Triple Peanut Butter Cookies


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If you're anything like me and love peanut butter, then this recipe is perfect for you! It's a peanut butter lover's dream. There is peanut butter in the dough as well as in the chips and mini cups mixed in and pressed on top. The cookie itself is a bit crunchy on the outside but moist and full of rich flavor on the inside. Stephen isn't always the biggest fan of cake-like cookies but he requested these... and ate three of them in a matter of minutes. The recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa powder... don't skimp. It's really what gives the base of these cookies their flavor. If you think buying "expensive" cocoa powder is a waste of money, think again. I use it for brownies, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, and muddy buddies. In fact, I need to order another pouch of it from here. Anyway, I hope you'll give these a try. You won't be disappointed.

Triple Peanut Butter Cookies
1 c. all-purpose flour
7 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter, heaping
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. whole milk
1 c. chopped peanut butter cups (I quartered mini ones)
1 c. Reese's peanut butter baking chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk to combine.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugars, peanut butter and butter. Beat on medium speed for approximately 1-2 minutes until creamed. Add the egg, vanilla extract and milk. Mix until smooth.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until incorporated.
5. Remove from mixer and gently fold in peanut butter chips and 1/2 c. chopped peanut butter cups  with a spatula (reserve the other 1/2 c.).
6. Using a dough scoop, drop dough (about 3 tbsp.) onto the lined baking sheets (the cookies will not spread very much, so they can be about 2 inches apart from each other). Gently press to flatten them a bit, then press a few pieces of the remaining peanut butter cups into each cookie.
7. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the baking process (the cookies will look slightly underbaked, but that's ok, you don't want to overbake them). Remove from oven and let cool on sheets for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Makes approximately 24 cookies.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Buckeye Ice Cream


Monday, January 23, 2012

 Saturday I decided to make a batch of buckeye ice cream (rich and salty peanut butter ice cream with dark chocolate freckles for crunch). It was sooooooo good. No really, it was. My mother-in-law makes the candies for Christmas and this tasted just like them! Thank you Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream (and my Mom + Dad for getting me that cookbook) the recipes are excellent! My recipe for Buckeye Ice Cream follows:

Buckeye Ice Cream
2 c. whole milk
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
3 tbsp. cream cheese
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. (heaping) creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla 
1 1/2 tbsp. honey
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used a Ghiradelli 60% cocoa baking bar)

1. Mix 2 tbsp. of whole milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
3. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and honey in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat (make sure you are watching it so it doesn't boil up and over). Boil for 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. Add cornstarch mixture and return to heat for 1 minute, until thickened. Remove from heat.
4. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese/peanut butter mixture. Whisk until completely smooth and silky. Pour mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and place in an ice bath or  in the refrigerator until cold, for approximately 30-35 minutes.
5. Prepare machine. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and begin to churn. Follow manufacture's instructions. (I used the KitchenAid attachment and mine only took about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overchurn! If you begin to notice buttery flakes forming it is overchurned!)
6. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double broiler and remove from heat to let cool. 
7. When the ice cream is thick and creamy and almost finished, drizzle the melted chocolate through the opening and allow to solidify. This will form the chocolate freckles. 
8. Remove ice cream and pack into an air-tight freezer safe container. Freeze for 3-4 hours before serving.

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I've had a craving for oatmeal cream pies for quite a while now. There's just something I love about oatmeal cookies, especially cream filled ones. So yesterday afternoon when I had some free time I decided to bake a batch of them. They're a little time consuming to make, but they turned out really well. I'd even go as far as to say they taste a little better than their Little Debbie counterpart. They are less sweet and have a lot more flavor to them. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cream Pies
1 c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. quick rolled oats
¾ c. dark brown sugar
¼ c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. molasses
½ c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream filling:
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 c. whole milk
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. To make the cream filling, whisk together the flour and milk in a small saucepan placed over medium heat. Whisk continuously until it begins to thicken... really watch it. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, until the mixture has the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat, whisk out all clumps, and place in refrigerator to cool completely. The mixture must be chilled all of the way thorough before adding it to the butter, or it will melt it.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt for 2 minutes on medium-high speed, using the whisk attachment. Add flour and milk mixture. Beat on high for 6-8 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy (and slightly resembles whipped cream). Chill in refrigerator until needed.3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat, set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter, sugars, molasses, vanilla and eggs until creamy, about 2 minutes..
5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture. Once incorporated, remove and  place dough into the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
6 Scoop dough using a standard size scoop (I use a #20, or approximately 3 tbsp.) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown around the edges- they will look moist in the center, so don't overcook.
7. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (10 minutes or so).
8. Use knife or piping bag to spread the cooled filling on the flat side of one cookie, press second cookie on top. Continue until remaining cookies and filling are gone.
NOTE: I prefer these cookies after they have sat overnight. I think that the flavor really intensifies once the cookie has been sandwiched with the filling!
Life Made Simple | Makes approximately 12 pies

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce


Monday, January 16, 2012

When we were in California, my parents took us to a Mexican restaurant for dinner called Papacitos. They had chicken enchiladas with a sour cream sauce that we all loved. So I browsed through a couple of sites looking for a similar recipe and found this one. It looked pretty spot on except for a few things, which I changed and made into a lower calorie and more flavorful version. I hope you'll give this recipe a try, because it's a good one! 
(they were gone so fast I didn't even get to take my own picture of them)

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce
8-10 soft taco size flour tortillas (or corn, if you prefer)
2 c. shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 c. shredded habenero cheese (I use the Cabot brand)
1 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. light sour cream
1 (4oz.) can diced green chilies
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in four and cook for one minute. Add chicken broth and, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
3. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 of the green chiles and 1/2 of the cheese blend. Set aside.
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken, remaining chiles, cheese and spices.
5. Place an equal amount of chicken mixture into each tortilla along with a spoonful of sour cream sauce. Roll and place seam down into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Continue until remaining ingredients are used.
6. Pour remaning sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until sauce bubbles and begins to brown. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro.

Good {spiritual} stuff


Friday, January 13, 2012

I came across this list the other day. 
I think everyone should print it. copy it. and share it.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sometimes I just love the simplicity of a mini pot pie and a salad for dinner. 
I'm pretty sure I could eat this every night. But that would just be silly, right?

Rice is another thing I'm kind of obsessed with. Stephen thinks I'm a little crazy when I go on about how good it is- he just doesn't get it. You could give it to me any way and I'd love it. And then there's peanut butter. He sighs anytime I tell him I'm fine with just eating a pb&j sandwich for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Luckily I'm a sweetheart and will usually cave and make something "real," like an actual meal- his words, not mine. 

Are there things that you could eat all day, every day?
Do they drive you're loved ones crazy?  ;)

No-Bake Rocky Road Bars


Monday, January 9, 2012

I made these bars for dessert the other night. They're a big hit with the husband... and with everyone else who eats them. I have to give all the credit to my mom for this one. She discovered the recipe a while back and has been making them for any and all occasions. When people ask her for the recipe, they can't believe how simple it is, yet for some reason people always seem to get it wrong. So follow the instructions, make sure you've got the right ingredients and in less than a couple minutes you'll have a pan full of fudgy rocky road bars.

Rocky Road Bars
1 (14-oz) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c. dry roasted peanuts
1 (10-oz) bag mini marshmallows

1. In a large glass bowl (big enough to fit in your microwave), combine chocolate chips, condensed milk and butter. Microwave on medium heat for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and allow to cool enough that the marshmallows won't melt (a couple of minutes or so).
2. Fold in peanuts and marshmallows, making sure to coat evenly with chocolate.
3. Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan, lined with wax paper. Press mixture firmly down into the pan.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool for 2-3 hours before serving.
Stephen + Natalie Family Recipe | Gluten Free | Makes approximately 24 bars

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