Caramel bars, Gooey chocolate, Cranberry cake

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For all those sweet tooth people, here you are.

Caramel bars
Crust:
1-1/2 C quick oats
2-1/4 C flour
1-1/2 C brown sugar
1-1/4 C butter
Filling:
1/4 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 TBS flour
 For crust, melt butter completely. Mix it with oatmeal, flour, and brown sugar. Press 2/3 of mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. When done, allow it to cool. Set aside remaining 1/3 of crust mixture for topping.
 While crust is baking, melt butter for filling in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar until smooth (about 1 minute). Repeat for milk, vanilla, and flour, adding each one separately. Bring to a slow boil for about 3 minutes until it begins to thicken. Be sure to stir continuously. Remove from heat.
 When crust is cool to the touch, pour caramel filling on it. Sprinkle remaining crust mixture over top. Bake at 300 degrees for an additional 20 minutes. Bars will appear a bit runny, but will firm up when cool.
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Gooey chocolate
For cake:
2 sticks butter, melted, divided
1 box Devil’s Food Cake mix
3 large eggs, divided
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼ C cocoa powder
1 16-oz. box powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
For serving:
whipped cream
extra chocolate chips
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-in.baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 stick of melted butter, cake mix, and one egg with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined. Press cake mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
 In another large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add remaining two eggs and cocoa powder. Beat until smooth. On low speed, add powdered sugar to cream cheese mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining one stick of melted butter and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in one cup of chocolate chips. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips evenly over top. Bake for 45 minutes or until center appears set but still slightly jiggles when shaken. Cool cake completely. To serve, cut into bars. If desired, serve with whipped cream and extra chocolate chips.
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Cranberry cake
3 large eggs, room temp.
2 C sugar
3/4 C unsalted butter softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 C all-purpose flour
12 oz. fresh cranberries
powdered sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9×13 pan with non-stick baking spray. Beat eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until slightly thickened and light in color. This mixture should form peaks when you lift beaters out of bowl. Add butter and vanilla to egg mixture and continue to mix for two minutes.
 Slowly add in flour, but just until combined. Add fresh cranberries. Stir cranberries into mix throughout. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely before cutting into slices. Garnish with powdered sugar.

She said, “I’m doing crunches twice a day now – Captain in the morning… Nestle in the afternoon.”
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it me.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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