How are mornings at your house? If the answer is “rushed”, “hectic”, “chaotic” you’re not alone. This weekend was the dreaded daylight savings time, spring forward fiasco. If you have school aged kids, you know exactly why I used the word “fiasco.” This time change puts a serious amount of stress on an already difficult morning routine. Getting my child dressed, fed, and out the door is hard enough as it is, and then add sleep deprivation to all parties involved…well, you’re lucky if everyone gets out the door without tears!
I’m here to help…at least for getting you and your kids fed. (As for the sleep deprivation, and getting dressed and whatnot, well, I don’t have many solutions.) :) I do, however, have a quick, easy, healthy kid-friendly breakfast option that will help your morning routine tremendously! This Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie is the perfect breakfast option that can be made in less than 5 minutes, and if need be, can be drank in a to-go cup in the car!
This recipe is super simple, and only requires 5 ingredients and a blender. It tastes amazing, and is pretty healthy. You’re getting plenty of protein from the Greek yogurt and peanut butter, nearly two servings of dairy, and a serving of fruit! You can use regular cows milk, or using almond milk is really tasty as well! The creamy texture of the Greek yogurt is complemented by the crunchy peanut butter, which brings it all together!
- 1 banana, peeled
- ¾ c. milk (your choice: cows milk, soy or almond)
- ¾ c. plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
- 2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp. honey (optional)
- In a blender, add all the ingredients. Blend to a smooth, creamy texture. (Add a handful of ice if you would like an extra cold, frosty smoothie.) Pour and enjoy!
I really enjoy this as a post-workout smoothie, and its great for an after-school snack as well.
If your mornings have been hectic, chaotic or stressful, I hope they get better! Enjoying some smoothies for breakfast may help your day get off to a great start.
I don’t know about you, but when I get a little stressed, anxious, or am burning the candle at both ends, my go-to food is chocolate. I know full-well that I’m an emotional eater, and its something I’ve tried to overcome. Over the years I’ve become much better about not eating my feelings, but its still something that I do on occasion.
The past couple weeks have been REALLY stressful! I took on a volunteer position at my son’s school for their annual Mardi Gras fundraiser. Its a fantastic event that brings out a couple hundred people, and in the process raises quite a bit of money toward the schools operating costs and tuition assistance. This year I was the auction chairperson (a pretty significant responsibility), and over the past several months have been in charge of coordinating donations for our live and silent auction. Needless to say, I’ve been a little stressed! This past Saturday the event took place, and we had quite a successful evening…but it took hundreds of hours of work to get to that point. Oye Vey!! I’m glad its over!
Now that the Mardi Gras Gala is in the books, I’m excited to get back to blogging, bringing you delicious recipes, and sharing all of my ideas for making life a little more delightful. One of these fantastic recipes are these super-delicious Double Chocolate Turtle Bars! This is one of the many recipes my mom has shared with me over the years, and are definitely a go-to goodie when I’m a little stressed. (There, I said it!) :)
As you can see, these bars are loaded with chocolate, caramel and pecans! They are super-gooey, fudgy and really hit the spot when chocolate is what you’re craving. Perfect with a scoop of ice cream, they make one heck of a fantastic dessert at the end of the day!! These bars actually use a cake mix, which makes it pretty fool proof.
Here are how these amazingly delicious bars come together:
- 1 pkg chocolate cake mix
- ¾ c. butter, melted
- 1 c. milk (divided)
- 1 pkg. Kraft caramels
- 1 c. chopped pecans
- 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13″ plan with non-stick spray.
- In a mixing bowl pour the melted butter and ½ c. milk into the cake mix. Stir. The batter will be sticky. Using a rubber scraper, spread ½ the batter into the 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chopped pecans and chocolate chips over the thin cake layer. Melt the caramels with ½ c. milk in the microwave. (Melt in 1 minute increments, stirring each time. It took me 2½ minutes to get to a smooth fully melted consistency.) Pour the caramel evenly over the nuts and chocolate chips. Drop the remaining cake batter (I used my fingers to drop small chunks) on the caramel. Bake 15 minutes more at 350 degrees.
- Cool completely before cutting.
- Store at room temperature in a air tight container.
As you can see, these bars are pretty easy to make. Great for a fun dessert, bake sale goodies, or fun treat for someone that loves chocolate, caramel and/or pecans!
I will continue to work on being less of an emotional eater. I’m getting better at it all the time, however, there are just days when I have to have something chocolaty, gooey and delicious!! Do you blame me? :)
I hope you get to enjoy these as much as I have!
Just after I had graduated college, I did something rather daring. I moved halfway across the country for a job…and a boyfriend! Right away I found a great apartment, right on the river in gorgeous, Boise, Idaho. I loved living in my tiny one-bedroom apartment. In college I always had roommates, and before college I had stinky brothers to deal with. It was the very first time in my life where I was living all by myself.
Just down the street from my apartment was this amazing bakery, called Pastry Perfections. On Saturday mornings, I would walk over and treat myself to a cup of coffee and one of their amazing rolls, pastries or muffins. One of my all time favorites was their glazed lemon poppy seed muffins. They were completely drenched in an icy-lemon glaze, which locked in this wonderful moist lemony cake studded with poppy seeds. These were AMAZING…and somewhere around 400 calories a pop. Ummm, yeah, I gained about 15 lbs. that first year I lived there. Eeek!
I wanted to stroll down memory lane, and recreate these amazing muffins, but not with the gigantic calories to go with. I wanted to skinny up one of my recipes that I already had, but still keep the great lemon flavor, and the ultra-moist cake-like quality that made those muffins from Pastry Perfection….well, perfect!
I ended up reducing the sugar, adding some lemon Greek yogurt to bump up the moisture, and added the zest of a lemon to keep that great lemon flavor. Instead of completely submerging the muffins in the glaze (yeah, I totally wanted to do that!), I lightly drizzled with the glaze. The drizzle of glaze was just enough sweetness, and complimented the lemon flavor inside the muffin. You would have never known this was a light version of that old favorite of mine! Here’s how they came together:
- 2 c. flour
- ¼ c. sugar
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ¾ c. lemon flavored Greek yogurt (like Chobani)
- ¾ c. milk
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ c.)
- zest of 1 lemon (about 1½ tsp.)
- 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
- Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 Tbsp.)
- ½ c. powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line a muffin tin/cupcake pan. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, milk, vegetable oil. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Lastly, add the lemon juice, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Stir until all are combine.
- Add the batter to the prepared muffin tin. Fill the cups about ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then remove from pan. Drizzle the muffins with the glaze and let set and completely cool.
Looking back, I really loved that little apartment of mine. I loved my little walks to the bakery. I eventually lost those 15 lbs, but kept some really fond memories of Boise, where I lived for nearly a decade. That first job that I moved to Boise for turned out to be a dud, but that boyfriend of mine turned into my husband. We miss Boise, but we can always make a batch of muffins to relive the Saturday morning walks from my tiny little apartment by the river.
Well, I don’t know about you, but we’ve had quite the winter! Multiple snow days for my son, (so many they are having to make up days on previously scheduled holidays!), lots of snow, and some treacherous, albeit, quite beautiful icy days. Here in the mid-atlantic part of the country, when the forcast calls for snow, even just a little bit, people get a little nuts! They storm the grocery stores packing their carts full of milk, bread, toilet paper and beer, planning for the worst.
Today we had another snow storm. This storm was easily the biggest of the season, and as far as snow fall is concerned, we got around 12″, which for around here is enough to shut the entire city down. It was the heavy, wet type of snow so it took my husband most of the morning to get our driveway dug out. You know its pretty bad when even he can’t make it to work! So, I have both of my boys home today. I decided it was a great day to make our own pizza!! The perfect comfort food on a snow day at home. I had all the supplies to make this amazingly delicious Thin Crust Smokehouse Pizza!
This pizza is really easy to make, and the flavors are unbeatable! I personally love a smokey, meaty pizza, and this one is perfect. It includes a fire-roasted sauce, and I also include some extra tomatoes and red onion for some great texture. I also use smoked ham and bacon for some delicious smokey meaty flavors. Here’s how the pizza comes together:
- 1 refrigerated thin pizza crust
- ½ c. prepared fire-roasted tomato pizza sauce
- ½ c. diced,fire roasted tomatoes
- ½ c. diced, smoked ham
- 4 strips of crisp bacon
- ¼ c. red onion slices
- ¾ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400. Roll out the refrigerated pizza crust on to a cookie sheet or pizza stone. Pre-bake approximately 5 minutes. (Follow the directions on the pizza crust that you choose.)
- On the pre-baked crust, spread the sauce evenly over the crust. Next add the tomatoes, ham, bacon, red onion and cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Take out of the oven and top with the sliced green onions. Slice and serve. Refrigerate any left-overs.
As you see from the recipe, this pizza is super easy to make. Its a great, kid friendly meal and will make everyone at your house happy to sit down for a nice meal. Perfect for lunch or dinner, this is great to enjoy with a nice side salad and a glass of milk!
As much fun as we’ve had with our snow days this winter, I’m more than ready for spring to arrive. I’m ready to say goodbye to shoveling snow, and hello to spring flowers and warmer days. Wishing you warmer days ahead, as well!
So, I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of a chocolate problem. A problem, by the way of wanting it eat chocolate far to often than whats good for me. About every two weeks or so I get an intense craving for a really rich, chocolaty brownie. I like my brownies on the fudgy side, but I will never turn down a cakey brownie when offered. These Triple-Chocolate Espresso Brownies are a perfect combination!
If you’re a serious chocolate lover like myself, you probably know the trick to bringing out the intense chocolate flavor in any chocolate cake or brownie – the secret ingredient is coffee! Now before you turn your nose at coffee in brownies, I’m here to say that it really amplifies the chocolate flavor. The coffee flavor is pretty mild, but the finer notes of the bittersweet chocolate really come through beautifully! I like to top these with some chocolate covered espresso beans – the perfect complementary coffee notes that go so well with the chocolate and coffee flavor.
These brownies are perfect as nice treat with a cup of coffee, latte or cappuccino. The mild coffee flavor in the brownies pair beautifully with the flavor of the coffee in your cup!
I really love to add stuff to my brownie batter. Anything from Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, Reese’s Pieces, nuts, dried cherries, and the list could go on and on. If I’m really craving chocolate I pile on a really fantastic frosting. These brownies include lots of mini chocolate chips for even more chocolate (of course!!), an amazing cocoa cream cheese frosting, that is out of this world!!
Here’s how these amazingly decadent brownies come together:
- ½ c. butter (1 stick)
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsly chopped
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsly chopped
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 packets of Starbucks Via instant coffee powder (about 1 Tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ⅔ c. flour
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Cocoa Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (1/2 block)
- ¼ c. butter room temperature ( ½ stick)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2½ c. powdered sugar
- ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- Optional: Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8″ pan with foil, leaving at least 1″ overhang on edges. Spray with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- In double-boiler, or glass bowl over simmering water, add the stick of butter, bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate. Stir together until ingredients are completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. When cooled, add the sugar and stir. Add one egg at a time, stiring until completely combined. Add the instant coffee and vanilla and stir.
- In a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stiring until all is combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading batter evenly. Bake at 350 for 35-38 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean with no crumbs. Cool brownies completely.
- For frosting: Using mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese completely. Add the vanilla and combine. Gradually add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, mixer should be on lowest speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl. Lastly, add the unsweetened cocoa powder and beat until completely combined. Spread frosting over cooled brownies. Optional: top with chocolate covered espresso beans for a sweet garnish. Cut and serve. When storing, keep refrigerated in airtight container.
*This recipe has been adapted from Better Homes and Gardens: Baking cookbook. You can purchase this or any other Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/better-homes-and-gardens-baking-better-homes-gardens/1116529856?ean=9781118453261
The next time you have a craving for brownies or for anything of chocolate nature, this recipe is DEFINITELY worth your while. It will not only satisfy your cravings, the chocolate flavor will be unmatched! From one chocolate lover to another; enjoy!
In all honesty, how hard is it for you to get dinner on the table? If you’re anything like me, its probably one of the biggest challenges of the day. Many of you are just getting home from work, or just getting your kids home from school, and once you walk into the kitchen you face that ever daunting question, “What am I going to make for dinner?”
A while back, I distinctly remember listening to a radio show, where they had an expert in meal planning talking about the best way to tackle the haunting question of what to make for dinner. I remember her saying that if you find yourself in the middle of the grocery store at 5pm wandering through the aisles trying to find ideas, you’ve already lost the battle. She then said that having specific, go-to recipes that you and your family enjoy, and having those ingredients consistently on-hand is one of the best ways to beat the dinner battle.
This recipe for Loaded Chicken Enchilada Pasta is without a doubt, one of my go-to recipes. I consistently stock all the ingredients in my pantry and freezer, and its something that my family and I really enjoy! Even my 5-year-old will gobble it up. To keep it kid-friendly, I don’t add too much spice, although you can always increase the spices to give it a bit more heat. For additional convenience, I often use rotisserie chicken, which helps cut down on the cooking time, and helps get the meal on the table in about 30 minutes. Not bad for a hot, delicious meal that everyone will enjoy!
- 1 lb. rigatoni or penne pasta
- 1 lb. cooked white-meat chicken, shredded
- 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 can stewed, diced tomatoes
- 2 (10 oz.) cans green enchilada sauce
- 2 (10 oz.) cans red enchilada sauce
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- Optional Toppings:
- Diced green onions
- Sliced jalapenos
- shredded Mexican blend cheese
- sour cream
- In a large pot, boil water to cook pasta. Cook according to directions on box.
- In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat pan on med-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and green pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, enchilada sauces, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low, and bring sauce to a low simmer. Add the shredded chicken and continue to simmer until the pasta is ready.
- Once pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta, and immediately add pasta to the sauce. Incorporate the pasta and sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve and top with your favorite tex-mex toppings, like shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
This dish is fantastic will all of your favorite tex-mex flavors. I like to top my pasta with sour cream, guacamole, Mexican blend shredded cheese, and some sliced green onions. My husband loves him some sliced jalapenos, salsa and some hot sauce to bring the heat! Any way you have it, this dish is sure to be a great stand-by when you find yourself asking, “What should I make for dinner?”
I don’t know about you, but I seriously love bread – especially quick bread! Banana, pumpkin, lemon – but this Strawberry Vanilla Quick Bread is at the top of the list! The golden vanilla batter is bejeweled with juicy strawberries, and baked to perfection. The outside is perfectly crisp, and the inside is moist and delicious!!
Since spring is just around the corner, it also means that its nearly strawberry season. Strawberries are one of my absolute favorite fruit, and this bread is a great way to enjoy the juicy, red berries. The best part – even if strawberries are not in season, this recipe uses frozen strawberries, which are available year-round in the frozen section of the grocery store. Drizzled with icing, this bread is perfect for breakfast, brunch or a snack at any time of the day.
This recipe is one from my mom’s collection, and its one that I made when I was a kid in my 4-H days. With that being said, it is very easy to make. The recipe makes two loaves, so its perfect to enjoy one right away and put one in the freezer for later, or take one to a friend. Here’s how it comes together:
- 2 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed and cut into small pieces
- 1¼ c. vegetable oil
- 2 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 3 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- For Glaze:
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. milk
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In two 9×5″ loaf pans, spray with nonstick spray, and line the bottoms with waxed paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine strawberries, eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. In seperate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Wisk together to combine. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet until completely combined. Pour batter evenly into the two loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- When finished baking, let cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pans to loosen, then invert to take the loaves out of the pans. Remove the waxed paper from the bottoms. Cool the loaves on a rack.
- For the icing, combine powdered sugar, milk and almond extract. Stir until completely combined. Drizzle over the tops of the loaves. Slice and serve. Store in a cool dry place.
I am lucky enough to live in the Mid-Atlantic part of the United States. This means we have quite possibly one of the best grocery store chains in the country – Wegmans! I’m not receiving any compensation or products from them to promote their store – I’m simply one happy customer that is in love with their fine establishment. Their deli is amazing, their cheese selection is rock-solid, and their bakery section knocks my socks off every time. I’m in love with these chocolate chip cookies they have, which are dipped in chocolate. I will easily spend $4-5 on 4 cookies. Crazy, I know – but they are eyes-rolling-in-the-back-of-your-head amazing!!
Wegmans also has peanut butter cookies that are out of this world, however, those are not chocolate-dipped. Tragedy, right? I made it my personal mission to make a Wegmans-worthy cookie, combining my two favorites. This is how my Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies came to be.
I ended up mixing in a few extra ingredients into one of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes. I’ve made these a number of times now, and they always turn out to be show-stoppers!! The chocolate chips inside the cookies are wonderfully complementary, and the chocolate on the outside brings it all together. Can ya tell I like peanut butter and chocolate? (When I was a kid I loved nothing more than to buy a Hershey’s bar and dip it right into the peanut butter jar.)
Here is how these lil’ beauties come together:
- 1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1½ c. sugar
- ⅔ c. creamy peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2½ c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 c. peanut butter chips
- 3 c. chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and peanut butter. Add vanilla and eggs, and mix to a creamy consistency. In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, soda and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients, to the wet until all are combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips, and 1 c. of chocolate chips.
- With a ¼ measuring cup, scoop out six cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 13-16 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, and then transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the last 2 c. of chocolate chips in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted. Dip the cookies on one side each. Let dry on a sheet of waxed paper or parchment.
- Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
I really have to restrain myself with these. These are a larger cookie, and one is a treat in itself. These freeze well, and are great to share with friends, or keep on hand for an after-school snack. My son loves these, by the way! Enjoy with a big glass of milk or cup of coffee or tea. Take these in to work, and you’ll have people eating out of the palm of your hand. :)
How is it going with your New Years Resolutions? We’re near the end of January, and I know of several people that want to really buckle down and get healthy. I’ve learned over the years that a “diet” isn’t gonna do it. I’ve discovered that it really is changing your mindset, and developing a healthy lifestyle. I know, I know, its much easier said than done.
At least for me, a part of developing that healthy lifestyle is having healthy food alternatives on hand. This means keeping plenty of frozen fruit in the freezer, and lots of fresh fruit in our fruit bowl. This Mango Peach Smoothie is one of my go-to snacks that I love. Its a perfect afternoon snack, and I especially love blending this up post workout. Its refreshing, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and has protein from the Greek yogurt which helps keep you fuller, longer.
- 1½ c. frozen peaches (or 1 can, drained and frozen)
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- ¾ c. orange juice
- 1 (5.3 oz. cup) Greek yogurt, peach flavor
- 1 Tbsp. honey (optional)
- In a blender, add frozen peaches, mango, juice, yogurt and honey. Blend until all ingredients are smoothly pureed. Makes 2 medium smoothies.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on some fresh and frozen fruits – get them home, and EAT them. If you’re getting your fruits and veggies, you’re going to have more energy to get through the day. You’ll feel better about what you’re putting into your body. With that being said, keep up the great work on your New Years resolution to eat healthy. You can totally do this!!
Looking back on Valentine’s Day as a kid always makes me smile. Putting together your Valentine’s for your classmates, and decorating a shoe-box clad with construction paper and glitter for receiving Valentines from your friends, to proudly display at school. Sometimes were even able to sneak in a hand-made sugar cookie or popcorn ball colored brightly with pink and red frosting.
Unfortunately, the last couple years, due to allergy and dietary restrictions, my son’s school has asked that no food be included with Valentine’s. I do understand, really, I do. Although, I must say, that having a food blogger as a mama, Harrison is seriously missing out on having his mommy make some impressive sweets for his buddies. ( I guess that’s what birthday’s are for, right?) So while were not able to have those yummy Valentine’s treats at school, I thought that Harrison and I would enjoy some treats here at home during our snow day.
These bars are the perfect treat reminiscent of Valentines Days of the past. The sugar cookie bottom, and the brownie top, combine two tasty treats into one pretty bar. Drizzled with white chocolate, they are great to customize for any holiday, birthday, or celebration where treats are in order.
- Sugar Cookie Layer:
- 1½ c. flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 10 tbsp. butter, softened
- ½ c. sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ¾ c. white chocolate chips
- Brownie Layer:
- ¾ c. flour
- ¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ c. sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 10 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 egg
- ¼ c. milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ¾ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ c. white candy melts (such as Wilton brand)
- ½ c. pink candy melts (such as Wilton brand)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13″ pan with non-stick foil.
- For sugar cookie layer: in a mixing bowl combine flour and salt. In a separate bowl with mixer, beat butter and sugar on low until creamy. Gradually add the flour mixture and combine. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined pan. Put the pan into the freezer while preparing the brownie layer. (Don’t skip this step, as it ensure that the sugar cookie and brownie stay separated, achieving two defined layers.
- For brownie layer: In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, egg, milk and vanilla. With mixer, gradually combine dry and wet ingredients. Beat on low just until ingredients are combined stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Stir in chocolate chips to batter. On top of the cold sugar cookie layer, dollop the brownie batter, and spread evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool completely after baking. When cooled, lift the foil and bars from the pan. But the bars on a cutting board, and drizzle with the melted candy melts. Serve.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
**This recipe was adapted in part from Family Circle Magazine, December 2013 issue.
I hope these bars bring back those great Valentine’s memories of the past. Even more importantly, they are perfect treat to help make new memories for years to come.