Crispix Crunchies

It’s no surprise that I love cookbooks.  I’ve spoken about it a number of different places.  I’m taking some delight from a book (noncookbook) that I’m reading where one of the characters has been described as reading cookbooks like other people read the newspaper.  Although, I try to read the newspaper as well.  That being said, months ago a woman from my church lent me one of her cookbooks, the 75th Anniversary of 600 WMT radio.  Well, it’s been sitting in my pile and I have written down a number of different recipes from it.  However, I have literally had it for six months and not returned it.  I knew I wanted to get it back to her soon, but wanted to bring some treats that had taken longer than I had wanted it to before I gave it back.  This recipe from that cookbook looked like a perfect summertime treat for her and her family.

Crispix Crunchies

Crispix Crunchies

1 stick butter
4 regular size Snickers bars
1 bag marshmallows
1 box Crispix cereal

Melt together the butter and two Snickers bars.  Stir in marshmallows and blend well.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cereal.  Toss to coat.  Dice remaining two snickers bars and stir pieces into mixture.  Press into buttered 9×13 pan.  Cool and cut into bars.  Freezing candy bars first makes dicing easier

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Vanilla Wafer Bar

In my last post, I mentioned cutting the sugar habit and looking for things that are not over-the-top sweet, and these bars are the exact opposite of that.  But, for me, they were filled with nostalgia.  I’m not sure if this happened with other people’s grandparents, but I associate the vanilla (or strawberry or chocolate) wafers so strongly with my mom’s parents.  I think they must have always had them around when I was growing up.  So, when I saw a bar that called for them in the Minnesota Catholic Daughter Cookbook, it looked intriguing enough to try.

When cutting them up, I decided to cut along the lines of the vanilla wafers.  Had I waited and let them saturate a little bit more, I think I could have cut however I wanted to the next day.

Vanilla Wafer Bars

Vanilla Wafer Bars

1 pkg vanilla wafers
1 c graham cracker crumbs
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c coconut flakes
1/2 c butter
1/2 c milk

Bring crumbs, brown sugar, coconut flakes, butter, milk to a boil.  While this is cooling, line the pan with vanilla wafers.  Pour filling on wafers, then top with whole wafers.  Frost with powdered sugar frosting.

Lemon Bars

I have been overwhelmingly on the sweets train lately.  It’s probably time to cut the sugar habit, but in the meantime, I have been looking for things that are a little more refreshing and less over-the-top sweet.  These lemon bars, from the Strawberry Point Community Cookbook, fit the bill.  I was going to try and update these a little bit more, but I ran out of the surprise ingredient I was going to add.  So, plan lemon bars are what ended up being made.

Every time I make lemon bars, I leave myself wishing I had buttered the pan a little bit more or put down parchment paper on the bottom.  So, that would be my tip to anyone who decides to make this recipe.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Crust:
2 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c margarine

Topping:
4 eggs
2 c sugar
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Sifted powdered sugar

Sift together the 2 c flour and 1/2 c powdered sugar, cut in the margarine, and press into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until light brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from oven. Put eggs, 2 c sugar, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until thick and smooth.  Add 1/4 c flour and baking powder and blend until mixed.  Pour over baked crust and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut in bars when cool.

Peanut-Coconut Crunch

I was hoping this recipe would be like a slightly different version of the cereal bars, which are a family favorite of ours.  And, maybe they are in the long run, but I found myself disappointed with this recipe.  So much so, I thought I had to have made a mistake the first time I put these together and made them a second time.  They still didn’t meet my expectations.  But, if you love corn syrup, maybe they would be exactly what you are looking for from a bar.  Perhaps some vanilla in the sauce could help improve this recipe, but I’m not willing to try it again.  Let me know if you decide to try it.

The bar recipe came from the Recipes from Iowa with Love Cookbook.  I think the cookbook is fine, but this recipe is not one I would recreate.  So, please let me know if you’ve been able to improve upon this recipe.

Peanut Coconut Crunch.jpg

Peanut-Coconut Crunch

4 c corn flakes
1 c coconut
1 c salted peanuts
1 c sugar
1 c corn syrup
1/2 c cream

Place corn flakes, coconut, and peanuts in a buttered mixing bowl.  Combine sugar, syrup, and cream in a small saucepan and place over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Continue to cook until mixture reaches soft ball stage (238 degrees on a candy thermometer).  Pour syrup mixture over the ingredients in the mixing bowl, and stir.  Pour into a 9×13 buttered pan and cut while still warm.

Chocolate Caramel Bars

I have been working hard to get rid of things I don’t need lately.  Some of this is recognized in my cooking through cookbooks, quilting through items that are in my stash, knitting up dishcloths left and right to get rid of the balls of yarn, etc.  I recently went through my closet and started to get rid of a number of different clothing items that don’t fit, aren’t what I thought they would be, etc, as well as some that have been in the rotation, but which have holes.  While I was looking through some ingredients in my cupboard, I had picked up a jar of caramel sauce and some chocolate chips with the intention of making this dish, so I thought I would take the time to throw the food together.  Plus, with all of my ice cream making as of late, I had the

While I was looking through some ingredients in my cupboard, I had picked up a jar of caramel sauce and some chocolate chips with the intention of making this dish, so I thought I would take the time to throw the food together.  Plus, with all of my ice cream making as of late, I had the KitchenAid mixer out (usually stored under the island in my kitchen) and thought I could put this together.

This recipe came from the Minnesota Catholic Daughters cookbook.

Chocolate Caramel Bars

Chocolate Caramel Bars

2 1/4 c flour
2 c oatmeal
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c cold butter or margarine
2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 c chopped pecans
1 jar caramel ice cream topping

In a bowl, combine 2 c flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Set half aside for topping, press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13×9 pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans.  Whisk caramel topping with remaining 1/4 c flour until smooth; drizzle over top.  Sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting.

Midnight Munchers

Last week I was asked to bring in treats for one of the staffs who had won an award earlier in the year.  The students asked for something ooey-gooey-caramel-chocolatey.  I was a little bit befuddled about what to make because I wasn’t feeling inspired.  However, when I was home with my family over Easter, I explored an old standby cookbook: Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran cookbook.  In it, I came across this recipe for the Midnight Munchers, labeled as a Senior Choir favorite.  And, I’m a sucker for anything that’s a favorite, so this recipe looked promising.  The cookie bottom portion was thicker than I expected and the middle frosting layer was thinner than expected, but I think they turned out well.  I haven’t heard negative comments from the students, at least.Midnight Munchers

Midnight Munchers

Bar:

1 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
Dash salt
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Filling:

1 can ready-to-spread caramel pecan frosting

Topping:

1 c sugar
5 Tbsp butter
1/3 c milk
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream brown sugar and 1/2 c margarine together.  Blend in vanilla and eggs; mix well.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well.  Divide dough into two parts.  Stir chocolate into half of dough.  Drop each dough by large tablespoonfuls randomly into greased 9×13 pan.  Spread evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool.  Spread filling over bars.  Freeze bars for about 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 5 Tbsp margarine and milk.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in chips until melted and smooth.  Pour topping over bars.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Store in refrigerator.

Kit Kat Bars

A few weeks ago, we had a number of different issues (a steam pipe burst, electrical outage, among other items) arise on campus on a weekend.  To have a series of issues during a normal workday is not very exciting, but when we need to bring the entire facilities and maintenance staff in on a weekend to work on these issues, and they do it with smiles on their faces, it becomes a different kind of adventure.  I wanted to make sure our staff knows how much we appreciate when they take on these concerns, so I decided to make some snacks for them.  I made the crusher cookies that I posted about last fall, but also found a recipe for Kit Kat bars in the Moss Heaven A Taste of Iowa cookbook and wanted to bring it together.  Note: I only had chocolate graham crackers at my house, so that’s what I used — hence the really dark brown filling layers.

Kit Kat Bars.jpg

Kit Kat Bars

2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
Waverly crackers

Mix the first five ingredients well.  Bring to a boil and boil five minutes, stirring constantly.  Place a layer of the Waverly crackers in an unbuttered 9×13 pan.  Pour half of the boiled mixture over crackers.  Arrange a second layer of crackers over the top of this.  Pour rest of the boiled mixture over crackers.  Add a third layer of crackers.  Melt together:

1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c butterscotch chips
2/3 c peanut butter

Spread over top of cracker layer.  Cool and cut into bars.  Makes 48 bars.