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Bars - Squares - Filled

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What a great gift! Brownie dry mix is the easiest thing to create and give. Just use quality cocoa, which you gently stir and then measure. If I, like Oprah, ever did a my  own favorite things list/show, Brownies in a Jar would be on the hit list. I use vintage Mason jars or dollar store decorative jars. Ribbons and a card is all you need to finish this gift off but you can also add a dollar store 8 by 11 inch brownie pan. Cost of raw elements: about $3. Care that goes into the mix: priceless.

How can something to instant and quick be so darned good? Easy, when you start with dulce de leche, Nutella, some graham crackers and inventiveness. Another decadent Baker in a Hurry treat. Gianduja is another term for chocolate-hazelnut heaven. Adding dulce or a caramel spin makes this dessert irresistible

Kids will often eschew the more tart hamantaschen fillings and just nibble their way around. You may wish to serve them our Chocolate Hamantaschen or try these flats. "Just the crust, M'am". They retain the traditional shape and nothing goes to waste.

This recipe is one of those easy pleasers and perfect in fall. It impresses everyone and stays fresh-looking and tasting for days. I make it with apples and cranberries as well as sometimes, adding a few raisins to the apple filling.

Bake these in a jellyroll pan. Semi-freeze and then cut into heart shapes with a heart cookie cutter. Roll in cocoa, or confectioners sugar or enrobe in melted chocolate or pretty-in-pink fondant and sprinkles. Serve in a muffin cup liner as pastries or as a gift. (trimmings make great snacks)

No trademark or brand name references here but I think you get the reference. These are all-natural, homemade, oaty bars similar to those you find in the supermarket. Jam filled, cake-mix and oatmeal based, these whip up in seconds (!) and yield a nice batch of wrap and take them with you bars which are ideal to eat on your commute, pack into a brown bag lunch or tuck into at recess. 

A zap of double strength brewed tea and lemon is a baker's rendition of a summer cooler. It is also just the perk for Indian summer. This is a big, bold lemon bar, infused with concentrated black tea. It is finished with a drizzle of lemon-scented, melted white chocolate.

You know those canisters of macaroons that no one eats? (ahem). This recipe puts them to good use. You can always make homemade macaroons and use half of them to serve and half of them in this recipe. A luscious chocolate brownie that tastes like a Passover-correct "Mounds" bar. Make sure, if you use margarine, that it is neither salted nor whipped style. I buy new pans from the dollar store each year to make all my bars and I freeze.

You can find this lovely, moist and crack-topped brownie recipe, with this name, almost everywhere. It is, like Kate was, a legend – or an urban legend, at least.  It is also the typical, quintessential American brownie recipe. It is Hepburn who made it special. Most of the recipes with this name are exactly the same but some, include in the directives, the phrase stir like made which is pure Kate. As I fan, I would never disagree with the Great K, but as a baker, I caution you – never, ever, stir a brownie batter like mad! Not necessary. These are easy and just the thing to make if you are in for the night, and having a Katherine Hepburn film fest chez vous. Kate remembered, indeed.

A layered gourmet brownie mix is the next best thing to home-baking. Doll a jar of this mix in a pretty rattan basket, along with a new brownie baking pan for a complete gift. Just use a great quality pure cocoa.

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