Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

When it comes to desserts, B is a big fan of anything strawberry-rhubarb related, especially pies, crisps and cobblers. I, on the other hand, are more of  a cookie fan – especially good chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies. Opposites attract? Perhaps (after all, as B says, I have more of a “sweet tooth” and he has a “meat tooth”). But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good crisp every so often.

Since strawberries, cherries and rhubarb are all in season (yay for summertime!) I decided to pair them all together for this recipe. The tanginess of the rhubarb goes great with the sweetness of the cherries and strawberries and the color of the fruit mixed together is simply gorgeous! Confession: I’ve now made a variation on this recipe THREE times this summer. Does that mean I’m now more of a fan of cookies than cobblers/crisps/etc? No … but this IS good! Definitely scroll down below the recipe for some notes to see other ways to make this delicious recipe.

Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 Tablespoons cold butter, sliced into tabs
  • 2 cups pitted cherries, sliced in half
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut in half (or cut smaller if you have really big berries – I like all my fruit to be about the size of the rhubarb)
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pecans

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
  2. Toss rhubarb, strawberries and cherries with white sugar and spread in baking dish.
  3. Put butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, oats and nuts and pulse until it is completely combined, at least one minute. It will look like a dough and no longer be separate. This is the topping.
  4. Crumble and spread the topping over the fruit and bake about 40-45 minutes or until it just starts to turn brown.

Notes:

  • You can make this with a variety of fruits, just make sure that you have 5-6 cups of fruit total. Got more cherries than strawberries? That’s fine! A cherry rhubarb crisp is delicious on its own. And, cherries and strawberries together work nicely also. If you’re doing more sweeter fruits (like strawberries) than rhubarb, you may want to cut down on the sugar, though.
  • The topping can be made with just walnuts, just pecans or a mixture of both. I prefer a mixture of both or just pecans.
  • For the topping, you must mix it well enough so it forms almost a dough. A few times I’ve made something like this but made the topping more crumb-like and it does not hold up well in baking.
  • What’s the difference between a crumble, crisp and cobbler? Why is this a crisp? Because the topping contains oats! See more, here. #nowyouknow

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like rhubarb?
  • Prefer fruit desserts or chocolate desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Do you like fruit? I love fruit. Fresh, juicy fruit is something I crave pretty much year-round. When I was pregnant last year, I couldn’t get enough fruit. And now, FW is a fruit fiend. He’ll eat pretty much any fruit!

This time of year especially, I can’t get enough stone fruit. Nectarines. Peaches. Cherries. So, when Northwest Cherries reached out and asked if I’d like to try some of their cherries, I of course said yes.

The Northwest U.S. is actually known for seven varieties of cherries, including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and Rainiers. You can typically spot the sweet cherries by their darker red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

So, while I’ve been enjoying eating cherries by the handful (and spitting out the seeds … so ladylike), I’ve also been enjoying testing out different recipes using my delicious bounty. In addition to making these cherry pie bars, I have also been dabbling in the scone game (or should I say Game of Scones? #nerdhumor).

These scones are a great way to use some fresh cherries, but also just great in general. The combination of cherry and almond is great, and the dark and white chocolate picks up on the cherries’ sweetness.

The only part about this recipe I don’t like? Chopping and seeding the cherries. But, if you can get past that, then I highly recommend you make these.

Luckily, B decided that he doesn’t mind chopping and seeding cherries, so I see more cherry recipes in my future. If you don’t have yourself a B to chop the cherries, I suggest you wear clothes you don’t care about and be prepared to have deep red cherry hands for a little while!

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Makes about 12 scones

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups cold butter, sliced into pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup of your favorite chocolate chopped up or chips – I used 1/2 cup semisweet and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. Using your fingers or a fork, cut in butter until the batter resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add in coconut milk and almond extract. Combine until batter is wet and sticky.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate. Combine with a spatula or spoon until dough is evenly mixed.
  5. Divide dough in half and pat down into two even circles about 1 inch high.  Cut into 6 triangles.
  6. Bake on an oven sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for 12-14 minutes. Enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite fruit?
  • Do you like fruit desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

I know, I know – I’ve been on a peanut butter chocolate kick lately. It started with the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, then with the cookies, and now these. But THESE I assure you are worth it. If you’re a fan of fudgey brownies and creamy peanut butter – all combined – then you MUST MUST MUST make these. I made them a few times, experimenting with a few different things, but I think this is the perfect combination. They are addicting, rich and sinful – so make sure you have some friends to share these with!

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Inspired by this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

for the peanut butter layer 

  • 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 10ish mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

for the brownie layer

  • 3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cup (or other peanut butter candy – feel free to use festive peanut butter M&Ms – I used spring ones in one version of this)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish – I lined with foil and sprayed with my Pam non-stick cooking spray.
  2. First, make the peanut butter layer: Mix together the peanut butter, sugars and egg until smooth. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Make sure to press well – do not leave it loose or it could crumble after baking. Lightly press Reese’s cups (not chopped) on top of layer, evenly throughout.
  3. Then, make the brownie layer: Melt the baking chocolate and butter together in a saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl – if you microwave,  nuke for about 45 seconds, checking and stirring often until completely melted and smooth). Once melted, gradually add in sugar, then vanilla, then eggs. Then, carefully mix in the flour. Once combined, pour the batter into the pan over the peanut butter and Reese’s layer spread layer evenly to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s on top.
  4. Bake about 35-38 minutes until the top is slightly cracked around. Cool completely before cutting.

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Brown Butter Butterscotch Oatmeal Coconut Bars

You guys. I just discovered brown butter. I don’t know HOW it took me so long to try it out – but my life is changed. I will never bake again without browning my butter!

Okay so that’s false – but in all seriousness, browning the butter for at least this recipe was amazing. It smelled SO good and I think made these bars so much better than they could have been. You MUST try it – I promise, if you get a good browned butter, you won’t be sorry.

Anyway, I had a hankering for baking with butterscotch and while I love these butterscotch oatmeal cookies, I was seeking something somewhat different. After reviewing a few recipes (and my pantry), I came up with these. They’re chewy, really sweet (warning- not for the non-sweet tooth!), and I think they’re delicious. Be careful – they’re also addicting!

brown butter butterscotch oatmeal coconut bars-icrashedtheweb

Brown Butter Butterscotch Oatmeal Coconut Bars

(adapted from Cook’s Country … because I don’t have cable and am addicted to this show)

Here’s what you need:

For the bars:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal (I used 1 cup quick oats and 1 cup old fashioned – the texture is more chewy with the quick oats and more fibrous / gritty / textured with the old fashioned so i like to mix)
  • 1/2 sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup butterscotch chips divided in half
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed  brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract

Butterscotch drizzle:

  •  1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan by spraying with a nonstick cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine  flour, oats, coconut, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Brown your butter! In a small pan at medium heat, melt the butter. Let the butter continue to cook until a rich golden brown color. Stir continuously so as not to burn the butter – burned butter does not equal brown butter! Feel free to use this site as a guide as well for additional direction on how to perfectly brown your butter.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the hot brown butter with half of the 1 1/2 cup chips (3/4 cup). Mix together until melted and smooth. Add in the brown sugar, egg and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add in flour/oat/coconut mixture, just until incorporated.
  6. Add in other half of chips (3/4) and combine. (Note: I like to add in about 1/2 chips and sprinkle rest on top of batter when in pan)
  7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread so it is even. Bake about 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. When the bars are almost done, make the butterscotch drizzle: Mix 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, brown sugar and water and melt in a saucepan over medium, stirring so not to burn. Alternatively, you could make in the microwave – again, just be careful to not burn it!
  9. Drizzle over the warm bars. Let the bars cool completely before removing them – this will be tough, but it’s so worth it! Enjoy – share some with your coworkers or family 🙂

brown butter butterscotch oatmeal coconut bars-icrashedtheweb

 

 

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars

Just in time for the holidays, I’m excited to share with you a recipe that is delicious and perfect for peanut butter and chocolate lovers.

This is not realllllly a holiday recipe, but you can dress it up with red and green and then it’s the perfect for the holidays! It’s not difficult to make but it IS somewhat time consuming because it’s a few layers. But I promise it’s worth it because it really is that good.*

*if you don’t like peanut butter or chocolate you WON’T like these. I can’t be held responsible for your taste buds.

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars - icrashedtheweb

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars

Here’s what you need:

For the cookie layer

  • 1/2 c butter (1 stick)
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c flour

For the peanut butter caramel layer

  • 30 caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

For the peanut butter fudge layer

  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (I ended up using about half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. candy topping – I used peanut butter M&Ms that were red and green

Here’s what you do:

  1. For the cookie layer: Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 in. pan with foil and/or spray with cooking spray. Creaming the butter and sugar with a stand mixer until fluffy. Slowly stir in flour. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes until it starts to slightly brown. Cool for at least 20-30 minutes before continuing.
  2. For the peanut butter caramel layer: Mix caramels, peanut butter, and heavy cream in a pot over medium to medium low heat. Stir until smooth and melted. Carefully pour on top of cookie layer. I used a spatula to evenly spread on top of cookie. Chill at least 15 minutes before adding chocolate peanut butter layer.
  3. For the chocolate peanut butter layer: Melting chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir until smooth and peanut butter is incorporated and pour over caramel layer. Again, I used a spatula to spread evenly and carefully. Top with candy of your choice – I use red and green M&Ms and sprinkles to fit within my holiday theme.
  4. Chill bars until completely firm; I chilled mine in the fridge for a few hours and then let sit at room temperature before cutting.

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars (1)

Pumpkin Bread

As you may realize, I haven’t had enough time this fall to get in all the pumpkin baking I typically do. Right now, all I’ve done is make pumpkin snickerdoodles – they were the bomb by the way if you haven’t made them, it isn’t too late! But knowing that the unofficial end of pumpkin season is coming to an end soon, I knew I had to have one last pumpkin baking hurrah.

It was a cold evening so I was in the mood for some baking (who am I kidding .. it could’ve been 90 degrees and I’d be in the mood for baking…). I opened my refrigerator and my freezer – and I had only 1/2 stick of butter left for baking. Half of a stick! That narrowed down my baking choices. Thankfully, I remembered I had torn out a few (and pinned of course) pumpkin bread recipes that called for little-to-no butter. And that’s what I decided to make.

Oh yeah- this turned out SO good that I made it twice. TWICE. That’s four loaves! Get on it before pumpkin season ends!

pumpkin bread - i crashed the web

Pumpkin Bread 

(Recipe is slightly modified from a few recipes I had on hand)

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2/3 c. water

For the glaze:

  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl – flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and sugar. Place a well in the middle, this is where you’ll insert your wet ingredients.
  3. Mix together wet ingredients – 4 eggs, beaten, with canned pumpkin, oil and water. When mixed well, pour into the well of the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix everything together with a spatula or wooden spoon – do not overmix. Mix until all ingredients are just combined and dry ingredients are wet.
  5. Pour into to greased loaf pans – I used two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 sized pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool done loaves from the oven for about 5 minutes. While still warm, pour glaze over top and use a spatula to spread evenly if you want the top to by shiny. To make glaze, whisk together melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Variations – I made two loaves as normal. With the next batch, I added white chocolate chips (not too many- maybe about 3/4 c) to one loaf and then finely chopped pecans to the other loaf. Yum!

Some questions for you:

  • When do you think pumpkin baking/coffee/spice/etc. season ends? Is it already over for you?
  • What’s your favorite kind of quick bread? This may be a new favorite! Though my mom’s zucchini bread is still on top for year-round goodness.
  • What are you in the mood to bake these days? If you don’t bake – what dessert is on your mind?

pumpkin bread

Cookie Dough Easter Eggs

Holy cow, where has April gone? It seems like just last week B and I were going to Ash Wednesday Mass and I was preparing to give up meat yet again for Lent.

Anyway, the 40ish days have pretty much concluded – meaning, not only am I going to be eating meat again soon, but we also get to prepare Easter desserts!

This year, I’ll be making a few of my favorite cookie dough truffles or cookie balls – and shaping them like eggs so that they become … voila! Easter Egg Cookie Dough Balls. You can really make these with any of your favorite truffle recipes, so I choose the chocolate chip cookie recipe but dipped in white chocolate (you can do regular chocolate if you like too, they may be harder to decorate though):

cookie dough easter eggs - i crashed the webi

Cookie Dough Easter Eggs

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz bag of candy coating

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add milk and vanilla and mix on high speed with an electric mixer.
  2. Stir in flour on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour or overnight.
  4. When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1″ round balls. Then shape into somewhat flattened egg shapes and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
  5. Place dough ball-filled sheet in freezer and let chill for  at least 30 minutes.
  6. After cookie dough balls have hardened in the freezer, it’s time to dip them in the melted chocolate! Melt chocolate candy coating in the microwave or according to package directions. Using a fork, dip eggs into melted milk chocolate and coat completely.
  7. Return chocolate-covered balls to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill until set.
  8. Enjoy! They’re pretty awesome.

To decorate:

  • Sprinkles: while melting chocolate is wet on the egg, sprinkle colored sugars or sprinkles over egg.
  • Drizzled chocolate: melt different colored melting chocolate according to package directions – or add food coloring to white chocolate – and use a fork to drizzle colored chocolate over the white chocolate base. If chocolate is too thick to drizzle, add some shortening to thin out chocolate a little. Do not add too much – and do not add water to chocolate! I just drizzled with my fork, but here is some more info on drizzling technique.

There are so many variations on this recipe – you could make them in so many different flavors including Birthday Cake Truffles, Cookies and Cream Truffles, Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles, Baileys Truffles and more! Just choose you favorite, shape them into eggs and you’re done.

 

raw cookie dough balls easter eggs - i crashed the web

Cookie dough is shaped and ready to chill

raw cookie dough balls easter eggs - i crashed the web

be careful – they’re addicting!

raw cookie dough balls easter eggs - i crashed the web

decorate with sprinkles or drizzle with chocolate

Enjoy! What are you baking for Easter? Do you have a favorite truffle recipe?