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Archive for the ‘Bars’ Category

Oatmeal Carmelitas

Posted by booksncooks on October 20, 2010

I’m always looking for new recipes to include in care packages. I have some family and friends still in college (and who doesn’t love a break from cafeteria food?) and a brother who occasionally checks for unexpected packages in his condo complex (I can say that because I send you surprises occasionally!). These oatmeal caramelitas were my latest experiment – the recipients love then, and the hubby was looking for more than the two that I left for him. The bars are sweet from the caramel (go easy on it if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth) but my favorite part? The bars stayed soft, even throughout shipping.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

Adapted from Southern Living’s Best Loved Cookies,

also found online at

Yields 24-30 squares


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter, melted
  • 1 12-oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts
  • 1 14-oz. pkg. caramels
  • 1/3 c. half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease with butter and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients (flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt).

Add butter, stirring until mixture is crumbly. Pour half of mixture into bottom of prepared pan, pressing down with your fingers. Sprinkle with chocolate and nuts. Set aside remaining dough and pan.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine caramel and half-and-half. Microwave on medium-power for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until combined. Pour over chocolate and nuts. Crumble remaining dough over the caramel layer.

Bake 30-35 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. When ready to cut, use foil to remove the bars from pan and cut into squares.

(Books n’ Cooks is almost a year old, and I promised myself that, now that school and the SKG walk is done, I’d get better with photos. Above is my first experiment with Picasa. Tips and suggestions are greatly appreciated!)


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Rocky Ledge Bars

Posted by booksncooks on April 15, 2010

When I saw this recipe on Beantown Baker, I knew I had to give it a shot. This is a great recipe for using up those random baking items in the cabinet. The only change I’d make in the future, would probably be to skip the caramel pieces – when solidified, they were a bit tougher to chew through. Feel free to throw in butterscotch or peanut butter chips or nuts instead of or in different proportions to the mix-ins listed below.

Again, not the prettiest of photos (I’ve since learned to use my camera a bit better) but I promise good reviews.

Rocky Ledge Bars

Adapted from Beantown Baker

Originally from Martha Stewart

Makes 36 bars


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
  • 18 squares individually wrapped caramel, chopped into quarters
  • 1 1/2 c. toffee chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Lay a piece of parchment paper in dish, covering the bottom with a bit overhanging the sides. Butter parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine marshmallows, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, caramel, and toffee. Mix together and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined.

Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt, beating until combined.

Remove bowl from the mixer and fold in half of the mix-ins – the marshmallows, chocolate chips, caramel and toffee.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining mix-ins on top of the batter so that the top is covered.

Bake about 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and  a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Using the parchment overhang, remove bars from plan and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.

The directions also said once cooled, to chill on a baking sheet in the fridge until set, about 30 minutes.  I omitted this step and the bars seemed to come out fine.

With a serrated knife, cut into desired shapes and sizes.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Nutella-Blackberry Oatmeal Squares

Posted by booksncooks on February 5, 2010

When I saw this recipe from Elly Says Opa earlier in the year, I knew I had to try it. I love nutella and can eat it by the spoonful, but have done very little baking with it. These bars were wonderful. While I loved the nutella and blackberry jam, for me, the start of the show was actually the cookie part. It was a bit sweet and tasted nutty (I had to think about whether I put peanut butter in them!). Enjoy!

Nutella-Blackberry Oatmeal Squares

Adapted from Elly Says Opa


  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. Nutella
  • 2/3 c. blackberry or other preserves or jam
  • 1.5 c. oats, divided
  • 1/4 c. chopped hazelnuts, more if desired

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a 9×9 baking dish (I used my Pyrex).

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined. Add in baking powder and salt, again beating to combine. Add flour a little at a time. Add 1 1/4 c. of oats (reserving 1/4 c. on the side) to the mixture and combine.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and check to make sure you don’t have lots of oats at the bottom of the bowl.

Spoon about 2/3-3/4 of the mixture into the buttered baking dish. Using your hands (or a wooden spoon or strong rubber spatula), press down dough.

Microwave nutella for about 20 seconds, just to make it easier to spread. With a butter knife, spread on top of dough. The spread jam over nutella.

Put your KA bowl back into mixer and add remaining 1/4 c. oats and the chopped hazelnuts, beating to combine. Crumble over nutella and jam.

Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Wait until completely cooled to cut and serve, as the bars will be very soft until they cool.

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PB&J Bars

Posted by booksncooks on October 17, 2009

These were quite yummy, especially when slightly warm. My favorite was is that they bars stayed soft, even after a couple days.

BB's PB&J Bars 2

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Source: Recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten

Makes 24 bar cookies



  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 c. creamy peanut butter (recommended: Skippy)
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 c. raspberry jam or other jam (I used blackberry preserves)
  • 2/3 c. salted peanuts, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350.

Grease a 9×13 pan. Grease and lightly flour the pan. (You can also lay parchment paper on bottom of pan, and grease & flour that.)

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer to low speed and add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter. Mix until all ingredients are combined.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and gradually add to peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

BB's PB&J Bars 1Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan and spread over the bottom with a spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small bits of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. (Note: The original recipe said that the dough would spread in the oven, but mine did not.) Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top of bar cookies and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.

BB's PB&J Bars 3

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