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Gluten-Free Blondies

10 Jul

Hello hello! I am in the best of moods lately, as Vancouver has decided to let the sun shine! Days at the beach are becoming routine, and I’m loving it. BBQ’s with friends, cold beers in the sand, and my long-awaited tan. I also went and saw Toots and the Maytals last night and they blew me away. I grew up listening to them, thanks to Papa Kendall, so seeing them live was incredible. I definitely think that reggae concerts are my favourite because everyone is there for the music, there are a ton of good vibes, and everyone is super relaxed stoned.

I also have felt like baking lately! Yay! These blondies are the lightened up, good for you kind, so that you can eat a million and not hurt that bikini bod. Or whatever.

But really, these are very tasty, and they are gluten free. The base consists of dates, banana, ground flax seed, and peanut butter. After that, you can throw whatever you want into them, like shredded coconut flakes or chocolate chips. And they are healthy enough to eat (a few) as a quick breakfast. You are welcome.

Gluten-Free Blondies

  • 14 pitted dried dates
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup chocolate soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup  + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • (Optional) 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 15×12 baking pan.

In a food processor, process dates for a few minutes until a paste forms. Add banana and pulse, then add peanut butter and flax and pulse. Add remaining ingredients and keep processing, while scraping down sides periodically, until a smooth, creamy batter forms. Stir in coconut or chocolate or whatever you want for mixins and pour batter into baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tooth pick comes out clean and top is golden.

Remove bars from oven and cool for ten minutes. Either slice into bars and eat warm and gooey, or refrigerate for a couple hours before eating.

Happy baking! xxxx

Cookie Bars

22 May

Hiii!!!! Is my absence no surprise to anyone? I am so so sorry, but I truly am lacking in all inspiration! I don’t know what is going on! Help me out people! Tell me what I should bake for you all! Bahhhh.

I am super low on cash- like- seriously broke, and thus it seems silly to go and buy baking supplies when I could instead use the money on, say, real groceries. Real food is nice. A meal here and there is helpful to surviving I hear…

ALSO! Has anyone else fallen into a crazy, absurd obsession with superheroes yet? I saw the Avengers, then saw them again, and now am anticipating the arrival of the new Batman, Spiderman, AND the sequels to Captain America and Thor. I kid you not, I have spent many an evening just researching all the plots and characters of the old comics, and feel a comic-nerd trait coming on. Why don’t kids read that stuff anymore? Some graphic novels are so beautifully illustrated that I want to collect them. Collecting graphic novels=breaking the bank hobby. Awww welll. Back to the baking….

I made these babies last night with Jess because we were craving sugar and chocolate and butter and all the good stuff. They started as a half brownie, half cookie type bar, but the layers mixed together somehow, and the texture came out as all cookie. They were great! You only need a couple bites to satisfy to cravings, but I still managed to eat two bars.

 

Cookie Bars

Cookie Layer

  • 1 cup butter, melted until browned then refrigerated and softened again (trust me it’s worth it)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Brownie Layer

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or 4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or canola oil or any other oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.

For cookie layer, beat together butter and sugars, then add in eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together and slowly beat into wet ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips at the end. Spread an even layer into bottom of pan.

For brownie layer, melt chocolate chips and stir in oil. Beat in sugar and eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour and salt until a smooth batter is formed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour brownies batter over cookie layer, and drag a knife through to mix the batters up a bit.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on how gooey you want your bars. We cooked ours for 45 min for a more cookie-like bar. For a more brownie like result, cook for 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on the oven and test done-ness by poking a knife into it and observe if crumbs stick to it when you pull it out.

Happy baking!! xxxx

 

 

White and Dark Chocolate Layer Brownies

17 Apr

Helloooooo, it has been a couple days since I’ve posted anything! Exams are just getting the better of me! Today I made these fabulous bars and they totally gave me a pick-me-up. The bottom layer consists of a fudgey, intensely chocolate brownie. The second layer is a fluffy and creamy white chocolate layer, that has a bite of cream cheese and soaked in sweetened condensed milk. I finished it off with mini reese’s pieces cups, to add a little salty peanut butter taste to each bar.I’m glad I added the cream cheese because these bars would be too sweet without it.

I have never in my life had a white chocolate brownie so these bars intrigued me. I got the inspiration from seeing a lemon and blueberry brownie on foodgawker that had a white chocolate glaze. I thought that making the entire brownie out of white chocolate would be fun and unique.

Do I like white chocolate brownies better then dark chocolate? Heavens, no. I love chocolate chocolate. A true brownie will never be replaced in my heart. But these bars are a fun and delicious variation so give them a try!

White and Dark Chocolate Layer Brownies

White Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk ( 1 can)
  • 4 oz melted white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dark Chocolate Layer

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 packs of mini reece’s pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9 baking pan. Line with aluminum foil and grease again.

For dark chocolate base, mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Melt butter over medium-high heat until completely melted, then stir in cocoa powder. Mix in sugar, vanilla, and eggs until combined, then stir in flour mixture. Pour mixture into greased pan.

For white layer, mix together dry ingredients and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add condensed milk and white chocolate while beating. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour white layer on top of dark layer. Place reece’s pieces on top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden and center is just gooey.

Happy baking! xxx

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumb Bars

8 Apr

Happy Easter! Woop woop! Where be the candy at?!

Spring fever in bar form

A lovely, sunny day like today means iced coffee and long walk on the beach. It also means postponing studying until 12 1 in the afternoon and chatting with my beautiful and hilarious room mates. It means thinking about all the wonderful spring desserts that are totally going to be made-and devoured- for the next couple months. A day like today deserves fresh strawberries, cold cream cheese, and buttery, flaky crumb topping.

I am the kind of girl who bakes something, and tries to consume it just as it leaves the oven. Not too good for mouth as there is nothing worse then piping hot, sugary goo. It also makes for horrible photographs. I already am down a notch on the whole “photography thing” as I use my iPhone to capture all my images. I have no lights, no lighting umbrellas, ugly plates and table cloths, and definitely no super duper expensive and heavy as f*** camera. The least I can do is make sure I cool down the damn food for the whole time needed, and to cut it into pretty, petite portions. Not hard you say? Try being in the kitchen the whole time, drooling at the oven door, and inhaling the sweet aroma of what is in fact the matrimony of butter and sugar. Mhmmmm thought so.

Bars just having a picnic

So my point is that I waited for these bars to cool down before slicing into them, and I am super happy I did. They are gooey, flakey, butter, creamy, and have a huge hit of fresh strawberry flavour. The cream cheese tones down the sweetness, and gives the bars a nice depth. As one of my roommates said, “they taste better then anything Starbucks would make”. That’s a win in my books.

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumb Bars (Adapted from Can you Stay for Dinner?)

Bar

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold, and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 9×9 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Grease foil.

Throw all of the bar ingredients into a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds, making sure to scrape down the sides. Push half of the dough into the dish, making an even layer.

Beat cream cheese and all other ingredients aside from strawberries until thoroughly mixed. Stir in strawberries. Spread mixture over dough layer of baking dish. Crumble the rest of the dough mixture on top of the strawberry layer, making sure to completely cover it.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until crumb layer is slightly golden. Remove and cool for 15 minutes, then cool in freezer or fridge for 1-2 hours longer (or to your desired temperature). Slice into bars and eat outside, while sunbathing on the grass.

Happy Easter!!

 

xxx

 

Crack Brownies

27 Mar

ooey gooey baby

One week till, ahem, Schooooools out. For. Summer!

Craziness! I still have exams till the end of April (dear lord) but things are finally coming to an end! Every year it happens the same way, too. It will be early second semester, it’s crappy weather and you want to die you hate school so much, you pray for reading break to come faster, then all of a sudden you realize there is a month left. The weather, though rainy and poopy right now, is at least warm, and when the sun does peak out, is glorious! Time to break out the shorts!

I have also realized that I have an addiction. No, not anything serious, but definitely dangerous to my figure. I can’t seem to stop baking brownies. In all variations. I don’t know what it is, but I constantly am thinking of how to create the ultimate gooey, chewy, and gloriously rich brownie bar. Not that I find cookies and cakes boring, I just feel that they have been thoroughly explored already. Brownies are a whole new thing.

So with that I bring to you, Crack Brownies. Now, I surfed around on the inter-google for a bit to see if there was already such thing, and I guess there is. And it is similar to what I made! Bummer.

I’m still happy I made them because they were insanely good. A rich layer of dense chocolate brownie, topped with a layer of marshmallows and finally topped with a crumbly white chocolate and peanut butter crumb. The marshmallows seemed to caramelize in the center, giving you three distinct layers with unique textures and flavours. If you prefer to not have a crumby peanut butter layer, mix the marshmallows right into the peanut butter batter. This will give it a more creamy texture and less flaky. Addicting no matter what you do.

Crack Brownies

Brownies Base

  • 500 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flower
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 cups mini marshmallows
Peanut Butter Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 bar of white chocolate, cut into pieces
Directions:
Grease and line a 11×11 baking pan with aluminum foil, then grease again. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized pot, melt chocolate and butter on medium heat, stirring constantly. When melted, stir in cocoa powder.  Remove chocolate from heat and slowly add in brown sugar, then eggs. Mix well and add vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix thoroughly. Pour brownie batter into pan and cover in an even marshmallow layer. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove to cool.

In a medium bowl, beat peanut butter , butter, and sugar together. Slowly add egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, sift together flour, slat, and baking powder. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and beat thoroughly for a minute. Scoop peanut butter mixture onto marshmallow topping and spread evenly and carefully to the edges. Push white chocolate squares into peanut butter layer in rows. Bake for 35-40 minutes more, until topping in golden and puffy and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool brownies for fifteen minutes, then place in fridge to cool for an hour or two more. Cut brownies into even squares and devour.

perfect flavour combination!

Happy Crack Baking!

xx.

 

Spring has Sprung with Luscious Lemon Bars

22 Mar

Spring is such a tease. Honestly. Vancouver will clear it’s rainy skies for about an hour or so, to let the sun shine and warm the  earth, only to continue to raining after. It is almost warm when that big ol’ sun is out! I am about to lose it with all this cloudy, miserable, mucky rain stuff. My mood is not the best these days, with last minute assignments, lab exams, and a return from that dang cold, and the rain is not helping. I just want to lie on the beach in the hot sun, with waves splashing around me, and no work or worries…like my family, who are all in Hawaii right now. Ya. I cry.

It's like a big sun...here to brighten your day

These bars are superb! Like, over the top good. I usually only eat chocolate, but I am now allowing fruit to enter my realm of desserts because of this. These bars, which I turned into a cake/pie/tart, are very rich and creamy, with a luscious hit lemon. They are tart, but balanced with the sugary graham crumb crust and smooth cream cheese texture. I have never made lemon curd, but oh man am I glad I did because it tops these bars/tart/pie/cake off perfectly. This dessert screams spring to me, and for now, this will have to tied me over.

diggin' in

This would make a perfect desert for easter, or for an early spring birthday. It is still quite rich, so it would be a nice alternative for the non-chocolate lover in your life. I adapted the lemon curd from Mommie Cooks. The rest of the recipe is my own.

Luscious Lemon Bars

 Crust

  • 1/2- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • rind from one lemon
Cream Cheese Layer
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of one lemon
Lemon Curd Layer
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 3 large lemons
  • 3 tbsp butter
Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Either grease a square 11×11 baking pan or a 9 inch spring foam pan, depending on whether you want to make bars or slices. 
In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and lemon rind. Add butter and thoroughly mix in until all crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into the bottom of your pan of choice, creating an even layer to the edges. Bake crust for 8 minutes, then remove and cool.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese for a few minutes until very soft. Slowly add in whipping cream and beat until  fluffy. Incorporate sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat for several minutes longer until texture is smooth and pourable. Pour mixture on to cooled crust, spread evenly, and bake for 30 minutes until edges are golden and middle is still jiggly.

Turn off oven and keep oven door open. This helps prevent any cracking from the shock of changing temperatures.  After ten minutes, transfer cheesecake to counter and cool for thirty minutes, and an hour or two more in the fridge.

While cheesecake cools, make lemon curd. Whisk together the lemon, eggs, and sugar. Heat over a double boiler and keep whisking the lemon mixture. Once the mixture takes on a consistency below pudding. Remove curd from heat and add butter in tablespoon chunks. Pour mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl. The sieve will catch any lemon bits. Place curd in fridge and cool for an hour.

When curd and cheesecake and cooled, pour curd on top of cheesecake layer. Smooth evenly. Garnish with whipping cream or confections sugar.

Lemon curd just blankets the cheeseckae!

Slice and enjoy!

xx.

 

 

Slut Bars AKA Slutty Brownies

5 Mar

These bars tower. Massively.

Yup, I made them. These bad boys have been circulating the internet for some time, and I thought that National Oreo Day (Oreo’s birthday) would be the most appropriate way to celebrate them! Eat Oreos tomorrow (March 6)!

I reduced the brownie batter to a half batch, and ended up with a more bar-like treat. SO ridiculously decadent! I had no idea how much the oreos would add to the flavour. They kind of cut the richness of the brownie-cookie combo, which of course is insane, considering it is just another cookie. Cookies on cookies. Yep, these bars are filthy and easy.

brings tears to my eyes!

I originally first saw these on The Londoner’s blog, and almost died. My recipe is much different (no boxed mixes) and includes nutella. And I poured in some heavy cream. For the ultimate artery-clogging experience, top with a scoop of lard and wait for your body to sink into a sugar-fat induced coma.

Slut Bars AKA Slutty Brownies

Cookie Batter

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 pack of double stuffed oreos
Brownie Batter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup nutella
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
Directions:
Grease a 9x9x2 baking pan and line with wax paper. Grease again. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.Make cookie batter: mix all dry ingredients together and set aside. Beat butter and sugar until combined. Slowly add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat. Add heavy cream if needed. Finally, stir in chocolate chips.

half gone...how!?

Spread cookie batter over bottom of baking dish. Cover in oreos.To make brownie batter, mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter and nutella together until combined. Add eggs, vanilla, and dry ingredients. Spread evenly over oreos.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until brownie top is raised and shiny. Let cool for 5 minutes (because how can you wait any longer??) and MOW.

Gooey nutella

Happy birthday, oreos!

xx.