Butterfinger Blondies
Butterfinger Blondies
April 8, 2013

Candy bars used to be sold only in candy shops and drug stores, but for many years they have been available in nearly every check-out lane at grocery and discount stores.

Today candy bars are manufactured and eaten all over the world, but they got their start in Switzerland. The inventors of modern chocolate, Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle of Switzerland, created Nestle Company in 1879.

Many of the best-selling candy bars have been around for a hundred years or so. The first Hershey's bar made its appearance in 1900, Snickers was created in 1930, and Kit Kat's debut was in 1933.

Today the top-10 selling candy bars in the United States are Snickers, Hershey's bar, Butterfinger, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Three Musketeers, Kit Kat, Baby Ruth, M&M's, Milky Way and Twix.

Candy bars are meant to be a chocolate treat for one, but over the years they have become part of many ooey gooey desserts including cakes and brownies.

Butterfinger Blondies

If you like Butterfinger, you will love these blond bars topped with buttercream frosting and Butterfinger bits on top.

1 cup butter

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx. 16 "Fun Size" candy bars)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. On low add dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined. Stir in chopped Butterfinger. Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is just set. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Butterfinger Buttercream

½ cup room temperature butter (1 stick)

½ cup vegetable shortening

2½-3 cups powdered sugar

½ cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx. 4 "Fun Size" candy bars)

Cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Add in powdered sugar on low speed. Turn up speed to medium and mix until smooth. Spread buttercream on cooled blondies and sprinkle with reserved candy bar pieces.

Heavenly Hershey's Bar Trifle

A variation of what became Hershey's milk chocolate bar was invented in 1900. Even today over one hundred years later, the Hershey's bar is one of the top-10 most-popular candy bars.

This trifle is one of the first desserts I ever made. I remember I was in high school when I tried my hand at my first trifle. The chocolate filling is so delectable you will be tempted to eat it with a spoon.

1 angel food cake - torn into 1 inch pieces

24 large marshmallows

6 (1.45 oz. each) Hershey's chocolate bars, broken into pieces

2/3 cup (2%) milk

1 container (16 oz) Cool Whip, thawed

In a microwave-safe container, combine the marshmallows, candy bars and milk. Heat for about a minute and stir well and repeat. Stir well each time until marshmallows are melted. Watch microwave carefully, working in timed increments. Or melt marshmallows, candy bars and milk in a double boiler and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; cool to room temperature. Fold in half of the Cool Whip.

In a clear trifle bowl, place a layer of angel food cake, half of the chocolate mixture, another layer of angel food cake, the last of the chocolate mixture and finally, one last layer of Cool Whip.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

To make the trifle look extra special (right before serving): 1) top trifle with chocolate bar shavings 2) decorate with whole or sliced strawberries or 3) sprinkle a chopped up Heath Bar on top of the Cool Whip.

Andes Mint Toffee

Andes Candies was founded in Chicago, Ill., in 1921 by Andrew Kanelos. Originally called Andy's Candies, the three-layer mint has remained the No. 1-selling after-dinner mint.

One of my colleagues, Karen Whittlesey, a special-education teacher, brought this delicious and simple treat to share with teachers and staff at my school.

1 pkg chocolate almond bark squares

1 pkg Heath Bits 'O Brickle toffee bits (nut allergy warning: toffee contains almonds)

1 pkg Andes Crème de Menthe baking chips

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate almond bark (watch carefully so it doesn't burn). Stir in the Andes baking chips until melted. Then stir in Heath toffee bits. Spread in a thin layer on an aluminum-foil-lined cookie sheet. Place in freezer until hard. Break toffee into bits and store in an airtight container.

Indoor S'mores

My former colleague Pam Spangler, a reading specialist, shared this recipe for a cookbook that was compiled for a family math night for students and their parents. Kids love helping in the kitchen, and measuring is a fun way to get them involved.

If the weather doesn't cooperate for outdoor S'mores this spring, try this version instead.

8 cups Golden Grahams cereal

5 cups miniature marshmallows

1 ½ cup Hershey's milk chocolate chips (or any other brand milk chocolate chips)

¼ cup light corn syrup

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup miniature marshmallows

Butter a 9x13 pan. Measure cereal into a large bowl. Set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 5 cups marshmallows, chocolate chips, corn syrup, and butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal in bowl, stirring gently and quickly until coated. Stir in remaining 1 cup marshmallows. Press into pan, using butter spatula. Cool. Cut into squares.