Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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S’mores Cookie Bars

Get ready to slice into a piece of nostalgia with these S’mores Cookie Bars!

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

Sun. Sunny. Summer. Summertime.

Memories of days gone by.

Camping we did not do. Don’t like bugs. Don’t like dirt.

We “roughed it” every August in a two-room cabin sitting among the majestic redwoods in a secluded forest.

Across the road was the lake. Pack a picnic lunch. On the beach all day. Swimming. Making friends. Digging in the sand. Our bodies tanned with each day and glistened in the heat of the day.

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

As the sun set each night, the barbecue was lit. The flames kept us warm as the cool breeze gently surrounded us.

Every last morsel of food was devoured giving us the needed nourishment from being outside in the heat each day.

With the warmth of the grill, we toasted marshmallows until they were almost burnt on the outside and gooey and warm on the inside.

Quickly put between Hershey chocolate filled graham crackers. Smoosh!

From the first bite to the last, we delighted in the crunch, melted chocolate and warmed marshmallows.

The sweetness I will always remember. The good times I will never forget.

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

The nights were the darkest of dark.

The only thing you saw were the starts twinkling and the moon glowing.

Listening to the redwoods rustling in the breeze while owls hooted and crickets chirped.

We giggled until we fell asleep.

When morning fell upon us, we got up and repeated the fun!

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

SMORES COOKIE BARS

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 (1.55 oz ea.) Hershey bars, roughly chopped
2 cups mini marshmallows, frozen

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.

Add the flour, graham crumbs, baking soda and salt to a medium bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugars and cream together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – about 2-3 minutes. Turn down the mixer to medium-speed and the eggs,  milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Add the chocolate chips and chopped chocolate bars and stir with a spoon until combined. Then add the mini marshmallows and stir.

Press mixture into your prepared pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the bars are browned and do not giggle. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into squares.

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

Dig into these S’mores Cookie Bars and make the fond memories of summer last all year long!

Sheila

 

{recipe inspired from Carlsbad Cravings}

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Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies

These soft Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies will not only melt in your mouth, but they will melt your heart!

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

I adore shortbread — a buttery cookie that is oh so soft and delicate.

And I especially love the simplicity of these plain, yet delicious cookies. However, in my attempt to make shortbread cookies, I was really craving something more.

I wanted to add some type of chocolate and maybe a bit of a crunch to contrast the softness of the cookie.

So, when wandering the candy aisle of my favorite grocery store, my eyes fixated on the beautiful bright blue wrapper of a Ghirardelli Sea Salt & Almonds Milk Chocolate Bar. Right then and there I knew that this what I was going to use and my Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies were born!

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

You start with a basic shortbread cookie recipe, then you add the chopped candy bar. Roll them into a log shape, pop it into the fridge for a bit. Then you slice them and bake them until they are lightly golden.

The outcome is a soft buttery cookie with creamy milk chocolate, crunchy almonds and a hint of sea salt. With every bite you will want more!

Now this is a cookie worth sharing as a holiday gift, cookie exchange, or just for consuming them all to yourself! And so easy to make!

But since it is the season for giving, I would suggest you share these scrumptious morsels with those you love!

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 bars (3.5 oz. each) Ghirardelli Sea Salt & Almonds Milk Chocolate Bar, chopped

Instructions:
In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then mix in the vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With your mixer on low-speed, add the four mixture to the butter mixture blend until it comes together to form a dough. Remove the bowl and add the chopped candy bar and mix with a spoon until incorporated.

Dump the dough onto a large piece of wax paper, and shape the dough into a log – about 2 inches in diameter towards the bottom of one of the long side of the wax paper. The roll up the dough using the wax paper and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge; unroll the dough and remove the wax paper and place on a cutting board. Slice the log into 1/4 inch slices and place on the prepared sheet pan. As a note, the cookies will not spread much, so you can place them close together.

Bake for bout 13-15 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the wire rack and let cool completely.

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

For an easy and delicious cookie, make a batch or two of these Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies today!

Sheila

 

{Recipe adapted from Delishhh}


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Toffee Squares

Can we say sweet addiction? Because these sinful Toffee Squares are purely addictive!

Toffee Squares

Do you love toffee? What about chocolate? If so, you’ll go crazy for these super-easy Toffee Squares. The medley of toffee and chocolate in one melt-in-your-mouth confection is, well an extremely tempting paring that will have you wanting more!

Truth be told, before making this recipe I had never made Toffee Squares…hard to believe I know! Especially because of my passion for crunchy toffee and rich chocolate!

Over the years, I’ve admired photos and recipe variations of these exquisite squares. As a matter-of-fact, they have been on my list of “things to make” forever. But for some reason or another I never got around to trying them, that is until the other day.

Well, let me just say, there is no going back. These delectable treats are now on my “keep” list forever! Not only are they simple to make, they are so beautifully elegant. And can be served as a fabulous afternoon snack, an after dinner treat, as well, they’re perfect to bring to a cookie swap or to an office party!

These Toffee Squares have an irresistible fusion of flavors. You start with a soft brown sugared base, topped with melted milk chocolate morsels then sprinkled with toffee bits!

Toffee Squares

Toffee Squares

Crust
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Topping
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee bits

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

To prepare the crust: In a large bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Then add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt and beat until well blended. With your mixer on low-speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Note, the dough will be stiff. Pour the dough into the pan and pat evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Remove pan from the oven and chocolate chips evenly over the crust. Return to the oven for about 1 more minute, so that the chocolate melts. Remove from oven. Using a knife or offset spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with the toffee bits and let cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, cut into small squares and serve.

Toffee Squares

You won’t be able to resist these Toffee Squares — so get your fix now!

Sheila

 

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

 


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Chocolate Toffee Blondies

Hey — it’s National Dessert Day! No better way to celebrate than with some incredible soft baked Chocolate Toffee Blondies!

Chocolate Toffee Blondies

Yes, I’ve got a thing for blondies! They are my go-to dessert! As well, I can’t seem to live without chocolate and toffee. Combine them together and you’ll have a dish of these divine squares of softness, oozing with sweet chocolate and dotted with delightfully crunchy toffee!

Even though there are a plethora of pumpkin and spiced receipes out right now — you can really make these babies all year round! And believe me, I do! These blondies are great for any occasion in any season.

If you haven’t noticed, dessert bars in my book are the BEST! For me, these scrumptious treats come together so easy and the outcome is, well heavenly! Throw all your ingredients in one bowl, spread them in a pan and bake. So much easier in my mind than baking cookies or for that matter much easier than making a layer cake!

Don’t get me wrong; I love cookies and cakes too. But since I always seem to be short on time, these Chocolate Toffee Blondies are the way to go! They are the perfect dessert in my mind, great for after dinner with a strong cup of coffee, as a satisfying afternoon snack, and if I must admit, I can even eat these little goodies for breakfast!

Chocolate Toffee Blondies

Chocolate Toffee Blondies

3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 bag (16 oz.) milk chocolate chips
1 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9-inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Note, for thicker blondies use a smaller pan, such as 11×7-inch.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until combined. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until soft. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix in the vanilla.

On low-speed, slowly add the flour until just combined. Remove from stand and fold in the chocolate and toffee bits.

Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top has turned golden brown and the blondies are set. Do not over bake.

 

Chocolate Toffee Blondies

Take a bite into these divine Chocolate Toffee Blondies and celebrate National Dessert Day with me!

Sheila