Chances are if your hosting or attending a Superbowl party, you are finalizing your menu plans. Don’t forget a sweet ending for the big party and check out my board of Learnist for some fantastic and festive ideas:

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We are celebrating Friendsgiving on Saturday.  Do you participate in this tradition?  It’s really just a great excuse to get together with the friends who you are thankful for, share a meal and make some memories.  I have participated in Friendsgiving with different groups of friends for several years now and, no surprise, I am in charge of dessert.  One of the hosts requested traditional pumpkin pie and I am happy to open another can of pumpkin, I just can’t get enough.  These Pumpkin Cream Sandwich Cookies that I shared with you last week are one of my new favorite pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

as are these incredibly moist and fudgy Pumpkin Brownies.

Pumpkin Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

You might think, what?  Pumpkin in brownies?  But trust me, the combination is so spectacular because the pumpkin adds zero pumpkin flavor, only incredibly moist, dense texture.  It’s almost like eating a piece of real fudge and these brownies are so ultra chocolatey when topped with your favorite chocolate frosting,  I brought half of these Pumpkin Brownies to book club and the rest to work and everyone who tasted them said they were incredibly delicious.  I would love to mix in chopped walnuts or pecans next time I make them because I love a little crunch in my brownies.

Pumpkin Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

This recipe is from Averie Sunshine’s second cookbook Cooking with Pumpkin:  Recipes that go Beyond the Pie.

This book is brimming with delectable recipes that star pumpkin as the key ingredient.  One of the other recipes in the book that particularly got my mouth watering are these Salted Caramel and Pretzel Pumpkin Blondies, um what???

Averie has recipes for everything from breakfast goodies to cakes, cookies and pies to savory dishes that use pumpkin such as Soft Buttery Pumpkin Pretzels and Pumpkin Spice-Candied Nuts just to name a couple in that caught my eye immediately.  All of Averie’s recipes are simple to follow and don’t call for too many ingredients that you don’t already have in your pantry.  Each recipe is adjacent to a photo of the dish that will make you drool with anticipation while you wait for it to be ready.  I have followed Averie’s blog, Averie Cooks for quite awhile, so I already knew what she was capable of, but Cooking with Pumpkin really shows off her talents with creating recipes and photography.

Pumpkin Brownies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 25 brownies

Pumpkin Brownies are so moist, fudgy and intensely chocolatey, if you're a true chocoholic, this recipe is for you!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp coffee or water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9X9" baking pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, using a spatula or electric mixer, mix together butter and sugars until combined and smooth.
  3. Mix in eggs, coffee, vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix well.
  4. Mix in cocoa powder and flour and mix just until combined and no streaks of flour remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake 32-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
  7. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
  8. Top with your favorite chocolate frosting, cut, and serve.
  9. Recipe adapted from Cooking with Pumpkin by Averie Sunshine

*Countryman Press provided me with a review copy of this book but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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I just don’t know how it can possibly be the end of July!  I feel like I just can’t fit enough s’mores, lake time, patio happy hours and barbecues in before the snow will be flying again!!  Lucky for you and me, I have The Best S’mores Bars to fit in some quality summer flavors before he heat is gone.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Every night that we are at the lake cabin, even if I make a different dessert, at some point after dinner we always end up around the fire toasting marshmallows to golden brown perfection and slapping them on top of a graham cracker with chocolate to make a s’more.  And every time I eat one, I just can’t get over how perfect that roasted sugar is with the creamy chocolate and minimally sweet graham cracker.  I have never met a form of a s’more that I didn’t like.  There are very selective times when I tell you that something is “the best” I have ever had, and these, sweet teeth, just might be the best s’mores dessert I have ever had!

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Don’t get me wrong, the S’mores Ice Cream Cake that I shared earlier with you this summer was pretty spectacular, but the texture contrast and flavors of these S’mores Bars are pretty hard to beat.

S'mores Ice Cream Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I began these bars with a traditional graham cracker crust that I lightened up by using less butter and sugar than most graham cracker crusts.  I love the flavor of graham crackers and don’t feel like they need to be overly sweetened to be enjoyable so I wanted to cut out the extra sugar where I could and there was no downfall to this modification.  The fudgey chocolatey filling that tops the graham cracker crust in The Best S’mores Bars is obviously my favorite layer, because I am a chocolate nut but it is just so perfectly contrasted in texture with the crunchy crust.  Since one of my goals for this recipe was for these bars to be something quick and easy to put together, I simply topped that thick, gooey chocolate layer with Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits.  Everyone loves the look of these tiny bits and it just adds to the fun of this perfect summer recipe.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S’mores Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 25 bars

Crunchy graham cracker crust topped with a thick fudge layer and mini marshmallows makes for The Best S'mores Bars

Ingredients

    Graham cracker crust
  • 8 whole graham cracker sheets, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9X9-inch square baking pan with foil allowing the foil to overhang the edges of the pan. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Graham cracker crust:
  4. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  7. Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  8. Stir together and pour over graham cracker crust.
  9. Immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits
  10. *Chocolate filling recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups (http://cookiesandcups.com)

combine all ingredients for crust in a small bowl and mix to combine

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
for the chocolate filling, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth, stir, then pour over crust

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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With the holidays coming, I find myself drawn to extra colorful things:  clothes, decorations and food are all more fun with pops of color incorporated.  I made these Sugar Cookie Bars to welcome a new baby boy, but they would be just as adorable with red, green or orange frosting to fit the occasion that you make them for.

Sugar Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sugar Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The base for these bars is thick sugar cookie dough.  The dough stays dense and gooey and the bars remind me of the huge cookies with thick frosting that I used to love picking out at the grocery store bakery as a kid.  Don’t get me wrong, these Sugar Cookie Bars are rich even for the most extreme sweet tooth, but the rich buttery flavor of the dough topped with smooth buttercream is simply irresistible.

Sugar Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Anyone can appreciate how easy these Sugar Cookie Bars are to make.  Instead of forming individual cookies, the dough is pressed into a square pan using damp fingers to spread it evenly.  I mixed some rainbow jimmies into my dough because I wanted the bars to be extra colorful like funfetti cake.  My frosting was a gorgeous light blue/teal color and I topped it with “boy” colored sprinkles, but it would be fun to make the frosting red or green for Christmas and top it with festively-shaped sprinkles.

Sugar Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I think children and adults will be instantly drawn to these colorful and scrumptious Sugar Cookie Bars.

Sugar Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sugar Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

Yield: 25 bars

Sugar Cookie Bars: Thick and gooey sugar cookie dough bars topped with a creamy smear of buttercream frosting

Ingredients

    For the bars
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp rainbow jimmies (sprinkles)
  • For the frosting
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • food coloring and sprinkles as desired

Instructions

    For the bars
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 8X8-inch square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper and allow paper to overhang the edges slightly (this will make it easy to lift bars out of the pan).
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda and jimmies.
  6. Pour dough into prepared pan. Dough will be thick. Wet fingers and use them to spread the dough evenly into the pan.
  7. Bake 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  8. Cool completely before frosting.
  9. For the frosting
  10. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the butter, milk and vanilla. Mix in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until well blended and smooth.
  11. Color with a few drops of desired food coloring.
  12. Spread onto cooled bars and decorate with sprinkles as desired.
  13. Use parchment paper to lift bars out of pan.
  14. Cut and serve.
  15. Makes ~25 bars
  16. Recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

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You will never hear anyone call me a history buff (or a geography buff for that matter :)), however, when you mention the history of desserts, my interest is piqued.  That interest in where our favorite desserts came from and why they came to be is what inspired these Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies.  Did you know that without the introduction of blondie bars, one of America’s favorite treats, the brownie would have never been dreamed of?

Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Ever since the Birthday Cake Oreos came around last year, I have been infatuated with them and have to force myself not to walk down the cookie aisle at the store for fear that a package will jump off the shelf and into my cart.  I hate when that happens!  I had not tried the “blonde” Birthday Cake Oreos until I spotted them a couple of weeks ago and new that I needed to find a special recipe to incorporate them into.  Let’s not pretend that most people on the planet do not enjoy the mysterious, yet delicious white filling found sandwiched between Oreo cookies and let’s also stop telling ourselves the lie that we don’t get giddy anytime sprinkles are involved in anything.  I feel better now that we have all come clean and been honest with ourselves, don’t you?

Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The inspiration for these Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies came after reading Jessie Oleson Moore’s book The Secret Life of Baked Goods:  Sweet Stories & Recipes for America’s Favorite Desserts like a novel.  Jessie highlights some of America’s favorite sweets such as Chocolate Chip Cookies, Birthday Cake and Gingerbread Men and did her research to bring us the stories of when and where these sweet treats first came to be.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 9.08.17 PM

Perhaps one of the stories that I find the most interesting is that of the Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Can you believe that the famous Chocolate Chip Cookie was created before chocolate chips?  How could this be?  Well the story goes that in 1937 a woman named Ruth Wakefield made cookies for the Tollhouse Inn in Massachusetts and one day she decided to chop up a chocolate bar and add it to her cookie dough.  She expected that the chocolate would melt and give her a chocolate cookie, but instead the chocolate pieces stayed whole and provided and new taste and texture sensation.  It’s only two years after this, in 1939 that Nestle released their chocolate morsels to make this popular cookie easier to make!  Isn’t a great story from dessert history?  If you are as intrigued by this as I was and want to know more, you must pick yourself up a copy of The Secret Life of Baked Goods!

Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The book is not as full of photos as I prefer, but it doesn’t even matter, because if you are like me, you will want to read the words cover to cover and then make the recipes once you have a new found appreciation for their history.

Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 16 bars

1 bar

Rich and butter blondie bars stuffed with Yellow Birthday Cake Oreo Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 yellow Birthday Cake Oreo Cookies

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and grease it liberally.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients (except for Oreo cookies) in 3 additions and mix well to incorporate.
  5. Pour half of batter into prepared pan.
  6. Lay a single layer of Oreo cookies over the batter.
  7. Top cookies with remaining batter and spread smooth.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  9. Cool bars completely in pan before cutting and serving.
  10. Recipe adapted from The Secret Lives of Baked Goods by Jessie Oleson Moore

Notes

Per bar: Calories: 232 Fat: 11.5g Carbohydrates: 35g

Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

*Sasquatch Publishing provided me with a review copy of this cookbook, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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