet.. Peel off the foil, then cut the blondies into serving size pieces.

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Chocolaty Orange Mocha Snack Cake

Chocolaty Orange Mocha Snack Cake 2

Chocolaty Orange Mocha Snack Cake

Russ, my husband, has a thing for the combo of chocolate and orange. I have to admit that it’s a favorite of mine also. But then again, I’m an equal opportunity fruit/chocolate fan. Blend it with raspberry, cherry, apricots, whatever and I’ll be there banging on your door, plate in hand.

Every year at Christmas time, I get Russ one of those chocolate oranges. You know the kind; wrapped in foil, you’re supposed to strike it against a hard surface to separate the segments, etc, etc. I SAY I get it for Russ and it HAS become a tradition. But the truth is that while he loves the flavor combo, he isn’t much on candy. He prefers it in that flavor of Milano cookie (me too!) So what happens to his chocolate orange over time? Yep; you guessed it. *sheepish look* Well, I can’t just let it go to waste, now can I?! It’s rather like how every year when my brother, sister and I were kids, we would get our mom a big heart shaped box of Fanny May chocolates for Valentines Day, using her money of course. Of course, by the time our poor mother, suffering from some late night chocolate craving, got to the box that she stored in the fridge, she would usually find two or three pieces of the worst flavors left in there, surrounded by a plethora of wrappers. And those three would usually have their bottoms bitten off by yours truly.

Oops.

So, in honor of my husbands favorite flavor (honest; I haven’t eaten any yet *coughcough*), I made a loaf cake that mingles the two, but with the added bonus (totally thought of myself and my favorite coffee drink here) of making the chocolate part mocha flavored. I tried marbling it for looks, but for some odd reason, I’ve never had a lot of luck with marbling (bad butter knife skills? 😛 ) so it looks more layers, but I rather like it that way.

This isn’t in your face with either flavor; the chocolaty mocha part has a subtle flavor with a touch of orange itself from the orange oil I added and the orange part is also subtle. If you want more in your face from the flavors, add about an extra 1/2 teaspoon of orange oil to the orange part and you could probably get away with adding about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips and a touch more coffee powder to the chocolate part.  This is a nice simple, old fashioned loaf cake, perfect for an after school snack for the kiddos if they like a more sophisticated flavor, perfect with your morning cup of coffee or for a light dessert.

You know the drill… 🙂

By the way, I really adore all of you! <3

Chocolaty Orange Mocha Snack Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream (can sub a nice thick Greek yogurt if it makes you happy)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (or the amount that you can get from one medium orange)
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange oil, divided (you can sub orange extract, but the oil is infinitely better)
  • 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder ( baked goods such as this are a good reason to keep a small jar of instant coffee around- it lasts forever)
  • Glaze and garnish-
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • orange zest or strips
  • chocolate shavings (I used a bitter sweet bar with almonds because it was all I had, but I actually liked the way the shaved almonds added a bit of texture and crunch to the top)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and either grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan or spray well with one of the flour/oil combo baking sprays. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. After the last egg is added, continue beating at medium speed for a minute or two.
  3.  Add in the flour mixture and just barely mix it in. Add in the sour cream. This is a thick batter, so no, you didn’t do anything wrong.
  4. Move half of the batter to another medium bowl. To that half, add in 1/2 teaspoon of the orange oil and the orange zest. Mix just until combined.
  5. To the remaining batter, add the melted chocolate, the last 1/4 teaspoon of orange oil and the coffee powder. Mix just until combined.
  6. Spoon half of the orange batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spoon half of the chocolate batter on top of that. Repeat those layers once. Use a butter knife to dig down in there and swirl the batter together, then smooth the top. Hopefully, your mad swirling skills are better than mine 😀 Smooth the top of the batter.
  7. Bake at 350 until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cover the top loosely with foil if it starts to get too brown at the edges before it is fully baked.
  8. Let cool in the pan set on a rack set over a rimmed baking pan for about ten minutes, then carefully invert it out onto your hand, then back onto the rack to finish cooling.
  9. During the ten minutes it is in the pan, make your glaze which is easy peasy. Just combine the 1/3 cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for about a minute; just long enough to dissolve the sugar.
  10. Brush the glaze over the hot cake.
  11. When the cake is completely cool, garnish with shaved chocolate and orange zest.

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Chocolaty Orange Mocha Snack Cake

Chocolaty Orange Mocha Snack Cake

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies



I have a confession to make. *Takes a deep breath and sobs* No Amaretto was harmed in the making of this post. I lied!!! It’s just almond extract!!! *Throws myself at the mercy of the courts…. and cookie eaters. But, in my defense, how would Cranberry, White Chocolate and Almond Extract have sounded as a title? It needed excitement, pizzazz, oomph! Amaretto is exciting! Fine, maybe not so much, but you get my drift. So, when you make these cookies, just don’t tell anyone that the almond flavor is from almond extract and not amaretto. It will be our little secret. You, me and the 3 other people who actually read my blog. :-p

Now on to my whining weather report. WHAT HAPPENED TO AUTUMN!!!!??? It disappeared!! It’s the first week in November and I had to turn the A/C on last night because it was too hot in here to sleep comfortably. Who turned off the cold?! It is NOT, I repeat, NOT supposed to be 80 degrees during the day in November; not even in Kentucky. And other states that allow that nonsense need to stop it right now.

Because I said so.

On that note (as I watch two of my three readers back away slowly), let’s move on to the cookies.

I loved these. And they got the kid approved thumbs up too, which is always nice. One would think that any kid would give a thumbs up to cookies, but nope, not mine. With me having been baking all of their lives (heck, most of MY life) and running a food blog, they are more particular and have higher standards than the “normal” children. There is nothing more humorous than getting a verbose critique from a seven year old- “These are good momma, but they could be chewier/sweeter/crunchier”… whatever the specific food should be.

These have a nice nutty flavor from the toasted almonds. I deliberately toasted these a little browner than I usually do because I wanted a nuttier flavor. It worked wonderfully. So when you toast the almonds, get them to a nice medium brown color. Just make sure to give them a stir in the pan once to make sure they brown evenly. The cranberries added a nice tartness to the cookies and the white chocolate a creamy sweetness. Since these have oats and cranberries in them, feel free to eat them for breakfast. They’re good for you *coughcough*! Honest Injun! Even with the tablespoon of almond extract in these, the almond flavor is still fairly mild, so go ahead and add a teaspoon more if you want an extra punch of flavor.

You know the drill… 🙂

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  •  2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (add an extra teaspoon if you want more almond flavor) almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (if you REALLY want to punch up the flavor, toast your oats for about 6 minutes or so at 350. Just make sure to stir once and also to let them cool COMPLETELY before adding them to the dough.)
  • 1 12 ounce package white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted at 350 until medium brown
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, at medium speed using a hand mixer cream together the butter, the brown sugar and the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the bowl down and add the eggs and egg yolk. Stir in the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Beat just until blended.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Stir in (use a nice heavy wooden spoon) the oats, cranberries, white chocolate and toasted almonds. Make sure to dig down there to the bottom of the bowl and stir so that you don’t have parts of the dough with no add ins in it.
  5. Make rounded tablespoons of the dough and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 12 to 14 minutes; 12 if you want slightly chewier, 14 if you want crispier.  If, by chance, the dough is too soft to work with, cover the dough and throw it in the fridge for maybe 30 minutes, then proceed.
  6. Let cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes to give them a chance to firm up, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. FYI- this dough freezes well. I made just part of the batch and have the rest frozen to use closer to Christmas.
Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

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Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream 1

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream



I want Autumn! I want Autumn! I want Autumn!! *Falls on the floor in a raging temper tantrum, kicking and screaming*

Sorry. I’m fine now. But I really am about done with Summer. I’m tired of trying to keep up with the weeds in the yard. Ok, I got tired of it a few weeks ago and my flower area now looks like a mini forest. I’m pretty sure there are fairies and elves hiding down in there, having nightly parties with my now lost in the weeds ceramic froggie. I heard him ribbiting for help a few days ago, but I was afraid to venture in and look for him. Russ would have had to send in the national guard to find ME.

What does any of this have to do with brownie cupcakes? Not a thing. I just felt like whining and making all of you have to listen. It works for my six year old; why not for me, too?

These are quite tasty. They are yet one more incarnation of the brown butter brownies I first made back in early 2013 (please forgive the completely atrocious photo in that post!) and have used in various ways since then. They really are some of the best brownies around. They are very chocolatey (which I was skeptical of with just cocoa, but they are), rich, with a mild nutty back flavor from the brown butter. In THIS incarnation, they are made into little cupcakes and then covered with a creamy, tangy orange buttercream that perfectly complements the brownie. So simple to make these, yet they are good enough for more than just the kids school lunches. Though they are great for that, too.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

  • Brownie Cupcakes-
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened powder (NOT drink mix)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange oil or orange extract (don’t use more here. The frosting is the orangey part. The little bit in here is just to tie it all together.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 large eggs, cold from the fridge
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • Orange Vanilla Buttercream-
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 2/12 cups powdered sugar
  1. Position oven rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  2. Place foil cupcake liners (you can use the paper ones, but the foil comes off the brownies so much easier) into the cups of a muffin tin. I got ten brownie cupcakes from this.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter isn’t foaming anymore and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir often and keep an eye on this. It can go from lovely browned butter to a smelly burned mess in no time flat.
  4. Remove from the heat and immediately add in the cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla, orange oil and salt. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Let cool five minutes. Add the cold eggs to the hot mixture, one at a time, beating well (by hand) after each addition. When the mixture is thick and glossy, add in the flour. Beat for 60 or so strokes.
  6.  Divide the batter evenly between the lined cupcake wells. Use about 1/4 cup for each. Bake at 325 until they a skewer inserted in the middle of one comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it; no loose batter and not completely clean, either. This will take from 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 3 minutes, then gently take each cupcake out and let it finish cooling on a rack.
  7. As they cool, make your buttercream, which is easy peasy. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, a cup at a time (I always start by hand so that I and my whole house don’t end up covered in the powdery sugar). Beat until fluffy, smooth and creamy. You want a nice thick pipeable/spreadable frosting. After adding two cups of the sugar, beat well at high speed for about a full five minutes. If it’s a bit too thick, just drizzle in a touch more orange juice; a bit too thin, just add that last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
  8. Spread or pipe onto the cooled brownies and garnish as desired (I grated more zest over the tops)

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Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

 

 

 

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies 1

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies



I am an avid reader of magazines that involve cooking. Be it straight out cooking mags like Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food Network and Food & Wine, or others like Family Circle and Womans Day, I am subscribed to them all. I search until I find them for wonderful prices like $5.99 a year (honest Injun… you can get some great deals on magazines if you look around; and not just the “womens” mags either!!) and then and only then will I get them. Then, when I’m done with them, which includes tearing out recipes I want to try, they go to the residents at the long term care facility my husband works at. The residents there never lack for magazines to look at, I’ll tell you that much!

Sadly though, even when I tear out recipes from the ones like Woman Day or Family Circle, I never have a whole lot of success with the recipes themselves. I’m not sure if it is a lack of proper testing at the test kitchens or what, but there ALWAYS seems to be an issue or two that needs fixed. I got this recipe from Womans Day and it was, unfortunately, no exception. I lost the paper version, so had to look it up online and found it on their site, but the recipe itself was so fraught with errors in direction and ingredients that I had to pick through it and work with it. I’m an experienced cook, so it turned out delicious, but I shudder to think what would have happened with a novice cook. The pan size was wrong, the sugar measurements were off, etc etc.

BUT!!! Like I said, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday when it comes to cooking (yet another saying about which I ask, “wth does that even mean!?”), so I fixed the “boo-boos”. Once done, this is a delicious cheesecake bar. It uses up some of the last of the season fresh blackberries quite nicely. You have a VERY rich brownie base layered with a creamy cheesecake filling and finally that part is swirled with fresh blackberries. So your mouth gets a nice mix of “ooo, chocolate. No, creamy. No, berries!” to keep you guessing.

So, you know the drill. Get to cooking!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

  • Brownie base-
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake filling-
  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces blackberries, mashed (one small container)
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, leaving enough to overhand the edges of the pan. You’ll use that as a handle later to lift the brownies out of the pan. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small pot, over low heat, melt together the butter and 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when melted and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the 3/4 cup flour, the cocoa powder and the salt. In a large bowl, on low speed with a hand held mixer,  combine the sugars and the 3 eggs. beat JUST until combined. Stir in the flour mixture and the last 1/2 cup of semi sweet chips. Gently fold the chocolate/butter mixture into this. Set aside to make the cheesecake batter.
  4. Wash your beaters and in a large bowl, on low speed, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. beat just until smooth and creamy. Add in the 2 eggs and the vanilla extract; beat just until combined.
  5. Scoop about half the brownie batter (about 1 1/2 cups) of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Top that with half of the cheesecake batter, then the last half of the brownie batter. Carefully pour the other half of the cheesecake batter on top and gently smooth it out.
  6. Put dollops of the smashed blackberries on top of the cheesecake batter and use a butter knife to swirl it through the batter, being careful not to reach down into the brownie part (though the world won’t end if you do)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees just until the top is set, about an hour. The edges will be set, but the center should still have the tiniest bit of a jiggle to it. It will finish setting up as it cools.
  8. Let cool in the pan for an hour, then refrigerate for at least two hours to overnight to finish firming up.
  9. Use the foil “handles” to lift the brownies out onto a cutting board and then use a large serrated knife to cut into bars, dipped in hot water and wiped dry in between each cut.

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Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies