peanut butter

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Truffles

The other night, buy my parents, ambulance 14 year old sister (Celina), and I watched When Harry Met Sally (love that movie!).

During the movie, my mom and I were getting such a kick making Hugh Grant jokes.

“Hey, Hugh. How Hugh doing Hugh?”

Hahahaha because Hugh sounds like you?!

We thought we were really funny.

After the movie was over, it was late. My mom said to Celina, “Bedtime, it’s after midnight. You’re a Republican!”

We all stared at her. Ummm what?

And then we slowly realized that she had said, “Bedtime, it’s after midnight, you’re a pumpkin!”

But Celina and I were already cracking up. I had to tell facebook about the conversation (of course) and we were hysterically laughing and typing incoherant things. And since I was the only one logged in to facebook, it looks like I commented on my own status 20 times.

Here are some gems from that conversation:

Mom: I wasn’t TRYING to say “pumpkin,” I DID say “pumpkin.”

Me: Hugh said republican!  <-Get it!? ;)

Mom: After midnight hugh turn into a Republican. Documented scientific fact.

Me: Now Celina’s saying “snatus” whatever that is

Then another person commented saying “I may be sleep deprived too but that is sooo funny!!”

Me: you have no idea the encouragment that gave us! Que hysterical laughter

Me: hahhaaa not que, cue! <-is that even real?

Me: I used to be smart once. That’s all I have to say.

Me: Celina just unliked this post just so she could like it again. HAHAHhahahahahaahahahahaha

Now that I’ve already wasted part of your day relating this (hysterical) story, I’ll make it up to you by giving you the recipe for these truffles. I’m not crazy about these photos, but I wanted to share them because they tasted pretty yummy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Truffles

Ingredients:

3 cups pretzel pieces
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/2 to 1 cup of mini chocolate chips
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 package of chocolate bark

Directions:

  1. Crush up the pretzels in a ziplock bag in to very small pieces.
  2. Cream together the peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and brown sugar. Add the pretzel pieces and mini chocolate chips to the mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop, shape the peanut butter mixture into small balls. Place the balls on a wax-lined cookie sheet. After you’ve finished with all the mixture, place the balls into the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes (or more).
  4. When you’re ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate bark until it’s completely smooth.
  5. One at a time, dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate and use a spoon to make sure it’s all covered. Repeat with all of the balls.
  6. Return the truffles to the refrigerator and chill again until the chocolate is hard (if you use chocolate bark to cover them, it should only take a couple of minutes).
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Gooey Peanut Butter Reese’s Bars

Last week at school we had a “senior shadow day” where we were supposed to spend the day learning from someone who works in a profession in which we are interested. I contacted Jen and Chris Creed, advice two wonderful and kind photographers who I have been lucky enough to get to know the past couple of months. I have to admit I was nervous about asking if I could shadow them because I didn’t want to be annoying, visit but they were so kind and enthusiastic about it. They asked me what I wanted to get out of the experience, what I wanted to improve on, and got a couple for us to shoot in Downtown Franklin. The photo session was so fun! I’m posting a couple of my favorites from the session (you can see the full session on my photography website).

I loved watching Jen and Chris shoot. They really try to push their creativity and some of my favorite shots are things I never would have taken on my own. Absolutely check out their photography! They are amazing people and super talented :)

I knew I wanted to make something for Jen and Chris as a thank you for allowing me to spend the day with them. After checking that they both like peanut butter (which they probably thought was a little strange ;) I made these Gooey Peanut Butter Reese’s Bars. Oh my goodness. These were incredible!

I had asked my dad to get the ingredients for the bars while he was at the store, and he accidentally got fat-free sweetened condensed milk! I was afraid the bars wouldn’t taste good or bake as well with the fat-free version, but I asked Jenny from Picky Palate on Twitter what she thought and she said it would be fine. And it was! So you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating these…they’re practically a health food ;)

Jen and Chris loved these, as did my family. The next day I brought in leftovers to school and my teachers and classmates loved them as well. Success all around! I will have to say that you do want to eat these at room temperature…I usually like things when they’re all warm and melty but definitely preferred these after they had cooled down the next day.

Gooey Peanut Butter Reese’s Bars

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (fat-free works great!)
15-20 (or however many you want) Reese’s peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with foil and spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, butter, and egg until a dough forms. Press the dough onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.Top the dough with chocolate chips.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter until well combined and pour over the dough. Top with the chopped Reese’s.
  4. Bake at 350 for 23-30 minutes, until the bars are golden brown and the center is set (doesn’t giggle when you move the pan). Let them cool completely before you cut them into squares.

Enjoy!

Note: The original recipe says the cook time is 23-25 minutes. I ended up cooking mine for closer to 30 because the bars wouldn’t set. When you take them out of the oven, they will be incredibly gooey. That’s ok, just let them cool completely (I know…willpower) before you eat them. It’s worth the wait!

Source: Kevin and Amanda

Mini Peanut Butter and Nutella Cheesecakes

One of the perks of being a student (and right now as I’m in the middle of college applications and interviews there don’t seem to be many) is that you get a long Christmas break. This is what I’ve done since Christmas:

  1. Stayed in my PJs all day. I got new pajama pants for Christmas (a tradition in my family). They are red with pink polka dots! My middle sister got the same ones so we’ve been matching for 4 days in a row.
  2. I got dressed briefly yesterday to go to the movies with the middle sister. We saw New Year’s Eve which was cute! It’s just a fun chick flick or as Celina said a “fluffy” movie.
  3. I painted my nails with the nail polish I got in my stocking. They are super sparkly and purple.
  4. I have eaten cinnamon rolls for breakfast and dessert for the past 3 days…but this morning I had to have cereal because they were gone :(
  5. I’ve worked out. Yesterday I did Jillian’s yoga meltdown with my mom. Today I am very sore.

Today I am hoping to finish up my second to last college application (maybe both of them! how cool would that be???). I have a meeting with an alumni of University of Pennsylvania for my college interview…I should probably shower and get dressed for that…meh.

But that’s enough about boring college stuff! On Christmas Eve, tablets we had dinner at my grandparents’ house. I brought these mini cheesecakes for dessert and they were a hit! They’re really easy to make and look so pretty and fancy. I made peanut butter ones and nutella ones. The overall consensus was that the nutella ones were better, healing so if I make these again I’ll just make them all nutella. But they were both great and this would be a great dessert to bring to a New Year’s party! I can’t believe it is almost 2012…it’s insane how quickly this year has gone by.

I just have to point out the adorable little snowman cupcake wrappers! I was so excited to get a chance to use them. I love cute things like this :) I hope you have a fantastic last week of 2011…I would encourage you to stay in your pajamas all day at least one day this week. And eat cake for lunch. Not that I did that yesterday…but if I had, gynecologist it would have been good. Very good.

Peanut Butter/Nutella Mini Cheesecakes

Adapted from Snappy Gourmet.

Ingredients:

1 cup finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter or 1/2 cup nutella or to make half a batch of each, 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup nutella
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

For the Ganache:
Note
: I had a ton of ganache left over. You could easily halve these ingredients.
1 (12oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the graham cracker (or cookie) crumbs and butter. Press crumbs onto the bottom of the cupcake liners.
  3. If you are making all peanut butter cheesecakes or all nutella cheesecakes: In a large mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, 1/2 cup peanut butter or nutella, sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs until well combined.
  4. If you are making half peanut butter and half nutella cheesecakes: In a medium mixing bowl, mix together one 8 oz. package cream cheese, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tablespoon flour, and 1/2 tsp vanilla until well combined. Beat in one egg until mixed in well. In a second mixing bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup nutella and the remaining sugar, flour, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the remaining egg until mixed in well.
  5. Spoon cheesecake filling onto tops of crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until set on top but still soft. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  6. When they are cooled completely, place chocolate chips and cream in small microwave safe bowl in microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth. Spoon the chocolate on top of each cheesecake.
  7. Refrigerate cheesecakes for at least 3 hours or overnight. Store cheesecakes in refrigerator.

Note: Make sure the cream cheese is softened when you mix it in. If you’re using it straight out of the fridge, you can microwave it for 10-20 seconds to soften it.

Makes 12 Mini Cheesecakes.

Enjoy! :)

Gigantic Peanut Butter Candy Cookie…for one

When I was little, apoplectic there were some things grown-ups did that I just did not understand. One thing I remember being so confused about it why they always fought over the check. “No, prescription I’ll pay for it!” “No, really, my treat.” I just didn’t get why they wanted to pay! If someone wanted to pay for me, I wasn’t going to argue. I get it now, but deep down I still don’t like paying for things and if you want to pay for me, go for it! (This doesn’t make me a bad person…right???)

Another thing I just did not understand was why adults would never want to bring dessert home from a party or something like that. They would always say things like “Oh no, we don’t need that around the house.” And I was always like “uhh yes we do! It’s so tasty!” Again, I get it now. But I still like having dessert around the house..because I like dessert.

All those crazy grown-ups out there should appreciate this recipe. It makes just one cookie. That’s it. Don’t worry about all those crazy leftovers!

I am posting this recipe for week 7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookie Exchange. Week 7??? Christmas is getting so close! I’m so ready to start planning and decorating and celebrating :) I found this recipe on Picky Palate the other day. It’s a recipe that makes one (large) cookie. I’ve been experimenting with some “single-serving” recipes lately. I made cake in a mug the other night! It was really good. I didn’t post about it because the cake exploded out of the cup and looked not-so-pretty and I didn’t want to take a picture of the mess haha. But I will post about it eventually. I like the idea of making desserts that only have one (or a few) servings so I don’t have it around the house for the next week (uh oh. I’m starting to sound like one of those crazy grown-ups).

This cookie turned out great! Chances are you have everything you need to make it at home right now! And it’s a great way to use up some of that Halloween candy. I mixed in Reeses Pieces and pieces of Snickers. Mmm :) Now this cookie is really massive…I probably could have eaten the whole thing myself but I shared with my family. It has a great texture, the outside is crisp and the inside stays gooey. The only issue I had with it was that it turned out really salty. I don’t think it’s a fault in the recipe, though. I was probably being spacey and added too much salt. If I make it again, I’ll let you know if the results were as salty!

I would absolutely recommend that you make this. Make it for yourself and curl up with a warm cookie, some milk, and watch a good movie. That sounds so nice right now :)

Does that huge grease spot freak you out? Oh good. Me either.

Gigantic Peanut Butter Candy Cookie for One

Recipe from Picky Palate <— love all her recipes!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons beaten egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup Reeses Pieces

3 mini snickers, chopped in 6 pieces each

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugars until well blended.
  3. Crack egg in separate bowl and beat it. Measure out 2 tbs. of the egg and add it to the butter/sugars. Add the vanilla as well and mix well until combined.
  4. Stir in peanut butter and then add flour, soda, and salt. Mix until just blended.
  5. Stir in Reeses pieces and snickers chunks (or whatever other candy makes you happy!)
  6. Scoop all the dough onto the baking sheet in one big giant blob and bake for about 18 minutes (it will look totally raw but will keep cooking a bit after you take it out). Let it cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy all by yourself when you’re home alone…or share with others :)

Makes 1 super huge cookie

Apple Snack Sandwiches


If it’s not Christmas soon, melanoma I’m going to lose it.

You think I’m kidding.

But I have 2 pieces of not terrible news.

1. Brown Eyed Baker posted about this 30 days of gratitude project and I’m totally going to do it! I was wanting to blog about things I’m thankful for but I just haven’t been consistent since I’ve been busy and such. The idea is to take a picture everyday of something you’re thankful for, and there are suggestions for each day. I’m starting tomorrow so I’ll be doing this into December. But I can still be thankful in December, right? ;)

2. I made these apple snack sandwiches to share with you! I saw them on Live Love Pasta the other day. I thought it was such a neat idea and a super easy snack. I was looking around at Live Love Pasta and there are some great recipes there! I have a ton bookmarked that I want to make soon.

I made these apple sandwiches with peanut butter, raisins, and chocolate chips. I liked the peanut butter and chocolate chip version the best! But the raisins were good, too, and probably healthier…although chocolate is good for the soul! Or so I hear :)

I hope you are all having wonderful weeks and that, even if they’re busy, you’re finding time to relax and be thankful. I am thankful that I have access to fresh food everyday at my house and that I don’t have to worry about going hungry. It’s something we all take for granted, but there are so many people in this world who don’t have food to eat and I need to be better about being thankful that I do.

Apple Snack Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 apple

Peanut Butter (or nutella would be tasty too!)

Chocolate chips or raisins

Directions:

  1. Slice and apple…umm circle way. Haha you want to cut the top off so you’re making circles. I was able to get 5 circle slices out of my apple but only used 4 of them.
  2. Spread peanut butter on one side of your apple slice.
  3. Sprinkle it with raisins, chocolate chips, or whatever else you want.
  4. Put the other apple slice on top and enjoy!
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