• The Best Peanut Butter Brownies

    How to make The Best Peanut Butter Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (3.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    9 full-size peanut butter cups

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, peanut butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

    Pour half the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place the peanut butter cups on top then cover with the remaining batter. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature.

  • Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
  • Sweet Potato Pie Bars

    How to make Sweet Potato Pie Bars

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small bars

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Feel free to leave the sugar out of the sweet potato filling if you prefer things less sweet.

    Ingredients

    Crust:

    18 full graham crackers
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    Filling:

    2 cups (16 ounces) sweet potato puree
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    3 large eggs
    1 tablespoon bourbon (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground clove
    1 1/2 cups whole milk
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    Topping:

    2 large egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil.

    Place the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Keep oven at 350°F.

    For the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat all the sweet potato filling ingredients until well combined. Pour over the graham cracker crust and bake for 40 minutes, or until set but still slightly wiggly in the middle. Let cool to room temperature.

    For the marshmallow topping:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, 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 topping evenly over the sweet potato layer. Use a kitchen torch to gently torch the marshmallow layer until lightly golden. Alternatively, place the pan under the broiler and broil for 1 minute, or until lightly golden. Don’t step away – the broiler can go from toasted to burnt FAST!

    Refrigerate the pan for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares and serving. The squares can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though they are best served soon after the marshmallow is made.

  • Pumpkin Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting

    How to make Pumpkin Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small bars

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    This recipe is easily doubled for a crowd!

    Ingredients

    For the bars:

    1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
    2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (7.5 ounces) pumpkin puree

    For the frosting:

    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon milk, plus more if needed

    Directions

    To make the bars:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang.

    In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

    In another medium bowl whisk together the butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the frosting:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and smooth. Add in the cinnamon and salt. On low speed gradually add in the powered sugar until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and milk and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat until very light and fluffy. If too runny, add more powered sugar, If too thick, add more milk. Spread evenly all over the pumpkin bars.

    Cut into squares before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  • Brown Butter Triple Chocolate Blondies

    How to make Brown Butter Triple Chocolate Blondies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small blondies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    1 stick (4 ounces, 113 grams) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup (4.5 ounces, 128 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup milk chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
    1/3 cup white chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
    1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with aluminum foil.

    In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in until melted.

    Combine the browned butter with the sugar and stir until smooth. If still very hot, let cool slightly. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the salt and flour and stir until combined. Mix in all the chocolate chips.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with a small handful of the three chocolate chips and press into the batter. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden at the edges.

    Let cool on a baking rack before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  • Lime Bars

    How to make Lime Bars

    Yield: 12 bars

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Like a lemon bar, but with the distinctive and tangy lime flavor. These bars have a flaky buttery crust, a gooey lime center, and are topped with powdered sugar.

    Ingredients

    For the crust

    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    Pinch of salt

    For the filling

    4 large eggs
    Zest of 1 lime
    1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    3 drops green food coloring (optional)

    Extra powdered sugar as garnish (About 1/3 cup)

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

    Make the crust:

    Mix together the flour, sugar, butter, and salt until it forms a very lose dough, much like a pie crust, and pat it into a 9×13 pan.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes until just lightly browned.

    Make the filling:

    Beat together the eggs, lime zest, lime juice,  flour, sugar, and baking powder. If desired, add green food coloring to get a richer green color.

    Pour it over cooked crust, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, let cool completely and cut into squares.

    Rachael at EazyPeazyMealz.com

  • Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    9 whole graham crackers
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    For the filling:

    2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup pure pumpkin puree
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ginger
    1/8 teaspoon cloves

    For the brulee topping:

    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil, leaving an overhang.

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Bake for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and smooth the melted chocolate chips with an offset spatula. Let cool and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

    For the filling:

    Place the cream cheese in a clean food processor bowl and pulse until smooth (you can also use an electric mixer). Add the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, flour, salt, and spices and pulse until combined and smooth. Do not overmix.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 45 minutes. Do no overbake.

    Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to cool completely in the pan. Cover and chill until firm, at least 2 hours. Using the foil overhang, transfer the cheesecake to a work surface and use a big sharp knife to cut into squares.

    For the brulee topping:

    On a heat-safe work surface, sprinkle the tops of each square with sugar and torch the tops with a kitchen torch until it turns a deep amber color. Alternatively, use a broiler to brown the sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Note that the chocolate layer does get a bit hard if these bars are very cold, so you may want to let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

  • Loaded Cookie Bars

    How to make Loaded Cookie Bars

    Yield: 24 bars

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (4.5 ounces) bread flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
    1 cup M&M’s, or other candy
    1 cup chopped Reese’s or other candy

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 13-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, baking soda, and salt.

    In a large bowl, vigorously stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until very well combined. Add in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk and stir until well combined. Gradually add in the flour and stir until just combined. Fold in the Oreos, M&M’s, and Reese’s, reserving some to sprinkle on top.

    Remove the dough to the prepared pan, pressing evenly. Sprinkle with the reserved candy, pressing down lightly with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown but not overcooked. Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

  • Oreo Caramel Walnut Bars

    How to make Oreo Caramel Walnut Bars

    Yield: 16 bars

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    20 Oreo cookies
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    1 cup chopped walnuts
    2 cups granulated sugar
    2/3 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt

    For the topping:

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate
    2 teaspoons corn syrup

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.

    For the crust:

    In the bowl of a food processor pulse the Oreo cookies until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes then remove, leaving the oven on.

    For the filling:

    Place the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 minutes. Remove and turn off the oven.

    In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, cook the sugar and ½ cup water, stirring gently, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Allow to boil without stirring until the mixture turns a deep amber color. You want as deep of a color as possible without scorching. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.

    Carefully pour the cream into the mixture, using caution as the caramel will bubble up and will be scorching hot. Stir in the vanilla and butter. Return to low heat and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is no longer bubbling. Stir in the salt. Let cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the toasted walnuts.

    Pour the caramel walnut mixture over the Oreo crust. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 1 hour.

    For the topping:

    In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. Microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate evenly over the chilled caramel filling. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight if you need to make ahead.

    Cut into 16 squares and serve. The bars are best served immediately after slicing.

    Adapted from Passion for Baking