My kids and I are the biggest Reeses Peanut Butter Cup fans in the world. In fact, my kids buy each other those giant one-pound versions for each other for their birthdays, Christmas and just about any excuse they can find. So the revelation of making this Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars recipe, which I might add, is dangerously easy, has been a huge hit with our family.
I recently co-hosted a wedding shower and made 48 strawberry and lemon cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting.
On any other day, this would have been great but guess what? No one ate them because of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.
Pretty much shot myself in the foot with that one.
Cuz. Chocolate. And. Peanut Butter.
You should totally make these!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
1 c.salted butter, melted*
2 c. graham cracker crumbs or about 2 full sleeves
2 c. powdered) sugar
1¾ c. creamy peanut butter, divided
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with foil. Press all around edges to mold pan sides
Put graham crackers in a food processor and make crumbs or alternately put in gallon freezer bag, seal and roll with rolling pin to crumbs
Mix the melted butter, graham crumbs, powdered sugar and all but ¼ cup of the peanut butter with a mixer then evenly spread into lined pan
Melt chocolate chips and remaining ¼ cup peanut butter in microwave by putting in for 1 minute intervals and stirring after each one just until melty and smooth
There IS such a thing…and it’s easy and delicious. Also, known by various names like Chocolate Pudding Cake and Fudgy Pudding Cake, the recipes out there are varied but pretty similar and all result in a pan of warm chocolate goodness. Think molten lava cakes, but instead of individual cakes, you spoon it warm out of a pan and top it with ice cream. It’s like a crispy topped brownie with a layer of warm fudge sauce lurking underneath it, waiting to ooze out and make you swoon.
Instead of fussing over those individual molten cakes, I’m making this for my Wonderful Guy for Valentine’s Day. It’s simple and it’s warm and gooey chocolate…what more can you ask for?
Some say the origins come from an old Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cookbook and you’re probably bound to run into it in some old cookbook of your grandma’s. But aren’t those the BEST recipes?
Now I have to tell you to trust the process in this recipe. SERIOUSLY.
Don’t question yourself on the final step because it really is that weird.
You make two layers, (like any good cobbler). The first layer or the bottom layer looks just like a brownie mix and you start with a mix of dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl, then combine the two.
Spread the thick batter with a rubber spatula into a sprayed 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
Then in a third bowl, you mix brown sugar and cocoa powder and sprinkle it heavily over top of the brownie mixture. And really…just use your hands to mix. the spoon didn’t do well with the brown sugar lumps but your built in mixing hands can squeeze those into submission!
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the brownie batter and then spoon the brown sugar/cocoa mixture over that.
I totally did that backward because I forgot the chocolate chips so pay no attention to that photo!. Shake the pan back and forth and this will level out your toppings!
Pop it into a 350º oven for 40 minutes and then let it cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.
And when you dig in with that first scoop you’re going to be tickled pink. Just LOOK at that hot fudge sauce underneath!
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
And watch it melt onto that warm, chocolate crispy topped Chocolate Cobbler and mingle with that fudge sauce.
Valentine’s Day will be covered. Your honey will love you.
Warm Chocolate Cobbler
FOR THE BOTTOM LAYER:
1 c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided (so use ⅛ here)
2 t. baking powder
2 t. espresso powder (optional)
¼ t. kosher salt
½ c. whole milk
6 T. butter, melted
1 t. pure vanilla extract
FOR THE TOP LAYER:
1 c. packed brown sugar
⅛ c. cocoa powder (the rest of your divided cocoa powder!)
½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1½ c. hot water
Serve with Vanilla ice cream-mandatory!
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish
FOR THE BOTTOM LAYER:
In one bowl mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt.
In another bowl whisk together milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a spatula, because it will be very thick – like brownie mix.
Spread into sprayed baking dish
Sprinkle chocolate chips over top.
In a 3rd bowl, mix together brown sugar and cocoa powder
Sprinkle a thick layer of this over the brownie layer and shake pan to level.
Pour the hot water over top evenly. It will start to soak into the brown sugar layer.DO NOT STIR! TRUST THE PROCESS!
Bake for 40 minutes
Remove and let cool for 15 minutes, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream
Calories: 2921 Fat: 81 g Saturated fat: 50 g Trans fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 446 g Sugar: 334 g Sodium: 2353 mg Fiber: 12 g Protein: 23 g Cholesterol: 203 mg
As fall begins with its cool crisp air and the musty smells of fallen leaves and smoky outdoor campfires going in the backyard, I always crave a wonderful brothy soup full of good things.
This soup offers it all; it’s broth is laden with the rich spicy flavor of turkey kielbasa, and a bevy of autumn harvest vegetables like carrots, cabbage and spinach. The broth is bumped up in health benefits as well and colored fall-like with beautiful tinges of golden turmeric and curry powder.
The overall flavor is amazing as well as good for you. This pot makes a large portion for a crowd but also freezes incredibly well for a no-fuss reheat later on in fall or winter when you want to pull it out, thaw it and warm it up some chilly night when hot soup with its soothing ways will warm up even the coldest toes and fingers.
Autumn Harvest Soup
1 T olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup julienned carrots
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound turkey kielbasa
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz)
3 boxes chicken or vegetable broth (12 cups)
about 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped into 1 inch pieces
4-6 c. baby spinach
1 T. curry powder
1 T. turmeric
1 t. cumin
2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, drained and rinxed
1 T. kosher salt (Morton)
1 t black pepper
Optional: fresh chopped parsley and chives
In large heavy bottomed pan, drizzle olive oil and turn burner to medium-high
Add in trinity of onion, carrot and celery and saute about 5 minutes or until onion is becoming transluscent.
Add kielbasa and saute until it begins to brown, about5 minutes more.
Add chopped garlic and stir for one more minute.
Add in fire roasted tomatoes, broth, cabbage, curry powder, turmeric and cumin along with the salt and pepper
Simmer for 30 minutes
Add in spinach and beans and simmer for 5 minutes
Serve with crusty warm bread and garnish with parsley and chives
The kids great grandma used to make this all the time and I, a lover of all things lemon still adore it.
Since it’s May and already reaching mid 90’s around here, nothing is better than an ice cold silky, tart dessert in the heat. The lemon and lemon zest in this pie fairly sing on your tastebuds making your saliva glands spring to life while the creamy sweetness of the sweetened condensed milk make you close your eyes in pure bliss.
If you care to watch us make this on my show, you can click below to watch!
It’s simple really. Just get a ready-made homemade graham cracker crust or better yet, make your own.
If you’re interested in how to make your own graham cracker crust, I have a ridiculously simple recipe here.
In a mixing bowl, dump in 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk.
Squeeze 5 or 6 lemons (whichever make 3/4 cup) of lemon juice. Mamoo used frozen lemonade concentrate but for the life of me I couldn’t find that recipe and I always think fresh is best!) I looked up equivalents and it would be one cup of frozen lemonade though, if you want to go that route.
Note that I am using tongs to squeeze my lemons due to Lance breaking my lemon juicer in this debaucle. Let’s see if I can get him to use this one today and not destroy it on the show.
Also zest up one of the lemons right over top.
The zest equals roughly about one tablespoon.
And zest just adds SUCH a punch of lemon flavor!
Pour the juice into the sweetened condensed milk.
And mix it all up with a whisk.
Mix up 8 egg yolks with your mixer until they turn a softer yellow and get a little fluffy.
Dump in your condensed milk/lemon mixture.
And mix it all up again for about a minute.
Then pour it into your pie crust.
And bake it for 20 minutes at 350º. Put it in the “icebox” or what southerners used to call their refrigerator in olden days. (Hence the name!)
Now, I think Mamoo used Cool Whip…but you can make your own homemade whipped cream and it’s so much better! Just for fun toss in a bit of lemon zest into that too! Need a tutorial? Click here!
And there you have a gorgeous, yummy and tart Lemon Icebox Pie! Take it to your next church potluck…or just make it at home.
I would have to say that for years now if you were to ask me for my dessert of choice I would have to say emphatically “KEY LIME PIE!” I love any dessert with lemon or lime in it but this is my all time favorite!
So I have to tell you guys, I have totally been chastising myself for not making this before.
I think I had some image in my head about it being tough to make. In my head it was thought to be a tedious labor of love…perhaps because it was my favorite?
A few weeks back our oldest son Chris got married and requested having his rehearsal dinner as a casual outdoor event under the stars in our back yard.
We hung Edison Lights and set out white cloth tablecloths and put daisies in vases.
There was simple lasagna, Italian salad and garlic bread, and because there would be cake for the wedding the next day, I decided to go completely different for dessert and do a Pie Bar.
We had four pies – I made Apple Crumb, my mom-in-law made this incredible Mint Chocolate Pie, and because they were the bride and groom to be’s favorites – Key Lime and French Silk (deliciously made my sis-in-law). We set them out on pedestals with a giant bowl of fresh whipped cream.
The Pie Bar was a huge hit leaving us with but one sad little piece of Apple Crumb Pie for Mr. Wonderful and I to fight over.
He won by the way.
Imagine my surprise when I realized JUST how easy this Key Lime Pie is to make…I could have been making it ALL these years!
Also – the key lime pies you get that are mint green? That’s just wrong and due to green food coloring, so my key lime pie is more true to color. That’s just for your information friends because- why add food coloring to an already beautiful thing?
I love a good graham cracker crust on a key lime pie, so I made a simple one letting the food processor whir it all up for me. Just add 14 whole honey graham crackers (or 1/1/2 cups) to a food processor and pulse it until you get sandy-looking crumbs. Add in one melted stick of butter, two tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and salt, and whir it up to mix!
Press this into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate or tart plate. Here’s a little trick for you – use a one cup (or even a 1/2 cup) measuring cup to press the crumbs in nice and uniformly, and also to press the edges up around the sides.
Then pop it into a 350º oven and bake it for about 10 minutes.
While that’s happening, mix up the filling.
I take the shortcut, because honestly I don’t notice much of a difference and I use this yummy stuff.
Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice- after all, they have to be famous for a reason right? It’s good stuff.
Add 1/2 cup of this juice, a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, 4 large or (5 medium) egg yolks and the zest from one large lime (about a tablespoon). Mix this all up to make the yummy custard type filling.
And pour it into the baked and slightly cooled crust.
Put it back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Let it cool on a baking rack and then put it in the refrigerator uncovered to chill until you’re ready to serve at least one hour.
I like to top it with one thin lime slice but you can also put twisted slices around the edges. I’ve found no one actually eats these however, so why waste them?
You could also top with fresh whipped cream but I’ve learned that putting out a bowl of fresh whipped cream is a better option, because there are actually strange people in the world who don’t care for whipped cream.
You know who you are and we do not understand you. Seek therapy.
This would be the perfect pie to serve in the heat of summer. It would also be the perfect pie to serve anytime because it’s easy, refreshing and it’s just. That. Good.
Key Lime Pie – The Best Easy Recipe Ever
FOR THE CRUST:
14 whole graham crackers (1 1/2 cups, crushed)
1 stick melted butter
3 T. sugar
pinch of salt and cinnamon
FOR THE FILLING:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large or 5 medium egg yolks
1/2 c. key lime juice (fresh or preferably Nellie & Joe’s)
1 T. zest or from one large lime
Garnish -fresh whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350º
Crush graham crackers, in food processor and pulse until resembles sand.
Pour into bowl and add in melted butter, salt, cinnamon and sugar and mix well.
Press into 8 or 9 inch pie or tart pan, pushing up sides.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove crust and let cool.
Meanwhile, mix together all filling ingredients with a whisk.
Pour into crust and bake for 15 minutes.
Cool and refrigerate until serving, at least one hour in refrigerator.
Over spring break I visited my family in Michigan. High on my list of things to do, along with spending LOTS of quality time with my family, was getting a first-hand tutorial on making French macarons from my cousin Diane.
Diane has made them in every size, shape and color for almost every party she hostesses. I knew she would help me bypass all the first time baker mistakes and give me insider tips!
And oh, am I ever GRATEFUL she did.
There is a reason people “ooh and ahhh” when they find out someone has made these little bites of bliss, and I now know why…. because I’ve experienced it.
It’s not just their crispy-sweet shells that dissolve ever so slowly on your tongue after you bite into them. It’s not just the luscious creamy flavor of whatever they may be filled with.
It’s probably because to get those two outcomes, you have to make just about the fussiest recipe I’ve ever made.
From the weighing and triple sifting of almond flour and superfine sugar…
To the perfect whipping of egg whites that incidentally had to be laid out to come to room temperature….
To the piping onto a parchment paper-covered template to get the same size for each macaron…
To this crazy technique to get air bubbles out of the shells….
This scared me half to DEATH when Diane first started doing this! It was LOUD! But then, you know, you get bold with it and have fun!
We were pleased with the shells, although Diane being an expert, likes them just perfect and those little peaks at the top annoyed me!
As if that wasn’t enough, we made two fillings – salted caramel and vanilla Swiss meringue (which took almost as long as the shells!).
If you are considering making French Macarons, my advice to you would be that if you are an adventurous, patient foodie who loves a challenge, then by all means, bake away!
If you can find a sweet patient teacher who’s experienced at making them, you have struck gold of the sweetest kind.
I am so grateful to my cousin for investing a day in teaching me because I believe it made all the difference in my confidence level to do this alone on my own later.
Valentine’s Day is coming! What do you on Valentine’s Day? Do you go out and fight the restaurant craze or stay home and cook a romantic meal for you and your hunny? We typically stay home and for those of you who do, here are some recipe ideas with chocolate dessert inspiration for your dinner with your sweetie.
The girls at my house are severe Nutella addicts. They spread it on toast, and graham crackers and I believe they also just eat it with a spoon. If you haven’t tried Nutella, it is a wonderful creamy and chocolaty spread made of cocoa, milk and hazelnuts.
These cookies are much like regular no-bake cookies but we’ve added some of this delicious concoction into the mix. You can whip up a batch of these so quick! You won’t believe it! Watch how simple these are to make. (Watch us make them on my Rise & Shine segment by clicking below!)
Start out by melting one stick (or 1/2 cup) of butter in a medium-sized saucepan.
Add in two cups of sugar, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of milk.
Stir this up and mix it up until it’s smooth. Keep whisking it for about one minute while it’s barely bubbling. Then, remove your pot from the heat.
Add in 1/2 cup each of peanut butter and Nutella. Also add in one teaspoon of vanilla and a teensy bit of salt.
Again, stir this all up until it gets creamy and smooth.
Now we’ll need to add in three cups of oats.
Mix it up quickly and then drop it by spoonful onto waxed paper or parchment paper or another non-stick surface to cool. I use a cookie scoop.
Let them cool at least an hour.
These last for about one more hour at our house….
They are so good…if they do last an hour. It’s rare.
Nutella No-Bake Cookies
Author: Katie of Dishin & Dishes
Recipe type: dessert
2 cups sugar
¼ c. cocoa
½ c. milk
1 t. vanilla
¼ t. salt
½ c. peanut butter
½ c. Nutella
3 c. whole oats (not quick-cook)
Melt butter over medium low heat in saucepan.
Add sugar, milk and cocoa and stir for about one minute.
Remove from heat and add in milk, peanut butter, Nutella, vanilla and salt.
Stir until smooth and the peanut butter and Nutella have melted.
Add in oats and stir with large spoon until mixed well.
Drop by spoonful onto waxed or parchment paper and let cool.
Let me just apologize for this recipe right off the bat.
Bacon crack is all over the internet and anything has the two words “bacon” and “crack” has to be really good right? I’m assuming, that is, that the word “crack” has to do with being addictive.
And merciful heavens is it EVER!
Think salty cracker crust, a caramel that bakes up from butter, brown sugar and maple syrup and just a sprinkle of chipotle powder to make things interesting.
And it’s super easy to make. What more can you ask for?
How about an entire platter for yourself on your Body For Life cheat day? YES!
Stick with me (literally, it’s sticky) through the process that follows!
Pre-heat your oven to 400º.
My preferred method of making bacon is in the oven, but you can opt to cut your pound of bacon crosswise in 1/2 inch pieces and fry it up in a skillet if you’d rather.
Here is how I do it -Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and layer out in a single layer your bacon slices. Bake for 15 minutes then check it. You want it lightly browned and almost done, not dark because it will cook again on the crackers.
While that’s baking, let’s make the rest of the recipe!
Line another baking sheet (11 x 16) with parchment paper (best method) or tin foil and lightly spray it with baking spray.
Take one sleeve of saltine crackers plus ten more crackers and line the sheet with them. Keep the edges touching to make a solid sheet of saltine crackers.
In a small saucepan, add a stick of butter plus three-fourths cup each of brown sugar and maple syrup (i used pure maple syrup). Also, if you want a little sweet and hot kick to your bacon crack, add 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder.
Heat this over medium-high heat until the butter melts and it begins to bubble, then adjust your heat to a low simmer and let it go for three minutes. It should thicken up.
Drizzle this over your crackers. Be careful because it’s REALLY HOT!
Take a spoon or rubber spatula and try to evenly spread this around onto all crackers.
After you’ve removed your bacon and let it cool, crumble it up and sprinkle it evenly over top of the caramel topped crackers.
Take your hand and kind of smooth the bacon out over the crackers.
And please lick your fingers off afterwards…it’s like the best taste test ever!
Then pop your crack into the oven and bake it for seven minutes.
Remove it and let it cool (about thirty minutes).
Optional – I was really going for the sweet salty play of salted caramel here, so I sprinkled about a teaspoon of sea salt over the entire thing.
Then I kind of lifted one end up with a spatula to get a hold of it.
And then get your hands in there and break it apart onto a platter. It might be a little gooey still but that’s pure bliss, trust me!
Bacon Chipotle Caramel Crack
1 sleeve plus 10 crackers, Saltine crackers
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. maple syrup
1 stick butter
1/4 t. chipotle pepper
1 lb. bacon
1 t. sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 400º
Line a 16 X 11 baking sheet with parchment (works better) or foil
Lightly spray parchment or foil with baking spray
Line another 16 X 11 baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lay out bacon, in a single layer (may require two pans).
Bake bacon after 15 minutes to see how it’s cooking. You want the bacon slightly under-cooked because you will bake it again on the crackers
Alternately you can chop the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces by slicing across the pieces and fry up in a pan until almost crispy.
Layer out all the crackers onto the sprayed, lined baking sheet, sides touching
In a small saucepan melt butter with sugar and syrup and bring to slight boil.
Boil for three minutes then remove from heat
Syrup should be thick like maple syrup, maybe even thicker
Pour it over all the crackers then use spatula to evenly spread over all crackers
Sprinkle bacon evenly over top all and bake for 7 minutes
If desired sprinkle sea salt over top evenly
Allow to cook then life ends with spatula and use hands to pull pieces apart and stack on platter.
I recently made these addictive Cinnamon Vanilla Almonds at Christmas and gave them out as gifts to my co-workers.
I started out trying to figure out how to make them because they are my son Conner’s favorite thing to get at a ball game, or the mall, or anywhere else you walk by those booths and stop dead from the aroma of freshly baked candied vanilla almonds.
They were a big hit! Someone asked me for the recipe recently and I realized I hadn’t posted it for you guys so here goes!
P.S. We might have eaten half of the first batch and had to make another one for the gifts.
They taste and make your house smell just like the ones you get at the mall or ballgames! No potpourri or scented candles needed! They are so delicious!
I tested several recipes of these -the crock-pot version and the oven baked versions. I did not care for the crock pot version at all. It ended up being sticky and I had to finish them in the oven. I tweaked a few different recipes and came up with my own as follows!
Also – one recommendation – I believe the almonds took longer than the pecans, and some of the pecans were darker and a tad burn, so when you get to the part where you coat them with the egg whites, do the almonds first and put them on a separate baking sheet and then do the pecans separately as well. Check the pecans after 25 minutes. You just want all the stickiness or wetness to have hardened and look sugary and hard. If you still see any sticky wetness, pop them back into the oven for another five minutes and check them again!
Cinnamon Vanilla Almonds
Author: Katie of Dishin & Dishes
Recipe type: Snack
1 large egg white
1 T. pure vanilla extract
½ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar, packed
2 t. ground cinnamon
5 c. raw almonds or pecans or mixture of both (not roasted or salted!)
(Note: I used 2½ cups almonds and 2½ cups pecans and LOVED)
Preheat oven to 300º
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Whisk egg white and vanilla in small bowl
In a large bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon
In another bowl, add nuts and pour egg white mixture over top. Mix well, making sure to coat all nuts completely.
Add wet nuts to sugar mixture bowl
Mix well to coat all nuts completely
Spread nuts out evenly on parchment lined pan
(I used a spider (or large slotted spoon to lift nuts from bowl tapping to remove excess sugar mixture)
Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if any nuts are still moist, If so, cook an additional 5 minutes and check again.
Let cook and if any are stuck together, break apart.