Lovely bars this week!
Happy Sunday, bakers! Post your links for these classic Baked bars here. Did you follow the recipe, or go rogue?
Anything goes for our next bake, a veritable kitchen-sink extravaganza! Posting date is March 25.
- 2 cups (about 6 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
- 2½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 20 crackers)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1⅓ cups walnut halves, toasted and chopped
- 1½ cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup butterscotch chips
- 3 ¼ cups (26 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the coconut, and return it to the oven for 3 more minutes.
- Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl, add the toasted coconut, and toss with your hands until combined. Add the butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
- Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely.
- Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Evenly spread the nuts in the bottom of the crust.
- Spread the chocolate chips over the walnuts, followed by the white chocolate, followed by the butterscotch chips.
- In a steady stream, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the filling. Shake the pan very gently to make sure the sweetened condensed milk is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
How did everyone like these easy bar cookies?
Next, we’re continuing with another one of the twelve days of cookies: Date Squares. Posting date is December 7 – let’s bake!
- 1 pound (455 g) dried pitted dates, chopped into very small pieces
- 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1½ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups (120 g) quick-cooking oats
- 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the dates, brown sugar, and 1 cup (240 ml) water. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the dates are soft and have absorbed most of the water, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the oats.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until crumbly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper so that it overhangs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) on the long sides of the pan, and butter the parchment.
- Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the date mixture in an even layer over the crumb mixture. Finally, sprinkle the remaining half of the crumb mixture over the date layer to cover. Using the palm of your hand (lightly greased if you like), very gently press the crumb mixture into the dates so it will adhere.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the crumb turns golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and let cool completely. Use a paring knife to release the sides of the bars from the pan, pull up on the parchment to remove them, then cut and serve.
Excerpted from Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2014 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
How did everyone like the Bale Bars?
Posting date is February 2!
Yield: 24 bars
1 1⁄2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1⁄3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, divided
8 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
3⁄4 cup crunchy peanut butter (see page 26)
3⁄4 cup (about 4 ounces) salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 cups (about 81⁄2 ounces) salted thin pretzel sticks, crushed into small pieces
Lightly spray a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to overhang on two sides.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, cream, and 1⁄2 teaspoon fleur de sel. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a low boil for about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chocolate and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla. Stir until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Add the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon fleur de sel, remaining 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla, and the peanut butter and stir until the mixture is completely smooth and uniform.
Place the peanuts and pretzels in a large bowl and use your hands to toss together until mixed well. Pour the white chocolate mixture over the peanut mixture and stir to coat all of the pieces. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, then, using lightly oiled hands, press the mixture into an even layer. Refrigerate until hard, about 90 minutes.
Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang and cut them into squares. Bars can be served at room temperature, though we like them best directly from the refrigerator (or even the freezer). The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.