Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars

My team at work got together the other night for a good ole southern summer back porch BBQ. Complete with BBQ on the green egg, homemade mac n cheese and all the fixings. One of the favorite desserts of the night were these crunch bars- the perfect combination of chocolate, peanut butter and a little crunch. Great for kids as well because they don’t fall apart in your hands. Enjoy!

marshmallow-crunch-bars-singleIngredients:

For the Brownie Base:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Toppings:
1 bag (10½ ounces) miniature marshmallows
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup smooth peanut butter (don’t use natural peanut butter)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan.

2. For the brownies: In a medium saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate, butter and ¾ cup of the semisweet chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir occasionally while melting. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl , whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Stir the melted ingredients into the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the dry sifted ingredients and mix well. Fold in the remaining ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the corner of of the pan comes out with moist crumbs.

5. Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.

6. Meanwhile, place the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted. Remove from heat, add the Rice Krispies and mix well. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

7. Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting.

Original Recipe available here.

Easy Fruit Pizza

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been hosting our community group at our home. We’ve made a lot of our favorite recipes but this week I decided to try something a little different. A neighbor posted a picture of a fruit pizza she made with her kids and I knew that this would be the perfect summer treat. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup each of fresh berries (we used raspberries, blackberries and strawberries). I also recommend using kiwi if available.

Steps

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan (or 13×9 pan) with cooking spray. In pan, break up cookie dough; press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled crust.
  • Arrange fruit over cream cheese. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. T
  • To serve, cut into wedges or squares. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pizza.

Original recipe available here.

Peanut Butter Cookie (Sandwiches)

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It’s birthday week for KH which means homemade cookies every night! Ok, actually two nights but still.. I’m making all of his favs- sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies (basically every variety without chocolate). While we didn’t make the sandwiches this time around, if you’re looking for a fun and different spin on cookies try it out- it’s almost like a homemade version of a do-si-do Girl Scout Cookie. Enjoy!

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup PB
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Peanut Butter filling

  • 1/2 cup pb
  • 4T milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

1. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in pb and vanilla.

2. Sift together (I don’t believe in sifting) flour, baking soda and salt.

3. Stir into creamed mixture. Form dough into 1″ balls. Place on greased cookie sheet 2″ apart. Flatten with floured fork to make “hatches”. Bake at 375F for 8 minutes or until brown.

4. Let cool, get your filling on.

*Recipe yields about 60 single cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies

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And what family get together would be complete without an assortment of desserts. So not only did we enjoy Kyle’s family’s famous Nut Butter balls at our Easter dinner yesterday but I also decided to make a new dessert as well. Chocolate and peanut butter candies in a blondie, topped with vanilla ice cream. What more could you need?! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 9-12 Reese’s 6oz peanut butter eggs (usually individually wrapped)
  • 1 bag peanut butter M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 9×13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled lightly with flour.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add in eggs and vanilla and blend until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Pour into the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.
  5. Press 1/2 the dough into the pan (coat your hands with flour and spread with your hands if needed).
  6. Cut the Reese’s eggs into small chunks and lay them on top of the dough.
  7. Place the remaining cookie dough on top of the Reese’s by dropping in spoonfuls.
  8. Gently press the peanut butter M&Ms on top.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. When done, the bars will look puffy and the edges will be golden brown. The dough should still be soft in the center as it will finish cooking a bit while cooling.
  10. Allow bars to cool. Eat while warm with ice cream! Heavenly!

Original recipe available HERE.

From our family to yours.. Happy Easter!

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Nut Butter Balls

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 10.21.46 PMI love it when my husband tells me stories from when he was growing up. There is something so sweet about family traditions and stories from a long time ago. This recipe and these cookies are one of those sweet stories. When KH was growing up his Grandma used to make these cookies every Christmas. Then his mom began helping and over the past several years took on the tradition herself once Grandma was in a nursing home.  Grandma passed away last year and we didn’t have the cookies for the first of many Christmases. Somehow the idea came up to make these for Easter and so here you go.. nut butter balls that have in a way doubled as what I like to call “tombstone cookies” because they remind me of the large tombstone that was rolled away on Easter morning where Jesus was buried. Despite my (what I like to think) clever tie in to Easter,  KH is pretty firm on the fact that these will remain a Christmas tradition. Still sounds perfect to me!

Beat together thoroughly:
1  cup butter
½  cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1  tsp vanilla

Sift together and stir in:
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt

Stir in:
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Chill dough. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll into 1″ balls. Place 2 ½” apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until set but not brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Gently remove from baking sheet while still warm and roll in sifted confectioner’s sugar, then cool on cooling rack. Roll again when cool, then store in an air tight container.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Lactation Cookies

IMG_9627Lactation Cookies… sounds kinda weird right? I don’t know how I had never heard of these with our first but they seem to be all the rage this year… a healthy cookie that you are encouraged to eat (like I need encouragement to eat sweets!) and it boosts your milk supply. Yes please! As I’m still trying to build up enough supply to feed our twins I’ll take all the cookies I can get- and in the meantime I’m also trying the fenugreek pills and Mother’s Milk tea.. I’ll let you know what works after I give them a couple of days to “kick in.” Meanwhile here is one recipe I’ve tried for the lactation cookies. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oatsIMG_9614
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons brewers yeast
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
  • 4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

*I was able to find all ingredients at Publix except for the Brewers yeast which can be purchased at a health foods store like Whole Foods or I bought mine off Amazon.

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy.
  • Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  • Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again.
  • Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.

Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds* and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

You can also easily freeze this dough – scoop the rounds on a baking sheet, place the sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, then place the dough rounds in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. Bake at the same temp – they may or may not need an extra minute or 2 – your preference!

*Note: these cookies do not “expand” like regular cookies/cookie dough.. so the scoop size you use will yield the exact size of your cookies. I used a small cookie dough scoop and ended up with small cookies. Next time I’ll probably try using an ice cream scoop to get more “normal sized” cookies.

Original recipe available here.

Peanut Butter Pie

IMG_6850This is another great recipe from our friend and neighbor Jenny. She made it as a welcome home treat for her husband after he returned from a long work trip and now I’ve decided to try it on our family.  The end of summer is almost here and so the entire family is coming over this weekend for a BBQ and pool party. A cold and tasty treat sounds just perfect for our weekend festivities and should satisfy even our pickiest eaters. This pie is so easy and yummy- perfect to make ahead of time so have one less thing to think about when entertaining guests. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 25 Oreos (a little less than one package)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • One 8-ounce package Cool Whip, thawed

Directions:

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Crush the cookies until they’re fine crumbs. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into a pie pan and bake until set, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the filling: Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed Cool Whip and beat until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

Pour the filling into the crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula. Chill for at least an hour before serving (best if chilled overnight).

Original recipe available here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I often visit my blog to recall past recipes and previous information- its the original reason I started blogging in the first place, to capture everything I want to remember and have it all in one place. So tonight I came to the blog looking for this recipe and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted it yet. This is one of my favorite recipes for traditional chocolate chip cookies that are anything but ordinary. Trust me….your taste buds will thank you! Served best warm with a tall glass of cold milk. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Ingredients: (see below before you start measuring! – this makes a TON- save this quantity for a bake sale or a neighborhood block party) 🙂

  • 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4-5 cups semisweet chocolate chips (4 cups is 2 bags)
Ingredients: (1/3 the recipe = 3 dozen cookies)
  • 1 stick and 3 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown super
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tbs baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla, and cream on medium high speed.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to mixture. Mix until fully incorporated, but do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

3. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until starting to brown.

Original recipe available here.

Easy Sugar Cookies

I am finally starting to feel like myself again! After weeks of exhaustion and morning/all day sickness, I’ve hardly cooked at all, let alone bake. Today my hubby and I spent the day resting (as we are both trying to get over a cold) and then shopping- a treat for my upcoming birthday next week. His one request at the end of the day was that I make these sugar cookies.. and considering his birthday is just around the corner as well I could hardly say no! Enjoy the easiest (and yummiest) sugar cookies around!

Ingredients (I usually half this recipe to make around 20-24 cookies)IMG_2845

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
  4. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

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Original recipe available here.