Ho Ho Bars

knock you out barsThis recipe has been my nemesis.

My good friend Lorine first served us a batch of these yummy bars several years ago – and even shared the recipe.

I’ve been trying ever since to duplicate them – but my filling never got to the heights of fluffy wonderfulness that hers did.

Until now. šŸ™‚

I made these beauties for our 4H Pizza Party and sent all the kids home in a sugar induced frenzy. I’m sure their moms love me.

And – considering the fact that they contain a whopping pound of butter and a full 4 cups of sugar – I’m sure that you all will love me too!

One more warning – these made a large pan – so either have a 4H Club of kids waiting to help you eat these or half the recipe!

Ho Ho Bars

Brownie Layer:

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup water
4 Tablespoons cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda


1 – 1/2 cup milk
5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup utter or margarine, softened
1 cup Crisco
2 teaspoons vanilla


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Start with the brownies. In a saucepan bring the butter,cocoa and water to a boil. Remove from heat and add flour, sugar, and salt, mixing completely. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, and baking soda, stirring thoroughly.

Pour into a greased 12Ā  x 18 inch jelly roll pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

As soon as the brownies are in the oven – start the filling by whisking the flour and milk together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it forms a thick paste. Cool.

Beat the sugar, margarine, Crisco, and vanilla until creamy. Add cooled paste and continue beating on high for seven minutes – yes that’s 7 minutes.

Spread on the cooled cake and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After an hour, move on to the final step – the frosting.Ā  In a saucepan, heat the the sugar, butter and milk to boiling. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until melted and quickly pour over the filling and refrigerate.

I would recommend keeping these in the fridge – the filling just stays firmer there. I would also cut these into small bars – there’s a reason my kids have nicknamed them “Diabietic Coma Bars”!


I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at At the Well, and Tuesdays at the Table over at All the Small Stuff.

Double Fail Brownies

Brownies with cream cheese frostingHave you ever had one of those days in the kitchen when everything goes wrong?

We did.

It started with a to-do list that was just way too long for the amount of time we had.

I had both girls working on different things in the kitchen while I did 10 other things at once.

It wasn’t long before things started to fall apart.

Angel Girl was melting a package of chocolate chips and a package of butterscotch chips in the microwave – and it seized. Badly. There were 2 entire bags of chips ruined.

We almost cried.

I tried adding butter, shortening, and even milk before I finally got it back to a smooth consistency – but I had added so much that I wasn’t sure if it would harden up on the top of the bars. (After the fact – I know it would have been just fine – but at the time I was doing too many things to think clearly. )

I had Angel Girl start over again – this time with a double broiler – while I set out to figure out what to do with all this reclaimed chocolate.Ā  It wouldn’t go to waste if I had to eat it all myself- with a spoon! (Which might have been my best idea all day!)

It took me a few minutes – but I finally decided to try to use it in brownies and researched until I found one that uses melted chocolate chips.

I just doubled the recipe and put it in a 9 X 13 pan.

Chocolate Chip Brownies

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons of water
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

In a sauce pan combine 1 cup of chocolateĀ  chips, sugar, butter, and water. Cook over medium heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Let cool for about 5 minutes before adding the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 9 inch prepared pan. BakeĀ  at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

We let them cool before we cut into them – enjoying the rich chocolate goodness with a hint of butterscotch.

But wait there’s more.

I called these double fail brownies for a reason!

While Angel Girl was melting the chocolate chips, Dagmar was making an ice cream dessert that called for a cream cheese filling in the center. We were playing with a recipe and adapted it – and our communication wasn’t the best (Because I was busy saving the melted chocolate that didn’t really need to be saved!)

The original recipe called for milk to be added to the cream cheese, powdered sugar and Cool Whip. But as she mixed it up and poured it on top of the ice cream layer – it looked way too runny.

As I stood there with the decadent brownie in my hand, pondering the runny filling – I had a burst of inspiration!

We grabbed the dessert from the freezer, scraped the cream cheese layer off the ice cream layer (and yes it was still too runny) and poured it over the now cooled brownies. Instant frosting!

We put the whole pan in the fridge until the “frosting” hardened enough to eat.

Voila! A double fail brownie that turned out to be really tasty!

That’s a good thing – because after the confusing day I had – I needed more than one!


Chocolate Brownies

Rich Chocolate Brownies In my continual quest for the perfect brownie, my sister shared this contribution.

A cocoa brownie, these are still very gooey and rich!

They get extra points for having a frosting layer as thick as the brownie layer!

They are most definitely a contender – and disappeared very quickly around here!

Rich Chocolate Brownie

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


3 tablespoons baking cocoa
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy. Add butter and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to the batter and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a greased 8 inch square baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. remove from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For frosting, combine the cocoa and the butter. In a small cup, dissolve the coffee granules in the warm water and add it to the cocoa mixture. Stir in the powdered sugar until smooth. Frost the brownies.


Chocolate Marshmellow Bars

Chocolate Marshmallow Crunch Brownies My wonderful chocolate-loving sister recently shared these yummy brownies with me!

Gooey and crunchy, they satisfied a deep craving!

I would definitely recommend keeping these in the fridge as the marshmallow layer does tend to get soft and start to run – which is messy but provides some excellent finger licking goodness!

Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
6 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 jar (7 ounce) marshmallow creme
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips
3 cups Rice Krispies

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the flour,cocoa, and salt. Gradually add it to the creamed mixture. Spread into a greased 9 x 13Ā  pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Cool completely.

Spread marshamllow creme over the cooled brownies.

In a small saucepan, melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the Rice Krispies, stirring to coat.

Spread the chocolate mixture carefully over the marshmallow creme and chill before cutting.


Rocky Road Brownies

Rocky Road BrowniesThese super rich and gooey brownies were the temptation of the weekend here in my home!

The decadent chocolate brownies covered with melted marshmallows andĀ  honey roasted peanuts just screamed “Eat me!” as I passed them.

They were a big hit at the potluck they attended Friday night as well!

Rocky Road Brownies

Sift together and set aside:

1Ā  1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt in saucepan:

3/4 cup butter or margarine (1Ā  1/2 sticks)
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate

Remove from heat and stir in:

2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Add 5 eggs one at a time, mixing well.

Stir flour mixture into the melted chocolate mixture until just blended.Ā  Spread the batter in a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with 2 cups of miniature melted marshmallows and 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped honey roasted peanuts.

Bake 5 minutes longer or until the marshmallows are slightly melted.

Garnish with hot fudge sauce.

Cool and enjoy!

Banana Split Trifle

Banana Split Trifle It took some unexpected company, left-over brownies, milk that needed to be used up and ripening bananas on the counter that lead to this creation.

My daughter and I literally made it up as we went and served it to rave reviews!

We should have made it earlier and let it sit in the fridge longer. But our audience had no complaints and literally licked the bowl cleaned!

Banana Split Trifle

9 x 13 pan of brownies (more or less)
1 large box vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 ripe bananas
1 bag frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
1 – 8 oz. tub of whipped topping

Mix the vanilla pudding with 2 cups milk according to the directions on the package. Add vanilla extract and almond extract.Ā  Peel and slice the banana and stir into the pudding. Set aside.

Break the brownies into small bite size pieces and layer in a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with raspberries.

Spoon a layer of whipped topping over the brownies and berries being careful to go all the way to the edge.

Follow this with a layer of banana pudding. repeat the layers until the bowl is full.

Refrigerate for several hours.

Serve cold and enjoy!

Snow Cake

Snow Cake Improvisation in the kitchen once again saved the day!

Every year we celebrate the first snow by making and enjoying a snow cake.

Traditionally we have made my favorite chocolate brownie recipe and then sprinkled powdered sugar on the top to look like new fallen snow.

This year however, the first snow came right after the “big move”. It was a time when my pantry was empty and my day was full.

When I heard the excited cries of “It’s snowing!”, my first thought was “Good!”. We had hoped to be in the new house by the first snowfall.

My second thought was one of panic as I frantically tried to remember if I had the ingredients I needed for snow cake, and more importantly, could I find them?!

Thank goodness for Dagmar! She found a brownie recipe and even made it for us. But when it came time to sprinkle the powdered sugar, we realized we were out.

It was time to improvise!

We had just unpacked all my pretty plates and china dishes to fill Grandma’s China hutch. So I pulled out my beautiful star plates. We put a brownie in each one and covered it with a big dollop of whipped cream (the snow).

Arranged together, the snow cake made a pretty presentation and received rave reviews from my children.

This is one special snow cake, it was an old tradition carried to our new home.

Buddy’s 7th Birthday Cake

My baby turned 7 yesterday. Made me feel a little old, but also more wise and experienced. I sat down and figured out that his birthday cake was the 54th one that I created. I learned a few things along the way, like the more involved the birthday child is, the more they will love their cake. I also learned that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that even if my cake will never grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, it will make a child feel special and that’s what’s most important. And above all else, make sure it tastes great! Over the years we’ve designed some very unique cake creations, and this year was no exception. Together, Buddy and I designed an amazing Race Track Cake, complete with a NASCAR race in the chocolate oval with a TV satellite truck, ambulance and wrecker on the side lines! We made a simple chocolate sheet cake brownie, frosted it with Cool Whip (my other birthday secret! It saves time and tastes great!), then outlined the track in M&M’s before filling it with a crushed Hershey bar. The outfield grass was just green sugar sprinkles. All of the cars came from his Matchbox Cars collection. He was so proud of that cake! And it tasted great, too!

Cookie Sheet Chocolate Brownies:

Combine 1 stick margarine, 1 cup water, 1/4 c. cocoa and 1/2 c. cooking oil in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour over 2 c. flour, 2 c. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add 1/2c. buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. soda, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend and pour into greased cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.


Killer Brownie Alert!

I just got back from 4H a few minutes ago. Tonight was the night of my children’s favorite meeting all year, the Pizza Party and the Installation of New Officers.

Normally we eat quite healthy at 4H meetings, crackers and cheese, fruit, veggies and dip, or sandwiches. But once a year, on the night we install the new officers for the year, the club celebrates with a Pizza Party.

One of the leaders picked up several pizza’s from Casey’s and whipped up a batch of brownies. Now, on the surface, these brownies looked like your regular, run-of-the mill straight from the box brownies.

But inside, they were hiding a secret that transformed them from the normal into Killer Brownies. These delicious chunks of chocolate goodness were filled with Nestle’s Raspberry Swirl Chips.

Each bite provided a chocolate berry taste that would Kill any diet, fast! All she did was sprinkle the chips on the brownie dough before she baked it and wow! did it pack a punch! It might be worth it to start a diet just so I can kill it with a panful of those treats!

I bet those chips would be also be great melted into my Special Sister Chocolate Pie, or added to my favorite hot fudge sauce and poured over ice cream, or mixed into my truffles or fudge at Christmas. I think I have a new staple for my chocolate cupboard. I will definitely be adding this one to my grocery list!