Merry Christmas !! #51, Hello Dolly Bars and #52 Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies

#51 Hello Dolly Bars? From Maria Howard of Peculiar, Missouri. You just dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.

#52 “Allysa developed this variation on the traditional blondie. If you’re a peanut butter lover, you’ll be crazy about these!”

Clockwise from the top: Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies, Hello Dolly Bars, Fudge with Texas Pecans, Orange Cranberry Bread

Chezbonneau is in Texas for the Christmas and New Years holiday celebration, spending lots of wonderful time with the family. Although this is a time of year for lots of baking, M. le Patissier is not in his own kitchen, and certainly not in a normal routine. That said, some fun progress has been made – and enjoyed!

The plate of goodies above were the last pieces of the Chezbonneau contribution to the family Christmas Eve gathering. The Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies had to wait for a trip to the US of A since I have been unable to find Heath Bars in Qatar. I’ll be bringing a small bag of those toffee goodies back with me for a repeat. Of the four pictured sweets, these blondies were the biggest hit.

DETOUR: Very slight detour. When it came time to make the blondies, I didn’t have any peanuts, but I did have crunchy (instead of smooth) peanut butter – best substitute possible if you need one. The crunch peanut butter just added a flavor and texture punch from down below.

The Hello Dolly Bars tasted wonderful but didn’t “look” as inviting as the blondies. I know that I can improve on these – details below.

EMBARRASSING GOOF: When it came time to bake the Hello Dolly Bars, I couldn’t get to the recipe. I am in a place with Internet access that is virtually nil, and I was relying for the online cookbook. Well………. (here it comes), I left out the butter from the batter. I CONFESS – I was sure there needed to be butter in that batter, but not REALLY sure, even though I couldn’t believe..blah, blah, blah. I had jotted down “butter” in an earlier “connected moment” but didn’t write quantity or “how” it needed to be added. I didn’t believe it would work without butter (melted; into the mix), but I forged ahead without it. It ALMOST worked, and here’s how/why —————

I added extra condensed milk on top – a sort of “trickle down economics” approach to needed moisture. I won’t know what the Hello Dolly Bars “should” have looked and tasted like until I do them again – with the butter. But the result of these bars was “pretty darn good”, a favorite of some that Christmas Eve day. The only disconcerting element was the very bottom of the graham cracker bar. It remained dry, as with a dusting of cracker crumbs. But hey! They’re all gone!



50th Recipe – Coconut Pecan Shortbread Squares

This bar cookie has a simple shortbread crust and layers of pecans and coconut. It couldn’t be easier to make—or more delicious.



First – This is my 50th recipe of the Complete Magnolia Cookbook

Second – My registered followers are first to get a bite of this. Maybe a smallish bite. We’ll see.

Third – There’s lots to say about what I actually did as opposed to the official recipe. There were a few detours of necessity. First thing to notice is that it’s round, not square.

Other detours? Later. Gotta go.


#49, Apple Bars with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

A perfect autumn treat—all the flavors of apple pie, but unlike the more fragile pie, these bars are easily wrapped up for lunches and picnics.


I offered this recipe to the first 24 teachers/staff who could tell me 2 group of people to whom I’d recently given goodies. Nine responded. After that, students were the beneficiaries.

Butter up!
Butter up!
Basics. Cutting butter into flour.

The instructions in Magnolia call for a 9 x 12 inch pan. Mine is a little larger than that and it seemed too big for the amount of crust I would have. So, I chose a beautiful square pan.

Bottom cookie layer with apple filling. Ready for the topping.
Finale. Topping plus icing drizzle.

I am awaiting a photo of a single piece taken by a student to finish this up.

Sorry for the “BLAH” post. I’m tired. Need my afternoon espresso.