the baker upstairs

7.13.2016

S'mores Bars

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These delicious and indulgent s'mores bars are the perfect treat to enjoy all summer long!

These delicious and indulgent s'mores bars are the perfect treat to enjoy all summer long!

So, it turns out that moving is hard. We've moved half a dozen times since we were married, but moving to another state is a whole new ballgame. Last week I drove up to Portland with my husband and about half of our stuff, helped him get settled in and ready to start his new job, and then drove home to Utah to hang out with our kiddos and finish packing up our apartment here. We'll be moving the rest of our stuff (and the whole family) up to Portland in about a week and a half, and I'm currently alternating between exhausted and overwhelmed. :) One thing that always helps, though, is a good treat, and these s'mores bars are just that! I made them for one of my husband's last shifts at his job, to share with his co-workers, and they were quite the popular treats. They have a graham cracker cookie base, topped with Hershey's chocolate and marshmallow cream. They're sort of a hybrid between a cookie and a candy, and all-around fantastic! They're gooey and indulgent and one of my very favorite treats. Even though we're trying to finish off the food in the pantry and freezer before moving, I may just have to go buy all the ingredients to make these again, because they're just that good!
S'mores Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 king-sized Hershey's bars (or 10 snack size bars)
1 (7 ounce) container marshmallow cream

Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined. Pat half the mixture into an even layer in the prepared pan. Press the Hershey's bars into the dough, then spread with the marshmallow cream. Top with the remaining dough in an even layer. (I found it most helpful to roll the dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap, then carefully place it on top of the marshmallow cream.) Bake 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool before slicing.

recipe via Lovin' from the Oven
These delicious and indulgent s'mores bars are the perfect treat to enjoy all summer long!

7.04.2016

Chocolate Vanilla Bean Caramels

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These chocolate vanilla bean caramels are indulgent and delicious, and so easy to make!

People ask me often what my favorite food is, and I never know what to say. There are really just too many foods that I like to narrow it down to just one. I mean, I could tell you my favorite cookie (these chocolate chip cookies) or my favorite bread (this white sandwich bread), but choosing just one food to be my favorite is impossible. One of the top contenders, though, is homemade caramels. Every time I make them, I am reminded all over again just how delightful they are. I've been making my favorite homemade caramel recipe for a few years now, and it always turns out perfectly delicious. This time, I decided to try a new twist on the recipe, and used chocolate flavored sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla bean paste instead of just vanilla. Best decision ever! These chocolate vanilla bean caramels are definitely some of the best caramels I've ever eaten. They are the perfect blend of chocolate and vanilla, and so indulgently delicious!

These chocolate vanilla bean caramels are indulgent and delicious, and so easy to make!
Chocolate Vanilla Bean Caramels

1 cup salted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional sea salt for sprinkling
1 can (14 ounces) chocolate flavored sweetened condensed milk (I used this kind)
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by lining with parchment paper. In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Slowly stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the mixture reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste. Let sit for five minutes, then pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to cool completely before cutting and wrapping in parchment paper.
These chocolate vanilla bean caramels are indulgent and delicious, and so easy to make!

7.03.2016

10 Easy Last Minute 4th of July Recipes

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10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!


The 4th of July? That's ages away, right?

Yeah, actually, its Monday.

Like, tomorrow

I know some of you probably have had your menu planned for weeks, along with your super cute Pinterest board filled with patriotic food and red, white, and blue decor that is sure to fill your guests with awe. I think that is awesome, and I want to come to your party. 

But, I'm Cort, the Little Red Hen, and I'm not one of those, and I figure there may be others of you out there who are thinking, "How is TOMORROW the 4th of July? There's no way I can layer colored Jell-O at this point!" Or maybe you're like, "Blueberries are HOW much? Is there any other blue food option on the planet?" Or, maybe your hubby is committed to grilling, and you are terrified there will be a repeat of the flaming-burgers-of-death scenario, so you're looking for a simple, classic burger recipe that won't require a fire hydrant, duct tape, and your local 911 dispatcher. Don't worry, friends. I've got your back. 

I've put together 10 easy, last-minute 4th of July recipes that you can quickly pull off. Like tomorrow. Each has been carefully selected to ensure maximum satisfaction and speediness. And, they are easy on your budget so you can spend those dollars on fireworks, knowwhatimean....

Either way, if you are totally at a loss as to what to bring other than a bag of chips to that BBQ at 5:00 tomorrow, or if you've got every detail planned, check out these tasty, creative, easy, last minute recipes sure to get you out of the kitchen and out enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds that make Independence Day so amazing! Spend the time with your people. 

Bake the bread. Share the slices.

Captain America Kids Drink: Celebrate Red, White and Blue from A Worthey Read

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Blueberry Peach Crumble Crisp from Little Red Hen

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Blueberry, Strawberry and Jicama Salsa from Two Peas and Their Pod

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Watermelon Stars from i heart naptime

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

The Best Hamburger Recipe and Burger Tips from Mirlanda's Kitchen

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Fireworks Pudding Cookies from Crazy for Crust

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Easy Flag Dessert from Family Fresh Meals

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Simple and Sweet Apple Cake from The Baker Upstairs

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Root Beer Chicken from Iowa Girl Eats

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!

Firecracker Popcorn from Foodie Fun

10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!



10 easy last minute 4th of July recipes sure to save the holiday!


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