Brownies & Bars

Lemon Lush Bars

These fluffy lemon bars are so good you will find yourself rationalizing that such a light dessert just might be healthy. It’s all in perception right?

Lemon Lush Bars 1

Well, well, well, looks like my Buckeyes wanted to make sure my first day on the new job was one to remember! What a game! So excited for Ohio State to be the first College Football Playoff National Champions!!! I would have never anticipated this to happen after hearing that our starting QB was injured right before the start of the season. Neither would I have dreamed of it after losing to Virginia Tech and then again after almost losing to Penn State. Losing our second QB to injury right before the conference championship game. The controversy of selecting Ohio State over TCU or Baylor. Worst of all, the tragic death of Kosta. The list of things this team has had to overcome this year is just craziness and the team stuck together through it all and proved everyone wrong. Add it to the list of reasons I am proud to be a Buckeye.

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Going along with this new job of mine, you probably noticed the decrease in the amount of posts I share each week. I apologize for not feeding the addiction, providing daily fixes but until I can get back into a groove and have my kitchen fully organized (and not in boxes randomly dispersed around the floor), I regrettably will not be able to post as often. Lucky for you before getting the flu, traveling to Rochester for Christmas, and NYC for NYE, and moving to Ohio, I was able to whip up a few things to tide over some of the gaps. Bear with me as most things are sweets, such as these lemon lush bars, and may not abide by your new years resolutions. Just eat some healthy in compensate, that’s how it works right?

Two years ago: Overnight, Slow Cooker Eggnog Cranberry Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Four years ago: Stuffed Green Peppers
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Hard Root Beer Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Add some booze to your brownies with hard root beer, then top them off with peanut butter frosting and a syrupy hard root beer reduction. For the win!

Hard Root Beer Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting 1

It’s time to play Duck Hunt! Seriously, click that link and you can play Duck Hunt. But what I am really trying to say is…

GO BUCKEYES!!!

Tonight the Bucks take on the Ducks in the first College Football Playoff championship game, so of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to break in the new kitchen with some peanut butter and chocolate goodness. While out shopping for things for the house I stumbled upon Sprecher hard root beer, so why not throw it in there too? These hard root beer brownies are super thick, dense, and rich. After getting topped off with peanut butter frosting and hard root beer syrup, these brownies are game-time ready!

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One year ago: Meyer Lemon Curd Cupcakes for Two

Three years ago: Broccoli Quiche

Four years ago: Pizza Dough
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Turtle Brownie Bites

Enjoy these bite-sized brownies filled withed chopped pecans and topped with sweet caramel and toasted pecan halves.

Turtle Brownie Bites 1

I don’t know about you, but moving stinks. Sure it’s exciting to move into a new place and get situated but the whole moving boxes and heavy furniture for extended periods of time thing I could do without. So while I slowly work on situating the new living situation, you guys can sit back and enjoy these turtle brownie bites. Whether you use a boxed mix or make the brownies homemade, all you have to add is caramel and pecans for turtley goodness.

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One year ago: Spicy Ranch Seasoned Hard Pretzels

Three years ago: Cheddar Baked Potato Soup

Four years ago: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
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Hot Chocolate Brownie Bites

Simple chocolate brownie bites are topped with frosting that tastes just like hot chocolate. Don’t forget the marshmallows on top!

Hot Chocolate Brownie Bites 1

I may not be the biggest chocolate fan when it stands alone and neither do I enjoy a glass of cold chocolate milk. However, if you place a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows in front of me, nothing can prevent me from draining it (except maybe if it’s made with water instead of milk). So when I discovered that my friend Heather created a hot chocolate frosting I could not wait to try it – it quite literally tastes just like hot chocolate and it therefore spoon-worthy. Seriously, other than cream cheese or peanut butter frosting I rarely have the urge to eat frosting alone off a spoon but this stuff rocks. I have already used Dollop Gourmet Hot Chocolate Frosting on top of Greek yogurt thumbprint cookies and now I’ve been caught in the act of dolloping again. This time on top of brownies.

P.S. It’s also National Hot Chocolate Day, so if you live in the northeast you better run out and buy some of this frosting. I know I plan to snag a bunch (including the other 3 flavors) when I am home in Rochester for the holidays. Heck I’m tempted to mix it into some hot milk to make frosting-hot chocolate!

Hot Chocolate Brownie Bites 2

One year ago: Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts

Two years ago: Chewy Molasses Cookies

Three years ago: Andes Crème de Menthe Chocolate Cookies
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Brownie Peanut Butter Cups Revisit

Turn your favorite brownies into mini brownie peanut butter cups mixed with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and topped with peanut butter and more chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Brownie Peanut Butter Cups 1

For those of you who went of for Black Friday or even Thursday sales, I hope you achieved whatever it was that you set out to do. I avoided all shopping locations like the plague. However, while browsing the Black Friday ads I did see one that caught my eye – Verizon was offering many smart phones for $100 off and some for free. As you may know, I have been resistant to turn in my dumb phone for many years to the point that I have repurchased the same dumb phone off ebay whenever the previous was dying just to avoid the transition. But, I did admit that I would eventually need to cave in and with such a good deal, it seemed like now was the time. Lucky for me the deal was also available online so I didn’t even have to go to the Verizon store. While I wait for it to arrive, I will be spending some quality time with my beloved dumb phone. We’ve had some good times, LG Dare, and I am sorry to tell you that you are being replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S5. For free. And it was only $20 extra to add data. But I will do my very best not turn into one of those people who spends more time on their phone than interacting with the people around them. That was the biggest reason I didn’t want a smart phone in the first place (other than the cost).
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Leftover Halloween Candy Layer Bars

Use up your leftover Halloween candy with these magic layer bars. Any combination of chocolate candy will work. You can even add candy corn if you so desire.

Leftover Halloween Candy Layer Bars

When was the last time you bought the exact amount of candy needed to meet the demands of all the trick-or-treaters that ring your door bell on Halloween? Chances are you either buy too little or too much, with most people landing on the side with excess. Other than picking out all your favorites to hoard, what are you going to do with it all? I say throw it all together and bake it into one glorious mess. With the help of a graham cracker crust and more sugar in the form of sweetened condensed milk this dream is a reality. I introduce to you the leftover Halloween candy bar layer bars. Use whatever assortment you have. In my case it was Reese’s peanut butter cups, plain M&Ms, peanut M&Ms, Crunch, Twix, Kit Kats, Almond Joys, Milky Ways, Snickers, and Hershey’s cookies ‘n’ creme bars. Since 7-layer bars have chocolate, nuts, and coconut I figured that diverse candy selection covered it all with a little extra.

One year ago: Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Pizza

Two years ago: Pumpkin Bread Pudding
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White Chocolate Reese’s Pumpkin Blondies #PumpkinWeek

The combination of pumpkin, peanut butter, and chocolate may seem strange at first, but soon you will realize that these rich, salty, and sweet flavors belong together.

White Chocolate Reese's Pumpkin Blondies 1

Hi and welcome to day 5 of #PumpkinWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections. We are celebrating our love of the season with a whole week of pumpkin goodies, leading up to National Pumpkin Day. 17 Food Bloggers have come together to share over 65 recipes with you. In addition to homemade pumpkin puree, pie, and cookies, we are also sharing savory pumpkin dishes like hummus, chili and pumpkin corn chowder. Come back every day for #PumpkinWeek recipes. You can also find these great recipes and more on Love and Confections’ #PumpkinWeek Pinterest Board!

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Check out all the #PumpkinWeek Bloggers and their recipes:

White Chocolate Reese's Pumpkin Blondies 2

If you think the combination of pumpkin and peanut butter is weird, well then I am here to prove you wrong. The phrase “don’t knock it ’til you try it” definitely applies here. I saw the light a year ago when I first tried this combo in pumpkin peanut butter cups. Rich pumpkin, salty-peanut butter, and sweet chocolate. I see no problems here. Even bloggers such as Jenny (Picky Palate), Sommer (A Spicy Perspective), and Jessica (How Sweet It Is) are in on the pumpkin+peanut butter party so why arn’t you?

Sadly it took me another year to dabble with this combination of flavors again but it’s back thanks to the Reese’s orange-white chocolate pumpkin-shaped cups. You could of also use regular white chocolate Reese’s cups but the pumpkin ones are perfect for the season. I chopped them up and mixed them into the pumpkin blondie batter and then also pressed some into the top as well to make use of their cute shape.

One year ago: Sunny Anderson’s Spicy Macaroni and Cheese

Two years ago: Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

Three years ago: Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
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Banana Bread Brownies

These banana bread brownies are what you get when you combine moist banana bread with chewy brownies. Perfect for chocolate and banana lovers.

Banana Bread Brownies 2

The best part about this being the last year of my 20s is that I am not alone. Many of my friends are also turning 30 this and next year making it feel like a year long celebration. One such friend is Brandi who was my roommate for the first two years of grad school and retained our friendship since. She is a fantastic person, incredibly talents and thoughtful, and I was stoked when I found out that one of her friends organized a “30 celebrations” for her 30th birthday. For 15 days before and 15 days after her birthday, friends signed up for a day or two to wish her happy birthday in whatever way they choose. I of course decided to mail her baked goods. She loved the combination of chocolate and bananas so these banana bread brownies seemed like the appropriate choice. They should be arriving at her doorstep today and I hope she likes them! Happy (almost) 30th birthday Brandi!!!

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One year ago: Orange Chicken with Asparagus

Two years ago: Buckeye Monkey Bread Muffins

Three years ago: Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach
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White Chocolate Apple Blondies

Get ready for fall with these white chocolate, cinnamon-apple blondies. Topped with a drizzle of melted white chocolate.

White Chocolate Apple Blondies 1

A yea ago today, I was standing in front of a crowd presenting and defending nearly 7 years of research. A part of my soul on display. And it earned me a PhD. Yes a year ago today I defended my 189 page dissertation in a 45-ish minute presentation followed by an hour of questioning in order to stamp Dr before my name. Unfortunately I have not been able to take advantage of using the title as much as I would have hoped in the past year but I’ve definitely enjoyed this unconventional time off, post-grad school.

Today is also national white chocolate day and I love white chocolate. In honor of my doctorate anniversary I decided to combine it with apples because an apple a day keeps the doctor away – unless you happen to be one and then there is no escape! That was a terrible joke, my apologies. But I will not apologize for how good these blondies are. White chocolate, chopped fresh apple and cinnamon come together to make one chewy blondie with flavors fit for the first day of fall.

White Chocolate Apple Blondies 2

One year ago: White Chocolate-Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Sandwiches & Name Change

Three years ago: Healthier Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
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Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies #10DaysofTailgate

Play dress up with your favorite brownie mix. Add peanut butter morsels, peanut butter frosting, and chocolate covered pretzels on top! But shh don’t tell anyone it’s from a box – no one has to know.

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In case you didn’t guess by the logo above, today marks the kickoff of #10DaysofTailgate which means lots of tailgating worthy recipes coming to a computer near you for the next 10 days. With over 20 bloggers involved and a HUGE giveaway thanks to our gracious sponsors this event is one you don’t want to miss. After you’ve checked out today’s recipes be sure to CLICK HERE giveaway to be directed to the giveaway post!

Since today is Saturday, it also means it is PB+Choc Saturday in honor of The Ohio State Buckeyes and the delicious peanut butter and chocolate Buckeye candies, so my kick-off recipe follows as such with peanut butter and chocolately goodness in the form of a brownie so good looking you won’t believe how easy it is to make. All you need is a box of brownie mix (and the ingredients indicated on the box), peanut butter morsels, peanut butter, and chocolate covered pretzels.

Yep those 4 things make these gorgeous brownies and they definitely will be a hit at any tailgate regardless of team allegiances (which is why I refrained from calling them Buckeye Brownies, although it helped that I already had a recipe for Buckeye Brownies). The peanut butter morsels are mixed into the brownie batter for some added fun, then once baked and cooled, peanut butter straight out of the jar is spread on top and garnished with chopped chocolate covered pretzels. That’s how you dress up boxed brownie mix!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies 2

And here’s what the team brought to the table…


Starters
Loaded Baked Nacho Supreme by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls by The Pajama Chef
Gazpacho Shooters with Spicy Shrimp by OnTheMove-In the Galley
Dips
Soft Pretzels and Buffalo Cheese Dip by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Cheesy Bean Dip by Making Miracles
Garden Fresh Salsa by Eliot’s Eats
Pineapple Salsa by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Devilish 7-Layer Dip by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
  
Sips
War Eagle Sangria by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Iowa Sunrise by From Gate to Plate
Sides
Deviled Egg Potato Salad by Cooking In Stilettos
Mains
El Diablo’d Lamb Lollipops by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Ginger Chicken Kabobs by Summer Scraps
Chili by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Baked Mac and Cheese  with Bacon Pretzel Topping by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Asian Duck Sliders  by Curious Cuisiniere
Pineapple Chile Lime Wings by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches by Love and Confections
Sweets

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies by The Spiffy Cookie

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies 1

One year ago: Cinnamon Roll Breadsticks

Two years ago: Chicken, Broccoli and White Cheddar Pita Pizzas

Three years ago: Falafel Pizza
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