Hi friends! Well, I’ve been just slightly busy lately with the new little person in our home and haven’t had much time for baking, unfortunately. Sigh. So I decided to go online and find some fabulous camping recipes that would be perfect for Memorial Day festivities. Love all these…the skillet brownies and cherry cheesecake both look AMAZING. Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend and eats some delicious food!
This is a fabulous layer dessert that my sister has made for several years and my family absolutely loves it, especially my hubby. It really is delicious….cool, creamy, chocked full of bananas and not overly sweet. Oh and SUPER simple to make. If you love banana pudding or banana cream pie, you’ll love this dessert! Perfect for Mother’s Day! Hope your family enjoys it as much as ours does.
1 Regular Size Box of Vanilla Wafers (few crushed for garnish)
Beat cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat thoroughly. Add instant pudding and milk and beat 1-2 minutes until thick. Fold in sliced bananas and ¾ of Cool Whip/homemade whipped cream. Layer in 9x13 pan--layer of wafers, pudding, wafer, pudding and then spread remaining Cool Whip/whipped cream on top. Garnish with crushed wafers. Let sit in fridge overnight or 8-12 hours before serving.
I think it has finally happened. I may have found the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie. I’ve searched high and low and my journey may be over! I’ve always struggled to find the ideal chocolate chips cookie which in my mind is thick, soft and slightly chewy. This N.Y. Times Chocolate Chip Cookie was good, but a little flat for my preference and didn’t quite hit the mark. Then, I saw this recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction and had to give it a try. I had made her Soft Baked Monster Cookies which were PHENOMENAL so I had full confidence she knew what she was doing when it came to cookies and was excited to try her recipe. And I was NOT disappointed. Seriously, the perfect thickness and so soft and chewy at the same time. Amazing. I was SO happy, I think my search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie is over!
1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli)
½ c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into 1½" balls with the palms of your hands and place about two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes (I did 4 minutes, rotated pans and switched racks and did 5 more minutes) until barely golden brown around the edges. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheets and transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that Jeremy has been wanting me to come up with a homemade protein bar similar to a Cliff Bar or Larabar but of course cheaper and healthier. I tried one that I actually REALLY liked and could hardly keep my hands out of (you CAN get too much of a good thing) but he wasn’t really a fan so I moved onto this recipe from The Balanced Platter shared by my cupcake partner in crime, Robyn over at Gluten Free Crazy. And I can safely say we have a winner with this one! Jeremy loves it, I love it and everyone is getting crazy amounts of protein! It’s very chocolatey, very peanut buttery and soooooo yummy. They’re very rich so I cut them into small squares and keep them in the freezer, although they’d probably be fine in the refrigerator also. Great pick me up and healthy dessert option!
½ c. Cooked Quinoa (I had accidentally mixed my dry quinoa and couscous together so it was a mix of both which I really liked!)
½ c. Thick Rolled Oats
¼ c. Chia Seeds
1¼ c. Chunky, Organic Peanut Butter (or smooth)
¾ c. Agave
1½ Scoops Chocolate Protein Powder
¼ c. Unsweetened Cocoa
4 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Line a 9x9 pan with foil, letting it hang over the edges creating "handles".
In a food processor, chop the dates into very small pieces. Add the almonds and sunflower seeds and process until a meal has formed. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the quinoa, oats and chia seeds to the food processor and process until a meal forms again. Add to the bowl of the electric mixer. Add the peanut butter, agave, protein powder, cocoa and vanilla to the bowl of the electric mixer and beat everything on low speed until it is well-blended and starts to clump together. Form into a ball and press evenly into the bottom of the 9x9 pan. Freeze for 1-2 hours until firm, lift out of the pan and place upside down on a cutting board. Peel away foil, turn bars over and cut into 1½" squares. Store in freezer.
Doesn’t the title of that cake just sound divine? I have always loved sweetened condensed milk and quite truthfully could eat it by the spoonful and have. Healthy, I know. So what is a sweetened condensed milk cake like? It’s…different. But in a good way!
This recipe is by one of my favorite foodie personalities, Claire Thomas, of The Kitchy Kitchen and I think she describes the cake perfectly when she says it has a sweet, eggy flavor and is like a less buttery, denser brioche. So almost like a very dense sweet bread. I did a dusting of powdered sugar and lemon zest but I think next time I’ll do a little orange zest in the batter and orange marmalade with homemade whipped cream to top it off. Or do a lemon curd with it! It’s so different and so good and just a beautiful, simple cake. Perfect Easter Sunday dessert!
Homemade Orange Marmalade (or lemon curd) (see link above)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until pale yellow and smooth, then pour in the melted butter, salt and vanilla and beat until blended. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and with the mixer on low, add a little at a time until just incorporated. Pour into the greased bundt pan and bake for 60-75 minutes ( mine took 60) until cake is slightly browned and a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely and remove from pan. Top with powdered sugar and citrus zest and serve with lemon/orange curd and homemade whipped cream.
I have found my new favorite thing–homemade ice cream. Believe it or not, I have never made homemade ice cream! I mean, I’ve made my parents recipe which is DIVINE and probably will be my all time favorite, but it’s a no-cook, eggless recipe so it’s a little different than this one. Yes, this one had eggs, had to be tempered, the whole nine yards but honestly it was NOT hard and turned out soooooo good.
For my first ice cream adventure I chose to do a Thin Mint Brownie Ice Cream with REAL mint, tons of crushed cookies and chunks of dark chocolate brownie. Oh and a chocolate chip swirl! Just for good measure. And I have only one thing to say about it–YUM. Actually, MAJOR YUM. Seriously people, this stuff is so, so good. Rich, creamy and totally addictive. I will NEVER buy ice cream from the store again. It does take a little forethought as you need to steep the mint and also let the final mixture chill but it could definitely be done in one day, just in time for after-dinner dessert if you start it early enough! I’ll definitely be experimenting more with flavors in the future so be warned–lots of ice cream recipes in the near future! Haha!
2 Bunches Fresh Mint Leaves (I used .75 ounces which was plenty in my opinion)
⅛ t. Salt
1½ c. Sugar
12 Egg Yolks
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 c. Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies, coarsely chopped (I used all but 6 or 7 of the whole box, about 1½ sleeves)
2 c. Brownie Pieces (I used half a batch of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate box mix)
½ c. Dark Chocolate Chips, melted
Green Food Dye, optional
Combine cream, milk, mint and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 1 hour or overnight in the fridge (I let mine steep for 2.5 hours and it was definitely strong enough).
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and yolks. Remove mint from cream mixture and discard. Bring milk mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Using a measuring cup or ladle, slowly pour about ½ c. hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue adding milk mixture, about a ½ c. at a time, until it has all been added.
Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over low heat, sitrring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. The custard should retain a line drawn across the back of the spoon with your finger. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Stir occassionally until cooled. Cover and transfer to refrigerator until chilled, at least one hour or overnight (I chilled mine overnight).
Pour custard into a 2-quart ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions until set but not hard. Toward the end of the freezing, add green food coloring, if using. Pour into an air-tight container and stir in cookies and brownie chunks. Swirl in melted chocolate chips. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight.
Hey guys! So I had what I thought would be a GREAT St. Patty’s Day-themed cookie recipe to share with you today but needless to say they didn’t quite meet my expectations when everything was said and done. They weren’t horrible (actually pretty tasty!), but definitely not the prettiest cookie and not quite what I had in mind when I was making them. And I’ve decided if I don’t absolutely LOVE the recipe and think it turned out how it should, I just don’t want to share it with you guys. I want you to have the best! So I’m gonna do a little more research on this cookie and figure out what went wrong and how I can get it to turn out like I want…in other words, PERFECT. 😉
In the meantime, I wanted to share some green-inspired, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day recipes from some of my favorite bloggers that I thought might get your wheels turning for the upcoming holiday festivities! These foodies know their desserts and I’m confident you’ll find something delicious!
Jeremy is on a big lifting/protein kick right now so we’ve been searching for ways to incorporate LOTS of protein into his diet. One of his requests was a homemade protein bar along the likes of a Larabar or Cliff Bar. So the search began. I found one recipe that calls for blueberry and buckwheat (who knew buckwheat had so much protein?) and he found this one, so we tried his first. I’ll be making mine in the near future though, not to worry.
So the verdict on this one? Good. VERY good. At first I didn’t like them AT ALL. I thought they had too much of a greek yogurt flavor (and I’ll probably make them again and adjust that) and I didn’t care for the amount of cinnamon in them but then the taste of them really grew on me. And we keep them in the fridge and they are MUCH better cold. So I’m kind of addicted to them now…pretty sure I ate almost the whole pan by myself. Jeremy just didn’t care for the greek yogurt taste so there will most definitely be a second round of these with some adjustments here and there. Overall, I think they are delicious and most importantly a GREAT source of protein.
1 c. Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (one without artifical/processed sweetener, colors, flavors, etc)
2 c. Plain Greek Yogurt (love Fage brand)
¼ c. Raw, Organic Agave (or honey)
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
½ c. Organic, Natural Peanut Butter (only ingredient peanuts if possible)
¼ c. Coconut OIl, melted
½ c. Organic Raisins
1 c. Chopped Raw Almonds
1 c. Dark Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 pan with oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together oats, , chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, sucanat and protein powder.
In another bowl, stir together greek yogurt, agave, vanilla, peanut butter and coconut oil until smooth. Add to dry ingredients along with raisins and almonds and mix together. Mixture will be VERY thick.
Spread evenly into the pan and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips and then place bake in the oven for about 1-2 minutes, until chocolate chips start to melt. Remove from oven and spread chocolate chips in an even layer over the bars. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in refrigerator.
Cake mix cookies…or as some call them, CRACK cookies. And I will not lie, they are good. But Sarah, they use a cake mix! Yes, I know. And I’ve discovered that very good things can come from cake mixes…such as Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Strawberries & Cream Cake, Strawberry Cakies and even Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes! And while I much prefer a made-from-scratch-cake over a box mix any day, sometimes when you’re in a pinch and need something quick, a cake mix can be your best friend. Which is totally the case for these cookies. I needed something super quick for a meeting I was going to and recalled having these cookies for the first time at my friend Joelle‘s house. I honestly didn’t believe her when she told me how good they were but once I tasted one, I knew I was in trouble and could probably never trust myself with a batch of them in my house. They turn out super soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the outside. I added semi-sweet and white chocolate chips along with toasted pecans but you really could add in whatever you like and even use whatever cake mix you prefer…spice cake with cinnamon chips, orange cake mix with dark chocolate chips, chocolate cake mix with peanut butter chips…you get the idea!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cake mix, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth and blended. Stir in white and semi-sweet chocolate chips and toasted pecans. Using a large spoon (or use a small spoon if you want smaller cookies..mine spread and turned out quite large), drop onto pan, two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes (8 minutes if you want them slightly underdone), rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
If I told you this scrumptious looking Chocolate Fudge Tart was gluten free, dairy free, has ZERO refined sugar and is no-bake, would you believe me? Well, it’s totally true! I used this recipe from Deliciously Organic and modified it just a bit to my liking. What resulted was one of the richest, most delicious things I’ve ever had. If you like super dark chocolate and fudge, this is the recipe for you. And if you don’t like super dark chocolate and fudge…what’s wrong with you?!?!!
I love that the crust uses almond meal…it’s absolutely delicious in the recipe. Little confession though…I had to use half almond meal and half oat flour (which I just made by processing organic rolled oats in my processor) because I ran out of almond meal. It was still delicious and I might just make it that way from now on. As with all “healthy” treats, this one still has calories and sugar, just not the refined, overly processed junk. So use moderation but definitely feel free to indulge without guilt! Make it for someone you love this Valentine’s Day!
2½ c. Almond Meal (or half almond meal and half oat flour)
½ c. plus 1 T. Hershey Special Dark Cocoa Powder
¾ t. Sea Salt (I use pink Himalayan
⅓ c. Agave (or maple syrup, honey)
⅓ c. Coconut Oil, melted
3 c. Hershey Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1 t. Sea Salt (I use pink Himalayan)
2 c. Agave (or maple syrup, honey)
⅓ c. Coconut Oil, melted
Lightly oil or spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
For the Crust
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, cocoa powder and sea salt. Stir in the agave and coconut oil until large clumps form. Press into the bottom and up the sides of springform pan.
For the Chocolate Fudge Filling
In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and salt. With a large wooden spoon, stir in the agave and coconut oil. Mixture will get VERY thick. Pour into the crust and gently spread into an even layer. Freeze or refrigerate for about two hours, until firm. Cut into slices and serve immediately. (I actually froze mine overnight so it was a bit too firm when I took it out of the freezer. I had to let it sit and soften for about 30-45 minutes, just fyi.)
I found a recipe on Pinterest for Strawberry Brownies and even though they had very mixed reviews (half said they were awesome, half said total flop), I decided to give them a try. I made some modifications. I know, big shock. And what resulted was possibly one of the best strawberry cakes I’ve ever had. And get this–I used a box mix. The horror! I was totally skeptical and slightly disgusted with myself for not making it totally from scratch but once I tasted this dreamy strawberry concoction, I forgave myself immediately.
No, these did not turn out thick and dense like brownies. And I admit, it was most likely because of my changes. But I was totally ok with that after tasting this stuff. I took the recipe and added in strawberry pie filling to give it a bit more strawberry flavor and added white chocolate chips. Topped off with vanilla buttercream and what resulted was a cake that reminded me of my childhood. It was slightly nostalgic of strawberry shortcake, minus the fresh berries and whipped cream. It was super simple to make and would be such a fun Valentine’s Day treat for your kids or co-workers. Don’t be put off by the use of cake mix, it totally works in this recipe. Even a from-scratch-cake-snob (such as myself ) will LOVE this recipe.
1, 18.5 oz. Strawberry Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. Vegetable Oil
21 oz. Strawberry Pie Filling (about 1¼ c.)
1 c. White Chocolate Chips
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
½ Stick Unsalted Butter
2 T. Shortening
4 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 c. Powdered Sugar
½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream (or whole milk)
¼ c. Red Chocolate Candy Coating Discs (such as Wilton), melted
Valentine Heart Decor (I got mine at Target in the $1 section-yay!)
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl stir cake mix, eggs and oil. Gently fold in strawberry pie filling and white chocolate chips. Spread evenly into pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening until smooth. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, gradually beat in half of the powdered sugar. Beat in half of the heavy whipping cream. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar and then the rest of the heavy whipping cream. Beat until smooth and then spread evenly onto cooled cake. Drizzle with red chocolate candy coating and sprinkle with Valentine's decor.
I have one of the cutest posts for you guys today. I really can’t say that about many of the recipes I make because while they are delicious and look yummy, they aren’t necessarily cute or works of art. Not that I’m saying these tassies are works of art but they took a little more effort than I’d normally put into a recipe! What’s a tassie, you ask? Basically tiny, teeny miniature pies. About two bites worth. This is a recipe that I’ve had forever and used alot when I was catering, which also means I’ve never shared it! But when I saw this idea for the cute flower shape on Pinterest (I know, I know…you thought I was just that brilliant, right?!) I knew this would be the perfect recipe.
You start with a cream cheese crust, which I personally love because it has just a hint of tang from the cream cheese. I rolled the crust out and used a tulip shaped cookie cutter and then very gently pressed them into miniature muffin tins. Be extra careful not to puncture the crust even a little with your fingers/fingernails because the filling will seep through and you’ll have a mess! It happened to me on two of them. Bummer. Anyway, I then filled them with a dollop of raspberry preserves and about a teaspoon of a fudgy, brownie-like filling. Top it with buttercream and a cute M&M and you have tulip tassies! I thought they were adorable. And SO perfect for Valentine’s Day. Truly not difficult to make and not even that time-consuming, just a little extra effort. If you want to skip the cookie cutter, just shape the dough into 24, 1″ balls, place in the bottom of the miniature muffin tins and press down and up the sides of the tin. They’ll still be super cute and every bit as delicious.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the flour until the mixture forms a ball around the paddle. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cream cheese dough to ¼" thickness. With a 3" flower shaped cookie cutter, cut out 24 flowers. Press very gently into the bottom of an ungreased miniature muffin tin. Be very careful not to puncture the bottom of the dough with your fingers when you are pressing it into the tin. (Alternately, you can shape the dough into 24 balls and press each ball evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the mini muffin tins.)
For the Raspberry Fudge Filling
In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, egg and vanilla. Place a ½ teaspoon of raspberry jam into each muffin tin. Cover with 1 teaspoon of the fudge filling. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is puffed. Let cool completely.
For the Vanilla Buttercream
Beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Beat in pink food coloring if using. Pipe a small amount of buttercream onto each cooled tassie and top with a Valentine M&M.
I started pinning things for Valentine’s Day on Pinterest and couldn’t stop. Thus, this blog post. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to make everything I was pinning so I decided to just put them all into one massive blog post and let you decide what to make! In my opinion, anything pink, red, strawberry, raspberry, cherry or chocolate says Valentine’s Day! And that’s pretty much what you’ll find in this post. Lots of pretty, delicious, Valentine’s Day-perfect treats and ideas! How to choose?! I hate making decisions. Especially when it comes to dessert. They all look amazing.
I have not found a cookie in awhile that it is hard to stop eating. You know, not so rich that you can only handle a few bites and then you’re done? But more along the lines of “Wow, those are so good I can’t believe I just ate five!!!”. Yeah, that. Let me introduce you to these White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies. They are soooooo good. The kind of good you can’t just stop at one with. The are so soft and slightly crisp around the edges and the tartness of the freeze-dried raspberries sets off the sweetness of the white chocolate perfectly. And I love the slight chewy texture from the oats. Yep, can’t make these often or we’ll be spending extra time at the gym!
Oh and the bright pinkish red bits make them a lovely treat for Valentine’s Day, don’tcha think?
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In an electric mixer beat the sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and raspberry jam. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. Beat in the white chocolate chips. Gently fold in the freeze-dried raspberries. Roll into 1½" balls and place on baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
One more Superbowl recipe before the big game this weekend! Who is watching? Do you even care about the game and teams or is it ALL about the food?! I say food, duh. We’re having a party at our house and I can say with certainty I am looking forward to the food the most. I have some friends who are fabulous cooks so I know we’ll have quite the spread!
I found these cookies a couple of weeks ago via Sally’s Baking Addiction (fabulous blog I JUST discovered–where have I been?!) and she has hit it out of the park with this recipe! I have trouble getting cookies to bake up soft, thick and chewy and these Soft-Baked Monster Cookies fulfill all three of those requirements perfectly! The only thing I’d do different next time is use MORE crushed Butterfingers and throw in some Reese’s Pieces! I knew there was something I was missing after the fact and it hit me that Reese’s Pieces would be PERFECT in these cookies, along with all the other add-ins.
Set out some milk along with these cookies at your Superbowl party! People will need it!
1 c. Old-Fashioned or Quick Oats (I used old-fashioned)
1 c. Regular M&M's
1 c. Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet)
1 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2-4 Regular Size Butterfinger Bars, roughly chopped (I used 2 but if I did them again, I'd use more)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in peanut butter and then eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and oats and mix into the butter/egg mixture on low speed. Mix in the M&M's, dark and semi-sweet chocolate chips and Butterfingers.
Roll the dough into 2 " balls and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes (10 if you want them just slightly underdone), rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Today I have given a little makeover to one of my all-time favorite recipes–No-Bake Cookies! My mom’s recipe is seriously THE BEST. Yes, I do think that about many of her recipes. Because it’s true! I’ve had lots of other no-bake cookies and people have no idea there is an exact time they need to boil otherwise you get dry, crumbly, icky no-bakes. Such a shame. Luckily my mom’s recipe uses the perfect ingredients and method and they are no-fail every time.
Like I said, I gave them a makeover…a healthy makeover. I was curious if altering the recipe with alternative ingredients would yield the same delicious cookie I grew up loving and eating way too many of in one sitting. Off to experiment land I went! I wanted them to be dairy-free because we don’t drink cow’s milk or eat cow products in our household unless it’s organic butter or Greek yogurt, so I used almond milk and coconut oil. I knew it could be tricky because coconut oil will only firm up according to the temperature in your house so these cookies needed a little help in that department. You must keep them in the refrigerator or freezer after they are done or you’ll have a sticky mess! But we LOVE them cold, straight from the freezer.
Other changes I made were using a reduced amount of sucanat in place of the refined sugar. It gave the cookies an amazingly rich, dark chocolatey, fudge taste. I also used organic peanut butter and thick-rolled organic oats. Very small changes but they make a world of difference in the nutritional content of the finished product. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t eat five of these at once because they’re “healthy” or replace your daily fruit servings with a bunch of cookies! They still have sugar after all, just not refined, processed sugar. Which is a GOOD thing. These are still meant to be an indulgence, but one you can feel pretty good about. Jeremy and I both love them so much…maybe better than the original! Just don’t tell my mom!
1 c. Organic Peanut Butter (I use one that is only peanuts and sea salt)
Line two large baking sheets with foil.
In a large saucepan, combine sucanat, almond milk, cocoa and coconut oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute and 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Quickly stir in oats and drop by large spoonfuls onto the baking sheets. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and then place the pans in freezer for about 10 minutes to firm the cookies completely. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator (we like ours really cold from the freezer).
Get ready, Valentine’s Day is coming. Some will roll their eyes, others will get giddy with anticipation of flowers and gifts and then some will just look forward to eating CHOCOLATE. Lots and lots of chocolate. Like me. Nothing like a big box of chocolates whether single or attached. Everyone loves them. My favorites used to be Russell Stover and Whitmans while I was growing up but then I discovered See’s and I love, love, loooooove See’s. As a matter of fact we are actually getting a permanent store in our mall any day!!! Seriously, pinch me, it’s too good to be true! And you better believe I will be buying myself a box for Valentine’s Day if no one else does (hint, hint Jeremy). Raspberry Truffle, Dark Buttercream, Mocha, Orange Cream….ahhhh, they are ALL good.
Another great way to get a chocolate fix this Vday is with these M&M Blondies! They are super rich, super buttery from the BROWNED BUTTER (one of my favorite things to do with butter!) and chalked full of chocolate. Great for kid’s parties, work parties, your significant other, a night just by yourself….really, just come up with some excuse to make them.
P.S. What is YOUR favorite chocolate?? Brand, flavor? I’d love to know!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns an amber color and begins to smell nutty. Brown bits will start to appear in the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the browned butter and sugars. With a wooden spoon, stir in the egg, vanilla, heavy whipping cream and salt. Stir in flour, semi-sweet chocolate chips and half of a cup of the M&M's. Spread evenly into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&M's. Gently press them into the batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes (recommended 27 minutes). Let the blondies cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.
So awhile back I made something that consisted of cookie dough, Oreos and brownies and put it in a muffin tin and baked it. It had no name and still doesn’t! Little did I realize that someone had already done these brownie/bar thingies (of course) and had named them Slutty Brownies. Scandalous! But totally appropriate. These brownie/bars are amazingly rich, amazingly good and amazingly sinful. Don’t think about the calories…it’s worth it. I decided to revamp my original recipe and do them in a pan, which quite frankly makes a lot more sense than doing them individually in a muffin tin. Duh.
Now are you ready for the really good part? I covered them in PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING. I mean we just went from slutty to total whore (excuse my language). Who doesn’t love brownies, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter frosting?? And altogether in one dessert?! Divine. And rich. Yes, milk is a must for this one.
P.S. If you want to save a little time on these bars, you could make both the cookie dough and the frosting ahead of time and just keep it refrigerated until ready to use! Or you could even use a cookie and brownie MIX. I highly recommend the Ghirardelli Double Fudge Brownies!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Cookie Layer
In a mixer, cream the sugars, butter and shortening until fluffy. Add egg, then vanilla. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Press evenly into the pan. Layer with Oreos.
For the Brownie Layer
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Put the chocolate, butter and instant coffee granules into a medium bowl and melt in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring between each time until completely melted and smooth. Add sugars and whisk until completely combined. Let cool to room temperature.
Add 2 of the eggs and whisk until combined. Add the remaining egg and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or the brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate. Pour the batter over the Oreos.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack and frost with Peanut Butter Frosting.
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in one cup of the powdered sugar. Beat in half of the heavy whipping cream. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream. Beat in vanilla. Spread over cooled brownie bars.
There was a time in my life when if you had told I could blend peanut butter and beans in a blender and get DESSERT out of the concoction, I’d have said you are CRAZY. But oh my how true it is. From brownies to cupcakes, beans are an absolute awesome way to make sweet stuff with less fat and tons more fiber! And you don’t have to compromise taste and texture to get the health benefits, which is nice.
When I came up with this recipe I was amazed how much it tasted like peanut butter fudge! So addictive and good. The short list of ingredients and simple instructions make it a win-win for a healthy, quick dessert! We love these things and I know you will too. Just trying to help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions!
1 c. Organic Peanut Butter (I used one that is only organic peanuts)
⅔ c. Agave (could also use honey)
Pinch of Sea Salt
½ c. Low-Sugar Granola (I used one that is sweetened only with organic apple juice. Try to find one that does not use refined sugar.)
Lightly spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor, process all ingredients except the granola until completely blended and smooth. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Cut fudge into 1½" squares. Working quickly, shape into balls and roll in granola. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
I know it may sound silly, but I love puppy chow (also known as muddy buddies to some). And just like 7-Layer Bars, I had never made it before! Crazy, right? Puppy chow is such a holiday thing to me and I always knew someone else would be bringing it to whatever function I’d be attending so I’ve never bothered to make it. However, I have always thought that puppy chow needed revamping. It’s totally yummy but am I the only one that would look for the little nuggets of two or more Chex squares stuck together with an excess of the chocolate and peanut butter mixture?? Know what I’m talking about? Yes, I’d pick through the puppy chow mix to find those little scrumptious morsels–I’m not ashamed! I’ve just always thought it needs MORE chocolate and peanut butter goodness. So I decided to do something about it!
I started off doubling the chocolate and peanut butter mixture but then I thought it needed something more. And that something was alcohol! Can’t go wrong adding booze to a dessert, right?! But then my evil mind went even further and thought it needed something even more…like bacon….and peanuts. Yes, bourbon, bacon and peanuts…in puppy chow. Things got crazy up in my kitchen people. Crazy in a VERY GOOD way. What resulted was the yummiest puppy chow I’ve ever had. No more digging for the little morsels of Chex Squares stuck together–there were plenty of those! Now if you don’t want to add all the additional ingredients and stick closer to the classic, that’s totally ok…but the bourbon, bacon and peanuts add such another dimension of yumminess to it. I highly recommend! Fabulous sweet/salty snack for a Superbowl party!
½ c. Unsalted Butter (I'm sure salted would work fine too)
2 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
⅓ c. Bourbon
1 lb. Bacon, cooked and chopped (I tore the fatty pieces off of mine)
2 c. Dry-Roasted Peanuts
9 c. Chex Rice Cereal
3 c. Powdered Sugar
In a large bowl, combine the cereal, bacon and peanuts.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips at 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon.
Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and toss gently until all the cereal is evenly coated.
Place the powdered sugar in a large bag. (You could use a large Ziploc type bag but it will probably not be big enough. I used a large paper bag and I recommend doing that.) Add the chocolate/peanut butter and cereal mixture to the bag. Shake the bag vigorously to evenly coat each piece of the puppy chow with powdered sugar.
Once the mixture is fully coated, store in an airtight container.