Category Archives: Bars and Squares

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies 

Whether is a PB & J sandwich or a cookie, even a dipping sauce for salad rolls, to me, anything with peanut butter just feels comforting and very satisfying. My daughter loves it too, especially with her banana and apples. I am very thankful that we don’t have any nut allergies in our family so we can enjoy this tasty butter. I was craving for a sweet dessert bar the other day, so I put together this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies.  It’s quick, easy and just…..hearty! (I think dessert can be hearty too, not just soup….) I used milk chocolate chips, but you can also use white or butterscotch chips, or M&M’s, Reese…..etc.

Makes about 16 squares

  • 120 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g smooth peanut butter 
  • 80 g demerara or brown sugar 
  • 60 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 250 g all-purpose flour 
  • 3 g baking soda 
  • 2 g salt
  • 100 g chocolate chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sift together flour,baking soda and salt, set aside 
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars until fluffy 
  4. Mix in eggs and vanilla
  5. Add flour mixture in 2 parts, mix until blended 
  6. Stir in chocolate chips
  7. Bake in a square or a rectangular pan lined with parchment paper for 30-35 minutes (my pan is 9 inch x 13 inch)
  8. Cut into squares when cooled

Roasted Beet Chocolate Brownies

I get so excited whenever I can put vegetables in my desserts. Perhaps it makes me feel healthier and less guilty?!  I picked the beautiful beets this time.  They are sweet, colourful and very nutritious.  (My batter came out purple, which is my favourite colour!  Can’t “beet” that! ) You can make them into soup, salads, desserts, even their leaves are edible !  With their sweetness, I managed to use a little less sugar.  My son doesn’t normally like sweets, but he loves my brownies. He was a little skeptical when I told him I used beets. But after he had one, he said he couldn’t even taste them!  I guess that’s a success for me! My daughter?  No problem, she eats everything I make ! 

Roasted Beet Chocolate Brownies

Makes about 16 squares 

  • 200 g beet puree (about 2 -3 medium beets)
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 g  granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 120 mL melted coconut oil 
  • 180 g semi-sweet chocolate 
  1. To prepare the beet puree, preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Cut stems and roots off, leave skin on 
  3. Wrap with aluminium foil and bake for about 60 minutes until fork tender 
  4. Cool, peel skin off and puree using a blender or food processor 
  5. To make the brownies, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly 
  7. Sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt, set aside 
  8. In a large mixing bowl , whisk together eggs and sugar until pale (you can use an electric mixer, I just hand-whisked mine)
  9. Mix in vanilla extract, coconut oil and melted chocolate
  10. Add flour mixture in 2 parts, mix until blended 
  11. Add beet puree 
  12. Bake in a square baking pan lined with parchment paper for about 30 minutes 
  13. Cool completely before cutting 

Fresh Beets

I am so glad to be part of the The Canadian Food Creatives.  This month, our topic is “Fresh from the Garden”.  Be sure to check out the links below for other great recipes. They can also be found on social media using the hashtag #CDNFoodCreatives. Many thanks to Cassie Hendry at The Crumb Kitchen for hosting.

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Dates Bars

Dates are sweet, delicious and nutritious. They are a good source of fibre, vitamin B, iron and many more. Medjool dates are of better quality but I just used regular dried dates from the bulk section of a grocery store, and it came out fine. I actually prefer eating medjool dates on their own to fully enjoy the goodness. I got a box of Trader Joe’s medjool dates for X’mas from my friend and I munched them all within a week!

Makes about 16 squares
Total time = 75 minutes

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup demerara or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 120 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 400 g pitted dates, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt 
  3. Rub in butter with hands until resembles coarse crumbs
  4. Place half of crust in a 8 inch x 10 inch baking pan (or pan of choice) lined with greased parchment paper
  5. Press firmly and evenly
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, let cool
  7. Meanwhile, cook dates and water in a non-stick pot over medium heat about 15 minutes until thickened
  8. Turn heat off, stir in vanilla and let cool slightly
  9. Spread dates paste evenly on top of baked crust
  10. Sprinkle remaining crust mixture (just a thin and even layer)
  11. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden
  12. Cool completely before cutting into squares

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Happy Valentine’s Day ! I got a Valentine’s card before I even got out of bed this morning from my daughter, how sweet !  And here is a sweet treat that I made last night, yummy chocolate fudge ! Classic chocolate fudge requires the chocolate to be heated to a precise temperature which can be tricky. This recipe is much easier and it tastes just as good.

Makes about 16 ounces

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Put chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, condensed milk and salt in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water
  2. Cook and stir until all melted
  3. Turn heat off, stir in vanilla extract
  4. Spread evenly in a container lined with slightly greased parchment paper or aluminum foil
  5. Refrigerate for about 3 hours until firm
  6. Cut into squares
  7. Store in refrigerator

Nutella Rice Crispy Square

Rice crispy square is one of my kids’ favourite snacks and it is so easy to make.  Adding a little Nutella to the recipe makes them even yummier ! 

  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup Nutella spread
  • 5 cups crispy rice cereal
  1. Melt butter and marshmallows in a non-stick pot over low heat
  2. Add Nutella, mix until blended
  3. Remove from heat and stir in rice cereal
  4. Pour into a 9×13 baking pan lined with parchment paper
  5. Press firmly and evenly
  6. Cut into squares when cooled

The Climbing Bars (Healthy Granola Bars)

I started doing indoor rock climbing with my 7 years old daughter about 4 months ago.  It is a wonderful sport for both kids and adults.  Not only does it get you physically active (very active indeed!) , it also helps to boost your self-confidence and perseverance.  Often after I climb or after any other kind of exercise, I get really hungry, but I don’t want to eat something too heavy. Granola bar is an excellent choice.  It gives you all the energy you need, and of course, homemade is always the best !

Makes about 30-40 mini bars
Total time = 40 minutes

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond slices
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fancy molasses
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients 
  3. Add oil, molasses, egg and vanilla extract
  4. Mix all ingredients together using a wooden spoon or hand
  5. Pour into 7 inch x 11 inch baking pan (or any appropriate size you have) lined with parchment paper
  6. Press firmly and evenly 
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, until edges start to turn brown
  8. Cut into bars when completely cool