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Brownies & Bars

  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Blueberry Peach Crumble Bars (Vegan)

    Blueberry Peach Crumble Bars – a delicious layer of blueberry and peach filling sitting on top a buttery crust, topped with a crumbly streusel

    Overhead shot of blueberry crumble bars on a marble surface

    Summer is in full swing here. That means the bathing suits have been purchased, books are being read next to the pool, my tan is getting better day by day (I’m still white as a ghost, but I’m trying), and my list of to-make summer recipes keeps on growing. I’m obsessed with fruit in the summer: fruit salad, fruit desserts, fruit as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But when it comes to making a fruit dessert, what screams summer more than peaches and blueberries?

    Blueberry peach crumble bars drizzled with glaze sitting on parchment paper

    The combination of peach and blueberry is one of my favorite flavor combos of all time. It just works so well together! Light and refreshing but full of flavor, these crumble bars are the perfect summer dessert.

    Blueberry peach crumble bars drizzled with glaze sitting on parchment paper

    How to make Blueberry Peach Crumble Bars:

    These bars are a little bit of work, but so worth it. Plus they look fancy, like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen for hours and hours. But all it comes down to is three simple steps: the crust, the filling, and the crumble topping. The optional fourth step is to add a glaze on top, which is totally optional but I highly recommend it.

    First, make the crust. The method for making this crust is just like a scone or pie crust: sift together the dry ingredients, add the cold butter, stir in the wet ingredients, chill. Once the crust is made, pour about 2/3 of it into a parchment-lined pan and bake until slightly golden. Then, add the blueberries and peaches to a bowl with sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon and let sit until the fruit starts releasing juices. Pour this fruit filling over the baked crust, top with the crumble topping, then bake until bubbling and lightly golden brown.

    Overhead shot of blueberry crumble bars on a marble surface

    Looking for more summer recipes?

    Blueberry Peach Crumble Bars (Vegan)

    A delicious layer of blueberry and peach filling sitting on top a buttery crust, topped with a crumbly streusel
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time50 mins
    Total Time1 hr 10 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: bar dessert, bars, blueberry, peach
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    Crust & Crumble

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. ground flaxseed
    • 1/2 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance cold and cubed
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

    Blueberry & Peach Filling

    • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
    • 1 heaping cup peaches, peeled and chopped
    • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
    • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch

    Instructions

    For the crust:

    • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with 1 1/2 Tbsp. of water. Mix well, then set aside until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), then add the sugar and mix well to make sure there are no lumps. Add the cold, cubed butter and mix with your hands until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the flax and vanilla and mix well. If this mixture starts to get warm at any point, throw it in the fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes. Just like a pie crust, you want it to stay cold!
    • Press about 2/3 of the crust mixture into a parchment-lined 8"x8" baking pan. Make sure to really press the mixture into the corners or else the fruit juice could seep down and make the crust soggy. Chill the crust for 15 minutes. While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
    • Once the 15 minutes has passed, bake the bottom crust for 15 minutes until set and slightly golden brown. In a separate bowl, add the chopped pecans to the remaining 1/3 of the crust, then set aside (this will become the top crumble!).

    For the filling:

    • In a large bowl, combine the blueberries and peaches. Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice over top, and let sit for 15 minutes until the fruit has started to release some of its juice. After 15 minutes, drain some of the juice from the bottom of the bowl, then add the cornstarch to the fruit and mix well.
    • Pour the blueberry filling over the baked crust. Sprinkle the remaining crust over top and gently pat into the filling. Bake 35 minutes until bubbling and light golden brown.

    For the glaze:

    • In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 Tbsp. of nondairy milk. Mix until smooth, then drizzle over the fruit bars.

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    The Best Vegan Brownies… EVER

    The Best Vegan Brownies EVER – gooey, fudgy, decadent brownies topped with a peanut butter swirl. The perfect (vegan) brownie!

    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    I don’t call these “the best brownies ever” just because I think it’s cute or I love clickbait. These are literally the best vegan brownies ever, and I know this for a fact. I’ve tested like, close to 100 vegan brownie recipes at this point and don’t get me wrong, a lot of them were really good. But none of the recipes were perfect.

    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    I’m crazy picky when it comes to brownies. I prefer fudgy over cakey, and they need to be packed with a rich chocolate flavor. Chocolate chips are preferable. And if it falls apart in your hand, that’s a good thing. That means it isn’t dry. Dry brownies are the devil. Remember that Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie box mix? The one that comes in a huge economy size at Costco? That’s my perfect brownie.

    I’ve made some bomb brownies throughout the years. Like these Brownie Christmas Trees? Those are made from a darn good brownie that holds up well and goes perfectly with the frosting. But as far as a rich, decadent, fudgy, fall-apart-in-your-hand brownie? Those aren’t it, chief.

    But THESE. These are the perfect vegan brownies. First of all, they check all my crazy-picky boxes. And on top of that, you would never be able to guess they’re vegan, which is my goal with every dessert I make. If it tastes “vegan”, then I failed. But THESE. These are just a darn good brownie.

    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    The Best Vegan Brownies… EVER

    Gooey, fudgy, decadent brownies topped with a peanut butter swirl. The perfect (vegan) brownie!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: brownies, chocolate, peanut butter
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance melted
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used extra dark cocoa)
    • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 cup brewed coffee, cold
    • 1/2 cup nondairy milk, such as Silk
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    • In medium-sized bowl, combine the sugars and the melted butter. Add the vanilla and mix well.
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt).
    • Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter mixture. The easiest way to do this is to add half of the sifted dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients (coffee and nondairy milk), and then add the remaining dry ingredients. Fold together until just combined.
    • Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into a parchment-lined 8"x8" baking pan. Swirl the peanut butter into the top of the brownie batter (I usually melt the peanut butter, then pour it in lines or squiggles over the top of the brownie batter, then use a knife to swirl it together).
    • Bake until the brownies are set along the outside but still a little bit wet in the middle, about 30-35 minutes. Taking the brownies out before they're fully done is what gives brownies that fudgy texture!
    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Strawberry Pie Bars – Gooey, rich strawberry jam filling sandwiched between a crumbly, buttery crust and a coconut streusel on top. Perfect for summer!

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

     

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    Hello friends. I hope you’re all having an incredible holiday week(end?). I know I am.

    It’s cheesy, but I really love the Fourth of July. Not just because I get to eat vegan hot dogs and s’mores to my heart’s desire and drink during the day without judgment, but because it’s one day where everyone comes together and the chaos of the country ceases to exist for a moment.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    It’s a dumb thing to love, but it’s one day where everyone seems to get along. The Fourth of July provides a moment of peace, and that’s good enough for me. I’m not saying it makes up for all the crap going on the rest of the year, but I try to think positively and see the good where I can.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    ANYWAYS. I’m totally in love with these pie bars, because they taste exactly like what I want my summer to taste like: fruity, crumbly, chewy, coconut-y. They’re perfect to bring to a family BBQ, and they’re perfect to eat a little bite of before breakfast. It’s a great “anytime snack”, really.

    You start by boiling down fresh strawberries until they’re pretty much the consistency of jam, then pour it over a buttery, flaky crust, and top it with a buttery coconut streusel. They’re so easy to make, and beyond delicious.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

     

    Here’s What I Used:

     

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Author: Brit Wolfe - Panthers & Peonies

    Ingredients

    Strawberry Filling

    • 2 cups strawberries fresh or frozen
    • 2 tsp. lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch

    Crust & Crumble

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 1 1/2 Tbsp. water
    • 1/2 cup vegan butter cold
    • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

    Instructions

    To make the strawberry filling:

    • Add the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar to a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and cover. Let the strawberries heat and begin to break down, about 7 minutes.
    • Once there's a good amount of liquid in the saucepan from the strawberries, add the cornstarch and mix in well to make sure there are no clumps.
    • Bring to boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and let heat, covered, until the strawberries are thick and almost jelly-like consistency.
    • Remove from heat and let cool.

    To make the crust:

    • Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
    • Mix together the flax and water and let sit until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), then add the sugar and mix well.
    • Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour, mixing well to incorporate it until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I always do this step by hand, but you can use a pastry cutter or two forks if you prefer.
    • When the butter is almost fully incorporated, add the flax egg.
    • Press about 2/3 of the mixture into a parchment-lined 8"x8" square baking pan, and press it down firmly into an even layer.
    • Pour the strawberry mixture over top of the crust. It's ok if it's still a little warm!
    • Add the shredded coconut to the remaining crumb mixture, mix well, and sprinkle over the strawberry layer.
    • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown along the edges.

    Notes

    Before pouring the strawberry mixture over the crust, I used a fork to mash the strawberries so it more resembled a jelly, but that's totally optional.
    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)
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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats – crunchy Rice Krispies and cinnamon cereal come together with marshmallow to create this delicious twist on a classic!

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    A lot of people think Rice Krispie treats are boring. And I totally get that, I’m not someone who would choose a Rice Krispie treat over other desserts. But fancy Rice Krispie treats? Those are a whole different story. Add some sprinkles or a drizzle of chocolate and I’m sold.

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    The flavors in these Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats all work so well together: the chewy marshmallow, the crunchy cinnamon cereal, the creamy peanut butter. I used Annie’s CinnaBunnies, which are perfectly crunchy with an extra hit of cinnamon.

    We all know that peanut butter and chocolate are the perfect combination, but I think I might have found peanut butter’s new perfect partners: cinnamon and marshmallow.

     

    Here’s What I Used:

     

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats

    Prep Time10 mins
    Total Time10 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Author: Brit Wolfe - Panthers & Peonies

    Ingredients

    • 6 Tbsp. vegan butter
    • 10 ounces vegan marshmallows I used Trader Joe's
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 4 cups cinnamon cereal of your choice I used Annie's CinnaBunnies
    • 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
    • cinnamon for sprinkling
    • peanut butter for drizzling

    Instructions

    • In a large soup pot, melt together the butter and marshmallows.
    • Once the marshmallows are completely melted, remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla.
    • Pour in the cereals and mix until totally combined.
    • Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8" square baking pan and using a sturdy spoon or your hands, press down the mixture firmly into the pan.
    • Let set overnight (or at least 2 hours).
    • Drizzle with melted peanut butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)
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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    Kitchen Sink Blondies – A chewy brown sugar blondie base packed with rich dark chocolate, coconut shreds, chopped walnuts, and vanilla granola. Totally delicious, and totally customizable!

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)
    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    I’ve heard these blondies called a ton of different things: Kitchen Sink Blondies, Everything But the Kitchen Sink Blondies (which is the same, just… longer), Chameleon Blondies (don’t know why, but I like it), Monster Blondies (don’t know why… and I don’t like it). But whatever they’re called, they’re freakin’ delicious.

    Kitchen sink blondies are the perfect dessert to use up those random last little bits of stuff in your pantry. We all have them, why try to hide it? I’m so guilty of leaving like, two walnuts in a bag and throwing it back in the pantry. Why? No idea. But with these blondies, you can throw in those two walnuts, the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, the stale half-bag of graham crackers, and the granola crumbs and they’ll still taste AWESOME.

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    You guys know I’m aaaaall about salty-sweet recipes, and this recipe is no exception. Like I said, you can use any type of mix-ins you want, but this recipe really has a good thing going. The sweetness of the chocolate chips, the crunch of the walnuts, the chewiness of the coconut, and the occasional crisp of the granola? It’s honestly perfect.

    Here’s What I Used:

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    • 8 Tbsp. vegan butter melted
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water
    • 3/4 Tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • heaping 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 heaping cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup granola
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    • Mix together the flax and water and let sit until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and flax.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder), then fold into the wet mixture.
    • Fold in the mix-ins.
    • Pour into a parchment-lined 8"x8" pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with a handful of chocolate chips and a big pinch of salt.
    • Bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown. I like to underbake them a little bit so they have the brownie/underdone cookie texture. Yummm.

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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