Cake Batter Pudding Cookie Bars

Cake Batter Pudding Cookie Bars

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I love cookies, but sometimes I don’t have the time or patience to shape each one and bake a bunch of different pans full of cookies — enter, the cookie bar! Whoever first thought of making cookie bars should get a medal! They can be put together in no time and are just as delicious as cookies. Just look at these bars…I am wishing I had some left right now to eat. ūüôā

These bars were super easy to make and were really moist. I made them for my sister’s birthday last week, and the pan did not last long. I found the recipe on Pinterest (find it here), and I will definitely be putting it into my recipe binder!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

Instructions:

  • Combine baking soda, yellow cake mix and bread flour into a small to medium size bowl and set aside.
  • Cream butter in the bowl of stand mixer.
  • Add brown sugar and granulated sugar and cream into butter.
  • Add dry pudding mix and mix until well incorporated.
  • Add vanilla, almond extract and eggs to the mixture and beat well.
  • Add flour/cake mix mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  • Add white chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix just until evenly distributed.
  • Press dough evenly onto the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle and lightly press additional sprinkles over the top if desired.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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Simple Tips:

  • I used sprinkles from Cake and Bake. If you live in the area, I highly suggest checking out their sprinkle / decorating selection. They have really reasonable prices and they have a great variety of colors and themes!
  • The batter for these cookie bars does get really thick, so thick that even my stand mixer had a tough time mixing it. So, if you have the option between a hand mixer and stand mixer, I would definitely choose the stand mixer. Personally, I love my Kitchen Aid and enjoy using it when I can!

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xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Candy Cookies

Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Berries of all kinds have been a staple in our home this summer. Madalyn loves them all, and my Costco membership has allowed me to get wonderful berries (the kind that don’t go bad a day after buying them!) at such reasonable prices!

I had a container of blueberries sitting in the fridge last week and I knew I wanted to use some of them for baking. I was unsure of what to bake and found a recipe here, that I couldn’t resist trying — Blueberry Crumb Bars.

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Looking at this picture, I think you will see why I couldn’t resist making them! These bars are loaded with blueberries and are not tart at all. This pan did not last long in our house!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Ingredients:

For the Crumb:
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¬ľ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg

For the Blueberry Filling:
4 cups fresh blueberries
¬Ĺ cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Juice of one lemon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  • Make the Crumb: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter, and then the egg (the dough will be crumbly). Press half of dough into the prepared pan.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently fold in the blueberries to coat evenly with the sugar mixture. Spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust, drizzling any excess juice in the bowl over the filling. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the blueberry layer.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is light golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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xo,

Abby

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie

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It is strawberry season and 4th of July weekend…two of my favorite times! Madalyn and I have been eating lots and lots of strawberries!

I wanted to make a strawberry pie and turned to the Brown Eyed Baker (www.browneyedbaker.com) for a recipe. I was not disappointed! This pie turned out so well and tasted so fresh!

My adapted recipe is below but you can find the original recipe and here.  I chose to forgo the homemade pie crust because I was pressed for time which is the main difference between her recipe and the one below!

Ingredients:

  • Pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
  • 4 pints (about 3 pounds) of hulled¬†fresh strawberries (rinsed & dried)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sure-Jell for low sugar recipes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  • Select¬†six ounces of¬†misshapen, under ripe, or otherwise unattractive berries, halving those that are large (about 1¬Ĺ cups). In a food processor, process the berries to a smooth puree, about 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

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  • Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in the berry puree, making sure to scrape the corners of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a¬†heat-proof¬†rubber spatula, and bring to a full boil. Boil, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent scorching, for¬†two minutes to¬†make sure¬†that the cornstarch is fully cooked (mixture will appear frothy when it first reaches a boil, then will darken and thicken with further cooking). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let mixture¬†cool to room temperature.

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  • Pick over the remaining berries and measure out¬†two pounds of the most attractive ones (halve only extra-large berries). Add the berries to the bowl with the glaze and fold gently with a rubber spatula until the berries are evenly coated. Scoop the berries into the pie shell, piling into a mound. If any cut sides face up on top, turn them face down. If necessary, rearrange the berries so that holes are filled and the mound looks attractive. Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve within 5 hours of chilling.

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I was able to share this with my mom for her birthday, and I think she will agree that this pie was dee-lish-ious! It won’t last long in our house!

If you are looking for something summer-y and fun to make for your 4th celebrations, give this recipe a try!

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Happy 4th of July! ūüôā

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Candy Cookies

Cake Batter Pudding Cookie Bars

Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I am taking a break from birthday party posts, to share this yummy recipe with you! I made these over the weekend for my family, and they turned out so well! Delicious!

I found the recipe at www.idearoom.net through Pinterest. (Click here to be directed to the recipe!)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 – 1 cup milk chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high-speed for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Add milk (from 1/2 Tablespoon to 1 Tablespoon just enough to make the dough moist and creamy). Add chocolate chips and mix till just incorporated.  If necessary, cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drop cookies by scooping them out of the bowl with a spoon dropping them in small balls onto your greased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Enjoy!

Simple Tips:

  • I used a large-sized cookie scoop instead of a spoon. I wanted to make sure the cookies were all the same size so that they would all turn out the same!
  • I used skim milk (what we had!), and only needed 1/2 tablespoon to make the dough creamy enough.
  • I doubled this recipe. Seriously something to consider when you make these if you want any left to share! I ended up with about 50 cookies after doubling it.
  • I refrigerated the dough overnight as this is always the answer to my flat-cookie problem. Refrigerating the dough for that long gave them height and depth, instead of creating cookies that were way too flat.
  • I used milk chocolate chips as opposed to semi-sweet chocolate chips as I prefer the taste of those!

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You can not go wrong with these cookies. Peanut Butter + Chocolate = soft, chewy, and yummy cookies! Just make sure you have a glass of milk ready!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Candy Cookies

Cake Batter Pudding Cookie Bars

Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert

Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert

Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert

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I love dessert. Love, love, love! Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert is one of my absolute favorites. Besides being delicious, the mint in this bar is really refreshing too. I didn’t want to keep this recipe to myself and am hoping you enjoy it as much as I do!

Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert

1          cup flour

1          cup sugar

1/2      cup butter, softened

4          eggs

1          16 ounce can Hershey’s Syrup

2          cups powdered sugar

1/2      cup butter, softened

1          tablespoon water

1/2      teaspoon mint extract

3          drops green food color (optional)

6          tablespoons butter

1          cup mint chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and syrup until smooth.¬† Pour into greased 9‚ÄĚ x 13‚ÄĚ pan; bake at 350¬į for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched (top may still appear wet).

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Cool completely in pan.  Combine powdered sugar, butter, water, extract and food color; beat until smooth.  Spread over cooled cake; chill.

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Melt butter and chips until smooth when stirred.  Pour over dessert; cover and chill.

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Simple Tips:

*Make sure you leave enough time between steps. Things have to cool, chill, etc. and if you don’t plan ahead, you may have difficulties completing these on time.

*When you first bake the bars, they will pull away from the edge of the pan. This is normal and okay, so don’t panic like I did the first time I made them! ūüôā When you add the mint and chocolate on top, it will all even out and look great.

*Be careful when melting the chocolate. If this gets overdone, it won’t have the smooth finish you are looking for!

*These bars do tend to crumble when you cut them to serve. I say, who cares? They taste so good, no one will even notice!

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Yum. I wish I had some to eat right now!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Candy Cookies

Cake Batter Pudding Cookie Bars

Strawberry Pie

Conversation Heart Cookies

Conversation Heart Cookies

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I had no¬†formal plans for Valentine’s Day this year, so I decided that I was going to make a special dessert to celebrate. I frequently follow the Brown Eyed Baker blog (www.browneyedbaker.com) for recipe¬†ideas, and I found¬†a recipe¬†I was actually brave enough to try! If you want to be brave like me, you can find the link and instructions for this recipe here.

I had never attempted, nor really heard of, royal icing before. Needless to say, it was quite a challenge! Luckily I had the help of my sister to get these cookies finished and I am so thankful to have had another person baking with me! For your visual enjoyment, we took some pictures along the way.

Here are the heart cut-outs before we put them in the oven:

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This is what our cookies looked like before being iced. My sister taste-tested them and approved!

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Here is my sister outlining a cookie, using a #3 tip:

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Below is what the cookies looked like when we were flooding them with the icing:

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And now the fun of adding the cute and silly words:

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While taking on this project, there were a couple of things I found out along the way, that I think are useful to note:

  • My sister and I wanted to have lots of cookies to share, so we doubled the recipe found on the blog. For the icing, we used 1.5 times the recipe, and that seemed to cover the cookies well.
  • I didn’t spend a lot of time making sure the icing was evenly split between the four colors I wanted to use. Therefore, we ended up with two much yellow¬†icing and not enough blue icing¬†to make the number of cookies that we had outlined already by those colors. Next time, I would be more careful in making sure the icing was a little more evenly split.
  • I only purchased two #3 tips to do the outlining for the icing. I used two #2 tips for the other two colors. I would have rather used the #3 tips for all of the colors, because it really did make the best outline.
  • I used gel to do the writing and I found that the gel did not harden on the cookies. If I made these again, I would have made more icing in red and used that with a #1 tip to the writing. It would have hardened better and ultimately would have made for nicer looking cookies after they had been packaged.

But, to sum it up: These cookies were DELICIOUS. I shared some with family and friends, and everyone seemed to really enjoy them. Plus, they were so fun to make! The cookies held their shape and stayed soft, and the icing was the perfect texture and sweetness. If you find yourself looking for something fun to make (and eat!) for Valentine’s Day next year, I definitely think you should try these out…you won’t be disappointed!

xo,

Abby

Candy Cookies

Candy Cookies

I really LOVE to bake. Fortunately, I really love to eat cookies, too. It’s a good match! Today I am going over to my mom’s for a dinner with her and my sisters. She told me not to bring something to share, as always, so I decided to whip up some of these delicious cookies to share. I made these a few weeks ago and my husband and I devoured them. Thankfully this time, we will have some help!

The recipe is actually the original Nestle Toll House recipe, with one alteration, as noted below:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1          cup butter, softened

3/4      cup sugar

3/4      cup brown sugar

1          teaspoon vanilla

2          eggs

2-1/4  cups flour

1          teaspoon baking soda

1          teaspoon salt

2¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† cups Eillien’s¬†‘Mini Semi-Sweet Gems” (*I used these instead of chocolate chips, for something different. They can be purchased at Sendiks.)

Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar; add vanilla.¬† Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.¬† Gradually beat in dry ingredients; stir in gems.¬†¬†Using a cookie scoop or¬†a spoon, put¬†onto cookie sheets.¬† Bake at 350¬į until desired doneness, about 8 to 10 minutes.

I mixed the dough in the morning, as I like to let it set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I find that this makes my cookies turn out fluffier, and less flat.

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I have a convection oven, so I chose to set it for convection bake for these cookies. I also used parchment paper on my baking sheet, which helps prevent the cookies from being overdone and also makes taking them off the pan, super simple.

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The cookies turned out SO delicious. I won’t tell you how many¬† I have already eaten. ūüôā Happy Tuesday (and cookie-eating!)!

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xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Cake Batter Pudding Cookie Bars

Hershey’s Double Chocolate Mint Dessert

Strawberry Pie