S’mores Fudge Bars

I guess I’m trying to recapture summer by making a bunch of s’mores recipes recently. Either way, it’s almost November everyone is tired, and these remind me of summertime.

This is a fairly easy recipe. If you’ve made your own marshmallows before, then you probably have everything you need already. If you haven’t, then make sure you have a candy thermometer. That is one tool that is indispensable when it comes to making marshmallows.

Ooh boy, if there is one warning I can leave you with it is that these are RICH. They are indulgent, and sweet, but boy oh boy, do NOT have more than one in a sitting. The original recipe says it makes 9 large squares or 18 small squares. I cut mine into 16 pieces and they were almost too much.

So, these will be great for you if you like s’mores… and sugar… and campfires… and sugar…

Just go make them!

Ingredients

Yield: 16 bars

For the crust:

20 full graham crackers
¼ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. (12 tbsp.) butter, melted

For the fudge filling:

2 c. chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

For the marshmallow topping:

2 large egg whites
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
¾ c. sugar
½ c. light corn syrup
¼ c. water
¼ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray lightly with nonstick spray.

In a food processor, add the graham crackers, salt, and sugar. Pulse until finely ground. Add the butter. Pulse until you have a fine mixture that is beginning to clump together.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan, and firmly pat down. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

To make the fudge filling, in a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat on medium-low, constantly stirring, until the mixture is smooth and incorporated.

Pour over the graham crust, and refrigerate until the fudge layer is set.

To make the marshmallow topping, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook until a candy thermometer registers exactly 240°F. Immediately remove from heat. Turn the mixture on low speed and carefully and gradually drizzle the syrup into the egg whites. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy and looks like marshmallow fluff, about 7 minutes longer. Add in the vanilla and beat until combined.
Spread the marshmallow fluff over the fudge layer. Let set in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Use a kitchen torch to torch the marshmallow layer until lightly golden brown. You can use the broiler setting for this, but watch it carefully!
Slice, and serve!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This is for when you want cookies, but you don’t want to roll out balls of cookies, spend longer than 10 minutes mixing them and 20 minutes waiting for them to bake. Cookies in half an hour, then slice and serve.

The best part is that they mix up in one bowl and they are so easy.

I really don’t have much to say about these… the recipe is simple, they are chewy, soft, and delicious, and you need these in your life!

Ingredients

Yield: 12-16 bars, depending on cut size

½ c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
¾ c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper.

In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the brown sugar, the egg, and vanilla.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Add in a small portion of the chocolate chips to the dough, and press into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top of the dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until set.

Cool in pan on rack for 10-15 minutes at least, before slicing and serving.

Cherry Crumb Bars

As summer turns into fall, more and more fruit are in season, and being eaten. Fruit season is short and sweet – pun intended!

I bought a bag of cherries to enjoy while Paul was camping, and I couldn’t finish them all alone, so I had to find a recipe to help them keep for a little longer. This recipe was the perfect solution.

It uses about 2 cups of fresh cherries, which was pretty much exactly what I had left. The whole thing took no longer than an hour to put together and bake. I’m pretty sure I spent more time pitting the cherries than actually mixing the crumb topping and filling.

The original recipe I used is here, and it was so easy. If you are a cherry lover, this is a great recipe that is low-risk, high-reward. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel (I seem to prefer fresh, raw cherries as opposed to cooked cherries), but they maintain a lot of their fresh texture and taste. These really hit the spot! I just cut them into 16 pieces instead of 9.

Apparently these bars really go well with any kind of fruit, so if you don’t like cherries, sub in your favourite fruit and go crazy!

Ingredients

Yield: 16 bars

For the crumb topping:

½ c. butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
½ c. sugar
1½ c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt

For the cherry filling:

2 c. cherries, pitted and halved
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 8×8 square pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir until cherries are thoroughly coated. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled melted butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine, and keep in some chunks.

Reserve about ¾ of a cup of the crumb, and press the rest into an even layer into the prepared pan. Spoon the cherry filling over the base crumb layer. Sprinkle the reserved crumb layer over the cherry filling, and bake in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes, until the top crumb layer is beginning to turn golden brown.

Remove from oven, and cool completely before slicing and serving.

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

I love a good brownie, and I love all brownie pieces equally: corner, edge, center… but if I HAD to choose, I’m a center piece girl. I love the fudgy, gooey brownie that is soft, and ever-so-crusty on top. Yes. Brownies are a wonderfully indulgent treat. I like them a little fudgy, but not too gooey, and I have a fantastic brownie recipe that I’ve been using for a few years now, this one.

However, I went to make brownies yesterday and realized I was short an egg. I quickly looked up a brownie recipe that had all ingredients that I had (because I hate when I go to make something and I need to go to the store!), and wasn’t disappointed. These brownies are thick, rich, and the perfect amount of fudgy. I find they get a little goo-ier than I’m used to because of the chocolate chunks, but they are still absolutely incredible.

I mean, is there such thing as a bad brownie? I think not.

Paul cooked us up an indulgent steak dinner, with rib-eye steaks, Ceasar salad, garlic bread, grilled Cajun corn, and a potato-carrot-onion concoction. I wanted something as equally indulgent to be able to stand up to such a great dinner, and these brownies sure hit the spot!

I changed a few things – I didn’t have milk chocolate chips, so I used semi-sweet, and instead of the extra milk chocolate chips in the batter, I put in a bag of 70% Dark Chocolate chunks. They were perfect with the sweetness of the brownies. I’m reflecting the changes I made in the recipe below, but the link to the original recipe I used is above.

Go make these, and get some chocolate into your life!

Ingredients

Yield: 16 brownies, a 9×9 inch pan

½ c. plus 2 tbsp. melted butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
½ c. melted chocolate chips, milk or semi-sweet
¾ c. flour
¼ c. cocoa powder
½ tsp. salt
1 c. (or 1 small bag (a little more than 1 cup)) Dark Chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 or a 9×9 inch square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla, and whisk again.

In a small bowl, melt the chocolate, then add to the butter and egg mixture. Whisk together until smooth.

Using a spatula, fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth out, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes, then slice and serve.

Pina Colada Bars

We are knee-deep into summer. I was invited to a Hawaiian luau, pig roast and everything, and I decided to make a dessert to contribute to the dessert table. This was a few weeks ago, and I just got around to write the post for this recipe now.

These Pina Colada bars are really easy. Think lemon squares, with the addition of pineapple and coconut. If you like Pina Coladas, you will definitely like these. They are light, tropical, fruity, and delicious.

I found the recipe here, and they were extremely easy to make. Low risk, high reward. The recipe is easy to follow, and it yields delicious, tropical results.

They have a bit of a shortbread crust, and a creamy, almost custard-y filling. Take the plunge headfirst into seasonal treats, and make these ASAP!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9×9 pan, approx. 2 dozen squares

For the crust:

½ c. butter, softened
1 c. flour
1/3 c. icing sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla

For the filling:

2 eggs
1 c. sugar
½ c. lemon juice
2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
¼ tsp. rum extract or spiced rum
2 tbsp. flour
1 8oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
¾ c. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

To make the crust, combine all crust ingredients in a medium bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter. Press the dough into the prepared pan. The mixture will be crumbly. Pierce the dough a few times and place in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until barely golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool slightly.

While the filling cooks, in a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, cream and rum extract, and whisk until smooth. Add in the flour, and whisk again until smooth. Stir in the drained pineapple and coconut until combined.

Pour mixture over warm crust, and bake in the oven for 18-25 minutes, or until center does not jiggle and the edges begin to slightly brown. Allow bars to cool in the pan until room temperature. Transfer to the fridge, cool completely, then slice and serve.