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Tag Archives: peanut butter

Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars

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Are you a crunchy granola bar person, or a chewy granola bar person? I’m the latter.  My favorite granola bars are the Sunbelt Bakery ones. and it has been a quest of mine for a long time to find a recipe that would duplicate their soft, chewy texture.  I felt that baking them wasn’t the way to go, as all the ones I baked were just a little too firm, a little too dry, and not chewy enough.  I made lots of my own recipes in the search to find that perfect recipe, and never did find it.

Until Sarah.  She posted a recipe for Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars and my search ended there.  I’m tellin’ ya, coconut oil is such a good friend in the kitchen.  Makes great cookies, coffee, and granola bars!  These are exactly what I was looking for, and a little healthier than Sunbelt Bakery’s with the flaxseed, honey, coconut oil, and lack of processed/weird ingredients.  And totally crazy delicious!

Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars

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Printable recipe with picture

2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed* (I used whole)
1/2 cup mix-ins of your choice (I used peanuts)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
dash of salt
1/3 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used butterscotch chips)

*You can use wheat germ, wheat bran, or more rolled oats in place of the flaxseed.

Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil or wax paper, and grease well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together cereal, oats, flaxseed, and mix-ins. In a saucepan, stir together honey, brown sugar, and salt. Turn heat onto medium-low, then stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 60 seconds, then remove from heat and gently mix in coconut oil and peanut butter, careful not to splash. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix to combine.

Press mixture into prepared pan, then evenly distribute chocolate chunks over top. If you mix the chocolate in, it will melt. Press into granola mixture with a spatula then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Cut into bars and wrap in aluminum foil or wax paper for easy transport.

Recipe source: The Pajama Chef

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Baked Oatmeal

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I like keeping things simple and easy at meal time, especially breakfast, so when I discovered how much Joshua enjoys baked oatmeal, I decided to make more of it.  A pan lasts several days and it’s so nice to be able to just take out a square and heat it in the microwave. Bam. Breakfast is done. He takes care of the rest.

I made this in an attempt to make a baked oatmeal that really would be reminiscent of cookie dough, since the pumpkin didn’t really have that feel to me (granted, I may have over baked it a tad, as I tend to do a lot these days). And wow, you guys, I nailed it.  *pats self on shoulder* ;) This stuff is warm and gooey and melty and soft and creamy and really, a lot like a thick, warm cookie dough. Dennis even ate it for dessert after dinner one day, with some whipped cream on top. It’s that good. And low in sugar, or sugar-free if you want to leave the chocolate chips out. You would never guess, it’s just so good, but feel free to use sugar if you prefer. This one is definitely worth a try.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oatmeal

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Printable recipe with picture

2 cups quick-cooking oats
4 packets stevia*
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup milk
1 (4 oz) snack cup of unsweetened applesauce (heaping 1/3 cup)
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips, plus more for top if desired

Mix all ingredients together well until blended. Pour batter into an 8×8 pan sprayed with oil. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

*If you want to use sugar, I’d recommend brown sugar for a more cookie dough-like flavor. I’m not certain on the amount, but I’d try 1/3 cup and add more to your taste if needed.

***

I have to show you guys what this looks like with the flash – the photo is cheaper-looking but this really shows off how cookie dough-like it is. It’s soooo soft and I just couldn’t capture that gooey softness as well with natural light. Honestly, sometimes the flash is the only way to show the true colors & textures. Amateur photographer problems. :)

Tiger Butter


If you need an idea for last-minute Valentine’s Day treats for your loved ones, I gotcha covered!  I’ve made four batches of this Tiger Butter fudge since Christmas and everyone has been so impressed with it, I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed of how easy it is to make!  Three ingredients, melt, stir, and swirl, and you’re done.

And if you’re wondering about the taste, it is oh so good.  The peanut butter layer is incredibly creamy and of course the chocolate is the perfect complement.  Need I say more?

Tiger Butter

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1 (24 oz) package vanilla almond bark candy coating
1 (1 lb 2 oz) jar creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips for one minute and stir well. Microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring well in between, until completely melted. This takes 2 intervals for my microwave. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate and stir well after each interval, allowing the residual heat to melt the chips before microwaving again. If you overheat them, they will get too thick and you won’t be able to use the melted chocolate for swirling. Once melted, set aside.

Melt the almond bark according to package directions. Usually that would be to place them in a microwave safe bowl, microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes, stir well, and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Once melted, stir in the peanut butter until creamy and smooth. Spread into prepared baking sheet.

If the melted milk chocolate has become too firm with standing, microwave for ten seconds, stir, then pour it over the peanut butter mixture in long horizontal lines. Drag a spatula through the lines in a vertical pattern, going up on one line, then down on the next, repeating until the pan is swirled. Allow to set for several hours or overnight before cutting. You may refrigerate the fudge to set it up quickly.

Stores great at room temperature, and you don’t even have to cover it. Great shelf life. I’ve left some uncovered for up to two weeks with no spoiling.

Veronica’s notes: although I haven’t tried it, you should be able to substitute 1 1/2 lbs white baking chips for the candy coating if you can’t find it in your area, or even real white chocolate if you don’t mind the big price tag. I like to use milk chocolate with peanut butter, but semisweet chocolate is perfectly fine and would create a more dramatic stripe effect.

Recipe source: adapted from The Better Baker

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Dog Treats


It has been way too long since I’ve shared a recipe for our furry friends!  This recipe is similar to the other biscuit recipe I have on my blog, except the liquid is chicken broth instead of milk, and it bakes up a bit softer, even if you go the route of leaving them in the oven overnight to dry out, and perhaps it is both those reasons combined that my Jessie loves them even more than the Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits.

These bake up soft like cookies, but you can leave them in the oven overnight to make them crunchy.

Full disclosure: I totally tried one of these in the soft-baked state, and I even thought it was pretty tasty! :)

Another advantage, at least for those of us with…shall we say “husky” dogs, is that there is less than half as much peanut butter in this recipe, therefore it is lower in calories.  There are also more oats (more fiber) and less sweetener, which helps the calories as well. A treat that Jessie loves, and that is lower in calories than her former beloved treats is a win-win in our house.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Treats

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Printable recipe with picture

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used WW pastry flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
¼ cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder, such as Rumford
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, wheat germ, and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, peanut butter, honey, and olive oil. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until incorporated. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or up to an hour. This gives the flour and oats time to absorb moisture and it will become thicker and easier to work with as it stands. Roll out to ¼ inch thick on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place treats on prepared baking sheet. You can pop the first one in the oven as you cut out shapes and place them on the second sheet. Bake cookies for 15 minutes.

If your dog prefers softer cookie-type treats, cool the treats at this point and package in airtight containers. If you want to bake them into hard biscuits, which stores better and has the added benefit of helping clean your dog’s teeth, simply turn off the oven with the cookies still inside and leave them in overnight, or until the oven is cool. If you bake them in batches, remove each tray as they finish, and let them sit on the sheet until all the batches are baked, then turn off the oven and return all baking sheets to the oven to sit overnight, or until the oven is cool.

Recipe source: Shared Sugar

So I’m trying not to use my voice right now, and Dennis is loving it.  I’m recovering from the flu (yeah, that’s what I get for bragging on Friday night that I’ve never had it before…guess what I woke up with?) and my throat hurts too much to talk any more, so I am communicating mainly in gestures.  He helped me choose the photos for this blog in the usual way, except that I asked him to help me with pointing and shoulder shrugging to indicate I couldn’t decide between two photos.  Since I couldn’t argue vocally with his choice, I did a lot of fist-shaking and going back to the one that I preferred and he just laughed and asserted that his choice was the right one.  Well, I went with the one I liked, the one right before the recipe, but I’ll let you guys decide.  He like this fancier one.  But I liked the former because it was easier to read and more simple. But  now you get them both since I had to share our antics with you. :)

Sneaky Snickers Cookies


The Cooking Photographer posted this recipe over two years ago and her picture, with the caramel and peanuts oozing out, planted itself and made deep roots in my cranium.  Then she had to go and use that same picture in her website header, reminding me weekly how much I wanted to make them.

Well, as I may have mentioned before, cookies are my favorite food group (in my perfect world, yes, they would be a food group, and a prominent one), and as I may have also mentioned, I do not make treats that I REALLY like very often because I simply can not trust myself with them.  I knew I would be in trouble if I made these without a specific purpose in mind and without  a good reason to get rid of most of the batch.

That reason finally arrived with The Great Blogger Cookie Swap of 2011.  (If you missed this year’s, sign up to be notified of of next year’s swap here!)  I had just picked up a bunch of half price Halloween candy when I was brainstorming what kind of cookies I could make for the swap, and how I could use up some of the candy I bought and of course, the first thing I though of was Laura’s Sneaky Snickers Cookies.

Well, the batch made enough that there was still plenty for me to sample and go a little overboard on, but it was well worth it!  Soft peanut butter cookies surrounding a chewy chocolate, peanut, caramel, and nougat center is just a lovely combination.  I especially love them warm so that the middles are oozing gooey caramel when you bite into them, and might have kept a few for myself in the freezer to nuke in the microwave for cookie-craving emergencies.  They are so yummy!

Sneaky Snickers Cookies

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Printable recipe with picture

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 (11.5 ounce) bags Snickers Miniatures (Half a bag is for snacking during cookie making.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, sugar, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy, five minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined, another minute. Add the eggs and baking soda and beat until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Add the flour and beat until just incorporated. Don’t over-mix. Press plastic wrap down over the surface of the dough and refrigerate at least two hours before baking.

Unwrap 52 mini Snickers bars. Then with a standard cookie scoop (size 50), scoop the dough into your hand. Press the dough together and flatten. Place a Snickers bar in the center of the dough and push the dough around to seal, rolling into a ball.

Place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake for about 12 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Recipe source: The Cooking Photographer, with slight changes in preparation method.

***

I wanted to share the cookies I received through this swap as well!  Click the blog links to get their recipes, which are posting today.

Christian of M.E. sent me these Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing and they were a lifesaver.  It was 4 PM when I received them, and I hadn’t eaten anything all day.  I was running on empty and didn’t have time to stop and figure out something to eat.  I ripped into the cookies and ate half a dozen right away, which got me through to the party I was preparing for.  Thanks, Christian!

Check out the carrots, nuts & raisins these cookies were loaded with!

Lauren Brennan of Lauren’s Latest sent me these soft and buttery Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie Stars (aren’t they beautiful?):

Julie M. of Burnt Carrots sent me my favorite batch of cookies, at least for the blogger swap.  Her Chocolate and Butterscotch Chip Cookies took me by surprise because I would have thought they had butterscotch chips in them, and maybe they do, but they also have toffee chips and I looooove toffee.  The combination of chocolate chips and toffee is a winner!

I also received cookies through my own cookie swap for non-bloggers, and will share those with tomorrow’s cookie recipe that I sent out for that swap!

Homemade Butterfingers & Butterfinger Pops

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This super-easy recipe with only three ingredients is making it’s way around Pinterest, and since I’ve had pops on the brain lately (you can find all my pop creations here), I immediately thought this would be a great idea to turn into pops!  It’s much easier to make them into the traditional bars, but for the adventurous, I’ll include the instructions for the pops in the recipe.

*Update: this is TOO funny! I did not read the blog that I found the recipe on until I already made the pops, and I see she had a similar idea as me to turn this into suckers using molds.  Great minds! Except hers is greater because this would be MUCH easier to make using molds.

I was skeptical that the combination of melted candy corn and peanut butter would taste like a Butterfinger, but, amazingly, it really does.  It even has that same crispy crunch in your mouth, though the texture is softer and not as dry & flaky as a real Butterfinger–more moist.  One of my friends liked it more than a real Butterfinger for that reason, and I think I have to agree.  Very delicious and fun!

Homemade Butterfingers

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Printable Pops recipe with picture

1 lb. candy corn
16 oz. peanut butter
16 oz. chocolate candy melts or chocolate candy coating/bark

Spray an 8×8 baking dish with oil, then line with wax or parchment paper.  Place the candy corn in a large glass bowl and microwave for one minute.  Stir, then continue to microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.  Stir in the peanut butter.  My mixture was very chunky because the candy corn did not want to combine with the peanut butter so I nuked the mixture for another 15 seconds.  At that point it was grainy, and I wanted to leave it that way since it reminded me of Butterfingers since they don’t have a smooth texture.  If you want yours completely homogeneous, continue melting in 15-second intervals until you get the mixture perfectly smooth (disclaimer: it is only my assumption that eventually it would get smooth, since I have not tried it myself).  Spread into the prepared pan and allow to cool completely, 1-2 hours.  Remove from the pan by grasping the wax paper and lifting out.  Cut into small bars.  Melt the chocolate coating according to the package directions and dip each bar into it using a fork,tapping  off the excess before setting on wax paper to dry.

To make Butterfinger Pops, let the mixture cool completely, then use a cookie scoop to portion it out.  Roll each scoop into a ball and set on waxed paper.  Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.  Take lollipop sticks and dip the tip of each one into melted candy coating and then stick into the balls.  After all the balls have sticks in them, put them back in the freezer to firm up again.   Place your styrofoam block in the refrigerator.  (Since the balls will be very cold when you dip them, the chocolate will be more prone to crack and placing the pops in the refrigerator after dipping will reduce the amount of cracked pops*.)  Once they are firm enough to dip, remove five at a time from the freezer, dip them one at a time in the chocolate coating, tapping off the excess, and push the sticks down into the styrofoam block to set.  Check on them each time you add another to see if they are cracking and if so, remove and apply extra melted chocolate onto the crack so that no oil leaks out.  If you want to add sprinkles, do it as soon as you tap off the excess chocolate, while it is still wet.  I put some peanuts and candy corn together in my food processor and chopped them up for my topping.  To get a better idea of the process involved for pops, refer to my Cake Pops tutorial.

Recipe source: Plain Chicken

*LOL, “cracked pops” for some reason reminded me of my husband’s favorite quote from a movie.  Can you name the movie this is from?

Father say, “Hurry is waste. Waste is cracked bowl which never know rice.”

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

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My Dad used to make what I thought was one of the most delicious meals ever out of torn Ezekiel bread pieces, a sliced banana, and natural peanut butter all mixed up in a bowl together and drizzled with honey.  Sweets were a rarity in our home so when he let me try this, I was thrilled because I felt like I was eating dessert.  This was how I was introduced to the trifecta of banana, peanut butter and honey and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I first made these muffins in miniature form almost a year ago when I had a single overripe banana and wanted to use it in something before it started growing white stuff.  (I’ll include that recipe too for those interested.)  It was only natural for me to reach for the peanut butter and honey, and I was really pleased with the result.  I’ve made many subsequent batches, adapting it on a larger scale to make the standard dozen since the small batch doesn’t last long enough to suit us.

This is a straightforward recipe, no fancy ingredients, naturally sweetened, and it’s all mashed and mixed together in one bowl using a single fork.  The result is a moist and flavorful muffin with the perfect balance of banana, peanut butter and honey.

By the way, these healthy, low-sugar muffins are dog tested and approved!  My Jessie is such a treat snob that when she approves something I’ve made, you can bet your pup will most likely dig it too.  For doggies, you can bake them up in mini-muffin tins, depending on the dog’s size.  Or just share yours, which is what I like to do.  That way I feel justified when I reach for a second one, since I didn’t eat all of the first.  :)

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

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3 medium overripe bananas
¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers or spray with oil.

Peel bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork (you should have about 1 ¼ cups of mashed banana), then mix in the peanut butter with your fork until well blended. Next mix in the honey and once the mixture is uniform in color, stir in the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Measure in the flour and baking soda, and stir with your fork just until mixed. The batter will be thick but try not to overwork it to get it mixed. It’s OK if a few lumps remain. Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle nuts in the middle of each muffin (nuts will spread out as the muffins bake). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

Per muffin: 196 calories; 9 g fat; 26 g carbohydrates; 2.4 g fiber; 6 g protein; 5 Points Plus

Secret Recipe Club

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Bites


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1 medium overripe banana
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 mini muffin cups.

Mash the banana in a medium bowl an stir in the peanut butter, honey, and buttermilk. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until moistened. Divide between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes (or until done) and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 mini muffins.

Nutrition Info (per muffin): 66 calories; 3 g fat; 84 mg sodium; 77 mg potassium; 9 carb; 1 g fiber; 2 g protein; 2 Points Plus

Recipes by Veronica Miller

**Veronica’s note: to make these into vegan muffins, replace the honey with agave nectar, the buttermilk with non-dairy milk, and the baking soda with baking powder.  I have done this and they are equally delicious, though I do prefer the honey flavor with banana and peanut butter.**

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