Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies

I baked again.

I couldn’t resist.

Not that I even tried.

But there is just something so alluring about getting in the kitchen and baking up some goodies. In this case, a good blondie. For those of you who aren’t familiar with a Blondie, it’s like a brownie but with brown sugar and they’re like a cookie bar. They’re just as soft; just as tender and just as addicting.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies

I love them.

I’ve made different types of blondies before and the common theme in all of them is peanut butter. This one is no different (although if you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you know peanut butter is one of my many weaknesses!). This blondie was created with a new peanut butter that I recently discovered. It’s so creamy and fabulous that I find myself sticking a spoon into the jar and eating it straight (no chaser, yo!).

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It’s Peanut Butter & Co’s The Bee’s Knees – It is SO good. I knew I wanted to bake with it, but it took me until now to decide what to do. What’s more classic than dark chocolate and peanut butter (and let’s not forget the Reese’s Pieces that I tossed in there, too!).

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter blondies

This recipe is so easy, and bakes up in less than 30 minutes. I added copious amounts of dark chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces, but it is customizable in that you could add any combination of chips you wanted. I think I’m starting to get a little predictable here, though, seriously, I think I’ve used Reese’s Pieces in a majority of my cookies recipes…

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter ( I used Peanut Butter & Co‘s The Bees Knees)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Reese’s Pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease an 11 x 7 pan.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar; mix in peanut butter.
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and combine.
  5. Slowly mix in flour, half cup at a time, until completely blended.
  6. Once flour is thoroughly mixed in, use a wide spatula and gently fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s pieces.
  7. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet and gently spread to all corners, making sure the batter is evenly dispersed in pan.
  8. If desired, put additional chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces on top of batter.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting (if you can resist!)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I let me blondies bake for a bit over; I wanted a more done, cake like texture. However, if you want more gooey blondies, under bake them by a few minutes. The beauty of baking anything at home is that you can do it however you desire it. (But let’s be honest, burnt isn’t truly Cajun, haha.)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies

Next time I get a hankering for one of these bars, I’m thinking about using marshmallows and semi-sweet chocolate. Yum!

What additions would you like to see?

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Valentine’s Day Oreo Pops

I’ve been a pretend busy beaver the past few days.

In reality, I had surgery Monday, and I guess I just hate being forced to sit still, seems like that’s when the creative juices really fly. Then I just can’t handle NOT doing something..

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And with Valentine’s day coming up, I really wanted to do something fun with Ethan that didn’t necessarily involve baking more cookies. Seriously, you guys, he’s so over baking more cookies with me, it’s not even funny. He doesn’t get excited when I pull out the mixing bowl anymore. I get a simple, “No thanks” and he goes about his day playing with Skylanders or his action figures.

But the project I had in mind today was one that he was interested in, and as a matter of fact, the man got involved, too.

This was a fun project incorporating items we had hanging out in our cabinet. We have (had) two packages of holiday Oreos – red centers! – and I also had Halloween candy molds that had white chocolate melting bars in them (clearance after Halloween!) and to make it Valentiney I grabbed some fun heart sprinkles and those hard sugar decorations.

Doing the math then, Halloween plus Christmas equals Valentine’s Day Oreo Pops! Win!

Voila!

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We melted the chocolate in the microwave (30 second intervals, stir, repeat until perfectly melted and smooth).

Then we dipped the Oreos in the chocolate. Some of them are on sticks, and some of them are not. We didn’t want to completely cover the cookies in melted chocolate, and the boy found it much easier to dip half the cookie in the chocolate. I liked holding a plain Oreo and pressing it down into the melted gooeyness.

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Then we placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet, decorated them, and then chilled them in the refrigerator.

The boy forgot about them, so they chilled for a good solid hour before he asked where they were (and ate two…).

He’s pretty excited about them, and has already shared a few with his favorite people.

This one had to go to Aunt Chrissy.

This one had to go to Aunt Chrissy.

He stayed the night with his Auntie Chrissy and his cousins, Nathan and Alivia. When we were getting his stuff packed up, he picked out Oreo pops for them and his Uncle Jeff. You see that pretty pop up there with the pink heart and pink glittery sprinkles? That one went to Aunt Chrissy.

I’m pretty sure he has a crush on his Auntie – it’s super cute, but he adores her so much!

So with that, Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Oh, and P.S. – this post is my contribution for the #Whimsybykelly2015 Creative Challenge AND the pay it forward Random Act of Kindness week. Her post suggests we create something fun and give it away. Ethan and I created these pops and he gave many away to his Aunt, Uncle and cousins. The fun won’t stop there, either, as I am already thinking about how else I can involve my family in Random Acts of Kindness ♥

Tie Dyed Cookies

Not going to lie. These cookies started out as Unicorn Poop (let that sink in for a moment, haha).

To be honest, I’m not even sure how I stumbled across this recipe, but when I did, I loved the idea of it. Seriously, who wouldn’t love to eat glittery, rainbowy unicorn poo??

My son, as it turned out. No joke, when we made these, he was so excited until we started making them look like poo piles, at which point he tapped out.

But when I made them into basic round cookies and called them Tie Dye, he was all up in that shizz.

Tie Dye Cookies

When he showed them to grandma, he said the Unicorn Poo cookies were “eewie” and that she needed to eat the other cookies because they were yummies. Even though they were all from the same recipe, he was completely turned off at the idea of eating anything labeled poo, regardless of whether it is the glittery shit of a mythical creature.

Tie Dye Cookies

So here we are, “Tie Dye” Cookies, (also known as Unicorn Poop) happily created from the recipe over at Ambyfelix.com, and slightly modified to fit the fickle needs of a five year old.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I used butter flavor stick shortening)
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • Sparkly sprinkles, decorations, etc of your choosing

Directions

  1. Combine the egg, butter, cream cheese and shortening in a mixer bowl and combine on low speed.
  2. Toss in the sugar and salt; thoroughly combine; add the vanilla and beat until mixed through.
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and using a large spatula, slowly add in flour, one cup at a time, until combined.
  4. Chill dough for about 20 minutes.
  5. Carefully divide dough into equal parts, I eyeballed it at this point, I don’t have a scale, but I’m sure that would be useful!
  6. Place divided dough into separate bowls and add food coloring. Using a spatula or a spoon, gently mix to get the coloring throughout the entire dough section. Work the coloring in until it is completely integrated. The food coloring will look much darker in this state and will lighten up when baked.
  7. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and chill for another 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°
  9. To assemble the tie dye cookies, use a 1/2 teaspoon (or more or less) of each color; smoosh them together in the palm of your hand and work the dough into a disk shape, attempting to create the tie dye color scheme of your choice.
  10. Place cookie on parchment lined cookie sheet; these cookies do not spread! Top with desired sprinkle, roll the sides in sprinkles, or do nothing, they look cool like virgins, too. Also, I recommend underbaking them slightly, only cooking them for 10-11 minutes (depending on your oven, maybe even 9 minutes!).
  11. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire wrack.
  12. Never refer to them as Unicorn Poop again, or the boy will never look you in the eyes again.

And because I am an overachiever (hahahahaha!), I have another blog post that I’m going to have ready for you within the next few days, and it doesn’t even have anything to do with homemade cookies!

But it is Valentine’s Day related. I’m so excited! I actually have a post prepared that relates to an upcoming holiday.

Woot woot!

Tie Dye