Sunday, 23 December 2012

Bars and Squares

Two days till christmas, if I don't do my christmas baking now, I'll never get it done in time for the big day. I've been making this recipe for years, super easy and a real crowd pleaser. 



  • 1 1/2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, amount depends on how nutty you like it)
  • 1/2 chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Boil water with 1/2 cup flour over low heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a thin, glue like consistency. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  3. Mix sugar, salt, vanilla, cocoa and oil. Add the cooled flour-water mixture and mix well.
  4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, nuts and chocolate chips and mix well.
  5. Spread mixture into greased 11 x 7 glass pyrex pan.
  6. Bake at 350°F for around 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

Another one of my holiday favourites. A perfect mixture of sweet and salty!

Dream Bars

Cooking time: 12 +20 minutes

Serves: ~32 medium bars
Preheat oven to 375°F



  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips


  • 1 egg substitute: 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened, plus extra for on top
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Ritz crackers (around 8-10), crumbled


  1. Toast Nuts at 350° F for 8 minutes (can put them in the oven while it is preheating to 375°F).
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F and grease 13x9 inch pyrex pan.
  3. To make the base, beat margarine with brown sugar and vanilla and add in flour and mix. Press with your fingers into the greased pan and bake for 12 minutes at 375°F, (meanwhile, work on filling) remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. 
  4. When cooled, scatter chocolate chips on top of base and press in with your hands.
  5. To make the filling, in a medium bowl, mix egg substitute and beat with brown sugar and vanilla. Mix baking powder, salt and flour then add and mix with the sugar mixture. Stir in nuts, coconut, crackers and cranberries and mix to combine. 
  6. Spoon filling onto base and spread evenly. Sprinkle with extra coconut.
  7. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, should be golden on top.
  8. Chill completely (~2h) before cutting.