Category Archives: Bars


Cookin’ Up Summertime Party Recipes: Chewy Zebra Brownies

Have I got the perfect dish for you to take to your next BBQ, family gathering, friend get together, or just for a good chocolate craving: Chewy Zebra Brownies!

A cheesecake like layer with chocolate chips is sandwiched in between two chocolate layers with more chocolate chips. Honest to goodness this combo made the most chewy, rich, party-in-my-mouth brownies ever! They’re so fast and simple to make, which is a good thing when you have a whole gaggle of children waiting for their arrival. I promise that by taking these to your next get together will make you a rock star, hands down! Here’s the recipe:

Chewy Zebra Brownies

Fudgy brownies swirled with a cheesecake-like layer sure to please a crowd!


1 ½ Cups Flour
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Butter (melted)
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla
4 Eggs
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
  Cream Cheese Layer
1 8 Oz. Package Cream Cheese
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray a 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In bowl, combine flour, cocoa and salt.  Set aside.

3. In separate bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and melted butter until mixed well.  Beat in eggs, one at a time until thoroughly mixed.

4. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet ingredients until combined.  Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

5. Spread half of brownie batter into bottom of prepared 9×13” baking pan.  Set aside.

6. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, and egg until smooth.  Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.  Spread evenly over layer of brownie batter in pan.

7.  Spread remaining brownie batter over top of cream cheese layer in pan.  This does not need to be perfect and the brownie batter does not need to fully cover the cream cheese layer.  Take a butter knife and swirl the top layer through the other layers to create the ‘zebra’ effect.

8.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted in the center of the pan comes out almost clean.  Cool completely.  Store in refrigerator.

Makes: Approx. 18 servings (depending on your bar size)

I shared these straight out of the oven (with as little cooling time possible! Which is more than we can say for Tammy who will frost and eat  gooey melty brownies straight from the oven with a spoon!)

The anxious gaggle of children and their parents devoured these sweet treats.  The entire pan was gone in seconds!  There were nods and grunts of approval all around :)

Lovin’ this post?

Get more from the Brady Girls at your fingertips with Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats!

Borrow or Purchase our eBook Sweet Treats vol. 1 for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, or Home Computer in the Kindle Store today!

Remember you can download the Kindle App for Free on nearly any device!

This post is partying over at: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, The Shabby Creek Cottage, French Country Cottage, Whipperberry, The Shabby Nest, Serenity Now, Funky Junk Interiors, Today’s Creative Blog, Home Stores A to Z and others

Chocolate Energy Bars, Fuel for your Day!

If you need energy for a workout or breakfast on the go -these are the perfect way to go. Our Chocolate Energy Bars are full of protein, whole grains, chocolate, and just a touch of cayenne creating a little taste of Heaven in every bite. Low in sugar, and high in energy!

I have been using energy bars a lot now because I have a weight goal. Just 18 months ago I was 205 lbs. and am only 5’4″. I did not like how I felt on the outside or on the inside. I spent my first 40 years on the planet overweight and out of shape. I woke up one day and said NO MORE! I never looked back. It has been a struggle but only at first. Once I found the one thing that got me results quickly, I stayed with it. For me, that was running. So today, I am 162 lbs. and need to lose 22 more.

Recently, I have added to my running and eating healthy routine.  My boss gave all of us a 90 day membership to Cross Fit. Really great guy, he heard us talking about getting personal trainers and wanted to do something really great for all of us.

So here I am trying to lose the last of this extra weight, and now I’m nearly doubling my workout. I feel more drained and need the extra fuel to get through it all. So I created my version of an energy bar. Sort of a granola bar meets no bake cookies, but with wholesome ingredients. I am an advocate for real-natural ingredients, so there is real butter, natural peanut butter, and honey in these. About the only thing that’s not natural in here are the chocolate chips.  Hey, I said natural ingredients are great, but I’m not perfect -girl’s gotta have her chocolate!

Chocolate Energy Bars


1/3 Cups Cocoa

1/2 Cup Butter

3 Tbs. Honey

1/4 Cup Brown sugar

1/3 Cup All Natural Peanut Butter

1. In a medium sized pot warm all of the above ingredients on the stove top until well melted. Not too hot, just until the brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Then I gathered the rest of the ingredients -this is so easy you won’t believe it:

1 1/2 Cups Granola (see our recipe!)

1 3/4 Cups Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour – fresh ground is best

2 Tbs Wheat Germ

3 Tbs Ground Flax

1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (optional – but so good)

3/4 tsp Cinnamon

3/4 tsp salt

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

2 Eggs (beaten)

2. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the above dry ingredients (minus the eggs) and mix well.

3. To the wet cocoa mixture that has had time to cool a bit, add slowly, 2 beaten fresh eggs and mix well. Then pour all of this into the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Spread into a 13″ x 9″ sprayed pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly, cut into bars and separate on a cooling rack to cool fully. Wrap and store on the counter for 2-3 days or in the fridge is best. Will last for a week if you don’t eat them all first!

Makes: about 36, 1.5″ x 4″ bars.

Time: 30 minutes

Enjoy and be healthy!!

Lovin’ this post?

Get more from the Brady Girls at your fingertips with Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats!

Borrow or Purchase our eBook Sweet Treats vol. 1 for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, or Home Computer in the Kindle Store today!

Remember you can download the Kindle App for Free on nearly any device!

This post is partying over at: French Country Cottage, Today’s Creative Blog, Tip Junkie, Home Stories AtoZ, Savvy Southern Style, The Shabby Creek Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Funky Junk Interiors, Cherished Treasures and others

Super Lemony Lemon Bars!


lemon bars-1I started last week, making my Mother’s Lemon Bars recipe -or so I thought. It turns out there were a few typos, and that this recipe was meant to be made in a huge jelly roll pan, not a little 9×13… So the lemon bars baked, and baked, and baked some more. Until finally at an hour, I pulled them out, noticing the top was getting burnt and underneath it was still like jello. I scraped off the top burnt film and put it back in the oven, thinking ‘these things have got to cook now!’ Turns out they never did firm up, and the crust baked until it was nearly black… oh yummy! Haha, I should mention now that I am not the baker, I can follow a recipe, but coming up with my own rarely ever happens. After talking to my mom we realized that the recipe she sent me was all sorts of wrong, the top had 8 eggs, no flour, and 2 1/4 cups of lemon juice… it was a yellow gooey mess.

The moral of the story is, if the recipe is not working, it’s probably broke.

So I set out to fix her recipe and put my own twist on things. And this is what I came up with!

Homemade Lemon Bars

These Lemon Bars will knock your socks off with their super lemon flavor coupled perfectly with a sweet crust. They will literally melt in your mouth. But don’t let their angel-like appearance fool you, they are by no means healthy! Also, look for this recipe and more in our first book coming to Kindle Market Place this month!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Super Lemony Lemon Bars!
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


  • Crust
  • 3 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbs. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Butter (room temperature)
  • Filling
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 2 Tbs. Lemon Zest
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 1 ½ Cups Lemon Juice
  • ½ Cup Flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lay down parchment paper or foil in a 9×13” pan. Lightly grease it with cooking spray.
  2. Make the crust. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Blend in with an electric mixer at low speed until mixture forms coarse, sandy crumbs.
  3. Press mixture into pan with your fingers or the back of a spoon into an even layer. Poke the crust a few times with a fork so it will not create large bubbles while baking. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.
  4. While crust is baking, make filling. Whisk together all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix very well.
  5. When the crust comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour in filling mixture.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken. Cool completely before slicing. Perfect!

Oven times and temps may vary, so a watchful eye is a good idea. Sprinkle with powder sugar and serve. Another, tip, to cut out perfect lemon bars, sacrifice the outer centimeter of bars in the pan, as they will tend to stick to the tin foil. Then proceed to cut the bars from the rest of the pan, they will loft out beautifully!

Mix crust until it resembles sand

Press crust into pan, poke with a fork and bake

While crust is baking whisk together filling

Bake bars until firm, note the outer most edges will stick to the foil, so just cut those off

These wonderful lemon bars are featured in our cookbook Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats!

Lovin’ this post?

Get more from the Brady Girls at your fingertips with Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats!

Borrow or Purchase our eBook Sweet Treats vol. 1 for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, or Home Computer in the Kindle Store today!

Remember you can download the Kindle App for Free on nearly any device!

Snowed In and Bake I Must!

Yep.  It FINALLY happened.  We got snowed in for the first time this winter season…and it’s almost March!  I mean, it’s called MinneSNOWta for a reason, right?!?!  My oldest daughter was jumping up and down with delight at 6:00 a.m. because school was closed for the day.  And yes, you read that right.  She was awake at the BC of dawn when she should’ve been sleeping in on this ‘free day’, dang it!  It was going to be a looooong day.  I roused myself from bed only to find that my youngest daughter was standing in the hall at 6:05 a.m. smiling guiltily because she was awake waaay too early. As she said, “I’m awake too!  Let’s go downstairs and go outside right now!  I can ALMOST see outside…”  Ahhhh, yes, loooong day indeed!

So, I knew that I was going to have to do my favorite thing to pass some time today and that is bake.  A minor glitch in this plan is that in the back of my mind I knew that some of my baking supplies were getting on the low side.  Ehhh, I can be just as creative as the next gal when it comes to baking ingredients so I started to dig.  I had the basics:  flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc.  It was the additions like chocolate chips, cream cheese, pumpkin, etc. that I was having issues with.  Well, I found large marshmallows, about a cup of chocolate chips, and some caramel Hershey’s Kisses.  AHA!  I can turn this into Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Bars if I cut up the large marshmallows and chop up the caramel Hershey’s Kisses.  I know what you’re thinking right about now…chop up caramel Hershey’s Kisses?  Cut up large marshmallows?  Crazy much?  Okay, I’m not going to lie to you.  This whole process ended up getting a little messy and maybe a little tedious.  But hey, you do what you gotta do in the name of baking!  Being creative and versatile is key.  Honestly, the end result was amazing and sooo worth it.  And my kids were happy to have a homemade treat on a day like today!  If you’re not feeling as adventurous as I was and do actually have the proper ingredients, make them as stated below.  They’re just as amazing!

Recipe Notes:  The specific changes I made to the recipe below are the following:  Cut up large marshmallows with a kitchen scissors to equal 2 cups (feel free to still use mini marshmallows here). Use 1 cup chocolate chips. Chop up caramel Hershey’s Kisses to equal 1 cup.  When it comes time to stir in these ingredients, separate cut up marshmallows with fingers into batter. Do the same with chopped up Kisses.  Just be sure all is evenly blended throughout your batter. 

Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Bars

Chocolatey bars with a marshmallow surprise that are popular among all ages!


1 Cup Butter
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 ¼ Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
2 Cups Milk or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
¾ Cups Chopped Nuts (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a 9×13” pan.

2.  In bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In separate bowl, cream butter and sugars.  Add in eggs, one at a time.  Beat in vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, mixing well.  Stir in marshmallows, chips and nuts.

4. Spread batter into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely in pan.

Makes: Approx. 36 servings (depending on your bar size)

Time: Approx. 40 minutes

Wistful for an Apple Bar

Smack dab in the middle of this odd Minnesota winter, no snow and all, I find myself looking out the window and seeing more signs of fall than old man winter!  For me, fall and apples go hand in hand.  I have a delicious apple bar recipe that I make when the family and I get back from the annual apple orchard trip.  Of course, this time of year in Minnesota I had to make due with whatever apples I had in my crisper.  But that just goes to show how versatile this recipe can be and that yes, you can bring fall to your table in the middle of February!  As this pan of bars was baking in the oven, about half way through the bake time, my three year old came running into the kitchen yelling, “Oooh, Mom, WHAT are you makin’?  It smells sooo goood in here, like yummy cimmannimm!  I WANT some!”  Who could blame her.

Apple Bars

A wonderful way to get that ‘taste of fall’ any time of year!  Or to use up some of your apples that are in abundance in the fall.      



¼ Cup Butter (melted)
 ½ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Chopped Apple (Any variety works fine)
½ Cup Finely Chopped Walnuts   (optional)
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp.  Baking Powder
¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tbs. Brown Sugar
1 Tbs. Sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a 9×9” pan.

2. In bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, ½ tsp. cinnamon, and ¼ tsp. nutmeg and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, brown sugar and ¼ cup of white sugar with wooden spoon until smooth.  Stir in vanilla then stir in lightly beaten egg and mix well.

4. Mix in the flour mixture (step 2) until just combined, then with a spoon stir in the apples and walnuts.

6. Spread mixture into greased 9×9” pan evenly.


7. In small bowl, combine 1 Tbs. brown sugar, 1 Tbs. sugar, and 2 tsp. cinnamon until mixed well.  Sprinkle evenly over top of bars.

8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven.  To test doneness, bars should spring back when lightly touched.

Tip: Recipe doubles well.  Just use a 9×13” pan.

Makes: Approx. 16 servings (depending on your bar size)

Time: Approx. 1 hour