Bars, bars and more bars

No I'm not suddenly taking up drinking. Nor have I headed out to Alberta to try and pick me up a young and single prince.

No, instead I have been enjoying not having to go to work (session is done for the summer), by baking up some bar cookies!

Monday was my first, where I made butter tart squares, from a recipe I had pulled from a magazine years ago. It had been sitting in my binder, just waiting for the day when I would make it! That day came when I had planned on making a different square but was missing an ingredient.

I didn't eat much of this one - I admit it (and I'm sorry Mom!) I cannot get past the smell and flavor of the Mexican vanilla she brought me. To me it has a slightly coconutty smell to it (and that's the best I can do to describe it.) I like coconut. But not in my vanilla. Normally I wouldn't have used that vanilla in something where the vanilla flavor would stand out. But I didn't expect it to stand out in the butter tart! (Oh and I was just about out of my homemade vanilla.)

My husband, on the other hand, very much enjoyed this, butter tarts being one of his favorite things (that I don't make very often.) It was goeey, though less so after it had been chilled, (which I would recommend be done BEFORE cutting.) I skipped the nuts and instead added a few extra raisins.

Now this is the recipe I had initially planned on making. Or one of them. It comes from the blog Cookie Madness, where Anna does indeed make cookies, but so much more! And all of it sweet and good. Except the things with the peanut butter. (Can you tell who does not like peanut butter?)

Chocolate Raspberry Crumb bars!

I've heard rumors that Anna has been the big winner at some of the baking events she highlights, but admit I've never gone looking to confirm this. Based on her creativity, I wouldn't be surprised though.

I learned a very important bit of information when I went to make this recipe, which accounts for the delay in making them - we Canucks get a different sized can of condensed milk than those in the US do! The recipe called for a 14oz can, which is 420ml. We get 300ml cans. So despite my butter being ready to go, and the rest of my ingredients ready, I had to delay making this until I made it to the store to buy a second can of condensed milk!

Aside from that little hitch, the recipe comes together beautifully.

And left me with half a can of left over condensed milk to make the second one of Anna's recipes, the Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars.

I think I could have eaten an entire tray of these on my own. I love butterscotch, and I love cheesecake!

No, they don't look like much, but they make up for it in taste.

I did make one small change to the recipe. Okay, two. First I omitted the nuts. Nothing new there. Then, after I patted down the crust into the bottom of the pan, I sprinkled the bottom with Skor pieces! No, the baking ones don't come covered in chocolate, but are just pieces of the toffee. Which I could probably eat with a spoon from the bag (but have never done!)

Fortunately this recipe did not make a 9 x 13 pan's worth of bars. Even giving some away to friends, these did not last long. I ate far too many of them, and likely would have eaten more had there been more.

It's a good thing I got busier by the end of the week, and have been doing this this week as well, otherwise I would probably still be making squares and bars. And eatings, because afterall, you have to test each of the recipes you make, if only for quality control and so you can report on the flavor on your blog!

Butter Tart Squares

I ripped this recipe out of a magazine several years so. The only information I can find about where it came from is a web site:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped pecans (which I substituted with more raisins)

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add flour and salt and stir until well combined and crumbly.
Press into the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until pale golden around the edges.
Using the same bowl, combine egg, egg whites, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in raisins and pecans, if using.
Pour filling over the base and return to the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly around the edges. It will puff up a bit as it bakes and then settle again when you remove it from the oven. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Makes 16 squares.


Janet said...

Hey - what's wrong with going to bar to pick up handsome princes?? :-) I love butter tarts, they are quite unfortunately one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Jenny said...

Probably nothing wrong except when the prince is young enough that I could be his mother, if I had started young!
I love butter tarts myself, that's why I don't make them often.

Brilynn said...

I've been making lots of bars recently too, but people keep eating them all before I get a picture!

Dolores said...

Sign me up...I'll have a butter tart square. and a chocolate-raspberry crumb bar. oh, and a couple of the butterscotch cheesecake bars!

Lis said...

I made the butterscotch bars too!! Hubbs loved them. =) I liked them, but didn't like them cold - I found them better at room temp.

I've copied the butter tart bars recipe, can't wait to try.. thanks!

Anna has won several contests, but the most memorable was the 2006 Pillsbury Bake-Off, where she won $1 million. Not too shabby, eh? =)

Helene said...

Love bar cookies. Probelm is I can't stop eating them! thanks for sharing the recipes.