Monday, September 22

Good Eating Monday: M&M BakingTips

We had lunch this past Friday with our good friends Bernie & Jacqi at a local hole-in-the-wall cafe called, "The Neighborhood Cafe." That's what we do. We take turns taking each other to new & unique local eateries & dives whenever we get together about every 6 weeks or so. 

I told her about those fabulously delicious M&M Chocolate Oat Bars last week and she said, "You can bake with M&M's? I just eat them plain."
I humorously replied, "Ah, a true connoisseur!"

Still I was surprised. M&M recipes are so everywhere, I just never considered someone not having used them for baking.
So today, I thought I'd do "M&M Baking Tips," post in case there might be others who've not used M&M's in baking. 
 I'm going to include a classic Magic Bar recipe I've adjusted for use with seasonal colored plain M&M's.

How to Use M&M's in Baking:

* Substitute plain M&M's for chocolate chips in recipe for cookies, bars, muffins or quick breads (like banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, etc.) 
* Substitute peanut butter M&M's in any cookie, bar, muffin or bread recipe calling for peanut butter chips.
* Add peanut butter M&M's to any banana bread or muffins.
* Substitute peanut M&M's in any cookie or bar calling for peanuts.
* Add your favorite M&M to brownies or cakes, cupcakes or muffins.
* Decorate the tops of cupcakes or sheet or layer cakes with a scattering of colorful M&M's, any type.
* There are specialty flavor M&M's, such as Coconut or Mint, you can add to chocolate cookie, bar, muffin, cake, cupcake or quick bread recipes.

Next, a super easy cookie-bar recipe I've adjusted for use with M&M's. 
I've just substituted plain M&M's for chocolate chips.
By "seasonal" I mean M&M's that are like pastel for Easter or red & green for Christmas, etc.

Seasonal M&M Magic Bars:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup margarine (1 stick), melted (or butter)
1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 to 1 1/2 cups seasonal colored plain M&M's
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/3 cup coconut
1 can of Eagle Brand Condensed Milk (or other brand)

Directions:
Set oven for 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking oil spray. 

Crust: Combine graham crumbs with melted margarine or butter and mix together until crumbs are moistened, then pour into pan and with your hands, press and pat into a crust on bottom of pan.

Sprinkle over top of crust evenly first a layer of walnuts, then M&M's, then coconut.

Now open and remove lid from the can of condensed milk, then drizzle it thinly up and down, then back and forth, then diagonally over coconut until thoroughly coated & can is empty.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly brown along edges. Let cool 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve! Yum!
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Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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