Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I moved my blog over to wordpress. I would LOVE it if you visited me there:


Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Apple of my Eye

Anyone who has read my blog probably realizes really quickly my love for all things chocolate and peanut butter as reflected by the numerous recipes including those ingredients. However, I also have a deep deep love for fruit. I rarely bake with fruit but thought today was a great day to change things up a bit. *In the picture above those are chunks of apples, not white chocolate!

This is a recipe that I copied from a roommate in college. I think it is a Betty Crocker recipe but could not find it. If anyone does, please let me know and I will provide the link.

These cookies are very very good. I had just bought a bag of Kraft Caramel Bits and decided to throw some of those in as well even though the original recipe did not call for them. They are very good warm while the caramel is all gooey but I am afraid it may harden after they cool. Only time will tell. Either way, it is a GREAT addition and these are wonderful with a scoop of cinnamon icecream!
Next time:
I may try Heath bits instead of the Caramel bits to add a toffee/carmel flavor. Nuts like chopped pecans or walnuts would be good as well.

I will also chop the apples into smaller chunks (about 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch). Some of my chunks were pretty big and caused for uneaven spreading while baking and made it difficult for the cookies to hold their shape (do to the low ratio of dough to apples) and are not as sturdy as most cookies.
I may make a cinnamon/creamcheese filling/frosting and turn some into "Carmel Apple Whoopie Pie Cookies" even though they are not the sturdiest, I bet it would be messy but good.
I will be making these again for sure, especially with Spring here it is a nice change of pace.

Apple Jacks
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup apple chopped (I would small dice 1 small-medium apple)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Kraft Carmel bits or Heath Baking bits (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Line baking sheet with Parchment or lightly spray with PAM.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.

Beat the butter with a mixer and add the sugar, vanilla and egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine.
Fold in the apple pieces (and any other add-ins).

Drop the dough onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart (these spread a bit).
Bake for 9-12 minutes or until light brown and edges are set. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE: *DO NOT store completely covered or they will be very very soft and not hold up well due to the moisture in the apples. I find storing loosely covered in the fridge helps them keep their texture, however then the Caramel Bits get hard. I am thinking Toffee Chips might be a better addition next time. These really are best the day you bake, especially after they have cooled a bit but are still warm!

*These are really good with cinnamon icecream and hot caramel sauce.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blogging with a Purpose!

Wow! What a wonderful way to celebrate Spring than to receive an award? Bethany at this little piggy went to market bestowed upon me the "Blogging with a Purpose" award. What an honor to receive an award by a fellow blogger! I am just excited fellow bloggers actually read my blog and know it exists. It is my little hobby and there are no bells and whistles but none of my recipes are too "fancy" anyway. I tend to stick to recipes that anyone can whip up in a pinch to satisfy their sweet tooth or the sweet teeth of others!
Time to spread the love and nominate a few of my faves:
1.First up is Beth at Our Sweet Life. I love her blog and can not wait to make her Creme Brulee! It looks wondeful and I have never tried to make one before. Her picture is enough to inspire anyone to give it a go!
2.Anna from Cookie Madness has caused me to go mad over all of her baked goods! My gosh she updates often and almost all updates include a mouth watering photo of the recipe as well as Anna's hints or tips for making the recipe. How great is that??
3.Katie from The HyperHome Maker has really caused me to get my life organized. I am inspired by her amount of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to everything domestic. She is truly a Godess!! You have to check out her blog!!
4.BiscuitPusher from the Biscuit Pusher is one of my favorite blogs. She is constantly updating with great recipes and photos that are drool-worthy! I am totally eyeing her Peanutbutter Banana Bars!
5.Last but not least is Elizabeth of Elizabeth's Cooking Experiments, there are so many comforting recipes on her blog that take me right back to my childhood! Fried Chicken anyone?? Love it!
Award-winners, here's what you should do:

1. nominate 5 blogs which haven't had this award before
2. each of the blogs must have a purpose
3. the nominated blogs must make a link back to this page
4. the logo from the award must be put on their blog and it must link back to this blog!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Yup, I am at it again with the Peanut Butter. Be honest though, can you ever have too many desserts with Peanut Butter and Chocolate?? I think not.

This recipe comes from my Grandma's recipe box. Deceivingly these were titled Peanut Butter Bars, but as you can see these look more like a brownie than a Peanut Butter bar! In reality these moist little bars are more like a brownie with a slight Peanut Butter undertone than what I think a Peanut Butter bar to be so I am changing their name to Incognito Bars (because the PB flavor is undercover in these chocolatey-looking bars).

These bars are thick, moist and all in all very good. I will be making these again and I really liked the simplicity of the recipe and how quick they came together.

*Next time I might increase the amount of Peanut Butter by 2 TBS and increase the amount of cocoa powder to 3TBS total(decreasing the amount of flour by 1 TBS so the texture and consistency of the bars remains unchanged). I might also add mini chocoalte chips or those mini Reese's PB baking cups or chips to the batter before baking.

As you can see, I have several ideas in mind for these little babies in the near future because these bars were very good and worth a try.

I tasted one of these babies while they were warm and found the flavor of both the chocolate and Peanut Butter to be too subtle for my liking. I felt they needed to be "Jazzed" up a bit. So, I whipped up a simple Chocolate/Peanut Butter 'frosting' and topped with crumbled a Butterfinger bar.

The Result? MMMMM, finger licking good!

I did notice, however, after cooling the flavor of the bars themselves seemed to deepen a bit and you can taste the chocolate and peanut butter a little more than right out of the oven. Because their flavor seems to deepen after they set a few hours/overnight you may want to try these bars after they have cooled and set without the frosting/candy bar topping to see if you feel they need that extra sweetness.
I found them to be great with the additions by my tooth has been known to be pretty sweet!

Incognito Bars
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 TBS cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (if desired)
Chopped/Crushed Candy bars (if desired, Butterfinger's pictured)

Preheat oven to 325.
Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with PAM.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
In a medium mixing bowl cream the peanut butter, butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture.
Spread batter in pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Frost if desired and sprinkle with crushed Butterfinger bar (as pictured) or Chopped Reese's PB cups.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (Optional)
1/2 cup Peanut Butter (creamy)
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1 TBS shortening

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, stir toghter Peanut Butter, chips and shortening until smooth. You can add more Peanut Butter or Chocolate chips depending how much frosting you want and to taste.
Gently Spread Evenly over bars. Sprinkle with crushed/chopped candy if desired.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

S'more Goodies!

These bars are very good, messy, but good!
I got the recipe out of an old church cookbook and couldn't wait to try them because they combine the goodness of a S'more: graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in an ooey gooey bar. Another reason these bars caught my eye is that they do not require any bake time! Perfect for summer days when you don't want to use your oven but still want a tastey sweet!

These were a breeze to make and so good that I was eating them out of the pan with a spoon before they were cool. After cooling some they were easier to cut and serve, however, they did crumble a bit but the taste makes up for the mess factor in my opinion!

I am not sure how long these would stay fresh and chewy because I took them to work and they were gone in minutes.

S'mores Bars
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter (no substitutions)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
15 crushed graham crackers (I used 9 rectangular crackers)
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with PAM.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup marshmallows and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the egg, butter, sugar and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly until it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour mixture in bowl with the graham crackers, marshmallows and chcolate chips. Stir to combine. (Marshmallows and chips will melt a bit).
Fold in remaining marshmallows and chips.
Press mixture into prepared pan.
Cool until set. Remove foil and bars from pan, cut and serve. Store in airtight container either room temp or in fridge (if during warm months).

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ooey Gooey Peanut Buttery!

I have been craving a Peanut Butter sweet lately and had a jar to use up. I went searching for a recipe and found this winner on the Jif website! I did top the bars with some chopped Reese's cups before covering in marshmallows because I had some to use up and really Reese's PB cups make any dessert a little better! These taste fabulous!

I really really liked the taste and texture of these bars. The base has a nice Peanut Butter flavor and is light in texture. It is topped with a layer of melted Peanut Butter and then covered Marshmallows (and chopped PB cups in my version) and then baked again until the Marshmallows puff and bec0me light brown. Do not overbake or the Marshmallows will be hard and crisp.

My one complaint about these bars is that they are VERY difficult to cut and eat. The marshmallows stick to the knife (even after greasing the knife) when cutting making them not look too pretty. Also, the PB/marshmallow topping does not stay on the base while cutting and eating. The topping stuck to the knife and got pulled off of the crust slightly. This happened again while eating. I do admit, that I did not allow these to cool completely before cutting and serving so that may have been the problem. The seperation of the cookie base and toppings did not affect the taste, these were soooooo good!! For flavor I give them a 9! The chopped Reese's PB cups really added that extra Peanut Butter flavor I was craving and will continue to add them when making this recipe. I will definately be making them again very soon. Next time I will cool completely to see if that makes a difference in cutting and serving.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
adapted from Jif
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 salt
1/2 cup Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
7-8 individual Reese's PB cups chopped (more or less to taste)

Heat oven to 350.
Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish with PAM spray.
In a large bowl combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, peanut butter, sugar and egg.
Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Beat until well blended.
Cover. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Press into prepared dish. Bake 20 minutes or until light brown.
Do not over-bake. Cool 2 to 3 minutes.
Place peanut butter in microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute. Pour over cookie base. Spread to cover.
Cover Peanut Butter layer with chopped Reese's PB cups and marshmallows. Return to oven. Bake 5 minutes or until marshmallows are light brown. Do not over-bake.
Loosen from sides of dish with knife. Remove dish to cooling rack.
Cool completely.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

An Oldie but a Goodie!

Once again I made a batch of Blondies. It is a recipe I have made a million times but just haven't taken pictures. I had my camera out tonight so I thought I would snap a couple pictures to share.

I am in love with this recipe and love its versitility. I have tried more combinations of add-ins than I can count and each time they turn out Delish! I added toasted pecans, toffee pieces and white chocolate chunks to this batch. Here are some other variations I have really enjoyed but feel free to mix and match add-ins to meet your tastes!

PB chips/Milk Chocolate Chips/Reese's Pieces
Dried Cranberries/White Chocolate Chunks/ Toasted Walnuts
Toffee pieces/Toasted Pecans/Butterscotch chips
Diced apples/cinnamon/Cinnamon chips
Reese's PB cups, chopped/ Grated Hershey's bar
Toasted Coconut/Macadamian nuts