• Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars: Take 2

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    Yes I’ve made these once before! We had an event to attend tonight, and we were assigned desserts. I made these bars with the adjustments I suggested last time (making 1 1/2 the crust recipe) and baking in the 13 x 9 pan, and the bars were even better! The guests devoured these bars, and I will proudly say that my dessert was the only one that was eaten entirely! So do put these on your must try list.

    Recipe adapted from Southern Living, September 2006

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 6 TBSP. butter, softened
    • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 (12-oz.) package NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Mini Morsels, divided

    Directions:

    1. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Increase speed to medium, and beat until well blended and crumbly. Pat mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
    2. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
    3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, vanilla, and 1 cup chocolate morsels, beating just until blended. Pour over baked crust.
    4. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely on top of the stove.
    5. Microwave remaining chocolate morsels in a 2-cup glass measuring cup on HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Cut into bars and arrange on another plate. Drizzle over cheesecake: put the melted chocolate into a ziploc bag, cut a small amount of the bag off in one of the corners and then pipe the chocolate onto the bars. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

    Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars:

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  • Luscious Lemon Bars

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    Many years ago I came across this lemon bar recipe in a magazine-it was one of those recipe advertisements. I made them years ago and loved them. I love lemon bars, but am not a big fan of the usual cakie crust. This crust has wheat germ in it and the end result is a dense crisp crust that contrasts wonderfully with the lemon curd filling. They are delicous!

    Ingredients:

    Crust

    • 1 c. flour
    • 3/4 c. wheat germ, any flavor (I used original toasted)
    • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
    • 1/3 c. stick margarine, softened (I used butter)

    Filling

    • 2 c. sugar
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
    • 1.75 tsp. lemon zest

    Top with powdered sugar

    Directions:

    1. Heat oven to 350F. Lightly spray 13×9 pan with nonstick spray.
    2. For crust, combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix on low speed until well blended. The mixture will be very crumbly, like the texture of bread crumbs. Firmly press crumbs into bottom of pan and bake for 15 minutes.
    3. For filling, combine sugar, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add eggs and blend well. Gently stir in lemon juice and zest. Carefully pour over hot crust.
    4. Bake 25-30 minutes until edges are lightly golden brown and filling is just set. Be careful, because it’s easy to overcook and burn these.
    5. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    Luscious Lemon Squares:

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  • Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

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    Brace yourselves. There are going to be quite a few dessert recipes in the next few days. -s has a couple of work functions where it’s been requested that he bring desserts. This recipe comes from the Southern Living, September 2006 issue. These cheesecake bars are EXCELLENT! There are a couple of things we did do differently and a couple we will do differently next time, and I’ll note those changes at the end.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 (12-oz.) package NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Mini Morsels, divided

    Directions:

    1. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Increase speed to medium, and beat until well blended and crumbly. Pat mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
    2. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
    3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, vanilla, and 1 cup chocolate morsels, beating just until blended. Pour over baked crust.
    4. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
    5. Microwave remaining chocolate morsels in a 2-cup glass measuring cup on HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Drizzle over cheesecake. Cover and chill at least 4 hours; cut into bars.

    Notes and Tips:

    1. To avoid cracking use the traditional water bath for the cheesecake. Simply place the pan in a larger pan filled about half way with water.
    2. We used a slightly smaller pan (our other 2 large pans were otherwise occupied) than the recipe calls for. The crust was the correct thickness, but the cheesecake was too thick for even cooking. So next time, we will use a bigger pan and make 1.5 of the crust recipe. I think one recipe of the crust in a bigger pan will make the crust too thin to hold up to the cheesecake.
    3. Cut the bars and then drizzle with chocolate.
    4. The best way to drizzle: put the melted chocolate into a ziploc bag, cut a small amount of the bag off in one of the corners and then pipe the chocolate onto the bars.

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    Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars:

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  • Congo Bars

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    When we were living in Baton Rouge -s loved these bars, called Congo Bars, from CC’s Coffee House. Recently I found this recipe from the Betty Crocker: Cookies, Bars and Cakes magazine (April 3, 2007) called Luscious Layer Bars, and I thought it sounded very much like those famed Congo Bars. Needing another dessert for -s’s office function, we gave it a try. I think they are super yummy, but -s isn’t too sure of them. We also made the Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars, and he admits though, anytime you put something up against peanut butter chocolate bars, the peanut butter chocolate bars will win hands down, except for cheesecake!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pouch (1lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
    • 1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
    • 1 egg
    • 1 c. butterscotch chips
    • 1 c. milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1 c. flaked coconut
    • 1 c. chopped walnuts
    • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

    Directions:

    1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray bottom only of a 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms. In bottom of pan, press dough using floured fingers.
    2. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle with butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts. Drizzle evenly with condensed milk.
    3. Bake 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.
    4. Tip: instead of spraying the pan with cooking spray, line the pan with foil, then spray the foil and add ingredients…makes for easy cleanup and easy bar removal.

    Congo Bars:

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  • Warm Toasted Marshmallow S’more Bars

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    This is a Betty Crocker recipe from one of those Betty Crocker magazines at the grocery checkout stand, but the recipe is also here. This bar is super rich, so a little goes a long way. I found, at least with our oven, that it took longer to cook, and I let it stand for the requisite 10 minutes, and then when I cut it it looked more like melted goo than cohesive bar. But that melted goo tasted yummy! Next time, I’d let it cool a bit longer if you want it to look more like a bar.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 pouch (1lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
    • 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
    • 1 c. butter or margarine, melted
    • 3 c. chocolate chips (18 oz)
    • 4.5 c. miniature marshmallows

    Directions:

    1. Heat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, mix cookie mix and cracker crumbs. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. In ungreased 14×9 pan, press dough evenly. Bake 18-20 minutes or until set (it took mine closer to 25 minutes, and the cookie should looked evenly cooked).
    2. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.
    3. Set oven to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat for 20 to 30 seconds, or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.
    4. Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cur into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store tightly covered.
    5. To reheat the bars: put on a microwavable plate and microwave on high for about 15 seconds or until warm and chocolate is soft.

    Warm Toasted Marshmallow S’more Bars:

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    Update: I think I would halve the chocolate…there just seems to be too much chocolate (imagine that!). The cookie bar base is really exceptional, and I’m already thinking about what else I can do with the base. -s really liked the cookie bar base too, and on the second day he actually removed the chocolate and marshmallow and just ate the cookie base (shocking, I know, for -s to leave chocolate behind!)

  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

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    We were sitting at the car dealership on Saturday waiting for the car to be fixed and the food network was on and showing Paula’s Home Cooking. While many of her dishes sound yummy, I don’t usually cook her food, mainly because they are usually not exactly good for you. The Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars I couldn’t pass up, and they didn’t disappoint! Very delicious, and I made -s bring them to work to share with his co-workers so we wouldn’t eat them all!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve of graham crackers)
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
    • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
    • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions:

    1. Line a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
    2. Put 1 sleeve of graham crackers in food processor and blitz; then add the butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Process until the mixture forms a ball. Press into the foil-lined pan using your hands or a spatula.
    3. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water or in a microwave-safe glass dish in the microwave for 1 minute on high (100%). Stir. If the chocolate has not completely melted, microwave for 10 seconds more, then stir. Spread evenly over the cookie layer with a spatula. Chill for several hours.
    4. When ready to serve, allow the candy to come to room temperature before cutting into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars:

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