I am going to catch you up on an old story to get to me these pudding bars. My sister works as a food and beverage manager in a nursing home. Last spring there was a purchasing seminar, at least I think that is what is was, where the guest speaker was Anna & Michael Olson. At this point in my life had never seen her speak before. I also assumed there was an opportunity to meet her. My sister was kind enough to get me into this event for the few hours to see them speak. They spoke for about an hour on focusing on menus using local, seasonal ingredients. It was very informative and Michael is very funny.
Now my sister and I had a little mis-communication. She informed me that I could by a cookbook there to get signed. However the cookbooks she saw were for a giveaway and could not be purchased. Crap, I was there with no cookbook for Anna to sign. What was I to do? Luckily since my name was technically registered at the seminar my name was in the draw for the cookbook and wouldn't ya know it my name was called. I got my signed cookbook and a photo. Good day.
What does this story have to do with pudding bars? Meeting Anna & Michael Olson, nothing. At the conference though I managed to pick up a large bag of instant pudding mix. Up until last week I still hadn't used it, I also wanted cookies. Problem solved. I also got to start to dig into baking with Easter candy, which remember I love love. Easter M&M's are so much prettier than regular M&M's.
Here is hopefully one of many Easter candy love recipes.
Cookie Pudding Bars
(adapted from Kraft Canada)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pkg. (1.7 oz.) Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/2 pkg (1.7 oz) Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups spring time M&M's
1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray with non stick spray an 8 inch square pan. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.
2) In a large bowl or mixer bowl beat together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla.
3) Add flour mixture to eggs, beating on low until just combined. Split the mixture in half.
4) Using a wooden spoon to combine, add the chocolate dry pudding mix to one half and the vanilla to the other. Split the M&M's and stir into both.
5) Place one of the mixtures in random chunks into the prepared pan. Add the remaining mixture in chunks around the other mixture. Using a knife or spoon blend the two mixtures together to create swirls and blends.
6) Bake 18 to 20 min. or until golden brown. Cool in pan 5 min Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Cut into squares.
The bar form is much easier than the cookie if you are going for the swirl effect but they can be made into cookies as well. Just make sure your consistency of both doughs is the same or you will have uneven cookies.
MEG's RATING : D-EEEE-LICIOUS!