I thought I’ve seen them all when it comes to cakes and dessert bars. Recently, I was introduced to gooey butter bars and this has opened my eyes to a whole new world of sweets I have yet to explore!
They’re a popular, long-standing St. Louis treat. While there are numerous various on the gooey butter bars, it’s basically a two layered dessert. It starts with a shortbread crust bottom and topped with a melt in your mouth butter cake.
Together, these two layers create this decadent delightful little treat.
While these gooey butter bars are perfectly fine as is, they’re the perfect blank canvas to garnish with your favorite fruits. I added a combination of strawberries and grapefruit segments on top. It’s the ideal transitional dessert to say farewell to the citrus of winter and hello to the berries of spring and summer. Forget strawberry shortcakes and peach buckles this summer, I’m going to be making all sorts of variations on these gooey bars!
While you wait for the gooey butter bars to cool down and set up, I marinated the fruits in a liquid mixture of honey and grated ginger (for a little zing!). Once the gooey butter bars are ready for serving, drain the fruits and add them to the cake bars. Save the marinating juice to lightly drizzle on top of butter bars, or use it sweetened iced tea! Add a few sprigs of mint for the final touch of pop and freshness. If you’d like, a dollop of freshly whipped cream adds another dimension of luxury. Be sure to cut small portions. These gooey butter bars pack a big punch and you really only need a little slice to be super happy!
Here are my changes to the original GOOEY BUTTER BARS recipe:
- Instead of 2/3 cup half-and-half, I used 2/3 cup whole milk.
- Instead of 1/2 tsp almond extract, I used 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Add 1/4 tsp fine sea salt to cake batter
- Instead of 3 cups strawberries, I used a mixture of strawberries and grapefruit segments.
- Add fresh mint to garnish
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How can you make something that already tastes good even better? Add chocolate, of course! I’ve been eyeing these salted peanut bars for quite some time. With baseball season around the corner, I’m all about peanuts! I require a bag of peanuts at every game. I’m sure these chocolate peanut marshmallow bars will be the perfect snack when I watch baseball games at home!
From sweet to savory applications, peanuts pack such flavor. The original recipe for these bars uses salted peanuts. I swapped in a combination of salted peanuts and honey roasted peanuts to mix it up. The honey roasted peanuts add an unexpected touch of sweetness that makes you crave more after each bite.
The bottom cookie layer is quite similar to a shortbread crust. On top of that is a layer of melted marshmallow. And the bars are rounded out with a delectable and oh-so-delicious mixture of peanut butter, crisp rice cereal, and peanuts. Once the top layer has cooled and set, a generous drizzling of chocolate is the perfect finishing touch. These bars have everything you could ever want in a treat: sweet, salty, crunchy, and satisfying!
Making these little treats is a breeze. It’s waiting for it to cool down and set up that feels like eternity. But really, it only needs about an hour in the fridge to firm up.
This is a great make-ahead dessert. Once completed, it also holds really well for a few days. Although, trust me, you’ll have no problem finishing these chocolate peanut marshmallows bars!
Here are my changes to the original SALTED PEANUT BARS recipe:
- Instead of 2 cups salted peanuts, use 1 cup salted peanuts and 1 cup honey roasted peanuts.
- Once bars have been sliced into serving portions, drizzle melted dark chocolate over the top for the finishing touch.
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These Lemon Raspberry Bars have a small back story. It starts with me being terribly sick of winter. I live in Chicago, and because it was 1 degree yesterday I truly need some sunshine in my life. I have been complaining quite a bit on my blog about this, and my desire to move to the West Coast for constant sun is growing everyday. Yellow always tends to brighten my mood, and anything with lemon brings a smile to my face (and makes me pucker like none other- that rhymed!).
I searched BHG’s site for a recipe that could lift my downtrodden winter spirits and stumbled on this recipe for Raspberry Bars; I was hooked. I adore raspberries. They are tart yet sweet, and perfectly juicy. Paired with lemon, they are irresistible.
These bars have three distinct layers of flavor: a delicious crust, raspberry jam filling and a fresh raspberry and lemon cream cheese topping that is baked like cheesecake. When the three layers come together, there is an explosion of flavor in your mouth that makes you happy dance immediately.
I only made a few slight changes to this recipe:
- I doubled the amount of raspberry jam on the crust. I really wanted the raspberry flavor to be distinct.
- I used all cream cheese instead of adding in the goat cheese.
- I halved the recipe which my waist line thanked me for.
- I used lemon oil in place of lemon peel. I recently discovered lemon oil, which gives the strong flavor of lemon without all the grating. It is much stronger than extract so don’t try to use it as a substitute. It’s a great time saver for me that I am loving more everyday.
These bars are absolutely fantastic. I ate quite a few, and even ignored the falling snow and decreased temperatures right outside my window for a while.
Hi there! My name is Lexi, and I’m the blogger over at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. My website is a resource for healthy recipes that are made with real ingredients, while being free of gluten, grains, refined sugar, and dairy. I am so excited to be here on Delish Dish today adapting BHG’s Carrot and Zucchini Bars and making them paleo-friendly!
I stumbled across these Carrot and Zucchini Bars in the Better Homes and Garden Archive and knew I wanted to recreate them with a few clean eating adaptations! A delicious treat that has hidden veggies is perfect for everyone in your family, especially your kiddos!
I simply made a few changes to the original recipe making it gluten-free, grain-free, and free of refined sugar!
-I subbed regular flour for 1 1/2 cups almond flour plus 1 tbsp coconut flour
-I replaced brown sugar with organic coconut sugar and decreased the amount from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup
-I omitted the cooking oil altogether
-I reduced the zucchini and carrots to 1/4-1/3 cup each
BONUS: I even made a batch with maple syrup instead of honey for a Maple Carrot and Zucchini Bar that everyone went absolutely crazy over!
Original recipe HERE.
The results were soft, moist, and flavorful bars that are absolutely the most perfect treat that you do not have to feel guilty about indulging in! I cannot wait to serve them up at my next family brunch. Find the original recipe here.
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Happy Baking! – Lexi
I know caramel and apples usually go together like peanut butter and jelly but I love the decadent twist these Butterscotch Apple Bars provides.
This Fall has been all about lower maintenance for me. I have been quite busy, as I am sure you have too, but I still need my sweet fix on a regular basis. When I first saw the recipe for the Butterscotch-Toffee Bars on BHG.com, I knew I found my new fix for sure. These looked chewy, decadent, and full of flavor. They reminded me of snickerdoodles from the picture. And the kicker was they were made with cake mix.
I wanted to give these delicious bars a nice Fall twist. I made the following adjustments:
- I halved the recipe since I would be tempted to eat way too many of these with only my husband and I at home.
- I omitted the nuts (I have an allergy) and toffee pieces and replaced with 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips. If you make the full batch, make this 1 full cup.
- I sauteed apple slices (cored and thinly sliced from 1 apple) in 3 tablespoons of butter, a few tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon until they were nice and soft.
- Lastly, I created a simple butterscotch sauce with 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips and 2 tablespoons of milk. I microwaved for 45-55 seconds and whisked the mixture together until smooth and pourable.
I can’t tell you how quickly I had these in the oven baking away. From mixing the batter to popping them in the oven, I was done with preparation in less than 10 minutes. While they baked, I sauteed the apples and microwaved the butterscotch sauce. That is one of the quickest dessert preparations I have encountered in quite some time. The best part was taking them out of the oven. I could not resist having one warm and toasty bar. It was just like I thought: perfectly chewy and delicious.
Next, I cut the bars and spooned apple slices on each one and drizzled sauce across it. It was out of this world decadent and delicious. Perfectly sweet, spiced and incredibly easy. I think this has become my new favorite Fall dessert. It is not only dessert perfection as far as taste but about as easy a dessert as it comes. No one will ever know you didn’t spend all day in the kitchen preparing these.
Sweet and Savory Fall Baking Recipes
Hello! I’m Jennifer Farley, the creator of Savory Simple, and I’m happy to be guest posting for Better Homes and Gardens. My blog focuses on quality ingredients, bold flavors and recipes with a gourmet twist. I recently shared a recipe for grapefruit pie that was very well received so I’ve decided to keep going with that theme. For today’s post I’ve created grapefruit bars by adapting this Better Homes and Gardens recipe for strawberry-lemon bars. You’re going to love them.
I absolutely adore grapefruit. I can’t say I’ve ever tried a citrus fruit that I didn’t love, but to me there’s something especially wonderful and unique about grapefruit. I love assertive flavors and grapefruit packs an extra level of sweetness that’s counterbalanced by just the right amount of bitterness. But for some reason it’s not used nearly as often in recipes as lemons, limes and oranges. I’m here to change that!
These grapefruit bars are incredibly easy to make. The bottom crust layer is a rich, flaky shortbread. The top layer is delicate and sweet with just the right amount of grapefruit flavor.
I made several changes to the strawberry-lemon bars recipe:
- I added a pinch of salt to the crust layer. Simply add it in while stirring together the flour and powdered sugar.
- I replaced the 2 teaspoons of finely shredded lemon peel with 2 teaspoons of finely shredded grapefruit peel.
- I replaced the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.
- I added 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice along with the grapefruit juice since grapefruits are slightly sweeter and less acidic.
- To balance the additional juice, I added 1 additional tablespoon of all-purpose flour for a total of 3 tablespoons.
- I omitted the baking soda.
- I omitted step 3 and all of it’s corresponding ingredients (strawberry jelly, lemon juice, strawberries) entirely.
- In place of the strawberry topping, I added a light dusting of powdered sugar.
If you love grapefruit as much as I do, you’re going to love my version of grapefruit bars based off Better Homes and Gardens’ Strawberry-Lemon Bars. Enjoy!