Sweet Treat Week
Today is my kick off Sweet Treat Week, all sweets all week. I am hoping to give you some good ideas for your cookie exchange, goodie plates, or holiday parties. Christmas and sweets go hand in hand and I’ve got some yummy ones for you. Today we are going to start off with brownies and bars. I have a new recipe for you, a twist on your regular brownie, and a list of my “Top 10 brownies and bars” from my archives. So let’s get started.
The first recipe is for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares. Even though Thanksgiving is over you can still have pumpkin. This is a recipe that I found on MarthaStewart.com. I had to try this one out to see what the texture was like. It really had a brownie-like texture which is different from most chocolate chip pumpkin recipe that I have. Most have a cake-like texture. This was yummy and a fun change from your regular pumpkin chocolate chip recipes.
Next is a twist on the regular brownie, Brownie Bites. Now the picture I took was when these Brownie Bites were naked, but you make them even better with a chocolate ganache spread on top. Then for a holiday touch you can sprinkle them with some crushed peppermint candies. These are easy and yummy but will impress whoever you are serving these to. I made mine in my Demarle mini muffin pan which makes it a breeze. They just pop out of the pan and I don’t have to grease it. However, if using a regular mini muffin tin, I recommend buying liners. You can get them at most grocery stores right with the cupcake liners. It will make them much easier to remove from the tin.
Last is my list of my “Top 10 Brownies and Bars” from my archives. It was tough to narrow it down to 10 but I did it, so here they are.
Speedy Brownies – jazz them up for the holidays with things like mint chips, holiday M&M’s etc.
Reese’s Brownies – chocolate and peanut butter is always a winner combination no matter what the occasion.
Over the Top Brownies – this recipe take the brownie to a whole new level. It will definitely be a show stopper with cream cheese, nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows and frosting.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies – I love the combination of white chocolate and macadamia nuts and this puts them in a yummy bar form.
Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies - another tasty way to get that chocolate and peanut butter combo with a yummy brownie type base.
Sugar Cookie Bars – a great solution for those of you who don’t want the mess and added work of rolling and cutting sugar cookies out. Top them with the frosting in a festive color along with some holiday sprinkles.
Oats and Everything Bar – chewy, gooey and chocolaty. A definite winner.
Marshmallow Brownies – another great way to dish up a brownie, covered with gooey marshmallow and a sweet chocolate frosting. Mix some nuts into the brownie batter and you’ve got a rocky road version.
Layered Peanut Butter Bars – this starts with a peanut butter cookie base, followed by peanut butter frosting, then finished off with a chocolate ganache.
Pecan Praline Bars – a yummy treat for the pecan pie lover in a delicious bar form.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used salted)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
- Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares.
- 1 package brownie mix (9×13 size, I use Betty Crocker)
- 1 (12 oz) package semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.
- Put brownie batter into greased mini muffin tins (I recommend using liners, it will make life easier). Fill tins half way. I used my cookie scoop and it measured the batter perfectly.
- Cook according to temperature on brownie package for 12-15 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
- While brownie bites bake, us a double boiler to melt chocolate chips in the cream to make a ganache frosting.
- Allow brownies and ganache to cool.
- Frost Brownies with ganache when the ganache cools to the consistency of frosting. For a holiday touch, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. (I believe I got around 24 bites)