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Tested Bars & Squares Recipes & Videos

Date Squares Nanaimo Bars Chocolate Brownies
Date Squares are a delicious combination of pureed dates sandwiched between two layers of buttery oatmeal shortbread crust. more Nanaimo Bars are British Columbia's best known confection. They are wonderfully rich with two layers of chocolate that are separated by a layer of buttercream icing. more Chocolate Brownies have a lovely deep chocolate flavor and dense fudge-like texture that are topped with a smooth and glossy Ganache frosting. more
Brownies Cocoa Brownies Lemon Bars
Brownies are America's favorite bar cookie and these are rich and dense with chocolate. more Cocoa Brownies are made with unsweetened cocoa powder which gives them a deep chocolate flavor, and a cake-like texture that is wonderfully moist and chewy. more Lemon Bars start with a delicious shortbread base that is covered with a lemony filling that separates as it bakes; giving us a thin cake-like crust on top of a tangy citrus-flavored sauce. more
Rice Krispies Treats® Magic Bars Cream Cheese Brownies
This delicious candy-like square is made with rice cereal, melted marshmallows, and margarine. more Magic Bars simply layer six ingredients; melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, sweetened coconut, chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, and a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pan and the bars are baked. There is no mixing. more Cream Cheese Brownies combine a dense and fudgy chocolate brownie with a cheesecake-like topping.  more
More Recipes Below

Have you ever wondered why "Bars and Squares" are officially categorized as a 'Cookie' and not as a 'Cake'? The experts must have done this because of its batter as it is dense and cookie-like in texture. The other thing they have in common is that 'cookies' and 'bars and squares' are casual desserts; the type you take to bake sales, picnics, potlucks, and other community events. But that seems to be where their similarities end. For unlike cookies where the batter is dropped in mounds on a baking sheet, or formed into individual balls, or even rolled out and cut into pretty shapes, a batter for squares is simply spread into a pan. It is only after baking that they are cut into individual portions. This is where it seems more like a cake, although we cannot deny that a bar is much thinner than a slice of cake and often not as pretty to look at.

The range of Bars and Squares is vast but basically we can divide them into two types; the 'one step' and the 'two step'. The 'one step' is when there is only one layer to the bar, a good example being the Brownie. The 'two step' is when there is more than one layer; often that means a 'crust' and a 'filling'; for example Lemon Bars and Nanaimo Bars. Probably the most famous 'bar and square' is the Brownie, which began its life in a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog over 100 years ago (1897). Brownies were so named because of their dark brown color, not because they contain chocolate. In fact, the first brownie recipes didn't even have chocolate in them. continued below

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Marshmallow Squares

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Mint Brownies consist of a dense and fudgy brownie that is topped with a mint flavored butter frosting and a shiny chocolate glaze. more It's hard to beat this delicious square, with its fluffy marshmallow filling sandwiched between a buttery shortbread base and loads of toasted coconut. more These Fudgy Chocolate Brownies have a rich and deep chocolate flavor and dense fudge-like texture. more

Katharine Hepburn Brownies

S'More Granola Bars

Blondies

The story goes that gossip columnist Liz Smith got the recipe from the actress to publish in her column. That was about 25 years ago and since then these brownies have only grown in popularity. more This recipe contains all the necessary S'more components; chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers only presents them in bar form. more Blondies, or you might know them as Butterscotch or Blond Brownies, have a dense and chewy texture and taste of butterscotch. more

Rugalach Bars

Raspberry Brownies

Butter Tart Squares

Rugalach is a Eastern European cookie that is made with a cream cheese flavored dough that is cut into triangles and rolled around a filling to form a crescent. This recipe makes Rugalach in bar form which is much less work. more Raspberry Brownies swirl dollops of raspberry jam through a brownie batter. The combination of dark chocolate and raspberries is delightful. more These little gems are baked until the crusts have nicely browned and the filling has set. They are excellent warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even chilled. more

S'Mores

Cherry Squares

Chocolate Mint Squares

S'mores are deliciously sweet and gooey. They take roasted marshmallows and pieces of chocolate and sandwiches them between two graham crackers. more Cherry Squares have a sweet and grainy graham cracker crust that is topped with a soft and creamy marshmallow filling and sweet canned red cherries. more While browsing through the website it suddenly occurred to me that there wasn't a recipe containing both chocolate and mint. I decided the perfect dessert to feature these ingredients was a three layer square, really a Nanaimo Bar, only peppermint flavored more

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Pumpkin Bars

Pecan Squares

This popular British shortbread consists of three delicious layers; a buttery shortbread, a smooth caramel, and a shiny layer of melted chocolate. more Pumpkin Bars are a delicious combination of a hazelnut shortbread crust and a creamy smooth pumpkin filling. Lovely garnished with a piped rosette of whipped cream. more Pecan Squares are the perfect combination of a shortbread crust topped with a chewy and gooey pecan filling. more

Fruit and Nut Bars

Granola Bars

Turtle Brownies

These fruit and nut bars are chewy and crunchy and loaded with flavor. They are healthy for us as they contain lots of dried fruit and nuts and the batter has no butter or oil in it. more Granola Bars are full of oats, dried fruits, seeds, and nuts that are coated in a sweet and sticky mixture of butter, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. more Turtle Brownies consist of a fudgy brownie that is topped with a layer of caramel mixed with toasted pecans, and finished with a drizzling of melted chocolate. more

Linzer Squares

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

Mincemeat Shortbread Bars

Linzer Squares have a beautiful golden brown lattice crust made with ground nuts (almonds and/or hazelnuts) and spices and filled with ruby red raspberry preserves. more Pumpkin Cranberry Bars are moist and full of flavor and beg to be cut into large chunks and served with a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea. more Mincemeat Shortbread Bars have two buttery layers of shortbread sandwiched with a layer of spicy mincemeat. more

Cheesecake Squares

Raspberry Oatmeal Squares

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

Cheesecake Squares are a wonderful combination of a graham cracker crust and a thin layer of creamy smooth cheesecake. more

This beautiful looking and delicious tasting square combines the flavor of an oatmeal cookie with raspberry jam. more

Cranberry Shortbread Bars have two layers of buttery shortbread with a lovely tangy cranberry layer in between. more

Toffee Bars Rocky Road Brownies Chocolate Peanut Squares
Toffee Bars are a delicious combination of buttery brown sugar shortbread and dark chocolate, covered with a sprinkling of toffee bits or finely chopped nuts. more Rocky Road Brownies are amazing, with their deep chocolate flavor and dense fudge-like texture topped with gooey melted marshmallows jumbled together with chocolate chips and nuts. more Chocolate Peanut Squares are a delicious combination of peanut butter, cocoa powder, marshmallows, rice cereal, and peanuts. more
Low Fat Brownies
Low-Fat Brownies have a wonderfully moist and chewy texture and a deep chocolate flavor. They are wonderful plain or topped with fresh berries and/or a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a fruit sorbet. more

Continued from above.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making squares. Always use the size of pan called for in the recipe. If you use a different sized pan you will have to adjust the baking time otherwise the texture of the bar will be affected. It is important to prepare your pan as stated in the recipe. There is nothing worse than making a beautiful pan of squares only to find you can't get them out of the pan. The best way to prepare the pan is to line it with aluminum foil. The foil will need to be long enough that there is some overhang on two opposite sides of the pan, to use as handles so you can remove the bars from the pan after baking. So, to do this, you first need to turn your pan upside down. Then, take a piece of foil and center it, shiny side down, over the pan. Smooth the foil over the sides and corners to shape the foil to fit the pan. Once you have done that, remove the foil, turn the pan right side up, and place the shaped foil in the pan.

After baking and cooling the squares, remove them from the pan by lifting the edges of the foil. Place on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut into squares. But before I do this I like to trim the hard outside edges first so that every square looks the same as the next. The trick to getting a nice clean cut for each square is to wipe your knife between cuts, so have a damp cloth nearby. To make sure every square is the same size, use a ruler to mark into equal sized pieces. If you need to transport the bars, store them between layers of parchment or wax paper in an airtight container..

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