Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bar

Salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bar

This was the third item that Thea and I made for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution bake sale.  They, like the other two previous items, are addictive.

Salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars
 Makes 16 bars

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch square pan and line withe parchment paper allowing one inch to hang over sides. *

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbls melted and cooled unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup home made caramel sauce or 10 ounces caramel candy squares melted
3 tbls heavy cream **
Fleur de sel for sprinkling over caramel and top

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and set aside.

Using a stand mixer cream the melted butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, egg yolk and the vanilla and mix until smooth.  Placing the mixer on low gradually add the dry ingredients.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

If you are using the caramel squares place in a bowl with the cream and microwave until melted and smooth.

Press half the cookie dough into the prepared pan making sure that it is even.  Pour the melted caramel sauce over the cookie dough and spread into an even layer.  Sprinkle the caramel with the sea salt.  Drop the remaining cookie dough over the caramel.  Do not worry if the caramel is not completely covered as it will spread when it bakes.  Sprinkle the cookie dough with additional sea salt.

Bake the cookie bars for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the bars are golden brown.

Baked Salted caramel chip cookie bars
Place the pan on a wire rack until cool and then place in the refigerator until the caramel is set.  Cut into squares and serve.

 *You will notice that I did not line my pan with parchment paper - that was a mistake.  It made the removal of the bars very difficult which is why I encorporated it into the recipe.
** If you are using homemade caramel sauce you will not need the additional 3 tbls of heavy cream.

Serve with a cold glass of milk and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Homemade snickers bars

This is the second item that Thea and I made for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution bake sale in Montreal.  These homemade snickers bars are outrageously sinful and delicious.  They are chewy, chocolaty (is that a word?) and decadent.  I am so glad that we packaged them up and got them out of the house quickly as I would have eaten the entire pan myself.  Talk about addictive.

This is a long process.  There are four steps.  But believe me when I tell you - this is definitely worth it.

Homemade snickers bars
  Makes 36 bars
Line a 9X13 inch plan with parchement paper and set aside.

For the bottom chocolate layer
1 1/4 cups either milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.  Make sure that the mixture is fully melted and runny.  Pour into the prepared pan, spread until even and place in the refrigerator until hardened.

Nougat layer
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/12 cups of marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sugar and milk until fully dissolved and bring to a boil.  Let cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth.  Turn off the heat and fold in peanuts.  Pour over the cooled bottom chocolate layer.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to harden.

Nougat layer

Caramel Layer
2 cups of homemade caramel sauce or a 14 ounce bag of caramels
1/4 cup whipping cream

Combine the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.  Let melt, stirring occasionally until smooth.   Pour over nougat layer and let cool completely.

Caramel layer

Top Chocolate Layer
1 1/4 cups of milk or smei-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Melt ingredients in a saucepan or the microwave.  Pour over the caramel layer and spead until even.  Refrigerate for at least one hour until hardened and cut into squares.  You can leave them at room temperature but they tend to get gooey.

Snickers bars ready to eat

Monday, May 21, 2012

Almond joy bars made for Food Revolution bake sale

Almond joy bars

Thea and I baked for two days for the Bake Sale at Appetite for Books in Montreal.  We made four different baked items and they totaled over 100 bags of scrumptious treats!  They all sold out in very short order and we were able to contribute to a very worthy cause.
Smoores in the kitchen items for bake sale

We baked my Oatmeal, Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies - first blogged about in March 2010 - Oatmeal Cookie; Almond Joy Bars, Snicker Bars and Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  The  results were delicious - but all these recipes are time consuming.  So be sure that you are nice and relaxed and have adequate time on your hands for baking them!  The one thing that I can promise you is that they are worth it.

Almond Joy Bars
 makes 36 bars

10 tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar (light or dark)
2 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
28 ounces sweetened condensed milk
28 oz. shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or you can use bittersweet chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 13X9 inch pan with aluminum foil (allowing the foil to extend beyond the pan for easy removal) and spray with Pam.  Set the pan aside.

Cream the butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the flour and salt and combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Transfer to the prepared pan and pat down evenly. Bake for 8 minutes or until slightly brown.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  While the pan is cooling prepare the coconut layer.   In a large bowl combine the condensed milk, coconut and vanilla. Spread over the cooled crust and bake for 20-26 minutes or until golden brown.

Almond Joy Bars after second baking

Melt the chocolate and spread evenly cooked coconut bars and allow to cool.  Refrigerate for at least an hour or until hardened.  Cut into 36 even squares.

Tomorrow I will post the recipe for the Snickers Bars and Wednesday I will post the recipe for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.

Finished Almond joy bars

Monday, May 14, 2012

Food Revolution Day in Montreal-Saturday, May 19th

Hungry children and unhealthy children have always tugged at my heart strings.  We have this amazing book store in Montreal that is dedicated to cook books.  This weekend they are having a bake sale - with contributions from both professional bakers and amateur bakers alike.  This is in support of Jamie Oliver's Foundations "Food Revolution Day".    Stay tuned for the fabulous new recipes that I am trying out and will be contributing to the sale.  We are hopeful that we can raise awareness for this wonderful cause!  Come by and try out the new offerings from Smoores.  Appetite for Books is located at 388 Victoria Avenue in Westmount, Montreal, Canada.

 See you Saturday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oatmeal fudge bars

This is the second of the desserts that I made for my ladies luncheon.  This is a decadent, rich, fudgy bar with an oatmeal brownie/cookie base.  It is a bit time consuming but definitely worth it.  I would make this again but next time double the batch and freeze the bars individually wrapped so that I could have one whenever I wanted!

Oatmeal fudge bars
 Makes 12 bars

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
10 tbls. unsalted butter
2 tsps. instant expresso coffee or instant cofee
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8X8 with parchement paper allowing the paper to overhang the sides.  Set aside.


Combine the oats, 1 cup of the brown sugar, 3/4 cup of the flour, baking soda, baking powder and a pinch of sale in a bowl and stir to combine.  Melt 8 tbls. of butter and stir into the mixture until just combined.  Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture for the topping.

Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan making sure that it is an even layer.   Bake fore 12 minutes or until the bars turns a pale brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for one hour or until completely cool.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, the expresso powder and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a bowl, stir to combine and set aside.

Melt the chocolate and remaining 2 tbls. of butter in the microwave.  Start at 30 seconds and stir.  Continue at 15 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted and combined with butter.  Let the mixture cool (stir it with a whisk and that will speed up the process).  Add the egg and whisk until combined.  Fold this intered the waiting flour mixture taking care not to overstir.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust.  Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of the remaining flour mixture (that you set aside in the first step) over the top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. (do not overbake.)

Cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before cutting into bars.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars
Serve with Vanilla or Coffee Ice Cream and you will be in heaven!