Chocolate Glazed Peanut Butter Brownies DIVINE

chocolate peanut butter bars

These chocolate glazed, peanut butter cream topped brownies truly are *divine*.  Sinful?  Maybe.  Worth it?  Definitely.

I found this recipe on the Womans Day (magazine) website and have modified it slightly.  Although there are 3 steps to it, they are all quite easy and take only minutes.

Important Note: Depending on what kind of peanut butter you use (I always use all- natural) and how thick the peanut butter is – the “creaminess” of the peanut butter layer could vary.  If it is too stiff (mine was), add 1 Tbsp. of heavy cream (or milk) at a time until it achieves your desired creaminess.  It should be rich, thick and smooth.

Apple Crumb Bars

apple crisp bars

As fall approaches, I start testing apple desserts.  And this easy apple bars recipe passed with flying colors.  I didn’t even need to use beaters or a stand mixer; a pastry blender* worked just fine (you can also use a fork to mash the crumb mixture).  They also go by the name of apple crisp bars.

Although I tend to use Grannysmith apples when baking because they hold up well and I like their tartness contrasted with the sweet crumb, feel free to use your favorite baking apple! (or a mix of apples.)

Apple Crumb Bars

For The Apple Layer

  • 3 1/2 cups diced apple (from about 2 large apples)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (you can also use pecans)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

For The Crust and Crumb Layer

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg

Maple Glaze (Optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

Place all ingredients for the apples into a bowl. Toss to coat and evenly distribute all ingredients.  Let sit 5-10 minutes and then toss again.

Place first 5 ingredients for the crust/crumb into a bowl. Blend the ingredients together using a pastry blender or a fork until the butter has been incorporated and there are crumbs about the size of peas. Add the egg to the crumb mixture and lightly fold just until the egg has been incorporated. Try not to over work the mixture. You want for there to still be pea-sized crumbs after adding the egg.

Reserve 1 heaping cup of the crumb mixture. Pour the rest of the crumb into the prepared baking dish. Using your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup, gently press the crumb mixture into the dish to form a level crust.  Next evenly distribute the apple mixture over the crust.  Finally, sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the apples.

Bake for about 50 – 60  minutes or until crumb is golden and apples are soft.  Start checking after 50 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

To make glaze, add powdered sugar to a small bowl.  Add maple syrup and 1 Tbsp. of the heavy cream or milk.   Mix well.  Continue to add cream, a little bit at a time, until you achieve the glaze consistency that you like (I like mine thick).  Once bars have cooled (wait at least an hour after they come out of the oven) drizzle glaze over the bars.

*Pastry blenders can be purchased inexpensively at most kitchen stores or stores that have a large kitchen section (such as Walmart or Target); they can also be purchased online.

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats – Yum!

fun oreo recipes

Need I say more?

 

Reese Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bar Recipe

peanut butter bar recipe

Here’s another winning recipe from Danielle at Hugs&CookiesXOXO.  Her decadent recipes are always a HUGE hit at my house and this recipe is no exception.  Between the moist graham cracker crust, the lush cheesecake layer with chunks of Reese peanut butter cups AND a chocolate glaze – you know everyone is going to love this!

Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Bars

dulche del leche homemade

I’d live to share another great recipe from my friend Danielle’s blog, Hugs&CookiesXOXO.  She is an *amazing* baker and I often use her recipes when entertaining. This fabulous Dulce De Leche bar recipe was part of a holiday dessert buffet I contributed to this past season.  So many people asked for the recipe I lost count!

Mexican dessert recipes often call for dulce de leche, also known as ‘milk caramel’.  Your grocery store may carry it, however, Danielle shares how to make dulce de leche below.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats Bar

chocolate rice krispy treats recipe

This incredible “fancy” rice krispies treats variation won nothing but RAVE reviews on the recipe swap I belong to.  Even my hubby, who insists he doesn’t like rice krispie bars, thought them fabulous!  The recipe is from the wildly popular cookbook “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking”.  I checked it out from my local library and copied all the recipes I wanted to try:).

Important Note: The recipe below is for an 8″ x 8″ pan of bars but I always double the recipe and use a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Caramel Espresso Bars from my friend Liz

coffee desserts

My friend Liz is a wonderful cook! As well as a book lover.  For years we’ve shared recipes and book titles:)

Her espresso chocolate caramel bars made me swoon! There are three easy components: a graham crust, a layer of luscious homemade caramel and topped with espresso spiked chocolate ganache.

Delicious & Easy Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin dessert bars

I love anything with pumpkin, but my husband?  Not so much.  So I don’t get the opportunity to make many pumpkin bar recipes.  But when my friend Lizzy at the That Skinny Chick Can Bake blog sent this recipe and beautiful photo – I had to try it. SO incredibly good – now it’s your turn!

Diva Entertains is your source for memorable party favors!

More S’mores!

So, my family and I are going “camping” this weekend near Yosemite, for a fun family reunion.  We’ve been planning the trip for awhile, and the kids have made a LONG list of things they want to try for the first time.  Top of the list?  Making S’mores!

Except.. we just found out that we might not be able to make a campfire where we’ll be staying.  Which means… no s’mores. UH OH!

Thankfully we WILL have access to a campground kitchen (industrial size!)… and we have google… so I set out to find alternative ways to make S’mores, which do NOT include roasting marshmallows over an open fire.  Guess what?  There are LOTS and LOTS of ideas out there!  So, I saved the day… and… a blog post was born!

First up, from wit & whistle, a yummy “S’mores Bars” recipe:

 

From A Wedding Story, comes a lovely looking recipe for Pampered Chef S’mores in mini muffin tins:

For a different twist, but still YUMMY taste, check out Madigan Made and her S’mores Bark recipe:

And winner for the easiest recipe, from Northern Cottage comes S’more Croissants:

I honestly can’t decide WHICH recipe we’ll be using… but we WILL be using one of them!

Best Magic Cookie Bars Recipe

I had great incentive to development a ‘best’ magic cookie bars recipe.  Namely my husband, mother and best friend loves them!  And after tasting way too many mediocre (at best) magic bars – I knew what I had to do to improve them.

Keys to success: 1) The graham cracker base needs to be moist and flavorful.  That means using the right amount of melted butter and adding a bit of brown sugar to liven up the graham taste. 2) Using enough sweetened condensed milk to create a creamy, luscious texture and taste and for the toppings to have something to adhere to.

I make mine in a 9″ x 13″ cake pan – I’m almost always assured some leftovers (which freeze beautiful).

Turn to Diva Entertains for exquisite party favors!