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Posts Tagged ‘blondies’

Before I tell you the conversation that led me to the discovery of nutmeats, let me give you the background on our Orange Chewins. Straight up, these brown-sugared, orange slice candy-filled, coconut, crackly crusted bars are not my favorite. But they are one of my sister Heidi’s favorite Christmas treats that my mom makes.

Orange Chewins Bars | Random Sweetness Baking

My sister travels a lot in her corporate trainer job and doesn’t get much time to spend at home, this means no time to bake and a lot of time being exposed to candy bars with a 7-year gas station shelf life. So, being the (sorta) nice sister that I am, I wanted to bake Orange Chewins for Heidi one weekend when she was coming home.

But I didn’t.

Then during our family Christmas, my mom asked me if I had made them for Heidi that one time a couple of months back.

With my sisters, mom, and step-mom sitting around the tables, I said, “No, I didn’t make them because there was an ingredient in the recipe that I didn’t know what it was.”

My mom asked me what it was and I said I couldn’t remember – just that it was something that I wasn’t familiar with.

Perplexed, my mom said, “There’s not anything unusual in them – brown sugar, eggs, orange slices, coconut…”

But I knew that there was something on that recipe card that stopped me from baking Orange Chewins for Heidi that weekend. So I dug into my cupboard and pulled the card from my wooden recipe roll-top file.

“Nutmeats!” I exclaimed. “There are nutmeats in there and I don’t know what that is.”

“Those are nuts. Just the insides of nuts,” my mom said.

“Oh, THAT’S what they are. You can tell it’s an old recipe because they are just called nuts now,” I said trying to recover an ounce of scratch-baking pride.

pecan nutmeats

Pecan Pieces (a.k.a. pecan nutmeats)

A few weeks later, I baked Orange Chewins for the first time. But by that time, the coconut I had was gone. So I substituted oatmeal and sent them off to Heidi’s. She liked them that way so much that she said she’ll bake them that way from now on. I liked them this way too because I don’t like coconut, which is probably why I never really like these. Either way, coconut or oatmeal or a little of both, these could become a favorite at your house.

I thought it would be nice to share a family recipe that isn’t as widely recognized as grandma’s chocolate chip cookies.

But secretly, I’m hoping there’s at least one person out there who reads this and says, “Ha, I wouldn’t have known what nutmeats are either.”

Orange Chewins Bars

3 eggs well beaten

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups orange slices (Heidi uses floured kitchen scissors to cut them easily into bite sized pieces. I toss the pieces with sugar to keep them from sticking to each other.)

1/2 cup chopped nutmeats (pecan pieces, chopped walnuts, etc.)

1/2 cup coconut OR 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

2 cups flour

  1. Beat eggs until foamy with the water.
  2. Add vanilla, gradually add brown sugar  and salt. Beat well and then add orange slice candy pieces, coconut, nuts & flour. Mix well.
  3. Pour into greased 15 x 10 x 1 pan. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.
  4. Cut before completely cooled.

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Sometimes, there’s not a long story to tell. I made bars and I called them Reese’s P.Bitty Bars because they are so good there should be a rap song about them. I brought them to a hockey party and now I wish I had kept some at home.  

The bottom and top crumble layers are made with creamy peanut butter, oatmeal, and butter. There is a gooey chocolate layer in the middle, with mini Reese’s candies tucked neatly inside.  

Get ready, bake! Preheat oven to 350°. Beat 3/4 cup softened butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until well blended.

 

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

 

Stir together flour, oats, salt, and baking soda.

 

Gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.   

Batter will resemble cookie dough. Set 2 cups of the batter aside.

Press remaining dough into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.

Prepare the chocolate layer: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Stir in cocoa and white sugar.

Add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk; stirring constantly over low heat until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Spread chocolate mixture evenly over oatmeal dough in the pan.

Sprinkle the mini Reese’s candies over the chocolate.

Crumble the reserved two cups of dough over the candies.

Bake 25 minutes or until the top is lightly brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. These take a few hours to completely cool, so make them a day ahead of when you plan to devour share them.

Reese’s® P.Bitty Bars

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup peanut butter

2 cups packed brown sugar, light or dark

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick butter)

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/3 cup white sugar

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups (10 ounce package) Reese’s Mini Pieces

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat 3/4 cup softened butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, oats, salt, and baking soda; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Batter will resemble cookie dough. Set 2 cups of the batter aside. Press remaining dough evenly into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.

Prepare the chocolate layer: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa and white sugar. Add 1 can sweetened condensed milk; stirring constantly over low heat until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Spread chocolate mixture evenly over oatmeal dough in the pan. Sprinkle the Reese’s candies over the chocolate. Crumble the reserved two cups of dough over the candies.

Bake 25 minutes or until top is lightly brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

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I’m pretty sure I’m using the fact that Jason has a Food Day this week as an excuse for me to finally try these Butterfinger Blondies from one of my Paula Deen magazines. I don’t like bringing food to share with friends or co-workers if I haven’t already tried it myself and really liked it. So, today was Butterfinger Blondie try-outs.

I started by lining the pan with nonstick foil. I like being able to lift the whole thing out. It’s easier to cut the bars and they look neater, too. The trick is to line the foil on the outside bottom of the pan first and then put it inside.

You can use regular-size Butterfingers or I used a package of fun-size bars. I don’t have a food processor so I usually put stuff in a Ziplock and bang on it or in this case, I used my small food chopper (Pampered Chef).

  And next is one of my favorite ingredients–brown sugar. My jar was almost empty so I had to refill it. I LOVE the feeling of fresh brown sugar–it’s better than playing in a sandbox! Of course, I have to give a shout-out to my favorite sugar, C & H Sugar. They are really fun to follow on Twitter @candh_sugar and their website is full of great baking stuff too.

When you get everything together, you will have three bowls of ingredients: the crushed Butterfingers, the brown sugar mixture and the flour mixture.   

Now all the batter is mixed and I added the crushed Butterfingers and the Nestle chocolate chips.You may notice my mixing utensil switched from a rubber spatula to a wooden spoon. Once I started stirring  in the flour mixture, the batter got really thick so I had to change to something more substantial. I should do that exercise once a day for 30 minutes.

The batter is thick, almost like cookie dough, but a little softer and stickier. The bars are really good but I think they are the kind that are best after sitting a day. I’ll find out tomorrow, if there are any left by then.

Butterfinger Blondies

(from Paula Deen’s Best Desserts 2010 Special Issue)

3/4 cup butter, melted

2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 (2.1 ounce) Butterfinger bars, chopped

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish: melted chocolate, chopped Butterfingers

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 13×9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar, stirring until combined. Add eggs, stirring until mixture is smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, stirring until combined. [This is when the wooden spoon came in handy.] Stir in chopped candy bars, chocolate chips and vanilla. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bars are set in center. Garnish with melted chocolate and chopped candy bars, if desired.

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