These were the fourth recipe of dessert bars I made last night. I saw the Biscoff cookies in the cookie aisle and I knew I wanted to use them in a crust. I’d already gotten the caramel chips and I was playing around with ideas for almost a couple of weeks. Finally, I decided to Frankenstein a couple of recipes and came up with this.
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground Biscoff cookies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 cup & 1/4 cup sugar (used separately, so keep divided)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspon vanilla extract
- 3 medium apples (I strongly suggest a tart baking apple such as Granny Smith or Honey Crisp), finely diced
- 1 tablespoon Apple Pie Spice
- 11 oz. caramel bits
- Pan to melt butter
- Hand mixer (or stand mixer)
- Large mixing bowl
- 9″ x 13″ baking pan or 2 8″ x 8″ baking pans
- Baking spray (or butter which I highly recommend) to grease the pan–make sure you get the sides well greased, too
- Medium mixing bowl
- Knife & cutting board (to dice apples)
- Measuring cups and spoons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and mix with ground cookies. Spread evenly across bottom of greased pan/s. Using the mixer, cream together the cream cheese and the 1/2 cup of sugar. After about three minutes of mixing, you can then add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until silky smooth. Pour mixture over the ground cookies. Finely dice the apples and mix with 1/4 cup sugar, apple pie spice and caramel bits. Spread apple mix over cheesecake filling. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until filling has set. Let sit for at least one hour after baking to firmly set.
From side before baking:
From side after baking:
My office has a now-annual tradition to have a bake-off on Halloween. I say “now-annual” because last year was our first. I didn’t participate last year for two reasons: A. the theme was chocolate chip cookies, and toaster ovens are not convenient for large batches of cookies, and B. I was the emcee/coordinator. This year’s theme is dessert bars, and I’m no longer coordinating the fundraiser for the office that this is in support of. I’m actually entering four different bars. I’ve already posted the recipe for Apricot Oatmeal Bars–though I used peach preserves this time. The third bar I’m making is Seven Layer Magic Bars which has been a favorite since childhood. I’ll post the fourth recipe later tonight after I actually make them. On to the S’mores Bars! The theory behind these was to reimagine s’mores as a layer bar.
- 1 1/2 cups ground graham crackers
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 10 oz. bag of mini-marshmallows
- 15 oz. (1.5 10 oz. bags) Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups crushed mini-pretzels
- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I use Eagle brand)
- 9″ x 13″ baking pan OR
- 2 – 8″ x 8″ baking pans
- large bowl to mix marshmallows, pretzels & chocolate chips
- small bowl to melt butter in microwave OR
- small pan to melt butter on stovetop
- parchment paper to line the baking pan/s OR butter to grease them
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter however you like and then mix it with the graham crackers. Press the resulting mixture into the bottom of the greased or parchment paper-lined pan/s. Mix the marshmallows, pretzels and chocolate chips in a large bowl and then pour on top of graham cracker crust (split evenly if using 2 8″ x 8″ pans). Pour sweetened condensed milk over the filling and let sit for a bit to trickle down to the crust. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Marshmallows should be very puffy and sweetened condensed milk a nice caramel-y color. After baking, let cool for at least an hour for them to harden. Cut into bars and serve.
My original plan for dinner tonight was to make Apple Butter Pork Loin in the slow cooker. That would have required me to remove the pork loin from the freezer to defrost sometime yesterday, however. I toyed with various ideas and then settled on breakfast pizza with a homemade crust. After cruising the web for ideas on how to make it since I was stuck on what to use as “sauce”, I cobbled together the following recipe. This is for baking in a toaster oven, so it’s on the small side. For use in a regular oven, just double the ingredients.
- Ball of favorite homemade pizza dough, about the size of a large orange. Enough to make a rectangle of about 7″ x 11″
- 1-2 oz. of chive and onion cream cheese spread
- 8 oz. cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2 eggs scrambled in your favorite manner – try to make the resulting scramble on the thin side to make it easier to spread on pizza
- 1-2 oz. shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese (Sargento makes this, but you can totally use your favorite shredded cheese)
Preheat toaster oven for five minutes to 375 degrees. Roll out ball of dough onto parchment paper to around 7″ x 11″. I bake my pizzas on the broiler pan, and this almost fills it. Spread chive and onion cream cheese spread in a thin layer on top of dough. Sprinkle crumbled bacon evenly across cream cheese. Place scrambled egg bits on top of bacon. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake in toaster oven for approximately 20 minutes or until shredded cheese and crust are lightly browned.
This is a heat-filled paste you can use for guacamole like I did, or in anything you need a hit of heat.
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground Chipotle pepper
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Optional “secret” ingredient: 1 Tbsp cold bacon grease
Put the minced garlic in the mortar and pestle and grind it into a thin paste. Put the sea salt in next and grind it into the garlic. Add in the remaining ingredients except for the bacon grease, using the pestle to mix everything together. Use the spatula to clean the pestle and gather the paste together. Add the bacon grease at this point if you are using it.
If you are using this for guacamole, this amount of paste should be enough for eight avocados. I only used four. The less avocados you use, the hotter the guac will be. I split the paste in half and added more heat to one half by grinding in a whole pepper each of jalapeno and serrano chiles. In one bowl, I mashed two avocoados, added the base paste and then the juice of one half of a lime and served. This was the “mildish” version. In another bowl, I mashed the other two avocados, the peppered paste, and the juice from the other half of the lime. If nothing else, it will clear out your sinuses!
Posted in food
Tagged guacamole, hot, spicy
I’m going to be lazy and slap up the email I was sending out to friends a while back for these yummy, yummy bars for which our grammar school teachers would ask us to ask our mom to make for the school bake sales. Due to the toaster oven situation, I currently make the full recipe, but split it in half between two 8″ x 8″ Pyrex dishes for baking.
I cannot remember where Mom got this recipe from, but we’ve been using it since the 80′s.
1 1/4 /c flour
1 1/4 C Oats
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C butter, melted
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t salt
2 t vanilla
10oz jar apricot preserves
1/2 C flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 pan. In large mixing bowl, combine crumb ingredients. (It’s easiest to mix the dry first before adding the butter and vanilla. I’d also recommend a dash of cinnamon. ~K) Beat at low speed, scraping sides of bowl clean until mixture is crumbly. (You can do this by hand). Reserve 1 Cup of crumb mixture. Press remaining mixture into greased pan. Combine apricots and coconut and spread to within 1/2 inch of edge of unbaked crust. sprinkle with reserved mixture. Bake at center of oven, 350, 22-27 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Posted in food
I made a batch of these the other night. There were lessons I learned and relearned with the process. This was only the second time I’ve attempted to make deviled eggs and this batch turned out *much* better than the first time. I think.
First, the recipe. As the source, I used an Epicurious recipe. I mostly stayed true to it, with the main difference being I finely chopped the bacon slices and incorporated the resulting bits into the yolk mixture rather than reserving as a garnish. The fine chop is infinitely easier to accomplish when the bacon is completely cooled. Here’s the eggs after I finished piping the mixture back into the whites:
Luscious looking, aren’t they?
Well, I don’t know how clear I’ve made this, but I do not have any full-sized appliances in my apartment. The fridge is one of those dorm-style ones with a little freezer tray on top. I would swear that even on its lowest setting, it would ice over Hell. I stored the eggs in two containers and here’s the eggs how I discovered them in the smaller container when I got to work the next morning:
Yeah. The egg whites were not the tastiest. I did eat one, and major rubber. I was not quite ready to give up on the filling as there was bacon in there, and I can tell you that despite the freezing, the yolk mixture tasted just fine. The other three whites ended up in the garbage. So, lesson learned: avoid accidentally freezing hard-boiled eggs. When I got home, I checked the eggs in the larger container which had ended up under a full bag of baby carrots. While the bulk of the eggs in the larger container appeared to have been frozen as well, two might have made it through. This is probably because I stored them in one of those new Rubbermaid lunch blox boxes, entree sized (the sandwich size is in that second picture), and the two potentially okay ones were in the small divider. I moved the whole pack into the crisper drawer as that’s the furthest from the freezer unit (which doesn’t really keep anything that *should* be frozen frozen). They’ll be lunch for me on Thursday if they’re truly fine.
One of my favorite memories with regards to food from when I was a kid was this dessert snack that my mom would pack in my lunches when I was in kindergarten. I’m not sure if she packed it subsequent years, but I clearly remember eating it in the cafeteria of the school I went to for kindergarten. It’s really, really, stupidly, simple. And, yet, so insanely tasty.
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips (Mom used Nestle semi-sweet chips, but G’s milk chocolate are *so* much better)
Mix thoroughly. That’s it. Seriously. It comes out looking like this:
It may be a little easier to eat with a spoon, but either way, if you like chocolate and coconut, you’ll fall in love. And it really does taste like my favorite candy bar, Bounty bars, in deconstructed format.