Monday, February 27, 2012

FRESH Raspberry Crumb Bars

It has been two years since I started this blog.  It really is simply amazing how fast two years has gone by.  Within these past two years I have grown to love, respect and appreciate greatly the world of blogging - especially food blogging.  The talent, creativity and passion that is put into food blogging is immense.  When I am not updating my own blog (which unfortunately recently has decreased a great deal for me since I have gone back to work full time) I am enjoying discovering other blogs that are devoted to food.  And it has been through my involvement of the Secret Recipe Club that I have been introduced to countless other food blogs that leave me in awe and amazement of all the work, devotion and deliciousness that exists in food blog land. 



This month my blog assignment from the Secret Recipe Club was a lovely blog by the name of Lemon Drop.  Isn't that name just adorable!?! I love it! And what a fun blog Linda, the owner of Lemon Drop has created.  It is packed with fresh and delicious recipes all which have been paired with wonderful pictures that leave your mouth watering.  And for those of you that are searching for gluten-free recipes this is the place for you.  Lemon Drop has countless gluten-free recipes that are sure to catch your eye....and your palate.


The recipe I choose to make from Lemon Drop is called,  FRESH Raspberry Crumb Bars (which are not gluten-free).  Man,  oh man are these bars GOOD!!! What a treasure of a recipe!!!  Four words come to mind when I think of these bars; SIMPLE, EASY, DELICIOUS and VERSATILE.  In a nut shell they are super delicious, easy to make, the ingredients are nothing fancy and the recipe allows for flavor changes or substitutions if so desired.  I highly, highly recommend that you make this recipe for yourself especially if you are a berry lover.   The raspberries in these bars are show cased perfectly along side the tender crumbs of the crust and topping.  Instead of using chopped walnuts as the original recipe asked for I used silvered almonds.  Yum.  Raspberries and almonds are just made for one another in my book.

FRESH Raspberry Crumb Bars
(recipe slightly altered from Lemon Drop)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract (this was my addition)
1 heaping cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans are a great choices)
1 cup fresh raspberries (I used 1/2 cup fresh and 1/2 cup frozen without any problem)
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper so that 2" are above the top of the pan.

2. Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in flour and then egg followed by almond extract.  Add in nuts of your choice by stirring quickly but gently just to incorporate into the batter. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl add in raspberry jam and stir to loosen then add in raspberries and stir just to coat with jam.

4. Press 1/2 of the batter into bottom of prepared pan to create the crust of the bars. Dollop berry/jam mixture over crust....this is where a little helper comes in handy...


....and then take remaining batter and break pieces all over berry/jam layer as this will be the "crumble" of the bars....



5. Pop into oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Enjoy with yummy happiness!  And a HUGE thank you to Linda from Lemon Drop for sharing such a wonderful recipe!  I am delighted to have discovered your blog and this recipe.


Happy FRESH Raspberry Crumble Bar Baking!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I suggest you make this recipe for chocolate sauce for EVERYONE that you adore, love and cherish (and that likes chocolate of course).  It is a simple recipe that is just divine.  You can eat it by the spoonful or warm it gently and pour over ice cream.  It is the perfect gift for Heart Day! 


The recipe makes enough sauce to fill two 8 oz. jars + one 6 oz. jar.  I especially like filling empty Bonne Maman jam jars with the sauce because of the pretty red and white lids which make for a very attractive decadent gift.  I filled 12 Bonne Maman jars with chocolate sauce and gave them away to anyone that would accept them (no one turned them down) this past Christmas.  I'm pretty proud of myself.


Unfortunately, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays I have lost the original source for this recipe.  If it is your recipe please let me know!  I want to give you a huge hug for such a yummy creation.  I also want to commend you for the brilliance of making the recipe without corn syrup.  For years I have been searching for a chocolate sauce recipe that is yummy, easy and doesn't contain corn syrup in the ingredient list.  My search has finally come to end with the discovery of this recipe.  Hip Hip HOORAY!!!   Hopefully I will be able to provide many of you with the same yummy happiness as I share this recipe now on my blog.

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

 Ingredients:

5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter, unsalted
1 14 oz. can evaporated milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a double boiler melt chocolate and butter. Stirring gently on occasion to help with the melting process.

2. Remove double boiler from heat and add evaporated milk and then powdered sugar - whisk all together.  Place pan back on heat and gently continue to whisk all ingredients together until smooth and shiny. 

3. Keep sauce over heat for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally until sauce starts to thicken (sauce will thicken much more when it becomes cold).  Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.  Pour into jars and cool slightly before covering and storing in refrigerator until you gift away or eat your Heavenly chocolate sauce yourself.

Heat uncovered jar of sauce in microwave for 20-25 seconds, stir and serve. 

Enjoy!




Happy Homemade Chocolate Sauce Making!



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