Tag Archives: bars

Sweet Marie Bars Recipe

Plate of Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

Everybody loves an easy square or bar to make that does not require careful watching as it bakes in the oven and that does not have to be frosted.  Sweet Marie Bars fit nicely in that category.  Taking only a few very basic ingredients, the result is one delectable treat that often finds its way on to sweet trays, particularly at Christmas.

Sweet Marie Bars have made their way into my picnic basket on more than one occasion since they are more like candy, in my opinion, than what we traditionally think of as squares or cookie bars.

This bar recipe has been around for a long time and is known by names other than Sweet Marie Bars.  The core ingredients do not tend to change though the quantities may and, sometimes, the bars are iced with traditional frosting.  I have seen them called Peanut Krispie Bars and a variation called Scotheroos that call for some butterscotch chips. There are probably other names for these bars and their variation(s). Regardless what they are called, they are one delectable treat any time of the year!

Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

[Printable recipe follows]

Sweet Marie Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups crispy rice cereal (e.g., Rice Krispies)
¾ cup salted peanuts

½ cup peanut butter
½ cup golden corn syrup
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp butter

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces or squares
¼ cup peanut butter
2 tsp butter

Method:

Line a 9”x9” square baking pan with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray (or grease with butter).

Stir the crispy rice cereal and salted peanuts together in a large heat-proof bowl (e.g., glass or stainless steel). Set aside.

In medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over low heat, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter. Stir until mixture is blended and heated. Do not boil.

Remove saucepan from heat and pour mixture over the cereal and peanut mixture. Stir to mix. Press mixture into prepared baking pan.

For topping, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, a few seconds at a time. When chocolate is about half melted, stir in the peanut butter and butter. Continue to microwave in short bursts of seconds until chocolate is melted. Pour the topping over the square in pan and smooth with a knife or small flat metal spatula. Let cool completely to room temperature before lifting square from pan and cutting it into squares or bars of desired size. Square may cut out better if cooled square has been placed in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Yield: One (1) 9” pan of squares/bars

Sweet Marie Bars

Easy-to-make no-bake bars that combine peanut butter and crispy rice cereal into a base topped with melted chocolate and peanut butter.
Course Snack
Keyword bars, nobake bars, nobake squares, Sweet Marie Bars
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal (e.g., Rice Krispies)
  • ¾ cup salted peanuts
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup golden corn syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces or squares
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. Line a 9”x9” square baking pan with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray (or grease with butter).
  2. Stir the crispy rice cereal and salted peanuts together in a large heat-proof bowl (e.g., glass or stainless steel). Set aside.
  3. In medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over low heat, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter. Stir until mixture is blended and heated. Do not boil.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and pour mixture over the cereal and peanut mixture. Stir to mix. Press mixture into prepared baking pan.
  5. For topping, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, a few seconds at a time. When chocolate is about half melted, stir in the peanut butter and butter. Continue to microwave in short bursts of seconds until chocolate is melted. Pour the topping over the square in pan and smooth with a knife or small flat metal spatula. Let cool completely to room temperature before lifting square from pan and cutting it into squares or bars of desired size. Square may cut out better if cooled square has been placed in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Yield: One (1) 9” pan of squares/bars

 

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Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

 

Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

 

Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

Classic Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Squares
Nanaimo Bars

These delightful no-bake bars are almost like candy!  Bar none, these Nanaimo Bars are my all-time favorite bars.  They consist of three layers:  1) a chocolate base consisting of graham wafer crumbs, nuts, cocoa, and coconut; 2) a soft yellow-colored custard-flavored filling made primarily with icing sugar and custard powder; and 3) a rich chocolate ganache topping.

Nanaimo Squares
Nanaimo Bars

There is a lot of mystery around the history and exact origins of  the decadent Nanaimo Bars.  The history has been traced back to the early 1950s when a square, simply called “Chocolate Square” (with the ingredients we know today as “Nanaimo Bars”), appeared in the 1952 Women’s Auxiliary of the Nanaimo Hospital Cookbook in British Columbia. Shortly after, circa 1953, the same recipe appeared, under the name of “Nanaimo Bars” in the Edith Adams Cookbook (14th edition). Both recipes have the same common ingredients.  As to who the precise creator of the recipe was, however, has not been definitively determined and the square, or bar, has gone by several names over the years, including New York Slice, Smog Squares, and London Fog Bars.  Whomever it was, they created a sure winner that has endured throughout the years and the treat is commonly known as Nanaimo Bars!

Nanaimo Squares
Nanaimo Bars

These bars are not difficult to make but they do take a little time since there are three parts to the bars — a base, filling, and topping. I recommend making the base in the top of a double boiler or, alternatively, in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  The base can be made in a heavy-bottomed saucepan but it can set up rather quickly using this method and there is always the danger of scorching the ingredients.

For the filling, I use Bird’s brand vanilla custard powder,usually found in the baking aisle of Canadian supermarkets.  However, any vanilla custard powder may be used in this recipe.  Many recipes for Nanaimo Bars only use a couple of tablespoons of custard powder.  However, I find that makes the filling too soft and squishy for handling.  I use 3 1/2 tablespoons of custard powder in my recipe and find it gives a lovely velvety textured filling that will hold its own when handled.

Nanaimo Squares
Nanaimo Bars

While they are called “bars”, I cut mine into squares and, from a 9″x9″ pan, I get 25 delectable squares.  These need to be kept refrigerated, or frozen for longer storage.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Nanaimo Bars

Ingredients:
 
Base:

½ cup butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
1 extra-large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Filling:

½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
2½ tbsp whipping cream (35%)
3½ tbsp vanilla custard powder
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups sifted icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)

Topping:

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature

Method:

Line 9” square pan with parchment paper leaving enough overhang to easily lift finished square from pan for cutting.

Base:  In bottom of double boiler, bring about 2” of water to the simmer point (around 200°F). Maintain the water at this simmer point over medium-low heat. In the top of the double boiler, melt the butter and then add the sugar and cocoa powder.  Stir to combine ingredients.  Whisk in the egg.  Stir until mixture thickens.  Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and nuts.  Press mixture into prepared pan.  Cool in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Filling:  In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and whipping cream together.  Add the vanilla.  Blend in the custard powder followed by the icing sugar, beating until mixture is smooth.  If mixture appears too stiff, add 1-2 teaspoons whipping cream and beat mixture well to combine (note, however, that mixture should not be soupy).  Spread evenly over cooled base.  Refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Topping:  In small saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring to mix.  Spread evenly over chilled filling.  Refrigerate to set chocolate, approximately 30 minutes.  Use a sharp, flat blade knife to cut into squares.

Refrigerate bars in single layer in airtight container for up to 5 days or, for longer storage, freeze in airtight container.

Nanaimo Squares
Nanaimo Bars

 

Nanaimo Bars

Decadent no-bake Nanaimo Bars consist of three layers of a velvety custard filling sandwiched in between a chocolate-coconut-nut base and rich chocolate ganache topping
Course Dessert
Keyword Nanaimo Bars
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

Base:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 extra-large egg room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Filling:

  • ½ cup butter softened at room temperature
  • tbsp whipping cream 35%
  • tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar

Topping:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp butter softened at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Line 9” square pan with parchment paper leaving enough overhang to easily lift finished square from pan for cutting.

Base: In bottom of double boiler, bring about 2” of water to the simmer point (around 200°F). Maintain the water at this simmer point over medium-low heat. In the top of the double boiler, melt the butter and then add the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir to combine ingredients. Whisk in the egg. Stir until mixture thickens. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press mixture into prepared pan. Cool in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

    Filling: In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and whipping cream together. Add the vanilla. Blend in the custard powder followed by the icing sugar, beating until mixture is smooth. If mixture appears too stiff, add 1-2 teaspoons whipping cream and beat mixture well to combine (note, however, that mixture should not be soupy). Spread evenly over cooled base. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.

      Topping: In small saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring to mix. Spread evenly over chilled filling. Refrigerate to set chocolate, approximately 30 minutes. Use a sharp, flat blade knife to cut into squares.

      1. Refrigerate bars in single layer in airtight container for up to 5 days or, for longer storage, freeze in airtight container.

      Recipe Notes

      Yield:  1 - 9"x9" pan, approximately 25 squares

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      Nanaimo Bars
      Classic Nanaimo Bars

      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares

      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares

      This is one of my most favorite squares!  I have been making this recipe for years.  It’s good any time of the year and is often found in my summer picnic basket.  With its rich, gooey chocolate center and a slightly crunchy topping, it’s a real treat for sure, especially for chocolate lovers.

      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares

      Ingredients:

      Base:

      1 cup all-purpose flour
      1 tsp baking powder
      Pinch salt
      ⅓ cup butter, softened
      ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
      2 egg yolks

      10 oz. chocolate chips

      Topping:
      2 egg whites, beaten stiff
      ⅛ tsp cream of tartar
      1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
      1 tsp vanilla
      ½ cup macaroon coconut

      Method:

      Assemble ingredients.

      Prepare 9” square pan by lining with tin foil and spraying with cooking oil.

      Preheat oven to 350°F.

      Base:
      In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

      Cream butter and brown sugar together. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

      Add dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are incorporated.

      Evenly press dough into prepared pan.

      Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dough. Set aside.

      Topping:
      In clean mixer bowl, beat the two egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

      Beat in the brown sugar, adding a tablespoon at a time.

      Add the vanilla.

      Fold in the coconut.

      Spread the topping evenly over the chocolate chips.

      Bake for 30-35 minutes or until topping is browned. Remove from oven and place pan on wire cooling rack. Let cool completely. Lift tin foil and square from the pan and cut into squares.

      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares

       

      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares

      Ingredients

      • Base:
      • 1 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • Pinch salt
      • 1/3 cup butter, softened
      • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
      • 2 egg yolks
      • 10 oz. chocolate chips
      • Topping:
      • 2 egg whites, beaten stiff
      • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
      • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
      • 1 tsp vanilla
      • ½ cup macaroon coconut

      Instructions

      1. Assemble ingredients.
      2. Prepare 9” square pan by lining with tin foil and spraying with cooking oil.
      3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      4. Base:
      5. In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
      6. Cream butter and brown sugar together. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
      7. Evenly press dough into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dough. Set aside.
      8. Topping:
      9. In clean mixer bowl, beat the two egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in the brown sugar, adding a tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla. Fold in the coconut.
      10. Spread the topping evenly over the chocolate chips.
      11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until topping is browned. Remove from oven and place pan on wire cooling rack. Let cool completely. Lift tin foil and square from the pan and cut into squares.
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      Chocolate Chip Squares
      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
      Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares