Brownies & Bars

Maple Walnut Blondies

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today is part three of Lemon & Mocha’s holiday brownie extravaganza series! After this we are going to take a minor break from the brownies, but they will be back soon, I promise!

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was looking over my brownies that I had dipped, drizzled, dunked and doused in chocolate I realized the brownies were missing their tasty counterpart: the blondie. A blondie is basically a chocolate-less brownie and I love them equally. Ok, maybe the chocolate lover in me likes brownies more, but blondies are also extremely tasty. Especially when they have chocolate chips.

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

But I am excited to say that these 100% chocolate-free blondies were one of my favorites from my brownie baking bonanza. Maple walnut blondies. They are chewy, with a bit of crunch from the walnuts, and have a very subtle maple flavor.

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The recipe I used mentioned that using real maple syrup would have a more mild maple taste, while using maple flavored syrup would produce a pronounced maple blondie. I only had the real stuff in my fridge so that’s what I went with and a lot of people told me that they were pleasantly surprised by the subtly of the maple. So step away from the chocolate and make these delicious maple walnut blondies!

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Maple Walnut Blondies
 
Yield: 16 blondies
Ingredients
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, half melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups walnuts, chopped and divided
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x9” baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and salt.
  3. Add ½ cup of the maple syrup and the egg, then stir to combine.
  4. Add the flour and baking soda, then stir to combine. Once completely combined, stir in 1 ½ cups of the walnuts.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup over the batter then swirl into the batter with the spatula. Evenly sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of walnuts onto the top.
  6. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the blondies are golden and just set in the center. Be sure not to overbake. Let blondies cool in the pan completely on a wire rack. Cut and serve.
Notes
For a subtle maple flavor, use real maple syrup. For a pronounced maple flavor, use maple flavored syrup.

Recipe from Serious Eats.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Ever since I experimented with chocolate peppermint fudge last year, dark chocolate and peppermint has been added to my list of favorite dessert flavor combinations. Of course there is a list.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The decadent chocolate paired with the refreshing peppermint aftertaste is a nice break from all the rich desserts of the holiday season. Packing a triple peppermint punch, these fudgy brownies are for true peppermint lovers.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

First, peppermint extract is baked into the brownies. Second, when the hot and gooey brownies come out of the oven, peppermint bark is layered on top to melt in a thin layer. Third, crushed candy canes are sprinkled on the top to add a nice crunch, to make them look festive and of course to add extra peppermint flavor.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thankfully Matt is all pepperminted out this season so I have our batch of these all to myself, lucky me!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The best part of these brownies, other than their deliciousness, is how fancy they look, but how simple they actually are to bake. So bake some up this holiday season, and remember to keep some for yourself!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
 
Yield: 16 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 batch brownie batter
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 6-8 squares peppermint bark, broken into chunks
  • 3 candy canes, crushed
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8” brownie pan and set aside. If you want thin brownies like mine then use a 9x13” pan instead with the same amount of brownie batter. This will give you 32 brownies instead of 16.
  2. Add the peppermint extract to the prepared brownie batter then pour into the prepared pan. Bake according to the package instructions, being sure not to overbake as brownies will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. I usually pull mine out 3-5 minutes before the package’s minimum baking time.
  3. As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, run a knife around the edges then evenly top with the chunks of peppermint bark before covering the pan with tin foil so the chocolate can melt.
  4. After a few minutes, remove the tin foil then carefully spread the melty peppermint bark with a spatula in an even layer on top of the brownies. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top then refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Cut and serve.
Notes
I highly recommend using 1 package of Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix to make these.

 

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

There is something about the holiday season that makes me want to stuff my face with any baked good or candy I can get my hands on. And boy, oh boy have I been indulging. The holiday season only comes around once a year and the wedding diet can wait until the New Year, right? RIGHT? I’m going to assume you all responded with a resounding yes so I can get right back to stuffing my face and not bother feeling guilty about it.

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last Christmas I experimented with several fudge variations and I enjoyed it so much, as did my family, friends, and of course my stomach, that I decided a redux was in order this year. While this delicious thought was floating around in my head I kept coming across mouthwatering brownie recipes on the internet.

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

So fate and my desire to consume baked goods prompted this year’s holiday brownie extravaganza! I baked FIVE brownie varieties and they were all amazing so of course I will be sharing them all with you. This first one I’m sharing is so outrageous you may have to pause right now and take a deep breath. Ready?

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate drizzled peanut butter crunch chocolate brownies. What happens when you coat crispy crunchy Special K with melted peanut butter syrup? Peanut butter crunch is born.

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

And what happens when you put the peanut butter crunch in and on top of gooey fudgy brownies then drizzle the whole thing with melted chocolate? A call to the doctor because your friend, coworker or roommate is concerned as to why you just fainted in your chair reading this post. Yes, this is real folks, and you should make them today. Your holiday season indulgent self will thank you, along with any brownie receivers if you’re nice enough to share.

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Brownies
 
Yield: 24 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 batch brownie batter, enough for a 9 x 13 pan
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups Special K, or similar cornflake cereal
  • 1¾ cup chocolate chips, semisweet or milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13” pan and set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie batter according to package directions. Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Put the Special K in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine the peanut butter and corn syrup in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 30 second increments until the peanut butter mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla then pour the peanut butter mixture over the Special K and carefully toss to fully coat.
  5. Evenly distribute ¾ of the peanut butter crunch mixture onto the brownie batter in the pan by dropping small clumps of the peanut butter crunch mixture right onto the batter. Pour on the other half of the brownie batter being sure to cover as much of the peanut butter crunch mixture as possible. It is okay if it doesn’t all get covered.
  6. Bake according to package directions. Be sure not to overbake as brownies will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. I usually pull mine out 3-5 minutes before the package’s minimum baking time.
  7. As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, run a knife around the edges then evenly sprinkle 1 cup of the chocolate chips on top before covering the pan with tin foil so the chocolate can melt.
  8. Meanwhile, place the remaining chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on half power then stir. Heat for 15 seconds on half power then stir. Continue until the chocolate is smooth.
  9. Remove the tin foil from the brownies and carefully spread the melty chocolate chips with a spatula in an even layer on top of the brownies. Top with the remaining peanut butter crunch mixture then drizzle with the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Cut and serve.
Notes
I highly recommend using 2 packages of Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix to make these.

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did you know Tuesday was National Dessert Day? I didn’t until I saw hundreds of dessert pictures on Instagram. As I scrolled through picture after picture of gooey, velvety indulgence I thought to myself, “why is my phone not edible?” I mean, “I should share a dessert recipe with my Lemon & Mocha readers!” Yup, that’s what I said.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I knew it would have to be decadent and of course there is nothing more glorious in the world than chocolate. But chocolate with a creamy cheesecake layer? Heavenly. The first time I made cream cheese swirl brownies I could not believe how easy it was. That right there is truly dangerous knowledge.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These coconut cream cheese brownies are super simple, but incredibly delicious. The coconut provides a nice unexpected flavor and is enhanced by the use of almond extract. You can use your favorite brownie batter recipe for these coconut cream cheese brownies. I, however, have a confession to share:  I am obsessed with the Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am sure many people out there share this same obsession as it makes un-real brownies in the most amazing way possible. I am always about making recipes and ingredients completely from scratch, but I haven’t even attempted making brownies from scratch because I love this box mix so much.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I said it world, I love a box mix! If you have an unbelievable scratch brownie recipe though please send it my way as I would love to test it out. Anyways, back to these coconut cream cheese brownies. Make them. That is all.

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies
 
Yield: 16 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 package brownie mix with ingredients according to package, or your favorite brownie batter recipe
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup shredded toasted coconut
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9” by 9” baking pan and set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie mix according to the package instructions. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a hand mixer on medium speed beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
  4. Add the sugar then mix until combined. Add the egg, almond extract & coconut then mix until combined.
  5. Dollop the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter then gently spread evenly as much as possible over the brownie mixture. To create a marbled effect, carefully swirl through the batter with a knife.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely then cut into squares before serving. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then let come to room temperature if desired.

 Recipe slightly adapted from Duncan Hines.

Peanut Butter Apple Bars

Pumpkin Pie scented Yankee Candles, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale in cinnamon sugar rimmed glasses and tubs of Zachary’s mellowcreme pumpkins are a few of my favorite things about fall. When these items roll into the stores, I know fall is upon us and I can’t help getting excited. So many of the things that we associate with fall revolve around pumpkin flavors. But during those first weeks of fall, pre-pumpkin carving and Thanksgiving pumpkin pie prepping, everyone is ringing in the new season by going apple picking.

There’s nothing quite like strolling through an apple orchard, sampling the season’s freshest offerings and going home with more pounds of apples than you would normally buy in a month. We went apple picking a couple weekends ago and the whole time I only had one thought pounding in my brain: peanut butter apple bars.

I first made these peanut butter apple bars two years ago during a snowstorm. It was October, but we live in New England, so there you have it. Similar in taste to a peanut butter blondie brownie, these bars are especially moist from the addition of the chopped apples. You can use any type of apples you prefer, but I recommend granny smiths or a similar tart apple to help balance the sweetness of the bars.

The real magic of these bars, and the reason why you need to make these THIS SECOND (after you finish reading the post, of course), is the creamy, smooth, put-it-in-a-glass-and-drink-it-it’s-that-delicious peanut butter glaze on top. As the glaze hardens on these peanut butter apple bars it takes them to a heavenly place and everyone will be asking for more. And the best part? The recipe is super simple so go ahead and make them another batch!


Peanut Butter Apple Bars
 
Yield: 24 bars
Ingredients
for the bars
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Chobani Apple Cinnamon non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup peeled and diced apples
for the peanut butter glaze
  • ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  1. To make the bars, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 13" pan with parchment paper then spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir the butter and brown sugar until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir until the mixture is combined then set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the vanilla extract to the slightly cooled peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. Add the eggs to the mixture and stir well. Add the Greek yogurt and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Carefully pour the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined and smooth.
  7. Fold the diced apples into the batter. The batter will be thick and difficult to manipulate so fold in the apples the best you can, but it doesn't have to be perfect.
  8. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  9. To make the peanut butter glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add the milk, peanut butter and vanilla extract, then whisk until smooth.
  10. Once the bars are cooled, pour the glaze all over the bars, spreading with a spatula. If you are feeling fancy, you can drizzle the glaze instead. Cut bars into 24 squares and remove from the pan before serving.
Notes
If you can't find Chobani Apple Cinnamon non-fat Greek yogurt, you can substitute plain or vanilla. You can also omit the Greek yogurt altogether and replace it with a half a stick of butter (bringing the total butter count of the recipe to 1 stick).

Recipe slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.