Vancouver baker earns blue ribbon for Irresistible Mud Bars




People who bite into Freda Gable’s Irresistible Mud Bars are in for a surprise. Nestled between the frosting and the cakelike portion of the bar is a layer of partially melted marshmallows.

“It makes it ooey-gooey,” said Gable, a 64-year-old Vancouver resident who has been baking and cooking since she was a child.

Gable recently received a blue ribbon for her bars from Just a Pinch Recipe Club ( It was her fourth such honor.

She has also received blue ribbons from Just a Pinch for her White Christmas Fudge, Mounds Almond Joy Candy and Bacon Cheeseburgers.

Gable, who owns a pilot car business, created the Irresistible Mud Bars recipe by experimenting with things she had in her pantry and refrigerator.

“I like to use ingredients I have on hand,” she said.

The recipe is fairly simple, Gable said, but she cautions people to read the instructions all the way through before beginning.

She also suggests setting all the ingredients out in advance, so that people can be sure they have everything they need.

One key with this recipe is not overbeating the batter, because then it won’t rise properly, Gable said.

She encourages people to try adding different toppings to the bars, such as shredded coconut; chopped walnuts, pecans or other nuts; or miniature M&M’s or other candies.

“Use your imagination. It’s just limitless,” Gable said.

Irresistible Mud Bars

Prep time: About 1 1/2 hours, which includes about an hour of cooling. Cooking time: 20-25 minutes. Yield: 36 bars

By Freda Gable.

1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon butter, separated

5 ounces block baking chocolate, separated in half

1 cup Bisquick mix

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

3/4 cup sour cream

1 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.

In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter with 2 1/2 ounces chocolate on low heat, stirring frequently.

Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, add Bisquick, sugar, vanilla and eggs to the chocolate and butter mixture. Blend with electric mixer on low for about 30 seconds, then beat on medium for 1 more minute. Do not overbeat.

Spread batter in greased and floured pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately spread with marshmallows.

Cover and let stand until marshmallows are softened. Cool for about 1 hour.

To prepare the frosting, melt the remaining 2 1/2 ounces of chocolate and 1 tablespoon of butter in a 2-quart saucepan.

Cool to the point where still warm, then stir in sour cream and powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.

Spread frosting over the marshmallows. If desired, place in the refrigerator to cool for about 2 hours. This will make it easier to cut into bars.

Per bar: 105 calories; 52 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 5.8 g fat (3.4 g saturated; 1.8 g trans fats); 18 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrates; 1.2 g protein; 0.7 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 45 mg sodium.