I know I’m being cliche here, but one of the best food combinations in the whole world is chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, I have been known to take a square or two of chocolate and dip into a jar of peanut butter. Lazy, I’ll admit it, but oh so good.
This recipe is almost as easy as that, but there are a few special ingredients that make it that much better. I made these to take over to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, you know, before all the diets started, and they were gone in seconds. They’re crunchy and sweet on the inside, and melty and smooth on the outside. A perfect combination of salty and sweet. I sprinkled some chopped peanuts on the top of some of them to add a little extra crunch.
You can make these balls all in one go, or separate it out over a few days. If you choose to make it in two days, you can make the dough on the first day, separating the dough into 2 large discs, covering it in plastic wrap, and placing in the fridge until you are ready to coat in chocolate. On the second day you can roll the discs into balls of any size (I like larger so I don’t have to roll 80) and dip into chocolate. Whatever you do, just give yourself a little bit of time, as the balls need to chill in the fridge before you dip them in the hot chocolate. Continue reading
There’s just something about peanut butter and chocolate. I don’t know what it is, but it makes me happy. Every summer during my elementary years, my family would drive 7 hours to camp at Lake Shasta. There, at a dusty campsite, we would meet my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents for a week of skiing, fishing, and relaxing. It was there that I watched my older cousin do something that I would have never been allowed to do at home: she broke off a piece of a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar (reserved for s’mores, of course) and dipped it into a jar of peanut butter. At first I scoffed at her culinary move, but she told me I couldn’t say it was bad until I tried it. I did, but I had to make sure my mom wasn’t watching. Getting in trouble on vacation merits a harsher punishment. (And don’t ask me why I thought I would get in trouble. I guess that’s how an 8-year-old thinks.)
Since then, when I needed a quick fix for peanut butter and chocolate, I will break off a small wedge of a chocolate bar and dip it into peanut butter. My college roommates would look at me with the same look I gave my cousin, and I gave them the same statement my cousin gave me: just try it. Continue reading
Each year in my Easter basket, my parents would put in these delicious peanut butter Easter eggs. There were only a few, and I desperately tried to make them last, but I always ate them first because they were my favorite. (Yeah, saving the best for last is over-rated.) I even tried to barter with my sisters so I could get more, but it never worked, because these eggs were their favorite too. My youngest sister, Noelle, was a pro at saving the best for last, because she would save these eggs far into the summer. She used them to get what she wanted from us–you know, trading amnesty or something like that. However, only my middle sister Robyn would trade with her, and it stopped one year when she noticed the chocolate started to turn grey. (My guess is that Noelle forgot about that one many years ago, and it was probably Halloween candy and not these eggs. She usually traded what she knew we would want, not what she liked.)
My grandmother is in from out-of-town, and last night, the whole family, (including my sister and brother-in-law), had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed time together. I made these peanut butter bars for dessert. Taking one bite of this rich, decadent dessert reminded me of those Easter eggs of long ago. The second best part about this dessert is that it is the easiest thing I have made. It was in the fridge hardening up in less than 30 minutes. And my mom, grandma, sister, and I had to snitch a bit an hour later. You know, to make sure it was good enough to share with the boys. Continue reading
I love cream cheese. No really. I love cream cheese. And as my high school students would tell me, I’m sure I’d marry it if I could. (Yup, not just elementary students use that silly phrase.) I have yet to find a dessert with cream cheese in it that I haven’t liked. To me, it comes in a close second to butter.
You can see my love for cream cheese here, here, here, and here. I made this dessert for my little sister’s 29th birthday a few weeks back. (We’re both Christmas babies, hence our names, Noelle and Holly.)
I call this dessert a surprise, because from the onset, it doesn’t look like much, but when you take a bite, you get 5 layers of absolute heaven. There’s no other way to describe it.
Hello! How is your day going? I feel like it’s been a little while since I’ve talked to you. It’s not because I’ve been really busy. It’s because I got some type of stupid stomach bug last Sunday night. And it lasted almost a whole week. And one thing I discovered about being sick–it’s really hard to get better when you have a toddler at home. The only time I got to rest and take a nap was when he took a nap–one 2 hour nap a day. I have learned to really cherish naps–and Ginger Ale. That’s a miracle drink!
However, I felt much better this weekend and made a Chocolate Apple Bar recipe Saturday, but it was just okay. And I don’t want to put just okay recipes on the blog. So today I made something different. Cupcakes with chocolate chips and toffee bits. And since there’s a little hint of peanut butter, I decided to make a fudge peanut butter frosting. Yum!
My father’s birthday was earlier this week. Everyone at his work forgot; no one wished him a happy birthday. (Granted, he didn’t tell anyone, but it is odd saying, “Good morning, today’s my birthday.”) He came home dejected and sad. Poor Dad! (Actually, it wasn’t too bad. To make him feel better, he went to the grocery store and bought a huge steak and grilled it for dinner. Nothing like meat to make a man feel better!) Today, I thought I would make him some dessert to comfort him, so he knew he was still loved.
One of his favorite desserts is peach pie. My mom makes a fabulous peach pie, but since I invited them over, I didn’t think it fair that she also bring the dessert. I love peach pie too, but I don’t love making it. Pie crusts are hard and take a lot of love and work. I have to be in the mood to make pies. I decided to make these bars instead, mostly because I had all the ingredients and didn’t need to go to the store. And my guess is that you probably have all these ingredients in your pantry too.
Start off by spraying cooking spray on a 9-inch square pan. Press wax or parchment paper over it, pressing down with your fingers to “seal” it. Then spray cooking spray on top of the wax paper. (The first spray enables you to easily take it out of the pan. The second spray allows you to get the bars off the wax paper.) Continue reading