No-Bake Butterscotch Oatmeal Bars

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Summer is the season for so many wonderful things: BBQs, beach trips, outdoor concerts, sweating while doing just about anything, and eating tons and tons of ice cream.   This week, I was craving something sweet that was NOT ice cream and I really didn’t want to sweat while making it.  However, there is this whole dilemma that I can’t turn on my oven to bake because it’s just too damn hot on the 5th floor.

The solution – super fast No-Bake bars! 

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I chose butterscotch for these bars because my Taller Half LOVES butterscotch, and his birthday was last week.  Aw. I’m such a good girlfriend. (meanwhile I’m in the kitchen scarfing down half the batch before I even show him what I no-baked) Yes.  I made these bars with total and complete unselfish love.

Anyway,

Let’s review why these bars are amazing and you need to get in your kitchen and No-bake these bars right now:

  1. These bars are subtly sweet, chewy and creamy all in one
  2. They take less than 10 minutes to no-bake
  3.  You only need 7 ingredients (well, 8 if you include salt)
  4. These bars have peanut butter (Protein!) and oats (Fiber!)

You will thank me.  We finished the first batch in 2 days.  TWO days. oops

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My Taller Half says they taste like a cross between a chewy granola bar and butterscotch fudge.  You heard me.  You are making chewygranolabutterscotchfudge bars in less than 10 min!

Let’s no-bake some butterscotch oatmeal bars in a DASH!

First combine the oats, salt and butterscotch chips in a large bowl

Then melt peanut butter, oil, milk and honey in a small saucepan.  Heat slowly and stir.  This mixture can burn easily, so keep the heat low and keep stirring.  Plus, it’s too damn hot out!  No need to turn that burner all the way up!

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Keep stirring. This mixture is not well incorporated yet!

Heat mixture and stir until everything is combined.   Then remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.

Next, simply add the wet mixture to the oat and butterscotch mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until all the oats are coated and the butterscotch chips are nice and melted.  Mmmmm melty butterscotch.  This mixture is deeee-licious.

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Now scoop out everything into a 8×8 baking dish that is lined with parchment paper and squish down to even out the mixture and let it set for about 30 min.  I put the first batch in the fridge to set, because my kitchen is A LOT hotter than “room temp”.  If your kitchen is a normal temperature or you are blessed with air conditioning, then you can probably let them set outside the fridge.

20130729-213423.jpgAfter the bars have set, eat entire pan of oat bars cut into squares and enjoy.  Store bars in fridge, if you have any left after I ate them all.  : )

20130729-213445.jpgMMmmm  look at that chewy, oaty texture.  The creamy butterscotch and peanut butter smooths oat the old fashioned oats and you get this wonderful chewy, creamy bite! Yum!

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20130729-213529.jpgRecipe: No-Bake Butterscotch Oatmeal Bars

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Resting time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Makes 1 full 8×8 pan

Ingredients:

     Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

     Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I always bake or no-bake with Skippy)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (you can use less to make them less sweet) – **see below for tip for measuring
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%, but you can use whatever you have)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir
  3. In a small saucepan, combine all the wet ingredients, except vanilla.**
  4. On low heat, melt the peanut butter and stir to incorporate all the wet ingredients.  Do this slowly and keep an eye on it.  This mixture can burn easily.
  5. When peanut butter is melted, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  6. Pour hot wet ingredients directly into bowl with dry ingredients. Stir until all oats are coated with warm mixture and the butterscotch chips are melted. (I used a large rubber spatula to stir this all together.)
  7. Pour into prepared baking dish and press down with either a metal or rubber spatula to make an even layer
  8. Let it set in the fridge for about 30 min.
  9. Cut into bars and Enjoy!

Store leftovers in a air tight container in fridge for about a week.

** To easily measure honey, use the same cup as the vegetable oil and measure after oil.  Or, spray measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray (such as Pam) before pouring honey in.

Recipe source: deliciousinadash.wordpress.com

Cherry Lemonade

20130721-100810.jpgCherry Lemonade.  It is just what I needed to break the heat.  I live on the 5th floor of a big brick apartment building and it is SO HOT UP HERE. This cherry lemonade is so refreshing. It is a little tart and a little sweet and a lot of icy refreshment. : ) 20130721-100838.jpg

This week cherries were on sale.  In my rush to get in and out of the grocery store, I picked a bag with some not-so-sweet cherries. What is the best thing to do with these cherries?  No, not bake with them.  There is NO WAY I am turning on my oven in this heat. The magic answer is: use the cherries in something where I can sweeten them up! Looking at the lemons in my fridge I thought, YES!  LEMONADE!

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  The best thing about making homemade lemonade?  It is A LOT easier than you think it is, AND you can customize it to your taste.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, IT TASTES SO MUCH BETTER THAN STORE BOUGHT!

So let’s make some Cherry Lemonade!

First juice some lemons

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Next, pit your cherries.  I don’t have a fancy cherry pitter thingy, so I just cut them in half, and removed the pit.

20130721-100746.jpg20130721-100757.jpgNext, add a little water and blend the cherries using an immersion blender or whatever you have.  Then strain out the skins that didn’t blend to keep your lemonade smooth

20130721-100738.jpgCombine blended cherries, lemon juice, water and some simple syrup and voila!

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Fill a glass with ice and enjoy some delicious, cool, sweet and tart lemonade.

Aren’t you feeling cooler just looking at these photos!?

 GO make some homemade cherry lemonade!

20130721-100838.jpgRecipe: Cherry Lemonade

Makes ~2 cups without ice, 4 cups with ice.

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 3 lemons (~1/2 cup)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup water, divided
  • 15-20 cherries, pitted and stems removed
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of simple syrup – recipe follows (depending on how sweet your cherries are, and how sweet you want your lemonade)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl or pitcher, combine fresh lemon juice and 1 cup of the water
  2. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of water with the pitted cherries and blend until smooth.  I used an immersion blender, but you can use whatever type of blender you have.
  3. Strain the blended cherries (see picture above) to remove any skin that did not blend.  You may need to use a spoon to move skin around so all liquid filters through.
  4. Add the strained, blended cherries to the pitcher of lemon juice.
  5. Add simple syrup to taste and stir
  6. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Recipe Source: deliciousinadash@wordpress.com

Simple Syrup Recipe

Makes about 3/4 cup

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Slowly bring to a boil while stirring until all sugar is dissolved.
  3. Allow simple syrup to cool to room temperature and store in an air tight container in fridge.