Bake Sale Part 1 – Cinnamon Roll Bars

Ahh…the bake sale.  Perpetually the go-to money maker for all things.  At work, we generally use it to raise money for a cause.  We’ve raised money for Share our Strength (The Great American Bake Sale), and this time around, we used it to raise money for our back to school drive to help fill backpacks with school supplies that are distributed to children whose families do not have the money for everything they might need for the school year.  This year, we raised $560, which will definitely fill a lot of backpacks!

This post is the first in a series of recipes of what I made for the bake sale.  These cinnamon roll bars seemed to be the biggest hit of everything that I made.  I got more compliments out of these than anything else!

Original recipe is here:  http://blissfulwhimsy.blogspot.com/2012/03/cinnamon-roll-cookie-bars.html

What You Need

1 box yellow cake mix

½ cup melted butter

2 eggs

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup sugar

1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

Icing

2 tablespoons milk

2 cups powdered sugar

 

And Here’s What You Do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all bar ingredients and pour into a greased 9X13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.  While baking the bars, mix together the icing ingredients.  Once the bars are removed from the oven, pour the icing over the top.  Let cool in the pan.

What I did

I followed the ingredients to the letter, with the exception of substituting soy milk for dairy milk.  But, that was the only change that I made.  The batter for the bars is not so much poured in as it is pressed into the corners and evenly distributed with a rubber spatula.

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There was a corner that was a little wonky, so I decided that would be the “quality control” sample.  I instantly loved the warm, gooey, slightly granular texture of the bars, a bit like biting into brown sugar that has been hard pressed into a bar.  But with so much delightful cinnamon flavor!  I shared my sample with Scott, who also commented on the uniqueness of the texture.  I wish that mine had turned out a bit more like the original recipe picture.  There’s a lovely thick layer of frosting on those, though due to the intensely sweet nature of the bars, it might have been a little overpowering.

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

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Oat Raisin Balls

It’s been a few weeks, but only because I’ve been making cookies for Scott that would be repeats on here.  We also spent a fantastic weekend away celebrating his birthday, and I was being too lazy to put up a post!

We have a bake sale coming up at work to benefit our back to school drive, so I’ll have quite a few weeks of new recipes coming up soon. So, this week, we revisit and oldie but a goodie recipe, the Oatmeal Raisin cookie.  He asked for these, probably because of their fantastic simplicity.

Original recipe can be found here: http://www.bakerita.com/white-chocolate-cinnamon-oatmeal-cookies/

Here’s What You Need:

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup (3.2 oz) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 oz. white chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup raisins (not in the original recipe, I added these)

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the white chocolate, oats, and raisins. Refrigerate for at least two hours in a bowl covered in plastic wrap.
  3. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the outsides are set and golden brown and the middle is just beginning to set. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.

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I have never had good results with refrigerating dough.  I’m not sure why I keep trying it, but I do.  And I was disappointed again this time.  The picture on the website has them looking like lovely, oaty discs of deliciousness, but these turned into cookie lumps.  I swear, I’m never doing it again.  Okay, maybe for sugar cookies or something that really needs to hold its shape. Luckily, they aren’t hard like rocks.  They are just dense.

ImageThat being said, the flavor of these cookies is very good.  Scotty likes them, and that is what counts.

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Nutella Filled Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

Thankfully, Nutella has come back to store shelves after the German thieves stole 5 and a half tons of it a while ago.  I’m sure it’s been back for a while, but it was nice to go to the store and have it on the shelf versus trying figure out another recipe.  I truly enjoyed making these cookies, and I ended up with 36 ½ cookie sandwiches.  The half helped with quality control!

 

Original Recipe is here: http://www.daringgourmet.com/2013/02/02/peanut-butter-sandwich-cookies-with-nutella-marshmallow-cream-cheese-filling/

 

Here’s What You Need

 1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

 

For the filling:

½ cup cream cheese

½ cup marshmallow fluff

½ cup Nutella

 

And Here’s What You Do

1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. Beat the butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy.  I’ve learned that this step is very important.  It makes all the difference in how your cookies turn out.  Add the peanut butter and beat for a few seconds until combined.  Add the eggs and vanilla, beat another few seconds.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix together using a rubber spatula.  Gently fold to combine.  Make sure to not over-mix.  The dough does start to get hard to mix together after a minute or two.

4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Press a grid pattern into the top using the tines of a fork.  Bake for 8-9 minutes.

5. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Prepare the filling by combining the cream cheese, Nutella, and marshmallow fluff until well mixed.

7. Using a knife, spread the filling on the bottom of one cookie, topping it with another cookie after filling is spread

8. Should make about 36 cookie sandwiches

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I baked these on Saturday while Scott was asleep (still need to work on that whole working overnight thing), and I knew that the divine smell of the peanut butter baking was going to wake him.  Sure enough, I was pulling batches out of the oven and he came shuffling down the stairs, bleary-eyed, and sniffing the air.  Nothing wakes that man up like peanut butter baking.

So, after cooling and frosting, the testing had to happen.  And more testing happened.  And a little more testing.  Now, taking into account the fact that he loves plain peanut butter cookies, I’m going to take it as a compliment that he keeps eating these cookies, seemingly by the handful.  Of course, he may not have any left for work this week, but at least he will have gotten to enjoy them!

I would definitely like to make these again.  We’ll see if I ever run out of recipes!

 

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!