Homemade Brownies with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

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Let me start out with this…the two pictures I have posted are not good representations of how amazing these brownies are. I had a screaming baby who wanted to be held NOW when trying to take photos, so what you see is the best of what I snapped. Nice, huh? I had dreams of how my pictures for this post would look, and they aren’t at all like what I posted!

To get back to why you’re here… seriously, these brownies are so yummy! I made them twice within an eight day period, and neither time did they last long. I’m not sure how many people have had a brownie with cookie dough frosting, so I’m sure that enticed people to give them a try. I don’t think they were at all disappointed!

I know homemade brownies can seem daunting, but this recipe is really as easy as can be. I’m typically a boxed brownie gal ( there’s no shame in this!), and haven’t met too many homemade brownies I enjoy, but these were a true winner. The frosting was so easy as well- stir this, mix this in, and spread. Boom. Deliciousness. Get in the kitchen and make a batch now!  🙂

Homemade Brownies with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

Recipe from Today’s Mama

Brownies:

3/4 c. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 c. butter, melted and divided

1/2 c. boiling water

2 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 glass baking pan with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.

Stir cocoa and baking soda in a bowl. Stir in 1/3 c. butter and boiling water. Stir until the mixture thickens.

Add the sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 c. butter and stir until smooth.

Add the flour and vanilla, and blend completely.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 25-35 minutes, until done. Let brownies cool completely.

 

Cookie Dough Frosting:

1/2 c. butter, at room temperature

1/3 c. brown sugar

3 Tbsp white sugar

3 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. mini chocolate chips

 

In a bowl, combine the butter and sugars, creaming until fluffy and texture is very light.

Beat in the vanilla and milk.

Add in the flour, and stir until combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

When the brownies have cooled, spread the cookie dough frosting over the top. Cut into squares and enjoy!

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Apple Pie Bars

If there’s one food magazine I enjoy, it’s Food & Family  by Kraft Foods. They always have easy to make, low ingredient list recipes. When I get a magazine in the mail, I typically go through it, flagging multiple pages as “need to try” recipes for the future. I flagged the Apple Pie Bars a few weeks back, as I knew this was something Ryan would like.  Boy, was I not wrong. I think he was in dessert heaven as this was the second time this summer I made pie!

Ryan and I worked together to make the bars- Ryan cutting the apples, and me making the crust. The magazine said prep time was 35 minutes, but we got the bars  into the oven within about 15 minutes. Definitely nice when the prep time is minimal! The bars received rave reviews from Ryan and his parents, all stating that they thought the bars taste just like apple pie, even though they weren’t made in pie plates.

If you’re looking for a yummy, easy, and quick alternative to your traditional apple pie, give this recipe a try!

 

Apple Pie Bars

Recipe from Kraft Foods

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/4 c. flour, divided

10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced ( I used an apple peeler)

1 1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1 Tbsp water

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Beat cream cheese and butter in mixer until blended. Gradually add 3 c. flour, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.  Shape into two balls. Place one ball on large lightly floured sheet of wax paper; flatten slightly. Cover with second floured sheet of waxed paper.  Roll out dough to 15 1/2 x 10 1/2- inch rectangle. Discard top sheet of waxed paper.

Spray 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan with cooking spray; invert over rolled-out dough. Flip dough and pan together. Remove second waxed paper bottom; gently press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Toss apples with remaining flour, sugar, and cinnamon; spread onto bottom of crust.

Repeat rolling out of remaining dough ball to make second rectangle. Remove top sheet of waxed paper; carefully flip dough over apples. Discard waxed paper. Tuck edges of dough down sides of pan to enclose apples. Make several slits in top of crust to vent.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool bars 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar and water. Drizzle glaze over dessert. Cool 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

Homemade Snickers bars

Oooooooooh goodness. If you are on a diet or avoiding sweets for some crazy reason, stop reading now. This recipe for homemade Snickers bars is delicious, and addicting. I could probably eat an entire 9 x 13 pan of them by myself. They are almost spot on to the real candy bar, and are pretty effortless to make. A little melting here, stirring there, pouring, and viola! You’re done.

These do take a little bit of time to finish, as each layer requires that you let it cool and set before putting the next layer on top. Well worth the wait though. Just remember that 🙂 I brought these to a bible study, and they were quickly gobbled up, with everybody asking for the recipe. You will not be disappointed by this recipe!

Homemade Snickers Bars

Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Bottom Chocolate Layer

1/1/4 c. milk chocolate chips

1/4 c. peanut butter

Thoroughly grease your pan, or line with parchment paper. Melt ingredients in a sauce pan or microwave, then pour into the baking dish and spread until even. Let cool and harden completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nougat Layer

1/4 c. unsalted butter

1 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. evaporated milk

1/1/2 c. marshmallow fluff

1/4 c. peanut butter

1/1/2 c. lightly salted peanuts, roughly chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Turn off heat, and  gently stir in peanuts, then pour over chocolate layer. Cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caramel Layer

1- 14 oz bag caramels

1/4 c. whipping cream

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat. Let melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Pour over nougat layer and cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Layer

1/1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

1/4 c. peanut butter

Melt ingredients together in a saucepan or microwave, and pour over caramel layer. Cool completely.

Refrigerate at least one hour before serving, then cut as desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I kept mine in the fridge, as they tend to melt, and ooze out caramel, making them a little messy*

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Bars

Looking for a treat that will bring you into peanut butter coma? Look no further! These Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie bars will do the trick. They are loaded with 3 layers of peanut butter and rice krispies goodness, AND include peanut butter cups in the middle. Also a key aspect not to forget is the 4th layer of peanut butter ganache on the top.  Are you drooling yet? Feeling like you need to find your “buffet pants” and start baking?

I’m quite surprised I liked them as much as I did. I’m not a huge peanut butter fan, and I’ll tell you why.  My family took a trip to Disney World back when I was in elementary school. Little did I know how thrifty/stingy my father was going to be. First of all, he packed the toaster in his suitcase. You heard right…THE TOASTER! Who does that?! Second, almost every night, we had to eat at Burger King because they were having a 99 cent Whopper special. According to my dad then, who can beat that price? Lastly, and the reason why I’m telling this story, instead of getting to eat at some of the restaurants within Disney World, we had to pack lunches everyday. Those lunches were…peanut butter sandwiches. Every. Day. Of. The. Vacation.  Needless to say, I got sick of peanut butter sandwiches very fast, and to this day, don’t eat them, and don’t eat a ton of food with peanut butter in the ingredients.

Here’s a little gem from our Disney World vacation. For those of you who know me well, please be impressed that I’m standing next to Minnie Mouse and am not crying or turning my back! (I have a bit of a mascot phobia for those of you wondering what the heck I’m talking about!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

These bars got rave reviews, and my mouth waters just thinking about them. If you’re up for this peanut buttery challenge, good luck! 🙂

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Bars

Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

Ingredients:

1st Layer: Cereal

3 c. Rice Krispies cereal

1/2 of a 10 oz bag of marshmallows

2 tbsp butter, softened

1/3 c. peanut butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2nd Layer: Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 1/4 c. mini peanut butter cups (can also use Reese’s Pieces)

3rd Layer: Cereal

3 c. Rice Krispies cereal

1/2 of a 10 oz bag of marshmallows

2 tbsp butter, softened

1/3 c. peanut butter (optional- use if wanting more peanut butter goodness)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4th Layer: Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache

1 c. + 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Prep a 9 x 13 pan by greasing the bottom and sides with butter or a butter spray.

1st layer: Measure out your 3 c. rice cereal and set aside. In a large microwave safe bowl, put in your 3/4 c. marshmallows, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. Melt in the microwave for around 45 seconds, take out, stir, and put back in for a few more seconds. You’ll want to do this until your mixture is smooth. Stir in the rice cereal and pour into the pan. Spread it out evenly and press firmly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PB fudge layer: Measure out the powdered sugar and set aside. On the stove top or microwave, melt butter and peanut butter until smooth. Remove from heat, add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour over 1st layer of cereal and spread evenly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle your peanut butter cups evenly and gently press into fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the fudge set for around 5-10 minutes before you add the next layer of cereal. (Best option is to put in freezer. I put my pan in for about 4 minutes, and my peanut butter cups melted with the next step, so make sure to let it set a little longer than I did!)

3rd layer: Prepare this layer as you did the first layer.  Only add the peanut butter if you want a peanut butter overload. Pour the cereal mixture over the fudge, spread evenly, and press firmly. Make sure you try to cover up all the peanut butter cups, so that the next layer doesn’t hit the fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th layer: On the stove top, melt peanut butter and chocolate chips until smooth. Stir constantly to avoid the chocolate from burning. Let cool for a few minutes, then pour evenly over the cereal layer and gently shake pan to evenly distribute chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carefully cover with plastic wrap or pan cover and place in the freezer or fridge to firm. Cut into bars and enjoy your peanut butter coma 🙂

Sugar Cookie Bars

I’ll be frank about this recipe. When I tried it, I received mixed reviews. Perhaps it was the fact that I over baked in fear that the dough wasn’t done. Perhaps I have a picky husband. Perhaps those that tried a bar didn’t get a middle piece, which, in my opinion, is always the best. I’m pretty sure all three contributed to some saying they liked them, others saying they were okay, and one certain husband saying they were too “fluffy”. You can ask my husband about that one!

I actually didn’t mind the bars one bit. I’m not a huge sugar cookie fan, but these were the right amount of dough to frosting, and not so sweet your teeth hurt while eating them. The bars are super easy to make, and you get a HUGE amount if making the full batch. Honestly, beware if you’re not looking to have 30+ sugar cookie bars sitting around at your house!

I really do think if I hadn’t over baked the dough, the bars would have been so much better. Who likes a dry bar?! Plus, all the reviews online were fantastic, so I know I’m not the only one out there liking these bars! So take my word for it, and don’t over bake, even though the dough doesn’t look like it’s done, it most likely is!

 

Sugar Cookie Bars

Recipe from A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock n’ Roll

1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 c. sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

5 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the vanilla to the creamed mixture and then slowly add the dry ingredients.

Press into a greased 13 x 18 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Cool and frost.

Frosting:

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. shortening

1 tsp. vanilla

4 c. powdered sugar

5 tbsp. milk

sprinkles (optional)

food coloring (optional)

In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening and butter until creamy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Gradually add the 5 tablespoons of milk until you reach your desired consistency.

If you would like a colored frosting, add food coloring to achieve the color you are hoping for.

Spread frosting on bars, and decorate with sprinkles.

Thousand Dollar Bars { aka Homemade Twix Bars}

I LOVE Twix bars. Always have, always will. Back when I was in elementary and middle school, I used to ride the bus after school to a certain drop off, then walk to the hospital where my mom works. I’d promptly find her, ask for some money, and head to the vending machine. My choice in a snack? Twix bars with Dr. Pepper. Almost every time I went to the hospital after school, this would be my snack. To this day, when I buy Twix, I feel the need to pair it with some Dr. Pepper. There’s just something about that combination that makes me quite happy!

Not going to lie, I found this recipe through Pinterest. While I’m not crazy-addicted to the site, I will admit I enjoy it as it’s easy to find new recipes to try. I saw the picture of these homemade Twix bars and knew immediately I was going to try them out. They were just too good to pass up. Plus, if I can made Twix at home, and not buy them occasionally, it’s a win win for me!

I brought these bars to work, and barely had a chance to snap a quick picture to put on here. They went that fast. The ooey-gooey of the bars must have attracted my co-workers! I got a lot of “they do taste like Twix bars!” comments, so know that this is a pretty good replica of the real deal. Poor Ryan was able to snag just one bar the night before I brought them to work. I think he was a bit bummed I didn’t leave a few for him!

Thousand Dollar Bars {Homemade Twix Bars}

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Shortbread Layer:

1 c. (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

Caramel Layer:

2 c. caramel, cut into small chunks

3 Tbsp. heavy cream

Chocolate Layer:

3 c. chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted (I used milk chocolate chips)

1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (optional)

For the crust:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 pan lightly with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.

Take the dough (it will be somewhat stiff) and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.

Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will alow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.

Bake the crust until it’s lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.

For the caramel layer:

Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.

For the chocolate layer:

Melt the milk or dark chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat (I used the microwave, checking after 30 seconds until semi-melted, then every 15 seconds until completely melted). If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer to cover all the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set.  Cut into 2 x 2 squares to serve. It’s best to store the bars in the refrigerator.

These bars can also be cut and dipped in milk chocolate to resemble Twix bars. After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars. Then cut each long strip into “fingers”. Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.

Apple Crisp

I recently received some apples from a friend, and wasn’t sure I’d get around to using them since Ryan is typically gone during the week and I got them on a Monday. I figured they’d go bad and it would be a waste of apples. Well, I was pleasantly surprised when they lasted until this last weekend. I told Ryan we had to use them and we agreed that apple crisp would be the perfect treat to make. Thank goodness he didn’t want pie!

I always forget how easy apple crisp is. Slice up the apples, mix a few ingredients in a bowl and viola! You’ve got apple crisp. It’s even easier if you have one of these:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For as long as I can remember, my mom has had one of these and used it when peeling apples. Quick, easy, and minimal cleanup. Ours come from The Pampered Chef, but I’m thinking cooking/baking stores may sell them. It also works on potatoes if you’re looking for a multi-purpose reason to get it.

I ended up making two batches of apple crisp, so Ryan could bring one back to his aunt and uncle’s (I should be the favorite niece by now! 😉 ) house where he stays when he’s been working so they can enjoy the apples we received as well. I absolutely love the smell of apple crisp and how it lingers in the house well after it’s done baking. Completely a fall scent!

We always have apple crisp with either a dollop of whipped topping or ice cream…lots of ice cream!

Apple Crisp

Recipe from Betty Crocker

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/3 c. butter or margarine, softened

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with shortening.

Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tenders when pierced with a form.

Serve warm.

Don’t mind the shadow in the picture….I was being too impatient and wanted to eat my apple crisp before getting a better picture!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

From the first time I saw the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies, I knew I’d enjoy them. I love brownies, and I love cookies, so the combination of the two was sure to be a hit. Unless you’re a Debbie Downer, and don’t like either. In that case, you might as well stop reading! 🙂

This recipe can be found floating around the blog world, as well as on the box of Betty Crocker Supreme brownie mixes. Where ever I’ve seen it blogged about, it’s always gotten rave reviews, and I can happily say I’ve gotten some fantastic responses from friends who have tried the brownies. They are chocolatey, decadent, and just the right ratio of brownie to cookie dough. Plus, adding the ganache on top seals the deal on how delicious the brownies are.

Enjoy with a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Recipe from Betty Crocker

1 box Betty Crocker Supreme brownie mix with syrup

1 pouch Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie mix, OR, 1/2 batch of your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I preferred making my own dough, as I found the pouch mix to be quite dry

12 oz. Baker’s Semi-Sweet squares

3/4 c. heavy cream

6 Tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom only of a 9 x 13 pan. Prepare the brownie mix as directed. Pour into pan. Set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepare cookie dough as directed.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the brownie batter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press down slightly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ganache:

Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the cream and butter just until it begins to simmer. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies, spread, and let stand until the ganache has set.

Fudge Brownies

Oh.My.Gosh. These brownies will put any boxed mix to shame! So good! I’ll be the first person to say that I like the boxed mixes you can get in the grocery store. They are quick and easy, and quite tasty as well. Once you taste these brownies though, you’re going to wish you had made this recipe every time instead of the box.

I’m a “double boxer” baker when it comes to brownies. I enjoy brownies that are not paper-thin, and barely look like they are brownies so I use two boxes instead of just one. Ryan is completely the opposite of me. He’d take one of those paper-thin brownies any day. Unfortunately for Ryan, I’m typically the brownie maker, and I get the brownies I want! 🙂

Brownies remind me of my high school and early college days when my friend Karoline and I would hang out. We’d order a Tomacelli’s pepperoni and mushroom pizza, make a box of brownies, grab a movie, and either chat about life or fall asleep and wake up to the end of the movie. Sounds like the place to be, right?! Brownies were always a staple of those nights, and I think they just completed the essence of a girls night. I’m pretty sure that almost all gatherings that Karoline and I were at included brownies. Us without brownies is like having velcro shoes without the velcro. It’s just wrong!

Here’s a little gem I found from Valentine’s Day 2004 of Karoline and me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These fudge brownies are moist (I can’t believe I just wrote that! I do not like to even hear that word said out loud!)  and chocolatey, two things brownies should always be. They are also beyond easy to make, so there are no excuses for using those boxed mixes anymore!

Fudge Brownies

Recipe from King Arthur Flour, adapted by a blogger I can’t remember. Sorry to the gal that modified it!

1 c. (2 sticks) butter

2 1/4 c. c sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/4 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. salt, optional

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. espresso powder, optional

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. all- purpose flour

2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 9 x 13 baking dish.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.

Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean.  The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist (Ugh! That word again!) but not uncooked. Cool on a wire rack.

Guest Post!

Hey all! I thought I’d spice up my blog life, and have guest posts from time to time. Fun, right?!  I think so! Dottie’s first guest is my friend Tiffany, who I met while Ryan and Tiff’s husband Chris played softball together a few years back. Tiff is a wonderful cook and baker, and I’m a bit jealous she’s so darn good at them both!  I’ll be guest blogging on Tiff’s blog called This is My Life, and I’m more than excited to share a fun recipe that both kids and adults will love!

Here’s a picture from when we visited the Chris, Tiff, and their kids in California. Please excuse the beach hair! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy Tiff’s post! Her cupcakes look AMAZING!

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