Tag Archives: bars

The Best Date You Will Ever Have: Peanut Butter Larabars

Let’s talk dates for a moment here.

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First thing first: dates. Yes, I’m talking about the edible kind–although the strange, single-as-a-one-digit-number part of me is convinced that dating would be a lot more interesting if my dates really were edible. As in, “Have you met my date, Mister Hot Chocolate? Word on the street is that he can get pretty steamy.

Chances are, you have stumbled across copycat larabar recipes before now. I’m not introducing you to them because they’re new. I’m introducing you to them because they are awesomeand if you are like Me One Month Ago–sitting on your butt ogling at these larabar pictures but also totally doubting the sanity of my taste buds, because how in holy heck could anything with three ingredients actually taste awesomethis is why I’m introducing you to them. Because if you are reading this post and not making these bars pronto, you need to be converted. NOW.

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It’s a running joke among all my friends that I am the most horrendous baker/blogger in existence–75 chocolate chip cookies later, and I’ve eaten what: one cookie? Half of one cookie? Who does that? In my field (that’s English grad school, for those of you who are new to WG) and in my defense, you don’t get by without self-discipline. And I am pretty much a discipline Beast when I want to be, so unless I am on a total emotional spree that afternoon, whatever comes out of my kitchen usually escapes unscathed. (Note: This does not account for the generous portions of batter, ‘crumbs,’ or last-spoonfuls-of-nut-butter-in-a-jar that fill my tummy during each baking session. This is why I totally prefer to bake alone: I’ll pass on the spoon-licking judgment!)

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Not so here. Oho, SO not so!

In the short month since I have ‘discovered’ dates–yes, since I picked up my very first dateful box from the store in February–I have gone through SIX batches of this recipe by myself. SIX. Need I tell you it’s love? These bars are so nutty, flavor-packed without added sugar, simple (three ingredients, two minutes!), and perfectly salty-sweet like a giant peanut butter cookie. I generally avoid pubs since I don’t drink, but if I had any dates-at-pubs experience, I would still have to say that these are probably the best dates I have ever (or never) met in a bar. 

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Hoho. See what I did there? Punny, right?

I’m going to spend the rest of this post talking about other date stuff with a lot of text, so if you feel like skipping to the bottom of this post and printing/sharing/Pinning the recipe right now, I won’t be offended. Pinkies!

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This brings me to that second thing I was talking about: dating. Random (and randomly personal) as this topic is, I’ve always wanted to write a post about it, and I thought this entry would be the perfect opportunity because a) it’s pun-derful (hooray for dates!), and b) because as I was writing my epic “100 Things I Want to Do Now That I’ve Earned My Master’s Degree” list last week, I realized that it’s been a really long time since I’ve been on a really fun dateI mean, I’ve been on dates. Maybe not much since I started studying for exams, and maybe typing out the sentence “I’ve been on dates” on my public food blog has just confirmed for an entire segment of the happy internet world that I have never really been on a date in my life…but I have. I swear. Okay, I’ll stop.

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Well, now that I’m officially done with exams and have regained some semblance of a social life, “go on a fun date” finally made it back onto my list as Item #18 of things to do! I was so excited…..for all of about 0.839273 seconds. And then I remembered why it’s been such a long time since I’ve ‘gone on a fun date.’

Because here’s the thing: probably like a handful of you out there, I am just really, really terrible at dating. I mean, I’m not the food-dropping, frumpy-hair type of date you’d be embarrassed to bring to a fancy restaurant (usually). But 95% of the time I am ‘on a date,’ I am apparently and blissfully unaware of the fact until waaaay afterwards. Which has, as you can probably imagine, its drawbacks and stuff. And I’m sure I’m not the only one, right?

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Have you ever been told after a fun dinner with someone you swear was just a friend five minutes ago that they had a really–stress really–good time tonight? Wink wink nudge nudge elbows? If so, how did/do you respond? I will be completely honest: I am so, so awkward about these moments when they happen, and while I know it’s something everyone experiences at some point or another, somebody out there needs to write a new dating language. And it’s not me. I enjoy being chipper and making sure other people have a good time, all the time. At the end of one ‘date’ about a year ago now, I remembering being completely floored when Dude a) told me that he was usually pretty good at ‘reading’ girls but couldn’t quite tell with me, and b) asked me how I felt about us now that we were maybe dating. As gorgeous and nice as he was, I could only stare at him and wonder if I could get one of those old-school VHS tape rewinder thingies, because what?

This doesn’t mean I’m not interested in dating, and this certainly doesn’t mean I like whoever I happen to be with any less, because that would be silly. But as unfair as this sounds–because I’m not saying it’s easy for others to read my intentions, either–I’d really just like to go on dates that I’m, you know, aware that I’m going on. ‘Friendly’ is a good word for defining my personality in general, and since college/grad school, my friends have picked a nickname for me whenever we discuss our social lives: The Friendzoner.  

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Of course, I felt much better about the name after I read this comic about friend-zoning that just about sums up my view of dating priorities. It’s funny how, knowing me as a complete extrovert, people often expect me to meet a bunch of new people and instantly be interested in them. Not how it works, folks. Extrovertedness does not = Instant RomCom! I am not a Disney princess, yo. The last time I went on a date that I think I knew I was going on was probably two years ago or something, and I had a blast just roaming the streets of downtown. At the same time, simply waiting around and having a blast with my friends in between dating cycles is virtually a non-issue for me, too. And while I will admit that hitting the Publish button on this post feels weird, because it’s not meant to be a deterrent or anything for anyone’s future dating prospects, I am totally in love with my prerogative to shout to the world, “Hey y’all, still having a ball in here!”

Anyway, I hope that by writing this post out with no real agenda, some of you will be willing to share some of your own thoughts or funny stories on awkward dating experiences, no? ;) This is a post I’ve always wanted to write just because #MYBLOG, and I’m still super stoked to get this 100 Things to Do List kicked into gear! Until then, I’m settling down with some more dates with my favorite dates to date, a cup of hot tea, and a cozy book on game theory in linguistics of nonsense literature plenty of “Let It Go” covers on repeat tonight.

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Dates–any thoughts, folks?


PS–pstttt, Wallflour Girl just hit the 100,000 views mark this week–thank you, readers!!

Peanut Butter ‘Cookie’ Lovers’ Larabars

If you’ve always dreamed of a perfect date that doesn’t require you to change out of your tacky leopard-print purple pajamas, these simple date–the fruit, that is–based larabars are your match made in heaven! With three simple ingredients, 2 minutes of prep time, and virtually endless possibilities, these bars are a favorite in the household (of one) and a heavenly snack, whether you’re at home jamming in those jammies or on the go for a long run.

For the super-easy directions to this recipe, skip to the very bottom of this recipe box. Two steps. I’m serious.


  • 25 pitted dates, any variety (I used pitted deglet noor dates)
  • 1 cup almonds (or your preferred nut)
  • 1/4 cup peanut (or your preferred nut) butter
  • Other mix-ins (see notes below)

Directions Version 1 (Skip below for Super-Easy Directions Version below):

  1. Throw it all in a food processor. In the words of the famous meme, “ALL THE THINGS!!!!”
  2. Select your favorite finger on your favorite hand.
  3. Using the finger you selected in Step 2, press the ‘chop’ or ‘grind’ button on your processor at 30-second intervals until the dough comes together and sticks when squeezed lightly. If your selected finger gets tired while pressing the processor button, try switching to another finger.
  4. Pour the dough out onto a square of aluminum foil and smush the slightly sticky dough until it achieves your desired thickness and dimensions. Really, go wild.
  5. Chill in your fridge for 2 hours before cutting into clean rectangles or squares.* Keep leftovers stored in foil in the fridge.

* As the author of this recipe, I am going to totally disregard my own advice and tell you that these larabars taste amazing as they are–a bit crumbly, a bit warm, and a bit sticky–right after you make them and before you stick ‘em in the fridge.

Super-Easy Directions Version:

  1. Throw everything in the food processor and pulse until dough comes together.
  2. Pour dough into aluminum foil, smushing dough until it forms a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Chill in fridge until ready to cut into bars.

**Note: This recipe is SO forgiving–WAY more forgiving than your mom or your ex or your last roommate. For fun twists, try the following substitutes:

  • Dates: raisins, any dried fruit
  • Almonds: any nut
  • Peanut Butter: any nut butter
  • Other add-ins (add to food processor): seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, etc.), oats, cinnamon
  • Other add-ins (stir into dough by hand): chocolate chips, white chocolate
© Wallflour Girl. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use without prior permission. If you would like to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.


Filed under Bars, Snacks

Lemon Raspberry Squares

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If you’re like me and spent your diaper days thinking you would grow up to be a Disney princess/character, you have probably long since experienced that moment when some well-meaning adult sat you down, looked you straight in your beaming bright baby eyes, and said one of the following:

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Speech A: “Kid, let’s face it. Ariel was the daughter who ran away from her tyrannical sea king of a father who forbade his entire kingdom to sleep when she went missing, and then she ended up marrying a guy she “knew” for 48 hours and having a kid who ended up ditching them because all SHE wanted to do was go to the sea. Talk about a dysfunctional family…

Speech B:Belle never worked for that damn loaf of bread she was always singing about. And she was a victim of Stockholm’s syndrome. Does that sound like la vie en rose to you? Because if it does–well, in the words a hallucinogen-induced anthropomorphized talking candlestick…Be my guest.

Speech C:Aladdin–chronic liar. Rapunzel–societal recluse. Simba–unrealistic responsibility-shirker. Peter Pan–one big Freudian slip. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella–desperate damsels in distress fleeing from murderous pursuers and sought by princes with really, REALLY  overactive sets of lips.”

And so on and so forth.

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Okay, maybe a few times. But I wasn’t informed of it in a way that would’ve persuaded me to actually buy it. I mean, so fine–Disney movies admittedly have their share of issues. I mean really, really big and sometimes morally reprehensible issues. And I recognize that. But really, since when is everything perfect in life?

Never, that’s when. As the saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

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Fortunately, I am not a big fan of cake. Of all the delectable, makes-life-worth-living desserts out there, cake simply isn’t at the top of my list. Lemon squares, however, are.

As the good saying goes, “When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade.”

Or the better one, “When life throws lemons at you, make orange juice and watch the world wonder how you did it.”

Or, the best one, “When life throws lemons at you, throw ‘em back and yell really loudly like a feral animal so your enemies will run away screaming in terror.”

Okay, I made that last one up.

But you COULD make these tangy, gooey, sweet and tart lemon squares with a really satisfying strawberry or raspberry jam layer and turn even your worst enemies into BFFL’s.

You’ll want this recipe! Print it now and get those lemons going, folks.

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Or better yet, let the seven little dwarves sitting in your closet do it while you indulge.

Because I know you have ‘em.

Don’t think I don’t. But this job’s mine, folks. And another batch of these gorgeous lemon squares will be too, if you don’t hurry up and make your own. I WILL devour them.

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Which Disney character would you love to be in your life?


Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Lemon Raspberry Squares
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Zest of 1-2 lemons (approximately 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together butter, 1/3 cup white sugar, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Continue mixing until the mixture turns from crumbly to pretty smooth (of a more butter-like consistency). Press evenly and lightly into prepared pan. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and firm.
  3. As the crust is baking, make your lemon filling by whisking together 1 1/4 cups white sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth.
  4. Spread jam of your choice over the slightly cooled crust, taking care to leave about half an inch around the edges so the jam doesn’t burn. Pour lemon mixture over crust and jam, and return pan to oven. Bake for an additional 25-35 minutes, until filling is mostly set. (The squares will firm up as they cool, and in the fridge as well.) Allow squares to cool completely at room temperature before transferring them in the pan (covered) to the fridge and allowing them to set up for at least a few hours, or preferably overnight.
  5. Cut into squares the next day and serve while singing Disney princess songs and humming to your helper animals!


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Fruit Desserts

LWOM: Healthy Apple Spice Bars with Caramel Penuche Icing

It was a Wednesday, and as a consequence, Piglet was sitting on a log. Mind you, this was his Wednesday log, which is different from his Thursday or Saturday log, although sometimes you found it hard to tell the difference, and so did Piglet.

“Tiddly pom, hum,” he said, since it seemed like the right thing to say when one is sitting on a Wednesday log.

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Speaking of the right thing to say, it was an afternoon perfect for soft, warmly-spiced apple bars frosted with caramel penuche icing and–

“Excuse me?” said Piglet.

“Excuse me,” I said,  startled.

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“Were you speaking just now?” he asked, looking up with a slightly mesmerized expression, as I’m sure you’re wearing at this very moment. Because his attention was fixed on this gif right above us, too.

“I think so. Or at least the gif above you was. It was one or the other of us, you know.”

“Oh. I thought somebody must have been.” He paused and twiddled the daffodil that he had been twiddling after his thumbs had been all twiddled out. “And…and who were you speaking to?”

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“Why–to the readers, I suppose,” I said.

“Oh.” The flower wiggled its petals and worried its stem. There was a pause.

“Not to me?” he asked finally.

“Well, not at first,” I said, but I added kindly, “But it could have been to you.”

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Piglet considered this. He considered saying “Oh, hooray, and three cheers for Piglet!” but decided that might make him sound what he called “over-eager.” So he said instead, rather randomly, “You know, people like to talk to Pooh very much.”

“I know,” I said. Because it was true.

“But he can be a bear of very little brain–as he says himself, of course,” Piglet finished hurriedly. And then he added, so as not to sound too self-interested, “I admire your the pig cup in your pictures. And the apple spice bars look very nice, too. There’s something about pigs that are very pleasing and nice and…and un-bear-like, you know.”

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“Of course,” I said.

“I mean,” he went on, speaking now to the stem of his greatly worried daffodil, “what does one DO as a Pooh bear?”

“Eat, I suppose. And think about eating. And other Pooh-like things.”

“Right,” Piglet replied. “

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We waited. The daffodil jiggled a little bit as he thought about this carefully.

“Do you think, hypo-thack-tikly speaking, (which was a grand thing to say, because Christopher Robin said it all the time), one–say, perhaps, a pig, or a tiny pig–that one could become a Pooh?”

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“Well,” I said. “When one wants to pretend like one’s a grown-up, Piglet, what does one do?”

“Wear grown-up clothes and do grown-up things like cook and stay up late and cross the street without holding anybody’s hand,” Piglet said proudly, for he had done all of these things before when he wanted to feel grown-up.

“Precisely,” I said. “And so if one–say, a tiny pig–wanted to be a Pooh Bear, what would one do?”

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“Aha!” Piglet said suddenly, jumping up from his Wednesday log and casting a longing look at the pan of apple spice bars with rich caramel penuche icing sitting in front of him.

And do you know what happened then?

I’ll let you decide. Although, if I were you, which I am decidedly not (but if), I would look below for a clue.

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Done just like a Pooh bear.


What character would you be from the 100 Acre Woods?

(I apologize for the blurry, pixelated gif this time–it was a rushed day! But I’ll get it right next time around :] )

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own a really cute Winnie-the-Pooh balloon-shaped stuffed-animal. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think (and I’m sure Piglet would, too).

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Healthy Apple Spice Bars with Caramel Penuche Icing
Apple spice bar recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Caramel penuche icing recipe originally posted at lifesabatch (and it’s delicious!)
Apple Spice Bars:
Yield: 30 large bars (or 9×13-inch pan)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add egg, mix in until combined. Stir in applesauce. Add remaining (dry) ingredients and stir until the entire mixture is just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until bars are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Caramel Penuche Icing


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Melt butter in a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and return mixture to a boil for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Add milk, then return to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes before mixing in powdered sugar.
  2. Pour over cooled bars. Enjoy!


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

Cookie Butter PB&J Bars

You know how Mom (or at least the proverbial “mom”) always tells us not to tinker with “well enough” or “tried and true”?

Mom clearly never added cookie butter to her PB&J.

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But I did. Oh, did I ever.

Let’s not leave any room for misconception: I am THE girl when it comes to PB&J fanaticism. If you’ve ever fantasized in class about the Smuckers Uncrustables PB&J sandwiches to the point where you actually start to drool (true story–medieval lit class, junior year), we should talk. If you’ve done the same while pondering over Mr. Darcy or Richard Armitage (a.k.a. Mr. Thornton from North and South–my most recent obsession), we should also talk.

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Disney. Children’s lit. Useless personality quizzes. Going out of my way to step on particularly crunchy-looking leaves the day after it rains.

Basically, if you ever come across a fangirl or obsessive moment in one of my posts that really just screams to you, “YOU KNOW YOU (not-so) SECRETLY LOVE THIS TOO,” you really need to tell me. I don’t have nearly enough outlets for my quirky and eccentric passions as it is, and sometimes I hesitate to spill the beans about my crazy love for Neopets when it comes to people I have to work with for the next who-knows-how-long.

Bottom line: There are lots of things we should talk about, ‘kay?

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While I’m waiting for you to come to the decision to message me about our obviously shared my latest fanaticism over period films, though, let me buy you more time by talking about these delectably creamy, firm, and downright flavor-bursting CBPB&J bars.

I’ve been making my own homemade cookie butter for a while now. It’s been the best thing in my life since they announced the 2013 release of a NEW season of Sailor Moon (***let me make this simple for you–fangirl moment??***). But recently I stumbled across Averie’s really fantastic and genius recipe for homemade cookie butter peanut butter–which, by the way, I still need to post photos for. (It just never lasts long enough in this apartment for me to take a decent snapshot of!)

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At any rate, I tried making this CBPB and–holy moly! Talk about packing in the sweet, slightly salty flavors of two amazing “nut” butter worlds into one flavor-packed dip.

I decided to I wanted to make a double-decker blondie out of it, so when I found this wonderful recipe for Biscoff butter cake, my taste buds were definitely a-tingle. I decided to adapt the cookie butter layer to accommodate the CBPB, added my own favorite blondie recipe, toss in a few swirls of jam for a nice classic twist, and voila! CBPB&J. Can I totally recommend this combo on the next sandwich you pack for lunch, too?

Yes, I think I will. You should do it. Your kids will also thank you for it.

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You’re welcome, Mumsicles.

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I hope I’ve given you enough time to think about what you’d like to gush to me about. If not…well, there’s always these CBPB&J bars, no? Go whip up a batch in your kitchen tonight. I promise I won’t ask you to wipe the drool off your chin before you come back and we gush over this recipe together. Chances are, I’ll be eyeing your slice and drooling, too.

Good to see you here!


What have YOU been obsessing over (secretly or not) lately? (Whatever it is–remember, we should talk!)

Sweet 2 Eat BakingTuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

Cookie Butter Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
Cookie Butter layer adapted from Butterbaking
Yield: 9×9-inch baking pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup homemade cookie butter peanut butter (or you can also combine 1/4 cup store-bought Biscoff spread with 1/4 cup peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup raspberry or strawberry jelly


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan.
  2. For blondie layer: In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Mix in 1 egg and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips. Pour batter into pre-greased pan.
  3. For cookie butter peanut butter layer: In a medium bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Add egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup homemade cookie butter peanut butter. Spread evenly over blondie batter.
  4. Place jelly in microwave-safe bowl and heat in microwave for 15 seconds. Drop by spoonfuls on top of the cookie butter peanut butter layer; swirl lightly by running a knife through the blobs.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick in blondie layer comes out clean (the cookie butter layer will still be pretty gooey–this is perfect! You’ll have a nice creamy layer texture on top). Cool bars and cut into 16 medium or 25 smaller squares.


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

LWOM: Caramel Apple Pie Bars (from the Perspective of Pooh)

I’d like to do something a bit different today. Today is a Friday, which is different from a Thursday or a Saturday or a birthday or an unbirthday, so of course things would be different to begin with. But today will be a different-in-a-meeting-new-friends-kind-of-way day, which is our favorite kind of day. And I’d like you to meet a friend of mine. You may have heard of him before.

Why don’t you say hello to our friends, Pooh?

“Hello to our friends,” said Pooh.

“Thank you Pooh,” I said.

So this is Pooh. Also known in the 100 Acre Woods (where he’s from–Pooh, that is) as Winnie-ther-Pooh–or at least that’s what Christopher Robin calls him. And Christopher Robin is usually not wrong about these sorts of things, except on every other Thursday, and sometimes when it’s his unbirthday.

“What sorts of things are we talking about?” a growly bear voice said.

“About you liking honey, for instance,” I said.

“Oh,” Pooh replied. “I thought we were. I just wanted to make sure.”

“That’s a very good thing to do,” I said.

“And well–if you don’t mind my asking–what other sorts of things do I like?”

“What about these caramel apple pie bars?” I asked, pointing at the picture you just saw. “What do you think of them?”

“I don’t see them quite well,” said the bear, who scratched his head with his paw in a puzzling sort of way. “It’s a very hard thing to do when you’re on the same screen page as a picture.”

“Well, maybe if you look from the outside,” I suggested quietly.

And so he did. And it looked something like this. From your point of view, of course. I imagine it looked quite different to Pooh.

“Well?” I asked when he had pondered for a pondering while.

“I’m not a very par-tick-curlar bear,” said Pooh. “I like most anything. But this caramel apple pie bar needs a little something.”

“And what’s that, do you think?”

“I don’t know about thinking. But perhaps a hug,” the not-very-partickular bear suggested. “Yes, perhaps that’s just the thing it needs.”

“It might not be a very easy thing to give a caramel apple pie bar a hug, Pooh,” I said. “Have you ever tried giving one a hug?”

“No,” he said, “but just because it’s never been done before, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, if it’s a good thing,” said Pooh.

“That’s very true, Pooh,” I said. “Why don’t you try it?”

And so reached out his furry paws, wrapped them around the bars, and gave them a large hug. You know, of the bear variety. Because he was a bear. And bears are always right about these sorts of things.

You know, these food sorts of things.

Or at least Pooh bears are. So now, if you ever meet a Pooh bear, you’ll know.

“Pooh?” I said.


“Do you want to say good-bye to our readers for today?”

Pooh lifted a crumb-coated paw and licked it thoughtfully. He tapped twice with his other paw on the side of his head. Then he raised both paws, placed them next to my ear, and whispered something that sounded like a small buzzing bee telling secrets to a daisy.

“Yes, Pooh,” I said to the bear when he had finished buzzing. “That counts, I think.”

“Well, may I simply say it, then?”

“Go on.”

So then he turned to you, a bit like he turned to his friend the butterfly in this picture (only if you would be so courteous as to imagine yourself as a butterfly, which not everyone can do)

and he asked, very politely,

“When will you be making this recipe?”

So there you have it. When will you?

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own a really cute Winnie-the-Pooh balloon-shaped stuffed-animal. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think (and Pooh would love to hear it, too).

Caramel Apple Pie Bars
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
  • For crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For cheesecake filling:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For apple layer:
  • 1 large apple (any variety according to your preference–I used Fuji), diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • For streusel:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons chopped nuts, any variety
  • 1/3 cup caramel dessert topping


  1. To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine, 1/3 cup white sugar, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. (At this point, feel free to leave your mixing bowl unwashed–why do more dishes when you can avoid it? Save water, hassle, and a whale–set it aside for mixing the streusel!) Press into a lightly greased 9×9-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making cheesecake filling and streusel.
  2. To make cheesecake filling: In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and 1/4 cup white sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat together until smooth. Spread over warm crust.
  3. To make apple layer: Combine apples, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Sprinkle diced apples evenly over cheesecake layer.
  4. To make streusel: In the same large bowl as you used to make the crust, combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oats, and nuts. Cut in the 5 tablespoons butter and mix until you get a lumpy, coarse meal. Sprinkle over the apple layer.
  5. Bake bars in preheated oven for 22-27 minutes, until golden brown. Pour caramel over warm bars. Allow your bars to cool completely before cutting into them.
  6. Serve to the hungry Pooh bear waiting for you at home (whoever that might be!). (“That’s a very good idea,” Pooh said to me when he read this.)


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars (and Hello from Yellowstone!)

I consider myself a fairly open-minded kind of gal.

Okay, sure–there are a few things that I tend to stereotype about. Whenever somebody says that word “Texas,” I immediately imagine a plump southern lady carrying a homemade batch of hush puppies and telling “y’all” to try a bite.

Anyone who seriously uses Twitter to update more than once a day is uncool. Anyone who still has an active Neopets account, on the other hand, is quite awesome.

And people from Idaho?

Tater farmers.

All 1,584,985 of them.

Okay, maybe 1,584,984 of them. I’m sure there’s got to be at least one kid who’s broken free from the tater chains and become a yam farmer.

I kid. I won’t deny that the thought didn’t cross my mind as I crossed into Idaho this week, though–oh yeah, did I mention that I was in Idaho? Wyoming, too. And Utah. And Montana. Doing what, you might ask?

Having a grand old family vacation!

And looking at sights like these day in and day out:

Does this photo look as insanely unreal to you as it does to me? Because this is the real deal. Midway Geysers in Yellowstone National Park. (Remember, I’m an amateur photographer who couldn’t do that sort of photo editing even if somebody set a giant grizzly on me and commanded me to do it.)

I love, love, absolutely love the feeling of being away from civilization and all of its busy buzz.

I love knowing that I can round a corner and not be bombarded by zillions of senseless advertisements telling me how a miracle detox plan is going to change my life.

I love getting in touch with my inner wolf/coyote/fox/bison/elk/whatever-the-heck-I-feel-like-being.

I love knowing that all of my cardio work on the treadmill and elliptical actually amounted to something when I descended (and climbed) the equivalent of 40 flights of stairs to see this view:

I also love the feeling of standing in the middle of the world’s first national park and feeling just the tiniest bit smug that I’m not running around with my head buried in insignificant-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things things like deadlines, grading, and life concerns.

Two things I do NOT miss about this vacation:

Thing that will remain unmissed #1: People in the Midwest really, really love their meat. Especially in Idaho, land of the oh-look-at-these-potatoes-they’re-vegetarian-so-I-think-we’ll-put-some-BACON-in-them.

True story. Halfway through my bowl of mashed potatoes from the fair (the only “vegetarian” main dish available in a 5-mile radius), I found a gigantic slab of bacon.

They also endorse things like these.

(How they manage to swallow any of it after passing by all the displays of cows and pet pigs for sale, I will never fathom.)

Thing that will remain unmissed #2: The most high-tech piece of cooking equipment to which I had access was the miniature honeypot I bought myself. Another true story.

I did, however, run into this clever cute sign at one of the mud geysers that absolutely warmed my heart:

Whoever wrote this sign was either a genius or a little wacko in the head giggling at his/her witticism and thinking everyone else reading it would find it equally witty. I’m going to go with genius.

I did, however, miss my oven very much, and I was consoled only with the knowledge that I’d be posting a stellar recipe when I got home, to internet, my oven, and all of civilization’s glorious mind-sucking technology.

Did I mention that autumn is here?

No, I didn’t. Because it’s not here, and I refuse to believe all reports that say otherwise. Even though I made these amazing pumpkin pie squares that you absolutely need to try.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Yield: 9×9-inch baking pan


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin (you can increase this to as much as 30 ounces if you prefer a more pumpkin-y taste)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup white sugar, melted butter, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon until mixture is completely moistened. Press evenly into a lightly-greased 9×9-inch baking pan. Bake crust in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, or until golden and mostly firm. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs and 3/4 cup white sugar. Add pumpkin and evaporated milk, and beat in thoroughly. Mix in salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Pour pumpkin mixture over slightly cooled graham cracker crust.
  3. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until filling is set. Cut into bars and serve while denying the arrival of autumn!


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars