Looking for a quick and easy cookie recipe? Try these Caramel Bar Cookies. They’re so easy to make, require basic ingredients you probably have in your kitchen, and are really good.
I love cookies but am not really thrilled about baking them. Baking cookies in my opinion are tedious when you have to scoop, drop, press, or place cookie dough on a sheet one at a time. It’s also pretty time consuming when your oven will fit just 2 sheets at a time. You end up baking cookies all day if you’re making a lot of cookies. That’s why I love bar cookies! You spread the cookie dough in a 9″ x 13″ pan, bake, and cut into squares or rectangles. You can bake dozens of cookies in just an hour or so.
Here’s a hint about cutting bar cookies, I use a pizza wheel cutter. The pizza cutter lets you cut quick straight lines smoothly. First I cool the sheet then gently flip it over so the whole thing comes out. To do this I place a cutting board on top of the pan then flip it over slowly, you don’t what the cookie to crack or split. Then I usually start cutting at the midpoint length wise (the 9″ section of the pan) then from the midpoint on the 13″ section of the pan. Then I cut the 2 sections on the 9″ side of the pan in half so I have 4 sections each is 2 1/4″. Then I cut the 2 sections on the 13″ side into 3rds. so I have 6 sections each is just a bit over 2″. This gives me a total of 24 cookies that are almost square shaped, each cookie measures about 2 1/4″ x 2″.
There are many different bar cookies out there but if you’re looking for an easy one then you’ll love these Caramel Bar Cookies! Try them out I’m sure they’re destined to become a family favorite!
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Caramel Bar Cookies
1/2 Cup Butter – melted
2 Cups Brown Sugar – packed
2 Cups Flour – sifted
2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbl. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
Mix Butter and brown sugar with a mixer.
Add Eggs and mix well.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl then add to butter mixture.
Mix until well combined.
Add vanilla and mix in.
Oil a 9″ x 13″ pan very well, be sure you oil the sides as well.
Spread cookie dough evenly in pan.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 25 – 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool about 15 minutes the cut into squares.
I love mochi! Mochi is that sweet sticky Japanese snack that’s similar to Turkish Delight, another sweet I love. Sweet Mochi usually has a delicate coconut flavor making it even more yummy. It can be plain, filled with sweet beans, or layered.
In Hawaii this particular plain mochi is usually called Chi Chi Dango. It’s very popular for Girl’s Day, the Japanese festival wishing girls health and well being. It’s celebrated on March 3 every year. In Hawaii it’s celebrated by everyone it seems, but is definitely celebrated by folks of Japanese or Okinawan decent.
Mochi is made with Mochiko,sweet rice flour, and dusted with Katakuriko, a fine flavorless potato starch, to keep its surface from being too sticky. You can find both flours in most Asian markets, unless you’re in Hawaii where you’ll find it in every supermarket.
It’s pretty easy to make, you mix everything in one bowl, pour it into a baking pan, and bake. So here’s the recipe, which by the way you can change the food color to green for a pastle green mochi or omit the color for a white mochi. Whichever color you choose to make your mochi it will be yummy!
1 Box Mochiko Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 cups Water
1 Can Coconut Milk
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
3-4 drops red food coloring or pink if you have it
Katakuriko for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease a 9×13 baking pan
Mix dry ingredients except the Katakuriko in a large bowl
Add liquid ingredients to the Mochiko mixture
Pour into baking pan
Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour
Remove from oven and cool completely
When cooled cut into squares using a PLASTIC knife or a pizza cutter (I love using my pizza cutter to cut mochi and bar cookies, it makes it easier to cut perfect bars and squares)
Roll each piece completely in Katakuriko and shake off any extra flour
Store in airtight containers at room temperature, it should keep for 2-3 days, that is if the pieces don’t disappear in a day!
Ukoy or Shrimp Fritters is a popular Filipino street food. There are different types of fillers for this deep fried fritter but the common ingredient is shrimp; unless you want to make it vegan and just have veggies.
Ukoy can be made using grated squash, sweet potatoes, yucca, green papaya, carrots or just bean sprouts, my personal favorite.
Ukoy as I mentioned is a popular street food which can be eaten on the run, but it can be served as a side dish or as I do the main course with rice and a vinegar dipping sauce.
I’ve been trying to make Ukoy the way my Lola, grandma, used to make. Hers always had the perfect texture and the right crunch. She made it with fresh tofu, bean sprouts, and medium sized shrimp. Talk about yummy!
After many fails, I mean trials, I finally figured out where I’ve been going wrong. It was my batter! For reasons I can’t explain I’ve been using egg in my batter, possibly because egg is something that I put in all my batters. But that batter is always thicker and heavier. And the end result was more like a fluffy pancake, not crunchy at all.
Well the simplest solution was no egg batter! Don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! Once I omitted the egg my Ukoy turned out perfect. Literally just like Lola’s Ukoy was!
Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s the world’s most popular cookie! Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is one of my favorites! But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy. They are simply delicious!
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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries. I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms. But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum! They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate. They go great with a cold glass of milk!
Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools. In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly). I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often. I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had. But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!
But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever. Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom! Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!