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Belly up for sweet, simple cake bars

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

After a quick pantry meal, you’ll want a quick dessert.

Ice cream is always the easiest answer.

Add sorbet to that list, with its sweet fruit flavors.

In some grocery stores, you can get gelato, too, or frozen yogurt or frozen things that contain ingredients you cannot pronounce.

Walk by the bags and boxes of cookies and turn to something else you might have in your pantry — boxed cake mix.

It’s a great start for so many recipes, and you are allowed to just mix up the batter, pour it into a pan, bake and frost.

But if you want to try something a little different, start with this recipe and let your imagination go wild.

This recipe is from Taste of Home, but it’s everywhere else, too, with a variety of ingredients and add-ins.

Easy Cake Mix Bars

1 yellow cake mix

1 large egg

1/2 cup 2 percent milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup white baking chips

1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, egg, milk and oil. Stir in baking chips and sprinkles. Spread into a greased 15-by-10-by-1 inch baking pan.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Red Velvet Bars

1 box red velvet cake mix

1 large egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bake according to directions above.

Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix

1 large egg

1/2 cup half and half

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup chocolate chips

Bake according to same directions.

Nutella Cake Mix bars

1 (17-18 oz.) white cake mix

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 cup Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9-by-9 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Mix together the cake mix, butter and eggs until a thick dough forms.

Press half the dough in the prepared pan. Spread the Nutella over the dough. Drop the remaining dough on top of the chocolate spread as evenly as possible and bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges and top are lightly golden. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Allow to cool completely before cutting. Bars can be refrigerated one hour before cutting if desired.

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