Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Long Time, No See...

Warning: This is a loooong one.

Hmmm. Not the most inspiring or informative post title, is it? Yeah. I didn't think so either. So, where do I begin? Well...

First, please know that I never expected or intended to be MIA for such a long time, especially without any kind of explanation.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Making Ch-ch-ch-changes...

Before we get to the meat and potatoes of what's been going on with me, you've probably noticed that there's been a wee cosmetic change around here. OK. A BIG cosmetic change. Why did I decide to do it? Well, as I'm sure all of my blog buddies out there know quite well, we can be a fickle bunch when it comes to the way our blogs look. I'm no exception in that regard and frankly, I felt as though I needed to make some changes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Bars (An Easy, Decadent Treat Anytime!)

You don't have to make the bottom crust chocolate if you don't wish to, but you know me... I've gotta add chocolate whenever and wherever I can! LOL If you want the classic raspberry bar, just omit the cocoa powder, replace it with 1/4 cup AP flour and skip the drizzles!

Chocolate Raspberry Bars Top & Bottom Crusts
  • 2 Pouches Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 Lb Butter, (2 sticks) softened to room temperature
  • 2 Lg Eggs
  • 1 Cup + 4 Tbls Seedless Raspberry Jam, divided if making a glaze
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour

  • 4 Tbls Seedless Raspberry Jam/Preserves
  • Warm water
  • 1/4 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
  • 6-8oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare a 13x9x2 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or foil. This will make it much easier to remove the finished product from the pan in one large piece. (see the short video at the bottom of this post to learn how to do this)

In a large mixing bowl, add 1 pouch of the cookie mix and the cocoa powder. Using a whisk or a fork, combine them so they are pretty evenly mixed together. Add one stick of the softened butter, one egg (lightly beaten) and mix it all together to form the dough. Instead of using a hand or stand mixer, I use a biscuit cutter style chopper (you could use a fork) to work the dough into large crumbly pieces. (see photo below)

Dump the crumbled dough into your prepared pan and press it out to the corners and edges as evenly as possible.

Spread the Raspberry Jam onto the dough and set aside.

(See photo collages below)

Using a second mixing bowl (or rinsing and drying the bowl you just used) start the next layer. Add the second pouch of cookie mix and the 1/4 C of AP flour and whisk them together. Add in the other stick of softened butter and the second lightly beaten egg and again, using a cutter or fork, mix until you have large crumbles of soft dough. This time you want to drop the crumbles onto the jam layer as you would a cobbler or coffee cake topping.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until the top is golden brown. Check it at 20 to 25 minutes just to be sure it doesn't burn. Prepare the raspberry glaze and chocolate drizzle while the bars are baking. (Photo instructions after this set of photos)

Once it's completely cooled, lift it out of the pan with the ends of the parchment paper and place it on a large cutting board or clean countertop. Drizzle with the raspberry glaze and melted chocolate and allow it to set up for about 30 minutes in a cool dry place before cutting it up into bars.

For the Raspberry Glaze and Chocolate Drizzle
(You can enlarge the 2 photos below by clicking on them!)

Thin jam with warm tap water, add confectioner's sugar one heaping spoonful at a time until you've reached pourable thickness. Place in a zip-top bag and snip a tiny bit off one corner. Drizzle liberally over bars.

Melt chocolate morsels in microwave 15 to 20 seconds at a time until it reaches a pourable consistency. Place in a zip-top bag, snip off a tiny bit of one corner and drizzle liberally over bars.

How to line a baking pan with parchment paper:



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