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Entries in Chocolate (8)

Monday
Feb242014

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter pie

I can’t believe that it is already the end of February. Somehow, I have the feeling that 2014 is going to fly. With the end of the month comes Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This past month, I was assigned to Nicole’s blog, I Am A Honey Bee. I absolutely enjoyed every second of searching through Nicole’s blog, reading about the food she cooks, her scrapbooking, her travels, and her family, including her super cute Boston Terrier and her sweet little baby daughter. Boston is one of my favorite cities, so I enjoyed her posts that explored the New England area. I also enjoyed her scrapbook posts, as I have scrapbooked for quite some time (though I’ve fallen away recently). Every recipe that Nicole posted sounded like something I’d make in my own kitchen. I couldn’t help but think as I read through her posts that if I lived in the Boston area, we’d be fast friends! After narrowing my choices down to about 2 dozen recipes, I finally settled on this peanut butter pie, thanks to a little help from my brother. His birthday was mid-month and my mom had us all over for dinner. As I do every year, I volunteered to bring dessert. I don’t know why I bother asking Michael what he wants me to make, because every year he responds by saying “anything with Oreo or peanut butter flavor”. Perfect! This recipe made more filling than needed for the pie, which would have been perfect to make individual pies, but I chose to eat it by spooning it onto the leftover Oreos from the crust. Thanks Nicole, for helping me to join my brother’s two favorite flavors into one delicious birthday pie. I had a great time getting to know you this month! 

8 ounces Oreos (about half a package)
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
4 ounces Chocolate Chips or Finely Chopped Chocolate (I used dark)
1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped
1 cup Heavy Cream
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 can (14 ounces) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice 

Process the cookies in a food processor until crumbs are formed. Dump the cookie crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter; mix well. Firmly press the cookie crumb mixture into a 9” pie plate. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the chocolate and place the pie plate in the fridge to firm while preparing the filling. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place the whipped cream into the fridge to chill. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well combined. Add the condensed milk and beat until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling with a rubber spatula until blended. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Pour the filling into the pie plate and most the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with additional peanuts or chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate for until 3 hours before serving.

SOURCE: I Am A Honey Bee

Wednesday
Nov272013

Salted Caramel Cashew Bark 

Salted caramel cashew bark

We are big fans of dark chocolate. There is almost always some kind of dark chocolate bar in our pantry, just waiting to be shared as an after dinner treat. Sometimes it’s plain, sometimes it’s flavored with chili pepper, nuts, or sea salt, but no matter what, it is savored and enjoyed. Sure, we’ve had some bad flavor combinations in the past, and sometimes the flavors that the store has don’t sound appealing, but it has never crossed my mind to make my own until I saw this post! Life changing, I tell you! How can you go wrong with sea salt, caramel, cashews, and dark chocolate? The answer is, you can’t! This bark took no time at all to put together…and no time to disappear! I can’t wait to play around with this recipe and see how many other flavor combinations I can come up with!

12 ounces Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup Cashews
1/4 cup Caramel Sauce, at room temperature (I used caramel ice cream sauce)
1-2 teaspoons Flaky Salt 

Line an 8” or 9" pan or a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on the stovetop over a pan of simmering water. (I microwaved the chocolate for 30 seconds at a time, stirring until the chocolate was smooth and melted). Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. When the chocolate is melted, pour it onto the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth it out. Drop spoonfuls of the caramel onto the chocolate and swirl with a skewer. Sprinkle the cashews over the chocolate and then top with the salt. Refrigerate until set, then cut or break the bark into pieces and serve. 

SOURCE: Cook Like a Champion, via A Southern Fairytale

Wednesday
Jun192013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Sugar free pb cups

To me, chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. Joel was sailing tonight, so I decided to make myself a treat. Since he isn't as big of a fan of the combination, I took advantage of him not being home and decided to make something that incorporated those flavors. The last few days at work have been a bit crazy, which has left me feeling particularly lazy, so I wanted something that required very little hands on time and would be done very quickly. These peanut butter cups fit the bill. They had the flavor combination I was looking for, they require no cooking, very little hands-on time, and freeze relatively quickly. During freezing time, I cleaned up a bit around the house, and by the time I was done, my treats were ready! These peanut butter cups are delicious; the perfect treat after a long 3 days. It is worth noting that the coconut oil has a rather strong coconut flavor, so if that is not a flavor you enjoy, you may not want to use this particular recipe. I, however, loved it!

Bottom Layer:
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Stevia Packets

Top Layer:
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Stevia Packet

In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the bottom layer until smooth. Line a mini muffin tray with 11 paper liners and divide the mixture between each of the wells, about half full each. Put the tray in the freezer on a flat surface and freeze until solid, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the top layer until smooth. Divide evenly between the 11 wells of the set chocolate mixture. Return the tray to the freezer and freeze until solid, about 15 minutes. Store the treats in the freezer.

*I halved the recipe and was able to make 5 peanut butter cups.

SOURCE: Prevention RD

Thursday
Apr182013

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Pb pretzel truffles

Peanut butter and chocolate is my all time favorite flavor combination. Add in pretzels and you have a sweet and salty combination that can't be beat. Today, we had a pot-luck style salad bar lunch at work. As soon as the sign up sheet was put out, I signed up for dessert…mostly because it is far more fun to bring dessert than it is to bring a bag of lettuce or a bottle of dressing! I wanted something that was individual and easily able to be picked up without cutting or eaten without a fork. These were a hit! Two dozen truffles disappeared before everybody had the chance to come down for lunch. Next time, I'll have to double the recipe, and maybe leave a few at home for Joel and I to enjoy!

For the Filling:
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
2 cups Crushed Pretzels

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until evenly combined and all ingredients are incorporated (I used a stand mixer). Roll the mixture into small balls, about 2-3 teaspoons each in size. (Tip: you may have to clean your hands between batches to keep the mixture from sticking to your palms.) Place the balls onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Transfer to the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the Coating:
12 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until the chocolate has completely melted). Dip the chilled peanut butter-pretzel balls in the chocolate, gently shaking off the excess. Transfer back to the lined baking sheet. Chill to let the chocolate fully set. (I did this in the freezer)

For the Drizzle:
1 tablespoon Creamy Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon Milk (I used Chocolate Soy Milk, and ended up using 2 tablespoons)
4-6 tablespoons Powdered Sugar (I used 5 tablespoons)

Combine the peanut butter and milk in a small bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Adjust the consistency as needed with additional powdered sugar. Drizzle over the chocolate coated truffles. Let set before packaging or serving. (Again, I did this in the freezer) 

SOURCE: Annie's Eats

Tuesday
Feb122013

Peanut Butter Bars

Pb bars

Happy Fat Tuesday! While I wanted to go the traditional route and pig out all day, Joel and I both opted to eat healthy today. Neither of us have really felt like ourselves lately, so we are trying to adjust our eating habits and diet to combat that. However, in the spirit of Fat Tuesday, I wanted to share a sweet treat with you today. This is actually something I made way back in the summer that I am just now getting around to posting. I made these for dessert on a day that I had a friend over for lunch. She only ate a couple, and since Joel doesn't have a sweet tooth, who do you think ate the rest? Yep, guilty as charged. For somebody who loves the peanut buttter-chocolate combination as much as I do, these were a dangerous treat to have in the house. Let's just say that they didn't last very long...

1 cup Butter, melted
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 cups Confectioners' Sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons Smooth Peanut Butter
1 1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Using a food processor, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine powder. In a medium bowl, mix the butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioner' sugar, and 1 cup of peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an un-greased 9x9-inch pan. In a metal bowl over simmering water (or in the microwave), melt the chocolate chips with the 4 remaining tablespoons of peanut butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Spread the chocolate mixture over the crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

SOURCE: Bakerlady