When I first started learning how to cook, everyone was touting “nonstick” cookware. Nonstick skillets, pans, pots, utensils… you name it, it supposedly wouldn’t stick to anything. So I bought some nonstick cook-and-bakeware and got in the kitchen. I decided for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday that I’d make some cookies, cake, and the stuffing, as I am usually responsible for all the carbilicious goodies on the table. I scoured my cookbooks and the interwebs for the perfect recipes, bought my ingredients, and spent an afternoon leisurely baking away. Of course, since all this “nonstick” business was the buzz, I didn’t even think to grease anything — if it’s touted as nonstick, why would I? Once everything was made, it looked beautiful. The cake was frosted beautifully in the pan, my cookies looked crisp, and the stuffing was perfecto. But when I went to slice the cake, the entire thing crumbled before my eyes. Trying to spoon out servings of stuffing was like trying to jackhammer concrete. And those cookies? Yeah, I spent the remainder of the night chiseling the damn things off the cookie sheet. Thankfully, my family and I have repressed this tragic incident until now. With the holidays in full swing, that means time isn’t always on your side. Between being stuck in rush-hour traffic to scoring last-minute, late-night deals at the mall, to baking up a storm for coworkers, neighbors, family and friends, you don’t necessarily have all the time in the world to deal with the aftermath of a cooking success. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after Christmas dinner is spend all night scrubbing my arm off trying to get the gravy remnants out of the boat. Aaaaand since my kitchen is notorious for cooking up some super sticky, chewy, gooey & messssssy creations, easy clean up is a must. My holiday ally in the kitchen is always PAM Cooking Spray. PAM is a simple, smart way to shave off time spent in the kitchen and slaving over dirty dishes by making prepwork and cleanup a breeze. And it ensures your dishes turn out the first time, so you won’t be baking the same cake 4,598,649 times because your “nonstick” cake pans can’t seem to get it together on the whole nonstick business. Here are some facts about the awesomeness of PAM for you… *The Original, Baking and Butter formulas have zero calories per serving (woohoo!) *PAM Cooking Spray leaves up to 99% less residue buildup than bargain brands or margarine *Superior, nonstick result guarantees your dishes are made right the first time *And PAM has SEVEN specially-formulated nonstick cooking sprays to help make your kitchen adventures a rousing success So whether you’re trying to save money (aren’t we all?), trying to save time (yes please!), or just trying to impress your family with your amazing sheet cakes (guilty), you’ll want to pick up a couple cans of PAM for all of your holiday baking endeavors! Especialllllyy if your baking endeavors include something unrelentingly sticky & gooey like these Eggnog Toffee Twix Popcorn Cookie Bars. Loaded with chocolate chip cookies in a buttery cookie base, then topped with sticky, fluffy marshmallow cream and a layer of creamy, spicy eggnog-flavored popcorn studded with bits of toffee & Twix, this popcorn is the posterchild of a messy dish made EASY with PAM! PAM Cooking Spray single-handedly makes this dish a success from start to finish, from spraying down the foil lining the pan for easy clean up, to spritzing the off-set spatula to spread on the marshmallow fluff, to prepping the knife before cutting into squares. And that, my friends, is something we’re all thankful for!
- 1 pkg refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
- 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
- 3 cups air-popped popcorn (either plain or lightly salted)
- ½ pkg vanilla Candiquik or almond bark
- ¼ tsp rum extract
- Pinch nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- About 6-8 miniature Twix bars, chopped
- About ½ cup toffee bits
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil with PAM Cooking Spray for easy cleanup; set aside.
- Press the cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the greased pan. I usually break off a little cookie dough at a time, flatten it in my palms, and press it together like a puzzle to make it easier. Bake the cookie dough layer for approx. 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes.
- Once cookie bar layer has mostly cooled, open up the marshmallow cream. Using a greased offset spatula (just spritz the tool with some PAM), spread gobs of the marshmallow cream on top of the cookie in an even layer. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, melt the Candiquik until smooth. Quickly stir in the rum extract, pinch of nutmeg and the cinnamon to combine. Add the popcorn, Twix and toffee bits and gently toss the mixture together to coat thoroughly.
- Spread the popcorn mixture tall & evenly on top of the marshmallow layer. Pack it in, if possible, by using greased hands or your greased offset spatula. Allow the bars to set, about an hour at room temperature. Before cutting into squares, spritz a sharp knife with PAM to make cutting easier. Serve immediately.
Last year, my Eggnog Toffee Twix Popcorn was a HUGE hit with family & friends. This year, I decided to take a clear favorite and use it as an unconventional, sweet & salty topping for some gooey cookie bars! Feel free to experiment using different flavors of candy in place of the Twix (Milky Ways would be yummy!) or a different flavor cookie dough as a base. Want some more smart holiday tips from PAM? Here are some of my favorite (simple!) ways to save time using PAM Cooking Spray: *Spray your hands to easily pack down sticky ingredients like the popcorn in these bars, or Rice Krispies. *When rolling really sticky cookie dough, mist your hands with PAM to make rolling into even-sized balls a breeze. *Have a yummy dish (like a super cheesy casserole or a frosted cake) and don’t want all that gooey cheese or sugary frosting to stick to foil on top? Lightly spray the top sheet of foil with cooking spray, and cover the dish spray-side down to prevent any toppings from sticking to the foil. Gooey cheese stays on your casserole, and sugary frosting stays on your cake! *One of my favorite low-fat snacks is making chicken taquitos at home. Instead of deep frying, I bake my taquitos in the oven. Before they bake, I spritz the tortilla with PAM cooking spray to help crisp them up as they bake without all the fat! Now how would YOU like to have a mess-free holiday? PAM is looking to give a lucky reader a $100 VISA gift card! Just answer the following question by leaving a comment: What’s YOUR favorite holiday smart cut? Answer below! A winner will be drawn randomly by BlogHer Sweeps and be notified via email at the conclusion of the sweepstakes. May your kitchen successes make successful cleanups with PAM! PAM on, friends! Have a delicious day, xo, Hayley Sweepstakes Rules:
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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This sweepstakes runs from 11/20/13 – 12/29/13.
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