Caramel Blondie Bites

Caramel Blondie Bites
I’m embarrassed. Actually, maybe that’s not the right word to describe it.

I don’t know if you saw my Super Bowl Sunday post (it was a last-minute, 2 hours before kick off, mainly just pictures kind of post), but these delicious little bites were in the post. Well, not exactly these bites, cause I made more. Like the next day. The other ones were devoured.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a recipe repeater.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Can we all agree that’s perfectly acceptable? If you say no, I’ll just have to force feed you these bites until it is. Yeah, I know, I’m just the nicest.

I also liked the toothpick idea so much that I had to copy that too. Sorry I’m not sorry for that one. There is one difference though, I didn’t make these toothpicks. I bought them.You know what that means right?

More time to pop these into my mouth.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Let me just tell you, these little bites are ADDICTING. And yes, all caps and bold letters are necessary. Seriously, though, they’re like Oreos or popcorn or chips, you can’t just eat one.

I dare you to try. No, really, I triple dog dare you.

Anddd, I’ve reverted back to my five year old self with that comment.

Caramel Blondie Bites
Yeah, that was a lie. Just last week I triple dog dared someone to sing Taylor Swift songs over the loud-speaker. She didn’t do it. I, for one, was disappointed.

You know what hasn’t disappointed me? These Caramel Blondie Bites. Cause, seriously, they are little squares of utter heaven. I repeat, heaven.

This is the kind of dessert that literally melts away all will power. I’m not kidding here. You start off thinking, “I’ll just have one”, but after your sixth bite is done, the only thoughts in your head are: “How can I hoard these?”, “Why is that guy over there eating yet another bite?”, “I need another one, right now!”…those may or may not be direct thoughts of the people who ate these bites.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Why all the fuss over these little guys? Simple. They are gooey, fudgy, buttery, brown-sugary, caramel blondies. Each bite has a crisp exterior, ridiculously gooey moist center, and a sort of caramelized caramel bottom layer—the caramel bits decided to huddle at the bottom of the blondie while baking, but I didn’t mind in the slightest.

I highly doubt you’ll mind either.

Caramel Blondie Bites
Recipe adapted from these Almond Joy Blondies
Yields: 64 bites

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 to 3 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup caramel bits

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining it with foil and spraying generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar, until no clumps of brown sugar remain.Add eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in vanilla. Whisk in flour and salt, until just combined—try not to over stir the batter or it will become tough to work with.Using a spatula, fold in the caramel bits.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top, if needed, lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick, stuck in the middle, comes out clean.Let cool completely before slicing into bites.

 

Caramel Blondie Bites

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Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate (aka Almond Joy) Blondies

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies
Lets talk candy bars.

If you were to ask me what my favorite candy is, I honestly don’t know what I would say. I almost think I would answer that question differently depending on my mood, the month, or whatever was closest to me… and by that last one I mean, whichever candy was stashed in my purse. Yes, I am that lady that carries candy in her purse. Just in case. You never know when you just won’t be yourself.

Please tell me you picked up that Snickers reference? If you did, ignore this sentence completely, but if you didn’t, go watch a Snickers commercial. It’s kind of funny. And, very true.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

I’ve had affairs with Snickers, Twix, Reese’s, and Gummy Bears throughout my life. I seem to always come back to one of these four. I can count on them. They never let me down. Ever. Which is why I have never really been tempted to grab a different candy bar in the aisle.

Until one day an Almond Joy walked up. Well, really, my mom bought an Almond Joy and I tried a bite, and lets just say it was actually pretty darn good. I really liked the combination of coconut, almond, and chocolate. A lot. But, I’m far to loyal (or too in love with) my other four favorites, that there is simply no way Almond Joy’s could become part of my candy routine. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t become part of my baking routine. Or, at least that the ingredients can’t. I’m a problem solver people. I know how to make things work in our (fine, my) favor.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

Oh hey there, Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies or, more simply put, Almond Joy Blondies—I don’t know which name to pick, mainly because I don’t want you to think these bars have Almond Joy’s in them. They have all the ingredients of an Almond Joy, but no physical Almond Joy candy was present during the making process. So, I’m going to let you officially pick the name of these bars. Keep in mind, that this is kind of a big honor. I must really like you.

Can we take a brief minute to talk about blondies. Okay, so blondies. Yeah, I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. I’m a brownie girl. I like my bars fudgy, gooey, and filled to the max with chocolate flavor. Blondies weren’t even a thought to me for the simple reason that they didn’t have fudge in them. They were acting like brownie imposters. And no one likes imposters. No one.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

I now see the error in my ways. Blondies aren’t trying to be brownies. In fact, they have their own amazingly delicious thing going on, that they don’t even need to think about being someone else. Blondies are gooey and soft, taste buttery and rich, and are the perfect base for mixing in other ingredients. Why are they the perfect base you ask? Mainly because blondies allow all mixed in flavors, including its buttery self, to come through in each bite. They don’t overpower other ingredients and they definitely don’t let other ingredients overpower them. That’s why these bars are so good. Each bite is a combination of toasted coconut, some crunch from the almond pieces, rich chocolate creaminess, and a buttery gooeyness that keeps you coming back for more.

So, no, it’s not an Almond Joy candy, but I think I’ll dare to say, it’s better. Much better. As in, if this became a candy bar you could buy, I would gladly add it to my candy bar routine. In fact, it might work its way up to be my favorite candy affair.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate (aka Almond Joy) Blondies
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks
Yields: 12 bars

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
2 cups golden brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut flakes, toasted
¾ to 1 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining it with foil and spraying generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar, until no clumps of brown sugar remain.
Add eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in vanilla and coconut extract.
Whisk in flour and salt, until just combined—try not to over stir the batter or it will become tough to work with.
Using a spatula, fold in toasted coconut flakes and then the almonds. Fold in chocolate chips until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top, if needed, lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick, stuck in the middle, comes out clean.
Let cool completely before slicing into bars.

 

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

Lemon Oreo Creme Bars

Lemon Oreo Creme Bars I’ve told you how much I love Oreos and peanut butter. How I like to dip to smother said Oreo with as much creamy peanut butter as possible before stuffing it into my face. Not very lady like, I know.

That’s my comfort food. My pick me up. Oreos, peanut butter, and a large glass of milk. That’s what I eat when I need to feel happy. BUT, sometimes (very rarely) there isn’t a jar of peanut butter around. And I’m left with just regular Oreos and milk. And, guess what? That’s perfectly fine too.

The thing is, I like Oreos in general. With or without peanut butter. Double stufed or not. Flavored filling or regular. I’m an Oreo lover. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I’m that girl who walks down the cookie aisle every time I go to the market just to see if a new flavor or a seasonal/holiday themed Oreo has come out. And, of course, if something new is out, I have to buy it. Just to try it or to see the different designs up close. I mean, come on, Nabisco went through alllllll that trouble to create this cookie and it would simply be rude not to purchase a pack.

I, for one, am not rude (or, I try never to be rude), which means I buy the Oreos. What can I say? My mom raised me right.
Lemon Oreo Creme Bars Double Stufed Oreos? Been there, done that. A few times.

Mini Oreos? How could I not purchase them? They’re so tiny and cute.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Golden Oreos? Yup. Tried those too. Birthday Cake, Gingerbread, Mint, Coconut, Candy Corn, Marshmallow Creme, Berry Burst? Yeahhh, basically if you can name it, I’ve most likely tried it. And, sure, I like some flavors better than others, but I try to give each new creation a fair shot. I try one cookie, and if I like it, I eat more. Sometimes I like it so much that I make an immediate market run to buy another pack—you never know when they’ll be off the shelves.

This brings us to Lemon Creme Oreos. I bought a pack, ate one cookie, and within two days, the pack was gone. And, no that wasn’t just me eating them. Come on people, who do you think I am? Some sort of Oreo Junkie? Pssh. Not me…

Lemon Oreo Creme BarsThe fact that I like these Lemon Creme Oreos is actually a little weird. Why? Well, lets just say I don’t really like lemony things. At all. As in, I’m not a fan of lemon bars or really anything with lemon, with the sole exception being lemonade. And, now these Oreos. And, these Lemon Oreo Creme Bars too.

I figured since I liked the Lemon Creme Oreos so much, I’d give the whole lemon bar situation another try. I wanted to make a lemon bar that basically tasted just like these Oreos: creamy, not too tart, but not too sweet, and not overwhelmingly lemony.

Lemon Oreo Creme Bars These Lemon Oreo Creme Bars have a lemon Oreo crust, are filled with a creamy lemon filling, and then sprinkled with crushed lemon Oreo cookies (minus the lemon filling). If all lemon bars tasted like this I would eat them on the regular. Seriously, these bars are perfect for lemon lovers and non-lemon lovers alike. They are creamy, lemony, but not in an overpowering way, and the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Did I mention super easy and quick to put together too?

Lemon Oreo Creme Bars
Yields: about 9 large bars

Ingredients:
Lemon Oreo Crust
20 Lemon Creme Oreos cookies
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Lemon Creme Filling
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
¼ lemon juice
2 ½ teaspoons grated lemon peel

Oreo Topping
7 Lemon Creme Oreos cookies, with the filling scooped out, crushed

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a food processor pulse the whole Lemon Creme Oreos into a coarse crumb. Pour crumbs into a medium-sized bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press crust into the lined pan and bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Let sit on top of the stove as you prepare the filling.
In a medium-sized bowl combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and grated lemon peel. Pour over the warm crust—use a spatula to make sure it’s spread evenly.
Sprinkle the crushed Oreo Cookies (with the filling scooped out) evenly on top of the lemon creme filling. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown.
Let cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

*lemon creme filling adapted from Betty Crocker

 

Lemon Oreo Creme Bars