Category Archives: Brownies/Bars

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Bars (Blondies)

I am an owl.  I do most of my baking and writing at night or the early mornings.  During the nights is when I feel most inspired.  So inspired that I need to write my ideas down.  I have a notebook where I write down my ideas and hoping that might test them out one day.  Also, I have a list of recipes I want to try and  I keep them jotted down in my notebook.  Since I don’t post recipes I cook immediately, I use the nights to edit my work.  Believe it or not, it’s a long process for me.  There are times where I struggle with writing a post and other times I feel lazy.  But I still love writing.

So about these banana nut chocolate chip bars.  Though this is adapted from a blondie recipe,I’m not sure if I will call it blondie because they don’t taste like one.  I’ve used this recipe before and I used m&m’s the first time around.  But this time, I wanted to try something different.  On Smitten Kitchen website, Deb listed other combinations to include in this recipe.  Bananas, walnuts, and chocolate chips didn’t seem like a bad idea.

At first I wasn’t sure if liked these bars, but the next day it tasted great. If you like bananas in baked goods, then this recipe is for you.  If not, you can omit the bananas and instead have chocolate chip and walnut blondie.

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Bars

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen   

I was little concern how these bars would bake because of the smashed bananas.  Even though the recipe says to bake 20-25 minutes, I would keep an eye on the bars.  You may have to bake the bars a little longer like I did.  These bars should come out dense and slightly gooey.  If these bars are too gooey for you, then bake them a little longer until you think the bars are done.

Update: 7/8/2012

I came across a blog called Honey whats cooking that used a similar recipe to mines.  Honey reduced the butter to 5 tbsp and added 2/3 cup smashed bananas to make up for the missing butter.  I’ve tried Honey’s version and the blondies came out great and I didn’t miss the butter at all.  Whether you are using the full amount or reduced amount of butter; the blondies will still taste great.  I included a link above to Honey’s website for you guys to check out.

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

1/2 cup ripe bananas, smashed

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F and grease a 8×8 pan.

  1. Cream melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Add egg, vanilla extract, salt, smashed bananas and mix together.
  2.  Mix  flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts together in a small bowl, then add it to the wet ingredients and mix until everything is combined.
  3. Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until it’s set and slightly gooey.  Cool before slicing.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies


Gee Ally, another brownie recipe.  What can I say, I couldn’t help myself.  Lately, I’ve felt the need to eat something sweet after dinner.  I’ve never had a sweet tooth until now, but I need to stop my baking streak.  After baking this batch of brownies I will need to find some balance.  I might have to replace fruits for baked goods because it’s healthier and I won’t have to feel guilty.  Eating healthy is so hard to do.

Because I have no control over my sweet tooth, I decided to make these brownies.  These brownies are amazing.  They are dense and chocolaty.  Personally, I thought the  brownies tasted more like a regular chocolate brownie to me, but with a cheesecake filling.  I expected these brownies to taste more like a red velvet cake.  Surprised of the outcome of the brownies but are good.

So good that I had to cut the brownies into bite size pieces hoping that they would last a couple of days.  Making so many trips to the kitchen and kept telling myself that it was the last brownie that I would eat for the day.  No self-control what so ever and I continued to make more trips to the kitchen.  Slice after slice  the brownies disappeared in two days.  I’m so bad.

Question:  Do you have a weak spot for a particular food?  We already know I have no self-control over brownies.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie

Adapted from Freutcake

Red Velvet Batter:

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup cocoa powder

pinch salt

1 Tbsp red food coloring (liquid)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cream cheese batter:

8 oz cream cheese, soften

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F and butter an 8×8 inch pan.

Brownie layer:

In a large bowl, add butter, sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, vinegar, and mix after each addition.  Whisk in the eggs and stir in the flour until its combined.  Save 1/3 to 1/4 cup of batter and pour the remaining batter into the prepared greased pan.

Cheesecake layer:

In a bowl, blend cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Spread the cheesecake layer on top of the brownie layer and put the remaining (reserved) brownie batter over the cream cheese.  Using the tip of a knife, swirl through the cream cheese layer creating swirl patterns.

Bake for 30 minutes and cool completely before cutting.  To store: wrap the remaining brownies in saran wrap and keep in the fridge.

Brown Butter Brownies

Everyone knows I love brownies.  I’m always looking for that perfect brownie recipe and I think I’ve found it. When I saw this recipe on Freutcake website, I couldn’t resist making this.  Leah from Freutcake mention that Bon Appetit magazine says that these are the best brownies they ever had.  Bold statement.  What make these brownies stand out is it uses brown butter.  The brown butter gives the brownies a nutty flavor, which you don’t see in most recipes.  These brownies are extremely fudgy and chocolatey, which you will need a glass of milk in hand to eat these.

So here is my question to you:  Do you have a favorite brownie recipe?

Author Note:

I tried to simplify this recipe.  I think it’s best to have your dry ingredients ready, so you can focus on making the brown butter and making sure the butter doesn’t burn.  Once the butter is browned, you immediately add it to the dry ingredients.  Also, the original recipe adds walnut into the batter, but I left them out.  I think a good brownie doesn’t need the nuts, because it ruins the overall taste of a brownie.

Brown Butter Brownies

Adapted from Freutcake 

non stick vegetable spray

10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, chilled

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup walnut pieces (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line an 8×8 metal pan with foil,pressing the foil against the pan sides and leaving a 2 inch overhang.  Coat the foil with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, add sugar, cocoa powder, salt, water, vanilla extract and sit aside.

In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Cook the butter until it stops foaming  and have brown bits at the bottom of the sauce pan.  Stir occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Remove the butter from the heat immediately and pour the butter into the dry ingredients.  Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated.  Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time into the hot mixture and beat vigorously (you don’t want your eggs to scramble).  When the mixture is thick and shiny, mix in the flour.  If using nuts, add them to the batter.

Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared greased pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Cool on a rack.  Using the foil overhang, lift out the brownies and cut into pieces.

M&M Blondies

I will admit that I’m a brownie fanatic.  I was stuck between this recipe and a chocolate brownie recipe, but decided to make this.  I love that this recipe is so simple to make.  Most of the ingredients that the recipe calls for is what most people have in their pantry, which is great because you can whip up a quick dessert in minutes.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it is a one bowl recipe and  it’s so basic.  Therefore you can transform this recipe into anything you like.  That’s why Deb from Smitten Kitchen call these “blondies, infinitely adaptable” because you can add other combinations to the batter and make it your own unique bar.  If you are interested to see the other combinations you can add to the bars, im including a link to the original website below.

I made these blondies twice.  The first time I made them, they were good, but not dry.  I used a different sized baking pan than the recipe call for, so I totally forgot that the baking time would be different.  The second time I made the blondies, they were even better than the first time I made them.  They were moist because I under baked them and they were chewy.  It almost reminds of a m&m cookie except made into to bars.

Author Note:

Most blondies recipes that I looked at had leavening agents (such as baking powder or baking soda) in the batter.  If you like your blondies to have leavening agents, feel  free to add them to the recipe, I’m sure they will taste great.  Also, this recipe states that the bars should be a gooey bar and the bars will continue to set as they cool.  If you’re not a fan of gooey baked goods, then bake the blondies until you think they are just right.

M&M Blondies

From Smitten Kitchen

1 stick butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar (dark or light)

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup m&m + 1/4 cup for top

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8 pan with butter.

Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Mix until smoothed.  Beat in the egg, and then the vanilla.  Add the salt, then stir in the flour.  Fold in 1 cup of m&m’s in the batter until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared greased pan and the remaining m&m’s on top of the batter.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until the middle has set.  Cool before cutting.