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Chocolate Stuffed Chip Bars

Confession: I have an extremely large sweet tooth. So when I was tasked with making a dessert for an upcoming housewarming party, you better believe I jumped at the chance. I wanted a dessert that would be loved by the masses, relatively simple to make and easy to transport. Well, you can never go wrong with anything chocolate and bar cookies seem to be a no-brainer.  The answer; Chocolate Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. And yes, chocolate is in the name twice! This cookie bar recipe is as if a chocolate chip cookie hugged a Hershey’s chocolate bar. How sweet is that?

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted Challenge Butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
7 full-sized Hershey bars

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DIRECTIONS

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until it becomes brown in color. It will foam, reduce, then foam again. Once it’s done cooking the foam is a light brown and it will dissipate after you remove it from the heat. Make sure when it starts to brown to keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool.

 

  • Pour the butter mixture into a mixing bowl, while still hot. Add both sugars and mix with an electric beater on low until combined. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.
  • While butter mixture is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to incorporate and set aside.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, to the butter/sugar on a low setting until it’s completely incorporated.  Add in vanilla extract. Incorporate the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
  • Line a 9×13” baking pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray for easy removal.
  • Press half the cookie dough in the prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of the bottom layer (be careful to leave about 1/4” edge around the pan so the milk doesn’t touch the foil), Lay the full Hershey chocolate bars over the top, lining them up across the pan. Spread the remaining cookie dough and place on top of milk. Press with your hands to flatten. It will mostly cover but not completely cover the bottom layer.
  • Refrigerate pan for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the tops of the bars start to get golden brown. Cool completely before slicing into bars.

 

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More Dessert Recipes

Need more recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check out these sweet treats:

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Double Fudge Brownies >

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Banana Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting >

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Easy Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

I love fresh cucumbers from the garden, but it never fails that the majority of the crop has to be harvested around the same time. Cucumbers in salad are delicious, but 25 of them?  Instead of wasting them, pickle them! I have an easy recipe for refrigerator pickles. You can make them with just 10 minutes of prep and 6 hours to brine. You don’t even need to turn on the stove!

What are Refrigerator Pickles?

Refrigerator pickles are made without the typical canning process, instead they’re made with raw cucumber slices and brine. The take very little effort and they’re ready to eat within hours. The upside of making fridge pickles – they’re easy to make and incredibly crispy and delicious. The downside, they’re not shelf stable, but will last several weeks in the refrigerator.

Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients

A dozen fresh picked cucumbers  (I prefer the shorter pickling variety)

1 1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or pickling salt*

1 tablespoon of pickling spice blend
(which usually includes black peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, dill seed, allspice berries and crushed bay leaves)

2-4 cloves of garlic

1 sprig of fresh dill

If you like them spicy 🌶️ (optional)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more/less to taste

Directions

  1. Add the water, vinegar, salt, one clove of garlic per jar, pickling spice blend and dill into 2 (1-quart) jar — or divide the mixture evenly between four small (1-pint) jars — and stir to combine.
  2. Add the sliced cucumbers to the jar(s).  Then place the lids on the jar(s), and shake to combine.
  3. Refrigerate ideally for at least 2 days before eating, although you can totally dive in before that time.  The pickles will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.

Too many cherry tomatoes? I have the perfect Roasted Garlic Tomato Recipe just for you.
Great as a side dish or to top your favorite pasta. It’s a great late Summer meal!

Cherry Tomatoes

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Refreshing Pineapple Mango Sorbet

Is this Summer flying right by, or is it just me? I’m trying to squeeze every last moment and morsel out of my favorite season and just before I have to utter the words “Kids, it’s time to go back to school”!  One of my favorite new recipes has all the wonderful punchy flavors of Summer, Pineapple Mango Sorbet! The flavors are bright, the color is cheery and texture is simply divine. This sweet treat has become an instant favorite at my house and with only 4 ingredients, super simple to make.

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Unlike most summer treats, sorbet is dairy-free, which makes this lactose intolerant girl grin from ear to ear! This super easy recipe is a great alternative to ice cream and can be simply altered with different fruit to please anyone’s picky palate.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups packed cubed fresh pineapple

2 cups packed cubed mango

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or 4 drops of lime essential oil & 2 tablespoons of water)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add pineapple, mango, sugar, and lime juice to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour mixture into a shallow plastic air tight container and chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until firm.
  3. Let the sorbet soften slightly before scooping. Serve and enjoy!

 

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RECIPE TIPS:

  • Use ripe mango and pineapple for the best flavor.
  • Keep sorbet in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
  • Don’t like Mango or Pineapple? This recipe can be easily altered. Try other seasonal fruits like: strawberries, bananas, peaches, and raspberries.
  • Lime or lemon juice adds a little extra punch to sorbet. If you don’t have a fresh lemon or lime on hand, essential oils can work just as well. Add 2-4 drops of your favorite citrus essential oil.
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Double Fudge Brownies

Brownie recipes are much like chocolate chip cookie recipes, everyone seems to have their own favorite recipe and thinks theirs is the best. I get it. There are so many variations and are a standard dessert go-to for many. I personally like my brownies chewy and dense. (Oh, and super chocolaty *duh*) After doing some “brownie research” for this post,  I concocted a Brownie recipe that is chocolaty, chewy and even had a secret ingredient to elevate the chocolate flavor —INSTANT COFFEE! I made a batch of these brownies this weekend. My boys were licking their plates to get every last crumb and morsel. A true sign of a recipe gone right!

P.S. The coffee is totally optional, but must say it does give it a great boost!

Prep time: 15 mins   Cook time: 30-40 mins
Total time: 55 mins  Servings: 16 brownies

Ingredients

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp instant coffee diluted with 1 tsp of hot water (or 1 tsp of coffee extract)

3 eggs

1 yolk

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 9 x 9 inch square pan. Set aside when done.

  2. Place the butter in a heat-proof bowl and microwave until butter is completely melted.

  3. Add the brown sugar, white sugar and salt while the butter is still warm. Mix to combine the butter and sugars together until you have a smooth consistancy.

  4. Add the vanilla, shot of  instant coffee (or coffee extract) , eggs and egg yolk to the butter and sugar mixture. Whisk in the eggs until they have been incorporated into the butter sugar mix. With a hand mixer, approx.  2 minutes until the mixture is well combined and is light in color.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together.

  6. Add the dry mixture of flour and cocoa powder into the wet ingredients and mix it in until just combined. Add about ⅔ of the semi-sweet chocolate chips halfway through the mixing in of the flour. The goal is to make sure the batter is not over-mixed when the flour is being incorporated. Important: Do not over mix!

  7. Spoon the batter into the 9 x 9 pan. Spreading the batter evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the semi-sweet chocolate chips on top.

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  8. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. If you like your brownies fudge-like, stick closer to 30 minutes. If you like you brownies a little more well done, 40 minutes.

  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool down to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Brownies that are chilled are easier to cut.

  10. Cut the brownies into squares with warm knife and serve.

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Fenway Serving Tip
: Drizzle with chocolate syrup, a dollop of whipped cream and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powered for an impressive presentation.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

There is nothing more comforting than a fresh batch of oatmeal raisin cookies in the cookie jar. This simple recipe, brings back all the feelings of childhood.  The flavor, the texture and the faint scent of cinnamon.

Ingredients

1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

1 cup raisins

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How to make


STEP 1
Heat oven to 350°F.

STEP 2
Combine brown sugar and butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Incorporate eggs, water and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients except oats and raisins; blend with hand mixer at low speed until completely mixed. Fold in oats and raisins.
STEP 3
Form tablespoon-sized rounded balls and place 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely and store in air tight container.

 

Have a sweet tooth?

I’m a dessert lover myself. Here are a couple other dessert recipes from my blog I recommend:

Double Fudge Brownies

Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting