Cookie Butter Snickerdoodle Bars

Hi.
Are you ready for this? You’re Wednesday is about to get all kinds of delicious.
Speculoos, as in Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s, takes these Thick and Chewy Snickerdoodle Bars to another level. Those old bars are one of my most popular recipes on the site, and I can’t even take credit for the recipe. But these. These Cookie Butter Snickerdoodle Bars are a game-changer.
The texture is almost scone-like. Moist and soft, yet just a tad bit dry and crumbly, in a good way. If you know me, (I’m talking to you Hannah, and Brooke…and GG!) you know how much I love a good scone. Especially when there’s cinnamon involved. In fact, cinnamon might be my favorite spice. On a daily basis, you can find me either stirring it into oatmeal and ice cream/frozen yogurt, shaking it on top of baked sweet potatoes, and of course mixing it into manymany baked goods

So it’s no surprise I like snickerdoodles, where cinnamon sugar takes center stage. I’m not sure what exactly qualifies a snickerdoodle as such. Whether or not replacing some of the regular dairy butter with cookie butter takes away from their “snickerdoodleness,” I’m not sure, but I doubt it. I’m standing by the name. You’ll still find brown sugar and butter in the dough, and you’ll still sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. Cookie butter contains cinnamon as well, so you get an added punch by its incorporation.

Some other notable ways I changed the original recipe: I cut back on the brown sugar and I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. This is me trying to be better to my body.

As easy as it is to eat the cookie butter straight from the jar, think about these next time you have a jar (which hopefully is right now). It doesn’t take too much, only half a cup, to turn already amazing cookie bars into even more amazing cookie bars.

**P.S. It’s not too late to enter the GIVEAWAY for a $250 Food Lion gift card!!**



Cookie Butter Snickerdoodle Bars
(Adapted from these Thick and Chewy Snickerdoodle Bars)

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Speculoos Cookie Butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×9 inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt. Whisk well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine butter, cookie butter and brown sugar. Use a hand mixer to cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Continue to blend on medium speed until everything is well-incorporated.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing between additions. Use hand mixer to blend until all ingredients are just incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go along.
5. Add batter to the 9×9 pan. Use your fingers to press down to fill the entire pan.
6. In a small bowl, combine white sugar and cinnamon. Stir together. Sprinkle evenly across the top of the batter in the pan.
7. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. It is better to undercook then overcook! These will set up a bit after rooming from the oven, so you want to pull them out when then are just barely done.
8. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing into square and serve.

For best taste, bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.

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Blackberry Peach Crumble Bars

My inspiration for today’s recipe: “Fake it ’til you make it.”

As freezing temperatures sweep through Charleston this week, I am going to pretend it’s actually summer until it comes true.

Can’t. handle. the. cold.

Crumbly fruit bars are just one way to pretend it’s summertime. If you’ve never tried the blackberry-peach combination, get on it. Besides the pretty colors, the flavor can’t be beat. With these bars, the juicy fruits are pressed between two layers of crisp, buttery oats. Warm, summery smiles all around, guaranteed.

What are “summery smiles” you ask? I don’t know exactly. I made it up. But I imagine we smile a whole lot more in the summer than in the winter. An easy-going kind of smile that just comes naturally in the warm and sunny weather. Not the forced ouch-this-hurts-my-dry-crackling-skin kind of wintertime smile.

Anyway.
I’m keeping things short and sweet (no pun intended) around here today, because the pictures speak for themselves. 
In full disclosure, I actually did make these bars last summer, hence all of the lively greenery in the background. However I’m sure they will be equally as wonderful with a backdrop of snow (or freezing rain in my case…). 
Like I said, FAKE IT ’til you make it. 
Blackberry Peach Crumble Bars
Makes about 12 bars
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons milk
3 large peaches, peeled and chopped
1 cup blackberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×9 inch pan and set aside. 
2. In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, flour and salt. Cut in the butter pieces and egg until butter chunks become size of peas. Spread half of this mixture in the bottom of the pan. Press down to form the crust. 
3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix in the chopped blackberries and peaches and stir to combine. Spread this fruit mixture over the crust in the pan. Crumble the rest of the flour mixture evenly over top of the fruit. 
4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the crumble on top is golden brown. Cool completely, cut into squares and serve. 
Refrigerate any remaining bars in an airtight container for up to five days. 

Thick and Chewy Snickerdoodle Bars

Soooo. Let me tell you about these snickerdoodle bars. Like the title says, they are thick and chewy. What the title doesn’t say is that they may be the best thing I’ve made in quite awhile. Seriously addicting. I mean…seriously

They seem to get better with each bite I take. Even a couple days after baking, they are just as soft and haven’t lost a touch of flavor. I love that you can taste a hint of the saltiness too. Hey, as much as I love sweets, I am a salt-lover too. My original plan was to eat one or two for myself, let Greg have what he wanted, and bring the rest to work to share. 
Well, after polishing off my first bar and walking running back to the pan for a second and third, I knew these wouldn’t be going anywhere close to work. I was keeping these in the safety of my home. And in my home they shall stay for Greg and me to finish every last one for ourselves. 
The great thing about baking these is that since they are bars and not cookies, you don’t have to go through the extra steps of rolling the dough into balls, then rolling in cinnamon sugar. Just pour in a pan and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar right on top. Quick and easy. And trust me, the quicker the better. 

Thick and Chewy Snickerdoodle Bars
(From My Own Sweet Thyme)

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9×9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, add brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat with hand-mixer until well blended. Add flour mixer and continue to beat until combined.
4. Pour batter into the greased pan and spread evenly.
5. In a small bowl, mix the white sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle overtop of the batter in the pan.
6. Bake about 22-25 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and pull away from side of pan. Let cool 5-10 minutes, cut into squares and serve.

Baking note: One thing I have learned from my snickerdoodle-baking experience is that it’s best to slightly undercook them, because they always, always set up just right after they cool. If you wait until they seem completely cooked before taking them out of the oven, they will turn crunchy when they cool. If you ask me, a crunch snickerdoodle = no bueno. Soft and chewy is where it’s at with these comforting treats.

*Keeps well in airtight container for several days!