Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chips are probably the most popular cookies in the world.  I know they’re my favorite.  I also know that there are many recipes out there and we all have our favorites.

The original creator of the chocolate chip cookie is said to be Ruth Graves Wakefield.  She first made it in the late 1930’s when she and her husband owned the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.  The Inn was a popular restaurant known for its home cooking and desserts.  She created the cookie to serve to her guests, the recipe was published in the Boston Herald-Traveler and she was featured on a radio program hosted by Marjorie Husted aka Betty Crocker.  She later gave her recipe to Nestle and was paid with a lifetime supply of chocolate.  The recipe was also published in the 1938 edition of her cookbook “Ruth Wakefield’s Tried and True Recipes”.  It rapidly became a favorite cookie in American homes.  As they say the rest is history.

As much as I love homemade chocolate chip cookies (I have several favorite recipes), I’m not too fond of making them.  Actually I’m not a great fan of making any type of cookie, not because it’s difficult, more so because I find it tedious.

I find that dropping, cutting, or pressing cookies on to sheet and baking for less than 10 minutes is tiresome.  The only time I really enjoy making cookies is when I do my Christmas baking when I devote a couple of days in the activity with my grandchildren.  That’s why I absolutely love bar cookies!

Cookie bars are so easy to make.  You mix the dough, spread into a pan, bake, cool, and cut into bars.  It’s a wonderful way to get your homemade cookie fix without spending the day in the kitchen.  And chocolate cookies are no exception.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are just as yummy as any Chocolate Chip Cookie you can make.  So here’s a recipe so you can make some today.  You probably already have all the ingredients in you kitchen!

One thing I’ve found when baking chocolate chip cookies, or actually when baking anything, that’s to use the best and freshest ingredients available.  I never use generic brands so for this cookie stick with Nestle’s Toll House Semi-Sweet chips, Guittard, or Gharadelli brands.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

2 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Cup Butter, softened

3/4  Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla

2 Eggs

1 12-0z Package Semi Sweet Chocolate chips

Nuts are optional, but if you want to add them use 1 cup of the nut you prefer, chopped up of course.

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking pan

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Cream together butter and both  sugars using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer.  If you don’t have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer.

Add vanilla and mix  until creamy.

Add in eggs one at a time while continuing to mix.

Gradually add in dry ingredients making sure to mix it well.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts if you’re using nuts.

Spread evenly in the pan.

Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool for about 10 minutes then cut into bars.

I use flip the pan over onto a large sheet and use a pizza cutter to cut it into bars.  I find it easier to cut into even pieces.

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies
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Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies
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Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Some of the cooks at the restaurant where I work were talking about stuffed pepper soup. We decided to stir up similar ingredients for a stuffed pepper soup recipe. Customer response was overwhelming!

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

6 cups water

1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups chopped green peppers

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

1 teaspoon pepper

2 cups cooked long grain rice

Chopped fresh parsley, optional

 

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook and stir beef until no longer pink; drain. Stir in next 8 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Add cooked rice; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. If desired, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light or golden brown sugar. The types are generally interchangeable in recipes. But if you prefer a bolder flavor, choose dark brown sugar.
  • Green peppers are unripened versions of red, yellow or orange peppers. They are less expensive because they’re quicker to get to market. Use colored peppers in recipes for more sweetness.
  • Check out 31 stuffed pepper recipes.
Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 337 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated fat), 70mg cholesterol, 1466mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 4g fiber), 24g protein.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
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Stuffed Pepper Soup
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Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Summer officially begins in 4 days!  So get out that grill and get ready for some finger licking barbecue meats smothered in homemade Barbecue Sauce!

When it comes to barbecue sauce nothing beats homemade!  I know why bother when there are literally dozens of different bottles and jars of barbecue sauce out there; each one boasting that they’re the very best!  Not to mention there are so many different types of barbecue sauce on supermarket shelves you don’t know which one to buy.  I know I get confused and end up pretty much choosing one at random, or choosing the one that’s on sale, then getting home only to find out I really don’t like it.

Well making your own barbecue sauce takes the guess work out of it and you know you’ll the it!  But before I give you my recipe for homemade barbecue sauce let me ask you if you’ve got the rub.  Yup that extra yum comes from the meat rubs you use before you slather on the barbecue sauce!

So if you don’t have your own recipe for meat rubs or don’t have a favorite brand to use then check out my chicken rub and my beef rub.  They’re both delicious!  I always have a jar full of these spice combos to use year round.  Just click on the rub for the recipe and tips about using them.

Once you’ve rubbed your meat down and let it soak up all those spices you’re ready to grill!

Grill your meat until it’s almost done then brush on the barbecue sauce and grill just until it almost reaches your desired doneness.  Then remove meat from grill and place it in a covered pot to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Don’t forget to serve a bowl of barbecue sauce on the side for those folks who want to add more.

Now scroll down for my homemade barbecue sauce recipe.  Happy grilling!

 

Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
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Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
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Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until everything is well combined and sugar has been absorbed
  2. Place in serving bowl or in jars for storing
  3. Store in the refrigerator. It will last about 2-3 months.
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Banana Foster Dutch Baby for Father’s Day

Banana Foster Dutch Baby for Father’s Day

Dutch babySunday is Father’s Day.  Why night surprise dad with this yummy Banana Foster Dutch Baby?

You can serve it for breakfast or brunch or even as dessert after lunch or dinnerr.  It’s absolutely wonderful.  It’s creamy and rich caramel sauce, homemade of course, goes lovely with fresh bananas sliced over a yummy dutch baby pancake.

But first you might ask what exactly is a Dutch Baby.  Well it’s basically a German Pancake; it’s a cross between a crepe and a popover.  Traditionally German Pancakes are small round flat cakes but the American version somehow ended up being a large round pouffy cake best made in a cast iron skillet.

 

My Banana Foster Dutch Baby uses the basic recipe I use for the Dutch Baby with Lemon Curd and Blueberries.  I just use different toppings.  Click here for that recipe.

While you’re making the Dutch Babies in the oven you can make my simple homemade caramel sauce, or you can make the sauce earlier.  I always keep a jar in the fridge because the sauce is yummy on just about everything including ice cream, cakes, and fruit.  It’s great for dipping too!

Anyway once your Dutch Babies are done top it with sliced bananas drizzled with caramel sauce, then top it all off with whipped cream! You can’t possible go wrong!

Banana Foster Dutch Baby

Ingredients:

Dutch Baby or Mini Dutch Babies – Click here for the basic recipe

2 – 3 Bananas, sliced

Caramel Sauce – scroll down for the recipe

Whipped cream

Directions:

Make one large or 2 mini Dutch Babies according to the recipe

Make a batch of caramel sauce

Top with sliced bananas

Drizzle with caramel sauce

Top with whipped cream

Homemade Caramel Sauce
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Homemade Caramel Sauce
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a heavy sauce pan combine all ingredients except Vanilla Extract and stir over medium high heat
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Cook for another 10 minutes or until it thickens - stir constantly
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract
  5. Serve warm or store in a container in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

Refrigerated sauce may become too thick.  Heat in microwave for 30-60 seconds or until it loosens up enough to use.

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Grilled Apple Crisp

Grilled Apple Crisp

The first time I tasted this old-fashioned apple crisp, I couldn’t believe it was made on the grill. Topped with a scoop of ice cream, the warm heartwarming dessert will earn you rave reviews.

Perfect for camping or tailgating, a grilled apple crisp in a foil pack is a deliciously simple and portable version of the classic. I want to love camping.  I really do. I love the idea of settling in around a blazing fire, toasting a couple of marshmallows on the perfect stick until gooey and charred. Coffee in a metal pot. Fried eggs in a cast iron skillet nestled into the coals. Sounds perfect! 

That is until the reality of it all kicks in. The  hot suffocating tent in the morning. Showers and toilets (or the lack thereof).  And don’t even get me started on  wildlife, specially things that are creepy crawly.

This Grilled Apple Crisp recipe is great for  camping aficionados and non capers.  And with the fall rolling around, it would also make a great sweet alternative for your tailgate. If you’re a little more adventurous than me, mix up the oat topping in advance, grab a few apples and some foil and pack it for your next excursion. But trust me, this homey dessert tastes just as good sitting comfortably at my kitchen table. Or if I’m feeling particularly outdoorsy, my picnic table. Enjoy!

Click Here for more #dessert recipes!

Here’s a recipe for Grilled Apple Crisp

Ingredients

10 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 8 medium)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

1. Place the apple slices on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 24×12 in.). In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
2. Fold foil around apple mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 381 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 77g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 6g fiber), 3g protein.

 

 

Grilled Apple Crisp
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Grilled Apple Crisp
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