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Valentine’s Day 2017

Things never change.

I tried to have a great Valentine’s Day for my kids, with Valentine’s Mad Libs, pizza in heart shapes, and a few desserts:

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But crazy life got in the way.

By crazy life, I mean the normal stuff: getting home late from work, taking way too long to take pictures of the kids with the Valentine’s day food, slicing my finger open on a Valentine’s day envelope…

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These had white chocolate chips inside. Yum!

Yes, I had to stop and freak out for a little bit.

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My heart-shaped waffles!

Once I put on a band-aid, I continued with the festivities– thinking it wasn’t going too bad for a school night.

I even made some brownies since my husband doesn’t like any of the other desserts:

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I began to put out the desserts, all happy that I was doing things on time…

And then I remembered that my oldest had basketball practice.

So we scrambled to eat dessert, freaked out some more, and he made it on time.

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And I survived another holiday.  Barely.  🙂

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This was a mini cake.

 

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Thanksgiving 2016

Another stressful Thanksgiving.

Why, you ask?

Because I didn’t get to make my low fat Butterscotch Bars with Thanksgiving M&Ms.

It all started well because I prepped most of the dinner the night before.

But then things got out of control.

I did make a Pumpkin Cake and Caramel Apple Cookies:

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Not too pretty, but tasty!

 

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Apparently there was no time for prettiness this Thanksgiving…

And my husband helped out and made 2 pumpkin pies (it was a taste test) and a pecan pie:

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One regular pumpkin pie, and one pumpkin pie with mascarpone cheese.

But before I knew it, we had eaten such a big meal that I was exhausted and just couldn’t make the Butterscotch Bars.

We had stuffed mushrooms, homemade olive tapenade, spinach artichoke dip, turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, asparagus, glazed carrots, rolls, corn pudding, and cranberry sauce.  Along with the desserts I mentioned above.

I know, it just doesn’t seem right without the Butterscotch Bars…

I was quite disappointed with myself, but what can I do?

Well, I can start baking for Christmas!  

Suddenly, I feel much better.  See you soon!  🙂

 

Halloween 2016

No time for fun Halloween desserts again this year.  

Where does the time go??

I cheated and made spider cupcakes with a kit (the actual cake and frosting are homemade, though):

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My husband actually liked these! Dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

And as I always say, if you run out of time– just make Rice Krispies ghosts.

OK, I don’t always say that, but still.

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And my usual brownie pizza, except we couldn’t find Halloween Oreos anywhere.  So I used pumpkin flavored ones:

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So anyway, I thought I got scared last year at Fright Fest…

That was nothing.

This year we went to Busch Gardens.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if my husband hadn’t suggested that we go into the haunted corn maze.

It started off pretty well until the zombies were jumping out and making me scream nonstop… and I mean some serious screaming.

I had the same human shield as last year– my 9-year-old– except this year I literally hid behind him the entire time.

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How cute is this centipede??  If you like to eat bugs, that is…

The maze seemed to go on forever and I was starting to lose my voice.

After we were done, I realized they hadn’t been jumping out at my husband or kids in front of me.

Why, you ask?

I was being targeted.

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Hot dog mummies have become a Halloween tradition in our house!

I’m serious!

Of course I didn’t know that until later, when my husband informed me that he kept hearing the zombies communicating with each other.

They kept saying “after the kid in the orange shirt.”

Can you guess who was behind the kid in the orange shirt?

Yep, you guessed it.

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Creepy egg eyeballs.

So… if you want to avoid having zombies after you, looking like an insane person, and losing your voice– just stay calm.  And don’t hide behind your kids.

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My kids’ pumpkins this year!

Valentine’s Desserts 2014

I disappointed myself this year with Valentine’s Day desserts.

I had great aspirations, but then the usual happened:

My son broke his pinky, my nanny had a birthday, we had 2 Valentine’s day parties, there was a kids’ party we had to go to the prior weekend, the kids were stuck at home for 3 snow days… you know how it goes.

So, without any further excuses, here are my brownie bites:

I piped the chocolate hearts out of chocolate, and made pink buttercream frosting.

I piped the chocolate hearts, and made pink buttercream frosting.

They weren’t cutesy enough for me, since I like very pink and red desserts, with sprinkles.

But no time, so I made brown sugar blondies with Valentine’s M&Ms.

At least the cupcake cups I put them in were cutesy!

Blondies FB

And that was all I did.

But in my defense, I also had to make a birthday cake, so you know…

Mel's cake

For our awesome nanny!

As I always say, I’ll do better next year!  🙂

Butterscotch Caramel Bites

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My husband recently brought home a delicious cookie bar from work.

I wasn’t even sure what was in it, but I devoured it.

I later found out it was caramel and chocolate chips.

So I asked him to please get me the recipe.

At the last minute, I decided that I was going to use butterscotch chips instead.

Caramel Butterscotch Bites 3a
What did my husband say when he tried mine?

Something to the effect of, “I wonder if you didn’t bake them correctly, or if he gave me the wrong recipe.”

So I broke down into tears and kicked him out.

Haha, just kidding.

Actually, I remembered that he doesn’t like caramel or butterscotch. 🙂

Caramel Butterscotch Bites 2a
True, they didn’t come out just like the one he had brought home, but this one is delicious nonetheless.

To tell you the truth, many pieces didn’t even get past the cutting process.

I thought I was smart to cut them into bite-sized pieces, but that only makes you eat more of them!

They are addictive.

They sort of jump off the plate and into your mouth by accident.

I’m serious! 

Caramel Butterscotch Bites a
I definitely recommend that you make these.

Just don’t listen to my husband, ok?

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Butterscotch Caramel Bites (my adaptation)

Crust:

  • 2 Cups white wheat flour (you can use all purpose)
  • 2 Cups quick- cooking oats
  • 1.5 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup butter, softened

Filling

  • 1 Cup Butterscotch Caramel ice cream topping
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Cup butterscotch chips

In a large bowl, blend all crust ingredients at low speed until crumbly.

Press half of the mixture in bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan (reserve rest for topping).

Bake pan at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine ice cream topping and 3 Tablespoons flour.  Set aside.

When you take the crust out of the oven, sprinkle with butterscotch chips.

Drizzle with caramel mixture.

Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake and additional 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cook completely.

Refrigate 1 or 2 hours until filling is set.

Cut into bite-sized pieces and enjoy!

Low Fat Butterscotch Bars

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I think I’m crazy.

This whole blogging thing is crazy.  

Ever notice that I don’t post fancy, difficult-to-make desserts?

That’s because I have no time.  I barely have time for the simple desserts.

I bake when I should be sleeping.  Stuff like these butterscotch bars:

I’m thrilled that they’re low fat.

And they’re really yummy, which is awesome.

But back to the craziness…  there’s the picture taking, the writing…

Well, if you’re anything like me, you get mesmerized by pictures of yummy food.

So… I wonder if I actually need to spend time thinking of stuff to write in these posts, or if I can type anything and get done quickly.

Wow, maybe I’m onto something.

OK, let’s try. 

Blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah.

Did you even notice?  Hmmm…

Wow, I must be really tired.  🙂

 

Low Fat Butterscotch Bars (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Beat sugars and butter at medium speed until well-blended (about 4 minutes).

Add egg whites and vanilla; beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir well with a whisk.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.

Spread batter evenly into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with butterscotch chips.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Golden Brownies

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First thing you need to know is that these brownies are awesome.

They’re just like regular brownies, but made with white chocolate.  With some chocolate chips for extra awesomeness.

Alright, now that we got that out of the way, I’ll tell you what a huge hassle it was to name them.

They are NOT blondies.

Nor are they cookie bars.

The recipe is actually for “Snow White Brownies.”

But they’re not white.

And they certainly don’t look like a Disney Princess.

Little bites of happiness?

No, happiness isn’t a tangible item.

Rays of sunshine?

No, that would burn.  And possibly blind you.

So I finally settled on Golden Brownies.

Now that I think about it, it probably doesn’t matter what I named them.  They’re delicious no matter what they’re called.

I’d pick them over a regular brownie any day.

 

Golden Brownies (adapted from the Bake Sale Cookbook)

  • 3/4 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces white chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Melt the butter and white chocolate, and stir until completely melted.  Set aside to cool.

Whisk together sugar and eggs in a large bowl.  Stir in white chocolate mixture and vanilla, then stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.

Pour batter into greased 8 inch square baking pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.