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Um…disclaimer. If you happen to be a young, impressionable teenager…maybe you skip this post? Thanksmuch, I really don’t want to hear from your moms. 😉

Very vanilla bars on a white tray with silver cake balls and red licorice.

A month or so ago, one of my girlfriends casually mentioned that a bunch of us should read 50 Shades of Grey and do a girls’ night book club for it.

I heard “girls’ night” and said “of course!”

Then, of course, I had to read the book.

Have you read the book? Undoubtedly, you’ve heard about the book. And what you’ve heard is spot on…and more. Way more. Like, eons more.

{I wonder…if I really talk about what’s in the book…what will some of my Google Analytics keywords say? I mean, red pancake disease is already listed. And people, do not Google that. I did. Luckily I read some of the text before clicking on any photos. Yeah. Red pancake disease does not come from red velvet pancakes.}

Anyway…back to 50 Shades of Grey. So…there are some things in there I’d never heard of.

BenWa silver cake balls

Like these. I guess you use them for … exercise. At least that’s what the Passion Party consultant said when she showed them to us at our book club meeting. Yes, the host booked us a Passion Party. Have you ever been to one of those?

Flippin’ hilarious. Especially with cocktails. There’s toys and stuff. Toys.

BenWa silver cake balls

So these Ben-Wa Cake Balls are made with, well, cake. In the traditional cake ball way. I made the “strings” with white candy melts on a cookie sheet and let them harden before I dipped the cake balls. Once I dipped the balls I place the “string” on top the still melted candy and held it there for a second while it dried. Then I used my Wilton silver spray and sprayed them all silver. Let dry and you’ve got…balls.

{Hee, hee.}

So…my daughter was watching me make them. She kept asking what they were and I kept avoiding her.

She then asked, “Are they headphones?”

“Why yes, they are headphones,” I replied.

“But why are you making headphones?”

“Well, honey…they listened to a lot of music in Mommy’s book.”

She keeps asking me if all my friends liked their headphones.

Red licorice sticks in a cup with title

I actually had to Google “flogger.” Luckily, thumbnail images popped up. I was kinda afraid to click on any websites.

These are red vines that I sliced to look like floggers…which didn’t totally work, because they didn’t fan out. Oh well, red vines go with the “Red Room of Pain.”

Haven’t read the book? Use your imagination. Then multiply that times 100.

Very vanilla bars on a white tray with title

My favorite part of the dessert were these Very Vanilla Bars. Made like a brownie, but with vanilla chips instead of chocolate.

People. They were SO good. Possibly because I used vanilla bean paste instead of extract. Over the top vanilla. I could have eaten 10 of them.

I may just have.

Close up pic of very vanilla bars

{You can see the little black vanilla specks in there. So yum.}

Why vanilla bars?

Well…at the beginning of the book, Ana isn’t…experienced. So Mr. Grey decides to forego the Red Room and have some vanilla fun.

{Vanilla my foot. Um, if that’s vanilla…never mind.}

So…these bars kinda match the book.

Very vanilla bars on white tray with red licorice and cake balls in the background

Did I like the book? Sure. Did I like the premise? Not really. Did I like the fun parts? I refuse to answer. 😉 Will I read the other two in the trilogy? Maybe, but I wouldn’t purchase them. I think it was a pretty good read, if you get past the woman getting herself into an abusive relationship and the … fun… parts. But I kinda want my $10 back…so I can buy the rest of the Divergent series. (You must read those, BTW.)

If you have read the book…maybe get a bunch of girls together and have a passion party. You’ll learn way more about them than you ever thought you would.

Also, go make some vanilla bars. And then make some balls.

And enjoy!

Very vanilla bars on a white tray with title

Very Vanilla Bars {50 Shades of Grey Desserts}

4 from 1 vote


For the Bars:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) white chocolate chips
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped nuts , optional

For the Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter , softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
  • Instructions
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  • Heat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a 9x13” baking pan with parchment paper and grease entire pan with butter and flour.
  • Melt butter and white chocolate chips in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, just until melted. (Mixture may appear curdled.) Remove from heat and cool.
  • Stir remaining brownie ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate mixture. Spread in pan and bake about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • Make the glaze: Whisk all ingredients until smooth and spreadable. Spread over cooled brownies and cut into bars.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
(Recipe from Betty Crocker)
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Chef in Training, Trick or Treat Tuesday, Cast Party WednesdaySweet Treats Thursday, Chic-and-Crafty, Tastetastic Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, I’m Lovin’ it FridaysSweets for a SaturdayA Well-Seasoned Life, Strut your Stuff Saturday, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Weekend Potluck, and all of these too!

Last Updated on September 10, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. I’m so happy that I found the vanilla bars recipe. I made these awesome lemon bars yesterday called “ best ever lemon bars” and the are out of this…. Anyway, I made them for my hubby as I don’t care for lemon bars or lemon cake etc. I love love Vanilla anything. Hence my search for vanilla bars.
    I’m making them now.

  2. I was very excited to try these, but something is off… I followed the recipe exactly, put it in my 13×9 pan, and set the oven timer for 30 minutes. Thank goodness I checked it at the 24 minute mark – although they still might be too far gone. The edges are dark and the surface of the entire bar is pretty brown. Another 6 minutes and they would have been burnt. Hopefully I can salvage the middle. Are you sure the pan size, temperature, and time to cook them is accurate? Thanks!

    1. It’s been a long time since I made these (they’re on my list for a reshoot) but I am sure about the pan size and time because it was a recipe from another site. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t take less time though – all ovens cook differently. I’ll have to do my remake and check in my new oven and see – possibly my old oven cooked longer. Or double check your oven temperature – sometimes things cook hotter, etc.

  3. I am really looking forward to trying these out…I agree, you can never get tired of chocolate, but these will be an exciting new one to try! I also just got off of to add the Divergent series to my bookshelf 🙂

  4. These sound awesome!! So vanilla! And I love ALL the 50 Shades treats you made – such an awesome girls night. I can’t say I’ve ever been to a passion party, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little curious 🙂