Raspberry Smacks

I made these for a New Year’s Party as well, and they turned out very well. I had some homemade raspberry jam that my mom gave me, and they made the perfect filling for these squares.

There is a sweet shortbread type crust, a raspberry jam filling, and a brown sugar meringue on top. I saw a picture of these, and I wasn’t too sure about them, but I was so pleasantly surprised.

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks – a Company’s Coming Sweet Treats book. It did not disappoint, even though I didn’t know what to expect. If you are looking for a new recipe to try that’s a little out of the ordinary, I would highly recommend this one!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 16 squares, depending on cut size

For the crust:

2 egg yolks
1½ c. flour
½ c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt

For the filling:

1 c. raspberry jam (store bought or homemade)

For the topping:

2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 c. brown sugar, packed

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

To make the crust, whisk all crust ingredients in a large bowl until crumbly. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Drop teaspoonfuls of jam over the bottom layer, and spread evenly.

In a medium bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites until frothy. Add brown sugar, in three increments, beating well after each addition, until stiff peaks form.

Spread meringue mixture over the jam. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Slice, and serve.

Butter Tart Squares

Here is a Canadian classic… in square form! These are even easier than making butter tarts, because you just make one big batch. Paul was a little out of sorts, because he firmly believes that raisins belong in butter tarts, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I took the “optional” directive for the raisins.

These are so easy to make, and how could you go wrong with such a classic treat? I found the original recipe here, and as I said, the only thing I changed was to leave out the aforementioned optional raisins.

I made these for a New Year’s Party, and had a ton leftover, so we decided to freeze them and have them later. These were a hit, so go make them!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen squares, depending on cut side

For the crust:

2 c. flour
4 tbsp. icing sugar
1 c. butter, cold and cubed
1-2 tbsp. cold water

For the filling:

½ c. butter
3 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. vanilla
¾ c. golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and icing sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until pea-sized lumps of butter remain. Add water as needed to get mixture to hold together when you squeeze a lump of it.

Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and press into a firm layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

Prepare the filling by melting the butter in a microwave safe measuring cup. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and the brown sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until smooth. Add in the vanilla and the vinegar, and whisk again. Stir in the raisins, if using.

Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling center is almost set – just a slight jiggle.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, and refrigerate for several hours before slicing and serving.

Confetti Squares

These bad boys are now in the permanent rotation. They are also known as Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares, Butterscotch Squares… I’ve heard a ton of names for these little squares of deliciousness. They are one of Paul’s favourites, and SO FREAKING EASY! I didn’t realize until I made them what I have been missing out on.

I found the recipe here, but let’s just get this straight – there are a TON of variations of the recipe. The measurements are all generally the same, but I used this one because of the amount of peanut butter. Oh yeah. The peanut butter mixture was perfect. Now I just have to make these again with crunchy peanut butter… I’m a smooth peanut butter girl, but Paul loves the crunchy. I told him I wanted to stick with the original directions (in 99% of the recipes I found) that use smooth peanut butter. We’ll see how it goes!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 12-16 squares, depending on cut size

¼ c. butter
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1 bag butterscotch chips
4-5 c. multicoloured mini marshmallows

Line a 9×9 inch square pan with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips together until smooth. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly. (If you don’t let it cool, you will melt the marshmallows – not good!)

Fold in the marshmallows when mixture has cooled. Make sure marshmallows are evenly coated. Pour into the prepared pan, and press into an even layer with a spatula.

Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 1-2 hours, or until firm, then slice.

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 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.