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Bars - Squares - Filled

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Hola, hold up! Orange and lime juice make up the sour orange flavor of these wonderful shortbread based, luscious tropical filling treats.If you like lemon bars, you will love these.

Just a touch of spicy Pumpkin cheesecake - available in fridge-ready bars for your Thanksgiving nibbles. Extravagant but not as rich as a big cheesecake in the flavor of the holiday. A recipe from a very special collection in a feature I did for the now-defunct Coffee Magazine.

Meet You in St. Louis? This is heaven, pure and simple - at least, if you are keen on chewy/pastry coffeecakes with a sludge of butter and sugar.  This is one of my own personal favorite recipes because nothing beats buttery pastry, with a sweet chewy filling. It's a yeasty, sweet coffecake/bread base, topped with a caramelized, gooey delight. There is nothing else quite like it in unique taste, texture and appearance and it always brings raves. Apparently every pastry shop, bakery, and supermarket in St. Louis offers this cake but outside St. Louis, I would wager it is pretty unique. In a pinch, use frozen bread dough to make this recipe quick and easier.

A little bit of sugar makes these brownies extra special.
It is a nicer finish than plain brownies and not as sweet as iced ones. Heck - these are just super anyway!

Big and dense, golden, and buttery, this is the vanilla and brown sugar version of brownies updated with fresh raspberries. I had these once in a bakery that specialized in rustic breads but occasionally they offered up some sweet sensations. And so these huge blondies sat in the window, begging you to come in and buy them. Of course I succumbed (each square was a good half pound) and had to recreate them.

Here is a Canadiana treat, a classic square from Nanaimo, British Columbia respun with peanut butter. If you want a salty sweet version, used salted peanuts and or salted peanut butter. The counterpoint of sweet crust, sweet chocolate and salty peanuts is a perfect taste byte. So, ya got your graham peanut bottom, a sweet and creamy filling, and a topping of pure chocolate, dollied up with a peanut butter fondant drizzle.

You may use raspberry preserves or apricot jam for this one, but the homemade apricot filling is tops.

These are luxurious, memorable, easy and almost more decadent than cheesecake itself. If you had them on hand, chopped up Turtle bars would tilt these into an illegal substance. I prefer these brownies cut in wedges, in a cheesecake pan for this recipe.


 

This makes a huge cake that is cut in squares and each dipped in fondant. It is reminiscent old-fashioned fondant squares, you may have had as a kid at family owned, old-fashioned bakeries. It is only ‘twinkie-esque” in that it is a rich, great yellow-white cake, with a ton of fluffy, bakery style frosting. This makes a huge batch but it freezes well and lasts for days, as fresh each day, each bite, as it is the first day. But if you want less cake, halve the recipe and make it in a 8 by 11 inch pan (but it will also be a less tall cake square, as a result). If you want to skip the fondant dipping, then serve it as a large sheet cake, sandwiched with icing – That way, it is more like a slab of birthday cake but still absolutely amazing. To make this more “twinkie’, use only shortening and artificial vanilla –sorry, but that is some of the commercial aspect of traditional twinkies. I prefer to use almost all natural ingredients (such as butter in the icing) but the choice is yours.

Flaky pastry wrapped around barely-melted chocolate and toasted almonds, all braced with a sweet lashing of pure vanilla extract.

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