Thursday, July 18, 2013

Magic {Baking, Silliness and Yum}

I am practically giddy about heading for the beach on Friday. I don’t even care that the forecast shows steady rain all week.  We are packing up the car with all things fun and driving towards some of the most special people we know!  I don’t think I have ever baked things to take with us, most likely using the excuse that we drive so far, but this year I decided to let the kids make a couple of things and take the ingredients to make something else later in the week when we are running low on treats...... like that has ever happened.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to organize my recipes on Pinterest instead of just continuing to lump them all into “Recipes”.  I thought I might actually use them if they were easier to find.  So, I started with desserts and not realizing there was an easier way to move them instead of just repinning them,  I had texts, Facebook messages from friends concerned about my future health- possibly a diabetic coma-- because of all the sugary pins.  It was an obnoxious string of chocolatey things.....

I picked a couple of easy ones for the kids-- one I used to make years ago and one that had oatmeal in it so that made me like nutritious or something.

As I watched Julia make these, I thought, these are SO easy.  Why has it been so long since I have made these?  Give me a minute and I will tell you.  Here are the layers of goodness:

Magic Turtle Bars

photo by
2 cups crushed vanilla cookies {the finer, the better}
1/2 cup butter melted {1 stick}
2 bags semi sweet chocolate chips
1 bag Kraft Caramel Bits
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray or grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Combine crushed cookies and butter till combined and cookie crumbs are moist. Spread evenly in bottom of pan, pressing down to form a crust.
Now start layering the rest of the ingredients. 1 bag chocolate chips, caramel bits, pecans {save out about 1/4 cup for the top}, second bag of chocolate chips, remaining pecans.
Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the entire pan, making sure to cover all the nooks and crannies.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, just until milk begins to turn golden. 
Let cool completely before cutting.
Store in airtight container. If you choose to refrigerate these bars, bring them back to room temperature before eating.

They had not had time to cool completely before we left the house for several hours and I had promised they could have one before we froze the rest.  So I cut them a piece while it was still warm and oh my........  they really are delicious.  Rich but oh, so yum.

Later, after they cooled, when I went to cut them so I could store them, it all came back to me.  You need a pickaxe to cut them-- especially to get it out from around the edges.  I finally just gave up and did what I remembered doing-- cutting just inside the edges and losing about 1/4 of an inch all the way around.  Next time, I will try parchment paper.  But don’t let this deter you from experiencing these bars.  They are perfect for kids to make.

The second one we tried were these:

Deep Dish Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie Bars

photo by
2 sticks butter
2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour {I use self rising flour and skip the soda and salt.}
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups oatmeal

Mix the butter, eggs and brown sugar.  Add vanilla and milk.  Slowly incorporate the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix well.  A standing mixer makes this much easier.  

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt together:

1 can  sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Then, spread 3/4 of the cookie mixture on the bottom of a greased 13x9 pan, pour chocolate mixture, then spread rest of cookie mixture on tops in spoonfuls - this won’t cover top completely. The top can tend to get done before it's completely cooked, so you can put aluminum foil over it for the last ten or so minutes if it looks like it's browning too much. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool, otherwise it won't set up and will just run when you cut into it. 

I love these.... and they don’t wear out your arm trying to get them out of the pan!!

I love baking especially because it's something we can all do together.  Sugar and chocolate rewards are not gender specific and it also stirs up love, silliness and affection.



Sarah said...

That last picture is so great! Love your kids and your home baked goods ;)

Alyssa said...

Can't wait to try these recipes for yumminess! I love that J & B like to bake!