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a balanced plate with room for dessert


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S’More Bars

It’s funny how something that I love so much can just slip to the back of my head. I apologize, once again, for not keeping up with my blog. After a whirlwind wedding, I fell into the routine of work, prepare for work, eat, sleep, and sometimes workout. I also hate to admit this, but I was making the same old food over and over again. I wasn’t exploring anymore.

I recently recovered from a horrifying 5 days of being sick. The one plus? I got to lay in bed and watch old seasons of Top Chef. It hit me one morning – I love cooking, I love watching other people cook, I love trying new things… why in the world am I not keeping up with my blog?!

I decided to start making more new dishes and challenged myself to not make anything I’ve made before, no matter how good it was. I chose 5 new types of cookies to make for my Christmas packages this year and I’m bringing new foods to work potlucks.

So here it goes. I offer you these S’More Cookie Bars. They are a perfect winter treat if you ever find yourself missing campfires in the summer.

S’More Bars
serves 16
from bakingbites.com

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about  8 full size sheets)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 king sized Hershey’s chocolate bars
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place chocolate bars over dough in a single layer. The 2 king sized bars should fit perfectly side by side. Break the chocolate  if necessary to fit it into the pan.
  5. Spread marshmallow creme over chocolate with a spatula.
  6. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This is most easily done by flattening the dough into small “pancakes” and laying them on top of the marshmallow creme.
  7. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until lightly browned.
  8. Cool completely before cutting into bars.


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Granola Bars

Granola bars are one of my favorite things to snack on. It’s perfect when I need something to hold me over from lunch to dinner. While it may be convenient to just buy a box (or two) from the grocery store, making them at home allows you to customize the bars to your tastes! I added coconut, walnuts and milk chocolate chips to the fruit and nut “base”, but you could add in an endless number of ingredients!

Granola Bars

Granola Bars

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces dried fruit
1/4 cup coconut
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup walnuts

  1. Preheat oven t 350°F. Butter a 9×9 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Mix oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts together and spread onto a half sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the brown sugar is dissolved.
  4. When the oat and nut mixture is done, remove from oven and turn the oven down to 300°F.
  5. Stir the oat and nut combination into the liquid mixture. Add in coconut, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. Stir quickly and spread into prepared 9×9 baking dish. Press down mixture firmly and distribute the mixture evenly.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, let cool completely, and then cut into bars.


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Lemon Bars

I’m not sure why I thought summer would be less busy than the school year, because it certainly is not. I’ve spent the last few weeks packing, moving, and unpacking. The unpacking continued for several days and I still don’t think it’s quite over. I don’t really understand how I accumulated so much stuff over the last two years. I’m now in DC on vacation with my father, siblings, and my boyfriend. I felt so bad for neglecting my blog that I decided to take a time-out in my life to update.

I made these lemon bars right before I left for vacation last week – they were perfectly tart and not too sweet. I urge you to try them while it’s still summer!

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3  cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2  cups unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup lemon juice (approximately 6 large lemons)
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13×7 baking dish with butter and set aside.
  2. To make crust, combine the first 3 ingredients. Pat dough into the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare filling. Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and flour until frothy. Pour over baked crust.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the lemon topping is just hardened. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar before serving.