Cookie Bars For Passover!

Cookie Bars for Passover!

It’s that time again, my lovelies. Passover is upon us! What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t give you some recipe love?

As I’ve mentioned, this is the most challenging food week of the year. I don’t like matza or anything that tastes like it, so my Passover philosophy is to avoid cooking or baking with it as much as possible. Instead, I use nut flours and potato starch, which taste much closer to the real deal.

Every year I buy a new recipe book, and this year I got Paula Shoyer’s The New Passover Menu. It’s an incredible cookbook, and it includes these cookie bars. My holiday is now officially better!

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Chocolate Chip Butter Bars

Chocolate Chip Butter Bars

My entire childhood was devoid of butter.

I mean, there was good reason for it. When my father had a triple bypass relatively early in my life, my mother overhauled the kitchen. If there had been butter before, it was gone forever. So I never knew what it tasted like, much less how it could elevate a baked good.

Believe me, I’m making up for lost time here. This is my favorite cookie bar base, which has very few ingredients, so it’s easy to throw together as well as delicious. I’ve filled it with milk chocolate chips and spread melted milk chocolate on top. Really, life doesn’t get much better than this.

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Triple Threat Brookies

Triple Threat Brookies

Do you know what a Triple Threat is?

In theater (yes, I used to be a theater nerd), that term refers to someone who can sing, dance and act. They don’t just barely pull it off, either. They can do all three with amazing ease and style. We tend to hate people like that. I kid, I kid.

Consider this bar the triple threat of the cookie bar world. All other bars look at this bar and they’re jealous. You know why? Because we have three things going on here: brownie, cookie, and more cookie. Sandwiched between the layers of brownie and chocolate chip cookie is…Chips Ahoy!

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Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

I’m back! Back from sunny Florida, refreshed and ready to work again.

Well, sort of. I mean, I’m not ready. But this is the closest I’ll be. We can’t spend life on a beach. Or maybe we can’t. I keep wondering if I could change my life and live on a beach. I mean, they need teachers everywhere, don’t they?

While I’m contemplating a change in location, I might as well bake. In fact, it’s one of the things that keeps my life grounded. Whether I stay in colder climes or not, I will always love crumb more than anything. These bars are all about the oatmeal crumb, which sandwiches a layer of fudge. The whole thing gets topped off with M & Ms. Did I say these were happy? Or was that just too obvious?

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No-Butter Fudgy Brownies

No-Butter Fudgy Brownies

My mother is canola oil’s biggest fan.

Years ago, she started championing canola as a healthier alternative for people who need to keep their cholesterol low and their hearts in tip-top shape. She tries to bake with it instead of butter, and to be honest, I’m not usually with her. After all, I make a lot of dessert. Dessert usually requires butter.

But my parents did me a huge favor this past week, so I baked them heart-healthy brownies as a way of saying thank you. And want to hear the best part? You won’t even miss the butter. These are easy, quick, and taste totally decadent.

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The Easiest Blondie Base

The Easiest Blondie Base

Being a social butterfly and all, I get invited places with some degree of frequency. And when I’m attending a party or gathering at someone’s house, it’s pretty likely I’ll be asked to bring dessert.

I guess it makes sense. After all, I’m the dessert girl. But every now and then, could I bring a bottle of tequila instead? Sharing is caring, ya know.

Oh, well. When I’m asked last-minute to bring a dessert somewhere, an old faithful recipe is the one to save me every time. No, I’m not talking about passing off slice and bake as my own, though that’s tempting. I’m talking about an easy bar cookie. These blondies are chewy, thick, easily customized and, most important, fast.

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Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars

Thank heaven for almonds.

Seriously, they’re food of the gods. They have protein, taste great, and are easily portable. Plus, they’re pretty durable. I have to work really hard to squash an almond.

Chocolate-covered almonds are even better, especially when the chocolate is really delicious. DOVE® Roasted Almonds covered in dark chocolate are totally my bag. And they’re even more fun when they get incorporated into these chocolate almond raspberry bars!

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Peanut Butter S’more Magic Bars

Peanut Butter S’more Magic Bars

The world only needed one thing more, and now we’re good.

Okay, maybe that’s a tad hyperbolic. But honestly, s’mores need peanut butter like Kanye needs Twitter. Magic bars are already over the top gooey and chewy, so why not have a little mouth party up in here? The week is going to be so much more pleasant with some sugar.

These are a riff on the standard magic bar, which comes together quickly and (of course) magically with fairly few ingredients and a can of sweetened condensed milk. SCM (as we bakers like to call it) is stuff of the gods and should not be put in a corner. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

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Tagalong Peanut Butter Blondies

Tagalong Peanut Butter Blondies

Everyone already ate the Tagalongs. They’re gone. Cue my sad face.

Luckily, I baked a bunch into these peanut butter blondies before they were totally gone, so we got to enjoy them in a different form. Oh, the love.

Known as Peanut Butter Patties in other parts of America, Tagalongs are my number one favorite Girl Scout cookie. Who can argue with peanut butter and a cookie drenched in chocolate? Stick all that into a dessert bar and we’re just talking pure joy.

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Almond Butter Bars

Almond Butter Bars

Hold on to your hats, almond butter lovers. You are about to be seriously happy.

When almond butter first became a thing, I got really excited and ran out to buy some. And then, boom. Huge disappointment. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t peanut butter.

I think that was my problem. I was looking at almond butter through the lens of peanut butter and expecting something just like that. When I learned to step back and appreciate almond butter on its own, then it was so much more delicious. Plus, then I could open up all the baking doors and make those fun desserts happen!

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