Monday, December 24, 2012

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

I need to call a conference with the People Who Invent Baby Clothes. We have to tell them something that I am sure they do not know. Are they not aware that the main people who snap up baby stretchies are either majorly sleep deprived mothers or seriously clueless fathers? (Sorry Big D. Its just part of being a Man. Sweat and sawdust, my friend.) Big D. correctly commented that you need a PhD to snap those things up, and really, he's not that far off. You start snapping and before you know it, the poor little Grumpy Bundle of Joy is snapped up with his head over his feet and his toes popping out somewhere in between. Just sharing my thoughts with you on this. It's funny, because anytime someone snaps up a baby, they always sigh and say "I don't know how this thing goes..." Its like the fact everyone knows but no one talks about. So I think someone should definitely enlighten Them. Maybe we can pass a law that all baby things must close with zippers? Just banish those pesky snaps all together. Just a thought here. Anyways, for those of you not losing any sleep over snaps and zippers and grumps, here's something good to munch on:

Oatmeal Fudge Bars                                                                                         adapted from Baking and Mistaking
*Disclaimer: These bars are crumby when you cut them. If anyone has a solution on how to get them less crumby, I'd love to hear!

2 cups instant oats
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine or butter, melted

3 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in melted margarine and stir until combined. Press 1/2 the mixture into the bottom of lined pan. Reserve the rest of the crumbs. Bake for 8 minutes and then let cool. 

Prepare the filling:
Melt margarine or butter in a small saucepan. Add chocolate chips and stir constantly over low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly and whisk in eggs. Add in flour, sugar, coffee and salt and stir until combined. Spread over cooled crust and sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake again at 325° for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 2 hours before cutting. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Coffee Flavored Crumb Cake

Ever since the arrival of our Grumpy Little Monkey, sleep has been a commodity around here. For everyone. And let me tell you guys something-lack of sleep completely and totally removes my sense of humor. Seriously. For the past two weeks, I have been digging deep into my well of wit and wisdom, and sadly its dark and empty. For now at least. So instead of pushing it off for another week, I am here at last, to share a recipe with you. And guess what: there is sour cream in the recipe in honor of Chanuka. 
 Come back in 6 months for some humor and entertainment. Or come back next week for some food and pictures. Either way,we're cool. 

Coffee Flavored Crumb Cake
This recipe is a nice change from the standard crumb cake. At first glance, you might read this as a coffee crumb cake, but it is actually a coffee flavored crumb cake. Thanks Sweet Pea for posting  the inspiration for this recipe!

2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter*, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream*
2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Crumb topping:
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.
To make the filling: In a small bowl combine the sugar, coffee granules and cinnamon; set aside.
To make the coffee cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (The batter will be thick)
Spread half of the batter evenly into prepared baking pan and sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar topping and half the chocolate chips. Spoon the remaining batter in 8 dollops over the batter in the pan and spread gently. Combine crumb topping ingredients in a  small bowl. Using a fork, mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Top with remaining cinnamon-coffee mixture and chocolate chips.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For the sugar addicts out there, combine 1 cup powder sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Drizzle over cooled cake.
* For a non-dairy version, you can use margarine, and Toffutti sour cream. 

Happy Chanuka!

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