Blondies

Makes 24 bars.

Note: From "The New Classics Cookbook" by the editors of Saveur.

• 2 c. flour, plus extra for pan

• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

• 1 1/4 c. packed light brown sugar

• 1/2 c. granulated sugar

• 2 eggs

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for pan

2 c. (approximately 12 oz.) roughly chopped dark or white chocolate

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, and reserve.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Add butter and whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate and spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 238 Fat 12 g Sodium 66 mg

Carbohydrates 31 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 41 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 32 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 2½ fat.

blueberry cheesecake crunch bars

Makes 24 bars.

Note: Adapted from "Donna Bell's Bake Shop: Recipes and Stories of Family, Friends and Food" by Pauley Perrette, Darren Greenblatt and Matthew Sandusky.

For streusel topping:

• 1 c. flour

• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar

• 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small dice

1/2 c. old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)

For cheesecake filling:

• 1 lb. cream cheese, softened

• 3/4 c. granulated sugar

• 1 egg

• 2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 3 tbsp. flour

• 2 c. fresh blueberries

For shortbread crust:

• 2 c. flour

• 1 c. granulated sugar

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small dice, plus extra for pan

Directions

To prepare streusel topping: In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in brown sugar and cinnamon. Add 12 tablespoons butter and, using a pastry blender, cut until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in oats and reserve.

To prepare cheesecake filling: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup granulated sugar until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice, and mix until thoroughly combined. Add 3 tablespoons flour and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and mix until creamy and smooth, about 30 additional seconds. Carefully fold blueberries into filling and reserve.

To prepare shortbread crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Place 2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add 1 cup butter and pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse meal (alternately, whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and, using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal). Spread crust evenly into prepared pan, and pat down lightly with your hands. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately spread blueberry filling carefully over top of baked crust. Sprinkle oat streusel over filling. Return pan to oven and bake until streusel is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer pan to a wire rack and cool.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 345 Fat 20 g Sodium 260 mg

Carbohydrates 38 g Saturated fat 12 g Calcium 37 mg

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 64 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1½ other carb, 4 fat.

Cherry squares with crumble Topping

Makes 24 bars.

Note: From "The Summer Table" by Lisa Lemke.

For batter:

• 2 c. plus 2 tbsp. flour

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 14 tbsp. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

• 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar

• 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (see below)

• 4 eggs

• 14 oz. pitted cherries

For crumble topping:

• 10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

• 1 1/2 c. flour

• 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

Directions

To prepare batter: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, granulated sugar and vanilla sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Fold flour mixture into butter mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and distribute cherries evenly over batter.

To prepare crumble topping: In a medium bowl, combine 10 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 cups flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut until mixture resembles coarse meal (alternately, combine in a food processor and pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse meal). Distribute topping evenly over cherries. Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer pan to a wire rack and cool.

To make vanilla sugar: Bury a vanilla bean in granulated sugar for about a week, then remove vanilla bean (bean can be re-used). The vanilla gives it a nice fragrance and flavor. No time to make before baking for July 4th? Just sub regular sugar and use the vanilla sugar another time.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 254 Fat 13 g Sodium 83 mg

Carbohydrates 33 g Saturated fat 8 g Calcium 28 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 62 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 2½ fat.

CHOCOLATE-GLAZED HONEY-NUT BARS

Makes 24 bars.

Note: From "The Heartland: New American Cooking" by Beth Dooley.

For bottom layer:

• 2 c. flour

• 2/3 c. powdered sugar

• Pinch of salt

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes, plus extra for pan

For top layer:

• 12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

• 1/3 c. honey

• 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

• 2 tbsp. sour cream

• 2 c. chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or almonds

• 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

To prepare bottom layer: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, powdered sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse meal (alternately, pulse a few times in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal). Spread dough evenly in prepared pan and pat down lightly with your hands. Bake until firm and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack.

To prepare top layer: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 12 tablespoons butter, honey, brown sugar and sour cream and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and ingredients are blended. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in nuts.

Spread nut mixture evenly over bottom layer and return pan to the oven. Bake until firm and puffy on top, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a microwave oven), melt chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over bars as they cool, then let bars cool completely.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 300 Fat 22 g Sodium 15 mg

Carbohydrates 26 g Saturated fat 10 g Calcium 28 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 36 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 4½ fat.