PB Bars

There are a lot of names for this dessert. PB Bars, Buckeye Bars, Bucky Bars, Hardy Bars, No-Bake Bars, Lunch Lady Bars and on and on. I think I must have at least two recipes for bars similar to this listed on my website but these may be my favorites! Some people top these with chocolate frosting, which is delicious too but I would rather top them with melted chocolate!

PB Bars

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening

Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter, powdered sugar and lightly packed light brown sugar until mixed and well combined. You may need to add about 2 tablespoons milk or water.

Beat in the smooth peanut butter.

Place the mixture into the prepared pan and pat out evenly with clean hands.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the solid vegetable shortening. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

Pour the mixture over the peanut butter base and smooth out the top.

Chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Remove, lift from pan using sides of aluminum foil and cut into desired number of pieces. Chocolate sets hard so jagged pieces are not only desired but necessary.

Serve and store at room temperature.

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RITZ Cracker Cookies

These are sweet, salty, buttery and crunchy! Deliciously addictive. Love them!

RITZ Cracker Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 sleeve RITZ crackers, whole

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the large egg.

Beat in the white all-purpose flour, milk powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add in the RITZ crackers and mix only until crackers break up. You do not want cracker crumbs, just broken up crackers into small to medium sized pieces.

Place tablespoon size balls of dough into the parchment lined baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Gooey Butter Cake

I love a gooey butter cake! Try this!

Gooey Butter Cake

For the crust…
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 large egg

For the filling…
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick baking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl make the crust by combining the dry yellow cake mix with the melted butter and egg. Pat this mixture into the bottom of the pan.

In another large bowl beat together the melted butter and cream cheese. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Combine well. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Pour on top of crust and spread evenly.

Bake in preheated oven 48 minutes. Be careful not to over bake! The center will still be jiggly when it is done baking.

Let rest at room temperature until cooled. Wrap with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Remove, cut and serve.

Banana Bread Cookies

I love banana bread and these “bites”, or cookies, satisfy that craving without having to bake – and eat – and entire loaf of banana bread! Feel free to replace the chocolate chips with walnuts or simply add both – or leave both out. Totally up to your tastes!

Banana Bread Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed bananas or 3 bananas
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and packed light brown sugar until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture. This will take about 4 minutes.

Beat in the large eggs and mashed bananas. Beat in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt.

Fold in the white all-purpose flour and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Place in tablespoon size dollops onto the prepared baking sheets and leave about 2 inches between each cookie.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

CHEW THIS! Fluffernutter Fudge

Fluffernutter Fudge

Fluffernutter Fudge.JPG

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 16th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Fluffernutter Fudge
Blaise Doubman

Well, as of writing this column, I have still yet to figure out my Facebook problems. I thought I had them figured out, but I was wrong. Once things get ironed out and I have a link to share with all of you, I will share it. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest all under the user name “blaisethebaker”. Moving on to talk about an edible update that I do have and can share; a new fudge recipe! I love fudge but hate messing with candy thermometers, boiling sugar and the complete mess and danger of it all. This recipe requires no extra candy equipment and can be made in less than 4 minutes! Seriously? Yes!

The Fluffernutter sandwich is popular across the US and I happen to love them! I highly recommend you try them fried, fabulous! Add a little sliced banana and you have a sandwich that Elvis himself would generously approve! I love making fudge and love the combination of peanut butter and marshmallow, so I decided to take a crack at the recipe I am sharing here today. The marshmallows really need to maintain their shape in this recipe and they will, so do not worry about cooling the microwaved mixture too much. The presentation of this fudge is fun too and people will go crazy for the taste! With only a handful of ingredients that you already have in your pantry, why not whip up some of this delicious fudge and have a Fluffernutter moment with me?

Fluffernutter Fudge

This fudge is best eaten the day it is made, which should not be hard to do!

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 bag (10 oz) peanut butter chips
1 bag (10 oz) miniature marshmallows
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Start by lining a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large microwave safe bowl add the melted butter together with the peanut butter chips and microwave on high 90 seconds until the peanut butter chips are melted. Stir together until both ingredients are smooth and combined.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and pinch of salt, stirring to combine.

Add in the marshmallows and stir gently until the marshmallows are all coated.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. Remove and lift the fudge out of the pan using the help of the aluminum foil.

Cut into small squares and serve. Leftovers should be kept chilled in the refrigerator.

Ask and Answer: I received a few emails about my last column for my “Comforting Banana Bread” so I thought I would answer those questions here. Yes, you can freeze the loaf. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil and place in freezer for up to 6 months. To thaw, simply remove from freezer and remove aluminum foil. Allow to come to room temperature by placing into the refrigerator or leaving on the counter in a cool place. You can also add walnuts, pecans, or even cashews to the mix. I would slightly toast the nuts first to “wake up” their flavors. This bread is also delicious served with strawberry jam for a unique flavor combination. Also feel free to take the thick slices and make a banana bread style french toast. Delicious!