August 22, 2014

Quick & Easy - Chewy M&M Bars (Blondies)

This is an old recipe.  One that's been made for as long as chocolate chip cookies have been baked.  Because it's basically a cookie in bar form.  I've made these off and on since Junior High School, but never really wrote down a recipe.  I just use whatever cookie recipe I was making at the time and pressed it into a pan.  Now, I need to write it down.

I am going to be traveling to see my oldest daughter and her husband soon, and need to make sure I get this recipe posted before we leave since I use my site as my personal "recipe box" and I hope to make a pan of them for all her company while we are there.  They are so quick and easy to make, but they so good, chewy and perfect that they are a hit with almost everyone.  (Except me. I painstakingly pick out any chocolate chips or M&M's as I don't like chocolate.)  I know.  I'm weird.

I know people are impressed by 'food blogs' that take amazing photos with expensive camera's to try to get readers attentions.  I'll tell you right now, if I remember to snap a picture at all, it's on my cell phone.  This morning when I decided to hurry and type this recipe in, I was thinking to myself, "Boy, I hope I remembered to take a picture at some point when I made these?"  I did.  One. A quick one of the pan as it cooled on the counter.  Whew.

But what makes it funny that I didn't take pictures is that I've made these three (3) times in two weeks!! My husband loves these bars and even though I asked him if he would like me to make something else he's specifically asked (twice) if I would make another pan of these.

Here is where you can play with your food....    the M &M's.    Use chocolate chips, sugar free chocolate chips, M & M's, Reese's Pieces, Sixlets, toffee chips, caramel chips, Heath bar crunchies, white chocolate chips... whatever you want.  Personally I think the best flavored bars are M&M's, chocolate chips or a mixture of both.

I also have cut down on the sugar content by using half sugar and half natural sweeteners.  When I used all sugar substitutes the texture changed, but with half and half I still got a chewy, delicious bar with only half the sugar.  I used Just Like Sugar (brown), and a mixture of brown sugar with granular Just Like Sugar Table Top Sweetener.

Whew!  Ok, after that LONG explanation about how you can use part sugar substitutes, here is the EASY and quick recipe.

M & M Bars

1/2 c butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
2 c flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and M&M's or mixture of whatever you want

Beat the butter, eggs and vanilla.  Add the salt, baking powder and flour.  Stir in the chocolate chips or M&M's.  Press into a greased 9X13" pan and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown but not dark.  If you over bake them they will be crunchy instead of nice and chewy.  Let cool completely before cutting.

I loved these bars with half the sugar making them with Ideal brand brown sugar sweetener but they stopped making it (I'm not happy about that!)  But Just Like Sugar makes a nice brown sugar substitute so I keep that on hand now.

Just Like Sugar Table Top Sweetener

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