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Bars - Squares - Filled

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From "A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking"

What could be better than fudge brownies with a secret layer of Mallomars (or in Canada, Whippet Cookies), those chocolate coated marshmallow cookies? These are fabulous brownies in their own right but adding the Mallomars puts them over the top. They also take 14 cookies - a perfect count for Valentine's Day brownies. This is a really sticky, chocolately, decadent amazing brownie. The cookies provide a gooey element and the graham bottoms bake into crunchy and sweet crispness that adds a perfect texture to the brownies.

 

Maple and white chocolate and nutty things – how could you go wrong? Topped with a caramel maple sugar glaze.

A few pantry ingredients make a brownie base, which is then swirled with a Betty Crocker cake mix, such as a white or gold cake. The result is a fudgy, chewy brownie, with lovely golden pockets of cake baked in. It looks fabulous; it tastes better. Topped off with chocolate chips, sprinkled onto the still-warm cake, and you have a chocolate lover’s paradise.  Takes less than 8 minutes to assemble. All you need is a food processor, a baking sheet, and an oven. Real ‘wow’ factor in a bakesale prizewinner.

These are a triumph. I never heard of Mazurka Bars, purportedly of Polish origin, until I read Bread Alone, a novel by Judith Hendricks.  I don’t recall a recipe in the book for these bars and a quick search (and hounding my few Polish friends) didn’t result in any recipe that resembled the description of a tart or shortbread bottom, a smack of tart apricot spread or filling and a luscious topping of caramelized walnuts. then I found a Russian bakery in Montreal that had some. Bought one and alas, it was not what I envisioned (the crust was also weirdly deep canary yellow). Some recipes online suggested coconut and oatmeal but I honestly couldn’t agree to those ingredients in a European pastry. So here are my Mazurka Bars – sweet, decadent and trust me – you will go wild for the taste of the caramel topping with the apricot layer that is such a nice surprise. I use homemade apricot filling such as a apricot hamantashen filling but you can also use a nice thick apricot jam (Middle Eastern stores have the best apricot jam) For the book, http://www.amazon.com/Bread-Alone-Judith-R-Hendricks/dp/0060084405/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362074645&sr=8-2&keywords=bread+alone

These are deep, dark, moist, delicious brownies, enlivened with the gorgeous fragrance of pure coffee ‘absolute’ an intense, pure coffee extra my friend Anya McCoy of Anya’s Garden Perfumes sent me. It results in brownies that waft an incredible perfume, born of the flavor and fragrance fusion of the coffee extrsact, with the vanilla and chocolate notes. Anya McCoy
http://AnyasGarden.com
http://PerfumeClasses.com
http://NaturalPerfumers.com

Mock Mille-Feuilles? For years, people have been doing odd things with Ritz Crackers. Perhaps you've come across the famed Mock Apple Pie? Mille-feuilles, in French, means one thousand sheets, or layers. The steps required to make this luscious version of the classic pastry can be counted on one hand. 24 hours chill time is recommended. It will keep for three days - refrigerated.

A tip of the hat to the Peter Paul candy company. No actual Mounds bars in these, just some inspiration. These are dense chocolate brownies with a chewy, coconut section

Recently while on Martha Stewart Sirius Radio I was asked for a couple of my favorite brownie recipes. It's like choosing my favorite kid!  But here is one of my personal tried and truest (another one would be my famed Notting Hill Brownies, or maybe it is my Creme Brulee Brownies - so hard to choose!). This recipe doubles like a dream but bakes up gorgeous - simply decadent brownies. Not muddy or cakey but the perfect balanced brownie, due in part to the use of both cocoa and melted chocolate. These also freeze well but they never make it to the freezer. A great gift brownie that also takes well to anything you want to throw in it - from nuts, to chocolate chips or hunks of toffee.
 

Easily mixed by hand in minutes, these are dark, fudgy, and kid-approved.
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