I have been looking for a no-fail, easy homemade granola bar recipe for a few weeks now. Fall is coming and my sweet Madison is starting Kindergarten. How did that happen so fast? I blinked and suddenly she was 5. Crazy. I cannot wait for after school snack time. I remember that being the best thing ever. Come home from school to a glass of cold milk and some kind of treat? Oh yeah. This recipe is going to be made every single week I’m sure. It takes 5 minutes, you don’t have to bake anything and they are incredibly delicious.
Dun-dun-dun-dun. Ba-ba, ba-ba. (drums) Dun-dun-dun-dun!! Ba-ba, ba-ba! What? Don’t recognize that? Hmmm. I may be overreaching the bounds of my regular viewing audience here. Let’s try this.
That’s right! It’s back! Football season! Woo-hoo! Tonight is the return of Monday Night Football and I couldn’t be more pleased. My husband can’t wait until February 2013 when all the pigskin madness comes to a close. I know, we are NOT a normal couple. My Seahawks have two new quarterback prospects (who I’m every excited about) and a new wide receiver (who I’m trying to get on board with). It is going to be a great year! Surely I’ve mentioned before that I love football. Right? L.O.V.E. One of the beautiful things about NFL season is the food. Glorious game time snacks. There’s nothing better than settling in for three hours of helmet crunching, bone jarring hits with a table of munchies. They are one of my favorite things. Like these little poppers. Perfect for throwing back while you cheer on your favorite team. You may want to double or triple this recipe if you are having the whole gang over for a game. Pretty sure that in the heat of a the action I could take down half this batch solo. Yeah, I gain weight in the fall because of football…not holiday parties. Come on, I’ve been a Hawks fan since Kindergarten. I’m a stress eater. And usually, the Seahawks provide plenty of anxiety riddled games.
A few years ago I went to Disneyland on a mission. That mission was food. Glorious, delicious food. You see, I’ve been enjoying Disneyland pretty much my whole life. I went several times as an adult with my sisters and cousin. No kids, just four 20-somethings having a blast. I took a trip after the birth of each of my children. A mommy break sometimes is absolutely essential to keeping your sanity. In all these trips however, I’d never truly realized the fabulousness of Disneyland food. Obviously there are things that are overpriced and a little bland (it is a theme park after all), but there are unexpected delights as well. I started reading Disneyland forums a few months before this particular trip. I was doing research (yes, it’s a sickness…I know) and compiling a list of all the great things people recommended consuming while at the Happiest Place on Earth. The list got very long very fast. Over 5 blissful days of appetite stretching, gluttonous eating I managed to taste everything on my list. Most items met or exceeded my expectations. One cookie blew me away. The forums just called it “the cookie”.
This cookie. A light sweet dough with white and chocolate chips swirled with raspberry. Bliss. Usually when something is overhyped as being simply divine, the real thing doesn’t measure up. I cannot express to you how excited I was when at first bite I realized Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie was everything I wanted it to be and more. It is beyond delicious. You can find it at Pooh Corner and at some of the shops on Main Street. Can you sense my joy at finally having one in my hands??
I’d heard that Disneyland will give you the recipe for things if you ask. Not true. At least, not true with this cookie. Perhaps because they don’t actually make it in the park. It’s made by a company called Selma’s. And they aren’t about to hand out their recipe (I can’t really blame them). Thankfully, my cousin Shannon (also a baker and a Disney freak) managed to piece together a close copy using Selma’s snickerdoodle dough as a springboard. I tweaked her recipe a little, using almond extract instead of raspberry. I also used a trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen and added an egg yolk for a super soft and chewy cookie. The result is pretty near a perfect match. Big and chewy, swirled with raspberry and the sweetness of two kinds of chocolate.
The only trick in making these is the swirl of raspberry. It is VERY easy to mix it too much and end up with a bright pink cookie instead of dancing raspberry swirls. Working 1/4 of the dough at a time is the key to getting the proper twirly action.
Dollup about 1 tablespoon of jam over the top of one quarter of the dough.
Then use a knife to sort of cut it in.
Don’t stir! There should still be clumps of obvious jam.
Then, using a cookie scoop, drop the dough on your prepared cookie sheet.
And flatten slightly.
Repeat with the remaining dough, working with one quarter of it at a time.
Depending on the size of your cookies, your bake time can vary from 8 minutes all the way to 17. I wanted mine to resemble the big bakery sized cookies they serve at the park. Only bake until the edges are faint golden and set. The middles will still be soft and puffy.
I can almost hear the faint screams of people going down Splash Mountain and the buzz of the pretend bees outside Pooh Corner as I eat these cookies. It was a vacation in my kitchen as the aroma of chocolate and raspberry started wafting out. At first bite I knew I was in deep trouble if I didn’t find someone to “gift” the batch to. They were so soft and chewy and the flavor of the dough and the mixed in jam & chocolate was exactly right!
If you’ve ever tried this treat in Disneyland and love it as I do, make sure you have people to help you eat these before making a batch. The temptation to sing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah while you consume the entire tray will probably be too great if you are by yourself with these. Partly because having another one isn’t going to cost you four bucks like it does at the Magic Kingdom! Without any monetary ramifications holding you back, there’s no telling what you might do. Seriously.
Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie
adapted from Rumbly In My Tumbly
2 1/2 C Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Raspberry Jam (I used about 4 TBSP)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Cream the butter & sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg/yolk, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add white & semi-sweet chocolate chips.
2. Scoop out about 1/4 of the dough into a smaller bowl. Add about 1 T of jam and cut it in using a butter knife. Be careful not to MIX it, or your dough will turn pink, you want more of a swirl.
3. Take the jam swirled dough and scoop by spoonfuls (I used a large melon baller/ice cream scoop) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or spatula and place in a 350° oven for 12-17 minutes. *Your bake time may be less depending on the size of cookie you make. I wanted mine big and bakery sized, so they took a little longer. Take them out when the edges are set but the center is still puffy and soft. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all the dough is used.
My nieces came over unexpectedly today. My gluten/dairy free sweet lovelies. I had just pulled a Blueberries & Cream Pie out of the oven…which, (of course) they cannot eat. It’s absolutely unacceptable for my sweet girls to come over to Auntie’s house and not get a treat. But what to make?
I remembered seeing this recipe on Pinterest ages ago and thought I remembered it being gluten free. A couple quick keystrokes and I the recipe pulled up. A speedy scan of the confirmed I had all the ingredients and was gluten free as I remembered. Bonus, it got rid of some bananas that were rapidly heading towards a ripeness only enticing to fruit flies.
Do not be tempted to sub out the sugar for applesauce (as someone started suggesting on Pinterest to do). Applesauce will make these bars turn into a mushy mess. You can however sub out the milk for almond milk (or rice milk) to make these gluten & dairy free.
These are sweet enough to pass off on unsuspecting children as dessert and nutritious enough to eat yourself for breakfast. Top with extra peanut butter if desired. Or, if you are feeling wild and crazy, (and are a fan of chocolate hazelnut in general) give it a little dollup of Nutella. Hello delicious! It should be noted that Nutella is not a low calorie or “health” food. Shocking, I know. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars
adapted from Gingerbread Bagels
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I rounded my measuring cup just a bit)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 medium mashed bananas
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 350°
Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and ground cinnamon.
Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix the ingredients together.
Add in the mashed banana and peanut butter. Combine all of the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool Completely. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Cookie Monster is a classic. A friend of mine shared this video with me saying this is how she feels every time I post a new recipe. She’s so sweet. Enjoy a good laugh by watching this:
A while back, this same friend gave me a cookbook full of deliciousness. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever baked out of it. Especially the Razz-ma-tazz bars. Oh yum. I decided to let my hubby choose something for me to bake in honor of Sabrina. I’ll bet you think shared with her too huh? No. I’m totally lame and didn’t realize until after I’d sent them to work with the hubster that I should have saved some for Bri. I’m such a spaz. I know, it’s not as nice a story now. Sorry.
Put aside your disappointment and make some of these cookies. They are full of crunchy nutty goodness and rich chocolate. It’s a basic peanut butter cookie, kicked up with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. You’ll love them.
Next time Sabrina. I’ll share some cookies maybe.
Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
From NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12-oz pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and peanuts.
DROP dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Press down slightly to flatten into 2-inch circles. I used a glass dipped in a little granulated sugar.
BAKE for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 4 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
You heard that right. Trix. Krispies. No I am not kidding. Yes, they are as incredible as they sound.
Now, I have to admit, I have not tried the various other krispie recipes I’ve seen around lately. Making them anyway. I’ve certainly consumed my fair share. It is all the rage to do outrageous things to rice krispie treats and several of my friends have brought different batches around for me to taste. I haven’t gotten in on that action for two main reasons.
First, I love my recipe for the original rice krispie treats. They are incredibly gooey, perfectly rich and delicious. I cannot imagine a more perfectly easy treat. Second (and the “real” reason for not branching out), every alteration to the original seems to add gluten into the mix. Cake batter treats are delicious, but my Celiac sister and her gluten intolerant family cannot eat them. I’ve even seen a recipe for Lucky Charms treats that look very yummy, but again, it makes it hands-off for lots of my family members. With so many things already off-limits, I just didn’t feel right taking away the stand by good-for-everyone dessert.
Then I saw this genius idea for using Trix. Did you know that Trix are made from corn? Yes. Corn. Not wheat. Delicious, fruity corn. Non gluten, beautiful, colorful corn. Silly rabbit! These Trix are for everyone! I adapted this recipe to use a whole box of Trix and one bag of marshmallows. Why waste the little extra bits of either bag? Trust me, once they are combined into these amazing krispies not one little fruity ball will be left over.
I cannot begin to tell you the deliciousness of these. Truly. Like a bar version of fruit with a marshmallow dip. And, just looking at them makes you happy. That rainbow of colors winking out at your from beneath a layer of gooey butter marshmallow. Yuuuuuuuum.
adapted from Cravings of a Lunatic
1 (16 ounce) bag mini marshmallows
1 (10.7 ounce) box of Trix cereal (about 8 cups)
1/4 cup of butter
- Melt butter slowly in the microwave (I do this on half power). Once butter is just melted, add marshmallows and continue microwaving about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until mallows are melted.
- Stir well.
- Mix in your trix and stir.
- Pour into a large greased pan (9 x 13 or 11 x 11) and press down with a spoon.
- Cut into squares.
I use the empty butter wrapper to press my krispies into the pan. It’s already greased and won’t stick. You could also spray your spoon with non stick spray before using it.
In addition to being a bar version of one of my most favorite cookies, these are SUPER easy to make. Just slap it all in a pan, sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar and drop more dough on top.
I’ve decided Betty Crocker is an evil woman. That decision has been a long time coming – she’s been on my radar a while. Pure. Amazing. Evil. I love that lady.
As if ribbons of cinnamony delight weren’t enough, these blondies also have a drizzled glaze. Happiness is anything with a sweet sugar dribbling off the edges.
If you have a snickerdoodle lover in your life, make these immediately. If you don’t, go find one – they are the best kind of people and your life really isn’t complete until you know someone who goes ga-ga over cinnamon and sugar.
from Betty Crocker
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray or grease bottom only of a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in sugars. Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla into sugar mixture until combined. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients until combined.
- Spoon half the batter into pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over batter.
- Dollop teaspoon size amounts of remaining batter evenly over cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over bars. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.
Chocolate is grand, but oatmeal raisin cookies will always be my favorite. Packed with hearty rich flavor and succulent raisins, these cookies are absolutely perfect. Big and thick, soft and chewy. I love them. I’d take these over any other cookie out there. Any day of the week. And twice on Sunday. Odd saying. Anyone know where it comes from?
Soaking the raisins in the egg mixture is the key to this recipe. It produces lots of plump juicy morsels to bit into with all that oat deliciousness.
If you’ve had hard, dry versions of this cookie before and been turned off the whole notion of Oatmeal Raisin, give this recipe a whirl. They are simply delicious.
Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
-3 eggs beaten
-1 cup raisins
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 cup butter
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1- Combine eggs, vanilla, and raisins in a small bowl, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
2-Preheat oven to 350 F
3-In a large bowl cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. In another bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda, stir into creamed mixture. Then stir in raisin mixture, and rolled oats. Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until just set on the edges. Cool 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack.
I’m always trying to find new ways to use up bananas. Somehow, there are always a few growing freckles on my counter. Banana bread or delicious Monkey Bites are usually what I bake up, but a breakfast cookie intrigued me. These “cookies” have the texture of baked oatmeal, but since they’re dropped and baked on cookie sheets they get the cookie moniker.
These are dairy free, egg free and using gluten-free oats makes these babies a perfect snack for all you GF folks. They are soft and filled with flavor. Perfect for on-the-go breakfast or stashing in your bag for an afternoon snack. You could use blueberries or dried cranberries instead if you’re not a fan of raisins.
Here’s where the obvious food preferences of my children come into sharp focus. I called these cookies when offering them to my daughter, which made her decide not to even try them at first (she is her father’s non-sweet tooth child). Later in the day she consented to have one (and loved it) after I explained that it was oatmeal and not really a cookie cookie.
My son heard the word cookie from across the house and came bounding down the steps and lightning speed to gobble down three for breakfast. I was celebrated as the nicest, greatest mom ever because I said yes when he asked for more. The look on his face was priceless. Like he was trying to figure out what bizzaro world he’d woken up to where mom was doling out cookies for breakfast. It was great. Make up a batch and be a hero in your house too! Enjoy!
makes 19 cookies
3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets, flatten slightly and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
I’m kind of in love with the combo of pretzels and chocolate right now. The salty and sweet together is just divine. There are a few photos of this type of cookie floating around on Pinterest and I’ve been dying to try one. After reviewing a few, I decided the ratio of cookie to “other stuff” was way too slanted in the stuff direction. I like to taste cookie in my cookie. And while adding peanut butter chips, toffee chips or butterscotch chips to this recipe would (I’m sure) still be incredibly delicious, I decided to hold back a little. Sometimes, simple is better.
I’ll tell you one thing, I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie recipe that could hold a candle to this basic dough from America’s Test Kitchen. It is amazing. Perfectly sweet with a glorious texture. They stay soft and chewy and just delicious even after they’ve cooled.
The addition of pretzels gave it a salty crunch that was awesome. I loved it. As did my hubby, a rare thing in my little baking world. He ate more than one of these.Trust me. That never happens. Someone pulled out his sweet tooth as a child. It’s very sad.
As we were munching on rich chocolate, crunchy pretzel and sweet dough he remarked, “Now THIS is my kind of cookie”. You’ll love it too.
Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
12 tbsp/1½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup broken pretzel pieces
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, beat the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chips & pretzel bits by hand until incorporated.
Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, rotating sheet halfway thru baking, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t overcook!
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.