Archive for the ‘Easy Bar Desserts’ Category
How to Bake the Perfect Brownie for You!
For the most part, brownie desserts are so easy and quick to make. They require only a few simple ingredients and they bake in one pan for a short period of time. But I find that with brownies you never know what kind you’re going to get! I mean, will it be fudgy, chewy, or cake-like? Well, I recently got a great email from Bakespace.com that explained the tricks to getting the type of brownie texture you’re looking for. Check it out!
WHAT MAKES A BROWNIE A BROWNIE?
While the classic brownie recipe includes just a few ingredients (butter, sugar, chocolate, eggs, and flour), brownies can come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Here are a few popular varieties:
FUDGE BROWNIES are made with less flour and no leavening (baking powder). Melting the butter rather than creaming it with sugar yields denser, fudgier brownies.
CAKE-LIKE BROWNIES contain less butter and more flour than fudge brownies, as well as a bit of baking powder, to make them softer and lighter. Often the softened butter is creamed with the sugar rather than melted with the chocolate. Many cake-like recipes call for a splash of milk, which also gives brownies a light texture.
CHEWY BROWNIES get their texture by modifying two ingredients: an extra egg (or two) and a combination of different types of chocolate, such as unsweetened and semisweet. Combining these ingredients with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder helps round out the flavor and thicken the texture for a rich, satisfyingly chewy result.
BLONDIES are really butterscotch bars made with brown sugar, butter, and eggs (and usually nuts as well), but no chocolate. Blondies typically have a cake-like texture.
Only 15 Minutes to Prep This Tasty Butter Tart Alternative!
One of my all-time favorite sweet treats is butter tarts…especially the ones my mom makes. She makes her own thick, flaky pastry from scratch…which isn’t easy or quick. If a recipe requires a homemade pastry crust I usually avoid it…I mean, I don’t even own a rolling pin! But I did find an easy and quick alternative to the traditional butter tart…it’s Butter Tart Squares which I found on Allrecipes.com. I once tried a similar recipe years ago from the same site which didn’t turn out well, but this one is a winner! It has all the taste of a butter tart without the hard work. I find these taste best when stored in the refrigerator…I added that detail to the directions. As well, I added raisins to the mix but left out the coconut…but next time I will try both. Please let me know how well you think these compare to the traditional kind. Enjoy!
BUTTER TART SQUARES
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (I only used 1cup which was plenty)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup flaked coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×9 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Crust should not be fully cooked.
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and remaining brown sugar. Combine the oats, salt, and baking powder. By hand stir into the egg mixture along with the vanilla. Mix in raisins and coconut, if desired. Spread the mixture evenly over the partially baked crumb layer in pan.
Bake 20 minutes more. Cool, and cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.
Bake & eat homemade brownies in less than an hour!
What an amazing flavor combination…chocolate and peanut butter! I love to nibble on Reese Peanut Butter cups while I watch tv at night. I bite around the outside and save the center for last. My boyfriend, on the other hand, isn’t a fan of chocolate, but he LOVES peanut butter (pb and jam sandwiches are his favorite) so he’ll share a Reese with me now and then. When I found this Betty Crocker recipe I took a chance and made them…hoping that I wouldn’t have to eat the whole batch myself. My boyfriend will not eat brownies but since these are made with peanut butter he was willing to try them and he loved them! Of course he did, or I wouldn’t be sharing this recipe with you! They’re so moist and fudgy and best of all it’s a quick and easy dessert. I had all of the ingredients on hand in my kitchen, but I did make a few changes that I noted on the recipe. I know you’re going to LOVE these!!
PEANUT BUTTER SWIRL BROWNIES
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I reduced this to 1/3 which was sweet enough)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
1/3 cup peanut butter chips (I used 3 Reese Peanut Butter Cups)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease square pan, 9×9x2 inches. Mix sugars, butter, milk and eggs in medium bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
Divide batter in half (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons for each half). Stir peanut butter and peanut butter chips into 1 half. Stir cocoa and chocolate chips into remaining half.
Spoon chocolate batter into pan in 8 mounds, checkerboard style. Spoon peanut butter batter between mounds of chocolate batter. Gently swirl through batters with knife for marbled design.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely about 1 hour. For 16 brownies, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.