Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Oreo Bars

I have a taste tester who isn't really a chocolate fan.  When I make things that are heavy in the chocolate department, I always make her something different.  What can I say, I am to please.  This was made just for her - and she loved it.  Sometimes I worry that I'm handing out duds - and there have been some misses.  Some things haven't even left my house and have quickly met the trash can.  I never worry when I bring her things - she is brutally honest with me and always dives right in to what I give her upon my arrival. 

tastes like a Butterfingers
These are easy and will freeze great - just wait to add the chocolate/Oreo layer until you're ready to eat them.  A quick, tasty treat in under 30 minutes. 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Oreo Bars
makes 20 bars

1/3 cup peanut butter (use whatever kind you like, crunchy will add great texture)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
8 Oreos, chopped into chunks
1 cup white melting chocolate
8 Oreos, chopped into chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray an 8x8x2" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl beat peanut butter and butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.  Add brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in egg, milk and vanilla.  Add in flour, and then oats.  Stir in chopped Oreos. 
  3. Spread batter in prepared baking dish and pat evenly into pan.  Bake 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire rack. 
  4. Melt white chocolate in microwave safe dish 30 seconds at a time.  Stir until smooth.  Quickly pour and spread chocolate evenly over top of cooled bars.  Top with chopped Oreos and place in fridge 15 minutes for chocolate to set. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oreo Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

These are as delicious as they sound.  An Oreo in the middle of a peanut butter cookie.  I want to thank my friend who posted this recipe for me to make on my Facebook page - I don't know where you found this one but it's amazing.  I had went to my local BJ's and stocked up on Oreo's and Peanut Butter Cups for my baking - it really is amazing to buy stuff in bulk, but on the negative side it takes up a lot of space since it's such a huge amount.  Armed with a giant box of Oreo's, I was ready to make these cookies.  Let's just say my first batch I didn't measure the dough exact enough - I used a heaping tablespoon and not an exact tablespoon.  The end result was these giant saucer like cookies.  Don't get me wrong, they tasted amazing, just kind of looked like a sombrero.  Needless to say I kept those cookies for my sisters and I to eat. 

From the first batch - the cookies in the background
is what they should really look like
With the Sombrero cookies in our penguin cookie jar, the good ones went out to taste testers - even if they were starting to fall apart a little because the cookies are extremely soft.  No one seemed to mind - they were eaten quickly. 

This is a great cookie to make with your older kids - squishing the dough around the Oreo is fun. 

Oreo Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
makes 30-36 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 package Oreo cookies

  1. In a large bowl cream together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is fully mixed in. 
  2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Slowly stir in flour mixture 1/3 at a time until completely incorporated.  Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silicone mats.
  4. Place 1 tablespoon of dough on top of Oreo.  Place a second tablespoon of dough underneath cookie.  You want the dough portions to be equal on both side.  Gently press the dough down around the Oreo, dealing the cookie dough edges together so that no Oreo shows through.  Place on prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 1/2" between each cookie.
  5. Bake 8-11 minutes, or until cookies have just started to brown around the edges.  Don't over bake!!!  Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mini Nutella Pop Tarts

While apartment hunting in DC we stopped for lunch and then got a pop tart.  I got a chocolate hazelnut pop tart, and it looked fantastic.  Chocolate dough, chocolate hazelnut filling, chocolate topping with chopped hazelnuts on top, I was expecting a lot from this treat.  When I finally tasted it, I was met with the feeling of it not living up to my expectations.  It was missing something, and the filling wasn't as hazelnutty as it should of been.  It became clear that once I got home I was going to have to make these and make them better. 

The search began for a recipe somewhere close to one I liked....I couldn't find anything remotely close.  So I printed one out, reworked the whole thing and made it what I thought it should be and happily went baking.  I made the dough at night so I could wake up in the morning and be able to get these bad boys going. These may seem difficult, but they really aren't.  Just some time is needed to make these, the rest is really easy. 

so good - really
You can choose to make them mini or large, or whatever size you want.  The smaller you make them, the quicker the bake time.  Plus minis are great, you don't feel bad for eating one (ok let's face it, sometimes two).  A great treat for any kid or adult. 

Mini Nutella Pop Tarts

For the dough:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp cold milk

For the filling:
1 egg, lightly beaten
(1) 13 oz jar Nutella or favorite chocolate hazelnut spread

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp milk
1 tbsp Nutella
Sea Salt

  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar and salt for 10-15 seconds.  Scatter the butter over the top.  Mix on low speed for 1-1/2 minutes, or just until the flour hold together when you clump it - lumps of butter should be visible throughout the dough. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk until blended.  Add to the flour mixture all at once.  Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until the dough just barely comes together.  It will be a shaggy mess. 
  3. Tilt the bowl to the side and gather the dough together, smear the dough down the bowl.  Do this repeatedly to the dough until there are streaks of butter throughout the whole dough.  Gather the dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pressing it into a disc shape.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.  (Can be frozen for up to 1 month).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silicone liners.  Flour counter top and roll out half of the dough into a large rectangle.  Cut off corners if needed and reserve the scraps.  Cut the dough into size wanted (mini, medium or large), making sure to have a matching size for each pop tart (or something close to it). 
  5. Take half of cut pop tarts and place on prepared baking sheet.  Brush tops of pop tarts with egg and place 1 tsp Nutella in the center of each pop tart.  Take remaining halves of pop tarts and place on top.  Seal all edges with your fingers, then taking a fork, lightly press fork into the dough along all edges.  Repeat with remaining dough. 
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, longer if they aren't mini sized, rotating sheets halfway through. Edges will look done and tops should of puffed up.  Let cool on baking sheet on wire racks. 
  7. Once fully cooled, make the glaze.  In a medium bowl, mix confectioners sugar, milk and nutella together until smooth.  Spoon over tops of each pop tart.  Sprinkle each top with Sea Salt and then finish off with colored sprinkles.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chocolate Chip Brownie Slices

I love doughs that refrigerate/freeze.  They take minutes to make and then you stick them in your fridge and forget about them until you bake them off.  This is exactly the type of cookie I wanted to bake.  The dough was in the fridge in under 5 minutes - leaving me plenty of time to do everything else I needed to do.  Back to the cookies........


........if you don't want to add chocolate chips, use whatever you like in your brownies - nuts, M&M's, coconut, toffee bits, the list is endless.  And these can freeze up to a month, who wouldn't want some chocolatey dough waiting for them in their freezer to be made at any time?!

Chocolate Chip Brownie Slices
makes about 60 cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips - or your favorite type of chip (butterscotch, peanut butter, etc)

  1. In a large bowl beat butter with mixer on medium-high speed until creamy.  Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in egg, chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined.  With mixer on low, add flour slowly and beat until combined.  Add chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.
  2. Divide dough into equal portions and shape into logs.  Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and set in refrigerator to chill 4-24 hours (can leave dough in the freezer, just let thaw in fridge before using). 
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.  Cut logs into 3/8" slices and place one inch apart on prepared baking sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are set.  Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chocolate Mint Frosting Cupcakes

I'm trying to balance things out at this point - seeing everyone I can before I move, pack up everything, furniture shop for my new apartment, and of course find myself a job.  The stress is beginning to takes it toll on me.  I can feel myself unraveling and it won't be pretty when I hit the bottom.  Right now I wish I could just pause things and take a huge chunk of time to focus on one thing and then move on to the next.  But this is life and that option isn't possible so I have to multi task and fit it all in at once, and with a little under a month to do it all in.  Sometimes I wish I had a boyfriend who was moving with me, who could help lighten the load and give me the occasional hug and tell me everything will work out and be ok.  But it's just me, and I'm starting my life over in a city I absolutely love and can't wait to get to.  I've crammed a lot on my plate and I'm doing my best to get it all done. 

Of course the one thing that will give me a break is baking.  Although, when I pack up Big Red for the move (which Heay's has so graciously given me - he is technically hers), I will be taking a little break from baking until I'm all settled in at my new home (which is fabulous! The cutest city apartment with great amenities). 
I'm one for trying new things out (this will be the second time I'm moving away.  At least this time I'm staying in the same time zone and wont be thousands of miles away from home like I was in Utah) - and I have yet to find a good mint frosting that isn't over powering, until now.  This is a great frosting.  I highly suggest you try this one out. 

I didn't pipe my frosting this time and went for
some edible glitter to top them off
Chocolate Mint Frosting Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

1 cup cocoa powder
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp white vinegar (distilled is ok to use)
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
5 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line standard cupcake tins with paper liners. 
  2. In a small bowl whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Add in vinegar and butter and mix until combined. 
  3. Divide batter among the cups, filling each 2/3 full. 
  4. Bake cupcakes 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from tins and place on wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Make frosting: Beat together the butter and peppermint extract.  Add confectioner's sugar and milk, beating until light and fluffy.  Pipe or spread frosting on top of each cupcake.  Top with sprinkles, mini chocolate chips or chopped Ande's mints.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Brownies

I've never been a fan of cheesecake, no matter how many different versions of it I try.  It's just not my thing, but it doesn't stop me from making it when the occasion arises.  My family loves cheesecake, and add in some peanut butter cups and brownies to it, I think you get the picture of what this treat is shaping up to be.  Let's just skip forward to what it is layer by layer.  Brownie, cheesecake with chopped peanut butter cups and then a chocolate ganache layer with more chopped peanut butter cups sprinkled on top.  Got your attention?  Sounds really rich and decadent right?  It is.  Well, at least that's what I was told.  I didn't try these, but all my taste testers said these were amazing. 

these were still a little warm - someone couldn't
wait to try one out :)
If you're thinking these look too hard, don't - easy all the way.  Impressive and tasty treats that are easy should be any one's best friend and a staple in your baking catalogue.  Here's an idea of how good they are: one of my taste testers saw what I was bringing them, hid them from his co-workers and was going to try to eat them all on his own.  They are super rich so he ended up sharing them after all. 

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Brownies
makes a 9x13" pan or (2) 8x8" pans

1 box of brownie mix or your favorite from scratch recipe
(1) 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
(1) 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chopped Peanut Butter Cups (I used mini cups)
(1) 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream
2 cups chopped Peanut Butter Cups (again I used mini cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray pan(s) with cooking spray. 
  2. Prepare the brownie mix according to package/recipe.  Spread the batter in the pan and set aside.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth.  Stir in chopped peanut butter cups.  Pour mixture over the brownie batter and spread evenly.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until cheesecake layer is set and edges are golden brown.  Cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack and then in fridge for 30 minutes. 
  4. Make topping: In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and whipping cream for 1 minute, or until chips are melted.  Stir until smooth and spread over cheesecake layer.  Sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups over the chocolate layer.  Store covered in the fridge.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slutty Brownies

I love the name of these - it makes me giggle when I tell people about them.  It's just so unexpected that these are widely known and gaining fame with a name like this.  It does cause some eye raising when you say the name Slutty Brownies - they giggle and look at you like whats in it?  Then when you say its a layer of cookie dough, a layer of Oreos and then a layer of Brownies, people get all excited. 

Slutty Brownie = delicious
Seriously, even though the name is funny, these things are amazing.  Kudos to whoever thought this up.  My new favorite treat - extremely easy - and if you don't want to make everything, go the pre-made route and use a roll of refrigerated cookie dough and a box mix of brownies.  You will use half of the cookie dough roll and half of the brownie mix.  Or you could just make a giant batch of these :)  The best bite is when you get one with all 3 in it.  And being that I like things to be awesome, I used Double Stuff Oreo's, that's just how I roll.  Feel free to mix it up with the Oreo part - colored fillings, fudge covered, the options are endless.  Happy Baking!!! I have already gotten requests for these to be made again.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Bars

My friend Kate had gone on a recipe posting rampage and suggested 3 things for me to make.  I got more and more excited as she continued posting recipes (nerd alert!).  This post, however, got the most attention from my sisters - saying that I had to make it - STAT.  I immediately printed out the recipe and saw my first major flaw - Fluff.  I hate Fluff.  Never been a fan of it - my Mom could eat it like it's going out of style though.  I prefer real marshmallows.  I toyed in my head back and forth if I should make it the way it calls for or switch the Fluff to marshmallows.  I gave in and decided I would - I always make it the way the recipe says the first time and then I will pick it apart and make it better.  I knew I would have an issue with the Fluff from the beginning, but I was going to try it anyways.  In my head I already knew that I would be making this 3 different ways, once with Fluff, once with mini marshmallows and once with homemade marshmallows.  And I'm sure I will post all 3 versions on here for you guys to try.  Sometimes I think I have issues when my mind goes into overdrive like this to pick apart a recipe and see how to make it better. 

My first decision was to use mini peanut butter cups - easier to cut through than the larger ones. Away I went - using Fluff - and this recipe is actually really easy.  It seems like it should be harder than it is, but it's really not. 

I happily took these around to my taste testers and people just dove right in! One quote from one was "Those things turned my world upside down.  Amazing".  The fluff does ooze out all over once you cut into them - I kept mine in the fridge and that worked fantastically.  Stay tuned for the other versions of this recipe.

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Bars
16 large/20 small squares

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 bag mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped
1 jar marshmallow fluff

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and graham cracker crumbs.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and both sugars until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down sides as needed.  With mixer on low, stir in dry ingredients mixture. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Spread 2/3 dough on to prepared baking sheet.  Lightly press mini peanut butter cups into dough, then spread a good layer of fluff on top of peanut butter cups.  On a piece of parchment paper, press remaining dough into a 8x8 square.  Place dough on top of fluff and press down lightly.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.  Allow to cool overnight or for at least 8 hours.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Giant Marshmallows

I have decided to move to DC.  My family and friends have been so supportive of my decision.  And my family quickly decided that they would have a list of things for me to bake one last time before I leave at the end of the month.  Ween is off from work this week before she starts teaching summer school and she suggested that we get those giant marshmallows we keep seeing everywhere, put some sticks on them, dip them in chocolate and cover them in sprinkles.  I love a chocolate covered marshmallow - and a giant one on a stick with sprinkles?!  I'm so there. 

It's been really hot and humid and when it gets like this the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven - so this is a great no bake treat.  And a great activity to do with the kids.  Away we went dipping and covering the marshmallows in chocolate and sprinkles.  I was in charge of the dipping and Ween was in charge of the sprinkles.  Let them set up in the fridge for 10 minutes and you're good to go. I will warn you, if you've never had a chocolate covered marshmallow you will be addicted, pace yourself. 

all set and ready to eat
Now the giant marshmallows do get heavy when you coat the whole thing in chocolate and they might fall off the sticks.  I suggest coating them halfway.  If you use normal size marshmallows, coating the whole thing wont be an issue. 

Chocolate Dipped Giant Marshmallows
makes one bag of marshmallows

1 bag of giant marshmallows
1 bag of Popsicle sticks
1 1/2 pounds of chocolate candy coating

  1. Take 2 cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper.  Set out marshmallows and insert 1 Popsicle stick into each marshmallow.  Melt chocolate candy coating according to directions. 
  2. Dip marshmallow into chocolate and shake off excess.  Immediately cover in sprinkles and set back on parchment paper to set.  When all the marshmallows are done, place in fridge to set for 10 minutes. 
*Note - if it's very hot and humid when you do this, keep the marshmallows in the fridge once dipped in chocolate.  They are great to eat right from the fridge and don't need time to come to room temperature to eat.