Bars, Tia's Treat of the Week

TTW: Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars

Like millions of other women out there, Tia and I are addicted to Pinterest.  It’s a hotbed for pinning different ideas and brainstorming our own twists on them.  One of our baking differences is Tia is traditional about following a recipe while I don’t sweat the details.  And at different times, we both are left scratching our heads wanting to know what went wrong.

Tia’s Treat of the Week was a recipe we both pinned separately and desperately want to try.  Tia cued it up for this week and we couldn’t wait to see the final product.  But what we got was something that left us perplexed.  Tia always doubles the recipe to feed her large team and the mooch batch of co-workers trolling around in the area when she brings in a tray.  But this might be part of the downfall of this recipe.  No doubles allowed.  Where the recipe indicated “dollops” of the cheesecake topping to be dropped in, Tia found the white creamed cake was covering the sea of red.  There was no swirl or anything resembling the photo we’d been gushing over for weeks.  Instead, the finished product baked up like this:

With any new recipe, Tia and I recap what went right and what went wrong.  The overall taste of the bar was good.  In our sampling of many cheesecake blend bars we’ve come to discover the cheesecake part doesn’t really stand out.  This one was the same.  However we didn’t expect the cheesecake part to separate and or the top to brown so much.  It isn’t anything near the creamy texture of cheesecake we were hoping for.  Even the red dye from the cake bled.  Not the look either of us wanted.

But this is the beauty of trying new recipes and having someone to talk to about them.  Tia’s team still mowed through them without hesitation.  Their representation of appreciation was evident even though it wasn’t the visual either of us expected.  It was a success for the team and a miss for the bars.

Rating:  Delish Miss

Bars, Tia's Treat of the Week

Tia’s Treat of the Week: Coconut Pie Bars

Tia and I both have “real” jobs.  The dreaded “day job.”  But we really don’t dread it that much because we work together and talk about baking a lot.  We have the same job of being supervisors over a staff of 14 each.  Part of our job involves making sure our staff knows how much we appreciate them.  For two chicks who like to bake and try out new recipes, I’ll give you one guess what we do the most for them.

Tia’s goal for 2012 was to make her team a new treat a week.  Some weeks will be her old standbys; the tried and true of her baking repertoire.  Other weeks, she looks for inspiration in other places.  (Can you say Pinterest?)  It’s been impressive to watch the different things she’s tried.

This week was coconut pie bars.  Tia was inspired to try this because it’s the pie flavor I can’t resist.  The creamy middle with the crunchy shreds on top are delish!  Tia was seduced by her favorite baked form, the bar, with its capability to feed more.  (Like a large team.)  Here were the results:

The toasted topping makes a great contrast in color and texture.

Everything is from scratch, of course.  Tia almost broke her arm whisking the custard to make sure it thickened properly and didn’t burn.  But she wasn’t too exhausted to finish it off with homemade whipped cream.  It would have been a crime to add something tragic like Cool Whip.  Oh, the terror of Cool Whip.

I can give you a first hand taste account it was delightful.  The bars served well and get a great shape after sitting on its own plate.  A testament to the success of the filling.  This was definitely a keeper recipe.

Rating:  Super-Delish!