Black Bottom Coconut Bars

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

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These bars are somewhat crumbly when you cut them up but since they are so delicious and full of flavours including chocolate, walnut, coconut and butterscotch overlooking a few extra crumbs is easy.

Put these on your holiday baking list to share with co-workers or take along to an upcoming get together.  Hard to believe it’s holiday baking time…but seems Christmas isn’t too far away.  Time to start making your holiday baking list!

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment or foil coated with cooking spray.

Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Combine flour and sugar together in a medium bowl.  Add in the butter and chocolate and mix together until blended.  Press into bottom of the 9-inch pan.  Bake for 15 minutes until set.

Filling:

2 eggs

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/3 cups flake or shredded coconut

1 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs until thick and light in colour.  Beat in the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in vanilla.

Mix flour and baking powder together and fold into the egg mixture.  Stir in coconut butterscotch chips and walnuts.

Spread over the baked crust and return to oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

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Cool, cut and enjoy.

 

 

Mating in the Wild & Pecan Pie Bars

Mating in the Wild & Pecan Pie Bars

Apparently size does matter.  Not only does showing whose is bigger set the ground work, you are then able to start a battle with a few strong shoves to your advisary and with a well placed low blow get him out of the picture. That accomplished you can now turn your attention to the lovely female you have had our eye on since sensing her hormone levels were reaching their peak and you, being the romantic you are, will wait by quietly until she turns her attentions to you!

A play-by-play from a downtown bar?!  A scenario from a dating text-book?! My somewhat crazed imagination?!

None of the above.  Interestingly enough, while baking up today’s recipe, I had on the National Geographic channel and they were discussing the mating habits of wild life in Alaska.  Male Sheep with the biggest horns use them to fight off other males who are lacking in this department often butting their horns in their opponents vulnerable spots and the winner also lets loose a battle cry to capture the attention of his lady.

While watching it I started thinking about recent conversations with several single women friends and their not-so-impressive dating experiences so far in 2016.

Seems today’s man could maybe take cue from the bears, long-horned sheep and a few other animals in Alaska and other parts of the world.

In a nutshell, as wild and untamed as these creatures may be, they make a show of their assets and are willing to go the extra mile and even fight for their lady.  Now I know I don’t want anyone ramming their head into the gut of another potential suitor just to get my or my friends undivided attention but a sincere compliment to the fairer sex on how attractive their eyes or how nice their smile or asking something about their life and really wanting to know the answer would go a long way in securing our attention and interest.

Seems in the light of working so hard to be equal and self-sufficient we forget it is OK to have someone show us we are special and we are worth a little effort.  Sure we can bear children and look after said children, and take the garbage to the curb, grocery shop, make the meals, clean the house, pay bills and pay for our own stuff BUT why do we think we are not worth someone making a little effort for us.  WE ARE MORE THAN WORTH IT!

Maybe it’s not just the guys who need to look to the wild.  I’m going to follow the advice of the female bear…(well, metaphorically or something like that…I’m not really going to eat grass in a field and wait for a hairy guy, but I think you’ll get my drift).   She contentedly eats her way through the field while the males fight for her (just her, not the other 12 they have contacted on Match or POF and might, just might, follow-up with).  Then the winner lays down in the grass nearby and waits the several weeks it takes before she is ready for his attentions.

To me this translates to the guy spending some time and attention on the woman, by taking her out, talking with her, asking about her and her interests, and paying, yes paying, for several coffees or drinks and a few meals…that’s it. Doesn’t seem that difficult and no matter how old we get it does really feel like all the emotions and thoughts haven’t changed since college and high school dating.

Obviously this recipe is super simple or there is absolutely no way I would have been able to whip it up with all of the above going through my brain!!  Hope you give them a try.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!

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Pecan Pie Bars

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes about 24 squares.  You’ll need a 9×9-inch square pan, ungreased.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, cold

2 eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

Method:

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar and salt.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Pat into baking dish and bake in preheated oven until light brown.  About 20 minutes.

In same medium bowl whisk eggs and add in the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla.  Whisk until combined.

Sprinkle pecans over baked crust and pour over egg mixture.  Return to oven and bake approximately 20 more or until filling is set.  Let cool and cut into bars.

 

 

CHOCOHOLICS UNITE -TOFFEE BROWNIES

CHOCOHOLICS UNITE -TOFFEE BROWNIES

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Dark and delicious this fabulous combination of bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, toffee bits and semisweet chocolate come together in these brownies for an indulgent treat.

I found these ‘babies’ under the heading “Chocoholics Anonymous” in an old magazine (For some reason the recipe just seemed to jump out at me!!) and modified the recipe slightly.  I did have a stash of Heath Bits, both plain and the chocolate/toffee combination, which friends had brought me back from shopping trips to the U.S.  No Heath Bits here in Canada so use the equivalent Skor bits and for the topping just add some mini or regular chocolate chips.

For a moist brownie make sure not to overbake.  They should still be a few crumbs sticking to the toothpick when checking for doneness.

I’d make doubles of this as believe me they are a huge hit!  They are as tasty when cold as when still slightly warm from the oven.

Toffee Brownies

Preheat oven to 350F and parchment line a 13×9-inch baking pan.

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

4 tbsp butter

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups toffee bits

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For topping:  approximately 1 cup toffee bits and 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips or 1 1/2 cups Heath chocolate/toffee bits

Method:

Combine the boiling water and the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.  Let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave melt the butter and the 2 ounces of chocolate (careful don’t burn the chocolate) and stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa mixture.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture.

heath-brownies-flour-and-salt-to-chocolate-mixtureAdd in the flour and salt and stir to combine.  Fold in the toffee bits and the chocolate chips.

Spread evenly in the prepared pan and top with the Heath Chocolate Toffee bits or a combination of 1 cup of toffee bits and chocolate chips if desired.

Bake approximately 30-40 minutes until brownies are cooked through but a few crumbs stick to a toothpick inserted in the centre.  FOR BEST RESULTS ROTATE PAN HALF WAY THROUGH BAKING AND CHECK AFTER 30 MINUTES.

Cool and cut into generous portions.

 

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Chocolate Revel Bars

Chocolate Revel Bars


Time to lick the pot clean!!


Butter, sugar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, flour plus oats make the base and topping.


Base pressed into 15 x 10-inch pan waiting for chocolate topping.

Middle layer of 2 tablespoons butter, semi-sweet chocolate and condensed milk all melted and blended together with nuts and vanilla.  (Check out video on sweet_enuf on Instagram.)

Top chocolate layer with remaining oat mixture and bake.

Chocolate Revel Bars

Preheat oven to 350F.  You will need an ungreased 15 x 10-inch baking pan.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces

1 x 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Set aside 2 tablespoons of butter.

In a large bowl beat remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds.  Add brown sugar and baking soda, beating until combined.  Scrape bowl as needed.  Beat in eggs and the first 2 teaspoons of vanilla.  Turn mixer to low and beat in flour.  Stir in the oats.

Press 2/3 of the mixture into the 15 x 10-inch pan.

For filling, in a medium saucepan combine the 2 tablespoons of reserved butter, chocolate pieces and condensed milk.  Heat over low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and add in the nuts and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Spread melted chocolate mixture over base and spread evenly.  Crumble the remaining oat mixture and sprinkle over the chocolate layer.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until top crumbs are light brown.  Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.

 

 

White Chocolate Cupcakes

White Chocolate Cupcakes

White Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are versatile and will become a favourite.  Just because, or for your next special occasion, these are sure to fit the bill.

To take them over the top fold in about 1/2 cup of mini white chocolate chips before baking.

White ChocolateDense without being heavy and flavourful as well as moist these cupcakes can be topped with the white chocolate buttercream I shared on the blog back in June or your favourite icing.  Sprinkle with some Jimmies or top with Maltesers or chocolate sprinkles for added glamour.

I decorated each cupcake with a swirl of white chocolate buttercream and completed each one differently for fun.  Let your creative side shine.

 

 

White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

(modified from Intensely Chocolate by Carole Bloom)

Preheat oven to 350F and paper line 18 muffin cups.

Ingredients:

4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped or white chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional, to fold into batter before filling muffin cups)

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave on low.  Mix until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.

With an electric mixer beat the butter until creamy about 1 minute.  Add in the sugar and beat until fluffy.

In a small bowl beat the eggs and vanilla together.  Add this into the creamed butter/sugar mixture and mix in well.

Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the cream in 3 additions and scrape down bowl and beaters again.

Add in the melted white chocolate and mix in gently to blend thoroughly.

Fill the muffin cups half full and bake for approximately 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.  Cupcakes are done when the tops spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool completely before topping off with your favourite icing and sprinkles.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot cupcakes are a classic and pretty much a guaranteed cupcake success story.  With the addition of grated carrots which add depth of flavour as well as moistness to the cupcake plus the tangy sweet combination of cream cheese, butter and icing sugar mixed together to top them off they are a hit!

 

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Carrot Cupcakes w Cteam Cheese Icing. Top these with Cteam Cheese Icing for the traditional combination or with a buttercream icing if you prefer.  These will freeze well with or without the icing.  Let’s not forget with the addition of the grated carrots I’m sure these babies must count toward my daily veggie serving!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots

2/3 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts

Method

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and then whisk in the eggs.  Add in applesauce and vanilla and mix together.  Add in the vegetable oil and mix until combined.

Add in half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and combine.  Add in the shredded carrots to the remaining flour mixture to coat the carrots and then add in to the batter and combine. (Coating the shredded carrots in the flour helps to prevent the carrots from sinking to the bottom of each cupcake.)

Fold in pecans.

Spoon batter into muffin cups filling about 3/4 full and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until tops spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Let cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

Beat together 1/2 cup room temperature butter with 1/2 cup room temperature cream cheese.  Add in approximately 3-4 cups icing sugar and combine on low speed.  Add in enough icing sugar to have a spreadable consistency.  Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well.

Use a knife or piping bag to ice the cupcakes.

Keep or Weep?!

Keep or Weep?!

Friday was a ‘Weep’…if you have been following my blog for any length of time you would know I do watch a bit (or a lot) of reality t.v.  Of late, I have been tuning into the renovation shows, you know Love It or List It, Flip or Flop, that type of thing.

They have the same premise…after several “uh oh” have we made a mistake taking on this flip due to the unforseen problems arising, sure as the sun sets in the west, the end result is a beauty.

This is not quite the same with home baking.  Sometimes a flop is still tasty while looking unappealing but most times a flop is unedible or bland or unpalatable with not a beauty in sight!

After 2 fails baking up 2 different biscotti this week I thought I should rename my blog Love it or Lump It; Bake It or Banish It or my fav so far, Keep or Weep!

Weep I did after the pumpkin biscotti blew up like a loaf of proofed bread while baking and in the end was heavy and dense and lacking in flavour.  Next up, Toffee Mocha Biscotti, suggested to me by my friend Adrienne.  Heck, she even made sure to send me a recipe just in case I was in the mood to bake.  Instead of following the recipe sent I thought I’d modify one of my favourite biscotti recipes and add in some espresso powder and the toffee and chocolate bits.  Instead of baking up per usual it flattened out like a pancake and although still tasty was pretty much a giant crispy cookie requiring only 1 bake!

Hungry for a delicious biscotti guaranteed not to fail you?  Check out one of my prior biscotti’s such as my May 21st post for Maple Pecan Biscotti or delicious Chocolate Toffee Biscotti from last August 22 (’15).  They are ‘Keeps’ not Weeps for sure.

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Chocolate Toffee Biscotti

Tune in next week for another exciting episode of ‘Keep or Weep’.  I’m hoping for a Keep Week.  Happy Simcoe Day!