Sunday, November 24, 2019

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Bars

Having come across this recipe, I was curious about the flavor combination. Peanut butter and butterscotch together in one recipe is quite unique.

The flavors do compliment each other. The bar itself has a chewy texture that stems from the oats included in the mix. It is a peanut butter bar but the surface has the real combo of flavors with butterscotch chips on top along with a peanut butter glaze. The butterscotch chips heightens the sweetness. That surface combo is what makes them very rich.

Since most peanut butter has sugar in it there is not contrast, the butterscotch is just sweeter than the peanut butter. Had the recipe called for natural peanut butter, it would have been a salty/sweet bar. Perhaps not natural peanut butter but store bought peanut butter with no added sugar is a thought on attaining salty/sweet bars.

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Bars
adapted from Food network 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup quick oats
6 oz butterscotch chips

1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup milk

Prepare a 9x13 inch pan by greasing the interior with butter. Also, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the bars, start by sifting the flour, salt and baking soda together. Then whisk in oats and set aside. Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with butter, both types of sugars and 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Beat with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla and egg. Then incorporate the mixture into the peanut butter batter by mixing on medium speed.

Then, using a wooden spoon, fold the sifted ingredients into the batter until just combined and no dry streaks remain. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out into the pan by using a spatula. Sprinkle butterscotch chips evenly over the surface of the batter. Place in oven and bake until edges are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While the bars are baking, make the glaze by mixing all ingredients together until smooth. Pour over warm bars. Once completely cool, cut into squares.

Tips and Notes:

1. My bars took 25 minutes to bake.
2. I thought that the butterscotch chips would settle and melt more into the bars while baking, but they did not change much and remained on the surface.
3. These are not a thick bar, but are still quite satisfying as is.
                                   **LAST YEAR:Maple Date Loaf**

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Millionaires Candy

The last time I made candy it was some type of fudge. As you probably know, fudge has a lot of steps and a lot of beating time. Not the easiest thing to make. However, this recipe is quite the opposite. In fact, the process was so easy I almost made a second batch right after I finished with the first. This is a great time saving recipe for the holidays with tasty results.

The delicious combination of chewy carmel and crunchy pecans will have everyone reaching for seconds. These candies are stored in the freezer, but when you pull them out they take only a few minutes to reach the chewy stage. This recipe yields 64 pieces, depending on the size of the candy clusters.

Millionaires Candy
adapted from 

3 cups chopped pecans
14 oz caramels (about 50 pieces)
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
24 oz dipping chocolate or almond bark

Fill a saucepan with caramel pieces and sweetened milk. Place over medium low heat and let carmels melt, stirring occasionally. Do not let boil. Once caramels are melted stir in the pecans until evenly distributed throughout the caramel. Set aside from heat and let cool for 30 minutes to an hour.

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with foil and spraying with non stick spray. Once the candy has cooled, scoop into tablespoons and drop on prepared pans, leaving space between each. After all the candy has been formed into mounds, place baking sheets in the freezer. Let freeze for a minimum of 2 hours or maximum of overnight.

After the chilling time, melt the chocolate coating according to the manufacturer. Also, place 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper on a flat surface. Take one baking sheet out of the freezer at a time. Using a large fork, dip candy clusters in chocolate, making sure to cover all sides and place on paper to harden. After dipping all the clusters from that baking sheet, take out the next to dip and finish.

Store candy in freezer.

                                **LAST YEAR:Nutmeg Cake**

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Palm Beach Mint Brownies

With the holidays coming up, I have started to see recipes with peppermint. One of the traditional candies of the Christmas holiday is the peppermint candy cane. This candy first started out all white and strait. They were bent to use to decorate Christmas trees. The red color was added along with peppermint flavor. As years passed, they always reappear around the Christmas holiday, sometimes found on Christmas cards or handed out to children.

Since I do not favor the hard peppermint candy, that discounts quite a number of recipes. However, I love peppermint patties. Once I came across this recipe, I could not pass it up. Fudgey brownies filled with a peppermint patties makes for an extra special treat. Beware though, they are very rich so a little piece goes a long way.

If you love mint patties like I do and are looking for brownies with a little something extra then this is the recipe for you.

Palm Beach Mint Brownies
adapted from Maida Heatter via 

8 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 (11.5 oz) bags peppermint patties
5 eggs, room temp.
1 cup or 2 sticks butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tbs plus 1 tsp espresso powder
3 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Set up a double boiler and fill top pot with chocolate and butter. Let water simmer in bottom pot and stir chocolate mixture occasionally until all is melted and blended together. Set aside.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with eggs, vanilla, almond extract, sugar, espresso powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for 10 minutes. During this time, the mixture will get pale and triple in volume.

As the mixer is running, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 9 X 13 inch pan by lining with foil and greasing the interior with butter or non stick spray. Take out a bowl and unwrap mints, leaving about 15 still wrapped which you will not be using.

Once the 10 minute beating time has expired, remove bowl from mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate mixture (it may still be warm, but it is ok) until fully blended into batter. Then fold in flour, making sure no dry streaks remain. Lastly, fold in chopped walnuts.

Using a measuring cup, reserve out 3 1/2 cups of the batter. Take this reserved amount and fill the prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Then layer each of the mint patties on top, having the edges touch each other but not overlapping. Cover the whole surface. Then top with the remaining batter, smoothing it out evenly over the patties.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Remove foil and refrigerate overnight before cutting into bars.

Tips and Notes:
1. The original recipe did not state the size of the bags, but the smallest size I found was 11.5 oz.

2. I got a large bag of peppermint patties so I did not test the size and the noted leftovers in the recipe.

3. The original recipe states the chocolate and butter can be done in the microwave, but since there was no specifics on time I just went with the safer method of a double boiler.

4. There is mention that the edges may bake up to hard and that area may be trimmed off. I ate edges and all, but I did find it a little hard.

                          **LAST YEAR:Apple Spice Ice Cream**