I found a recipe in a magazine touting healthy peanut butter cups. I had to laugh, as when I read the ingredients, I saw these weren’t exactly diet food. While most peanut butter cup fillings are made of peanut butter and powdered sugar, these were made with peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and honey. No, there is no added sugar, but processed crackers aren’t really good-for-you, either.
Still, these are easy to make and taste amazing! Even my dad, who doesn’t really care for peanut butter, loved these. Using dark chocolate ups the “health” factor, but I used milk chocolate as that is what I had on hand.
PEANUT BUTTER CUPS
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
12-ounces melted chocolate (milk, dark or white – use whichever is your favorite!)
Line a mini-muffin tin with 12 paper cup liners
Melt chocolate (I melt mine in the microwave on 20 second intervals until smooth).
Using a spoon, line the bottom and sides of the liners. Put in freezer to set. Set aside the remaining melted chocolate to use to top the peanut butter cups.
While the chocolate cups are in the freezer, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, salt, peanut butter, and honey until well blended.
When the chocolate cups are set, remove the muffin tray from freezer. Fill each chocolate cup with peanut butter filling.
Using the remaining melted chocolate, top each cup until peanut butter is completely covered. Put in refrigerator to set quickly, then store at room temperature.
Several years ago, Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, released a cookbook called “Deceptively Delicious”, which was filled with kid-friendly recipes featuring hidden vegetables. Basically the recipes required the addition of vegetable purees (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, etc). For instance, chicken nuggets were dipped into pureed broccoli befor being coated with breading so that kids wouldn’t know they were eating a vegetable.
I actually bought “Deceptively Delicious” thinking I could use if myself as I cannot stand most vegetables. However, I found the process of cooking and pureeing all of the vegetables (which you do in advance and then freeze) too time-consuming. The only recipe I even attempted was the banana bread, and I cheated on that one by not even including the pureed cauliflower!
Following is my modified version of the cookbook’s recipe for Banana Bread. It really IS amazing bread, even without the cauliflower!
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 egg whites
5 ripe bananas, pureed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar and oil until well combined. Mix in egg whites and then the banana and finally the vanilla.
Add the dry mixture to the wet and blend until just combined.
Pour batter into pan and back until a toothpick comes out clean, 45-60 minutes.
Have the flavors of summer all year long with these S’mores Cookie Bars! As you can see in the photo above, you can make them festive by using holiday marshmallows – pictured are Halloween, but right now you could use Christmas ones!
S’MORES COOKIE BARS
1 pouch sugar cookie mix (make sure you get the full-size bag, not the snack-size bag)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted (I used a stick of each today as that is what was open in my fridge)
3 cups chocolate chips or 6 chocolate bars (my favorite blend is 2 cups milk chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips)
4 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
Preheat oven to 375.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar cookie mix, graham crackers and melted butter.
Press mixture into 13×9-inch pan. You can line pan with foil if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary. Foil does make it easier to lift out the bars and cut when cool.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until set.
Remove from oven and pour chocolate chips or place chocolate bars on top of cookie layer. Wait a few minutes until chips begin to melt. Spread the chocolate evenly over the cookie layer.
Set oven to broil.
Sprinkle mini marshmallows over chocolate. Broil for 20-30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. Watch carefully as the marshmallows toast fast!
Allow to cool (if you can wait that long) and cut into bars.
I also filmed a short video showing how to make these:
Confession: This “new” recipe is actually one that I already have here on the blog! These Brown Sugar Bacon Bites are just another name for these Holiday Bacon Appetizers, which are a Pioneer Woman creation that I first posted about last year. However, at that time I only made the Parmesan cheese version. Recently, I made the brown sugar version….and they were so good that I decided they needed their own dedicated recipe write up!
A Club cracker with brown sugar wrapped in bacon and baked didn’t sound very appealing to me when I first saw these being made on the “Pioneer Woman” show. Since I’m a cheese lovin’ gal, I naturally went for the Parm version. And while the Parm option is good, the brown sugar ones are GREAT! And I don’t think they should be relegated to only the holidays; these can be made year round!
BROWN SUGAR BACON BITES
Bacon (the thinner the bacon, the better, as you will need to stretch it a bit to completely cover the cracker)
Snickerdoodle cookies are a holiday baking staple in my house! These are my dad’s favorite cookie, so I try to make them early in the season for him.
1 cup shortening (I use Butter Crisco)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tarter
Extra sugar and ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixer, beat together the shortening and sugar until grainy paste is formed.
Add in eggs and beat until fluffy.
Sift together flour, salt, and cream of tarter: add to wet mixture. Mix until just blended.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
Using a cookie scoop (or just a regular spoon, although once you have a cookie scoop, you will never be able to make cookies again without it), scoop out a portion of dough and then roll it into your hand to form a ball.
Roll the ball into the sugar/cinnamon mixture until well coated and then place 2-inches apart on a baking sheet.
I discovered this recipe years ago when I was at a Tastefully Simply party. Since I don’t drink beer or ever buy any, I wasn’t interested in regular beer bread; but when I tasted this variation, I ordered a box.
Note that cinnamon chips can be hard to find. Hershey’s makes them, and in my area I can find them at the Fareway grocery stores. Some stores only carry them seasonally, though, as they consider them a holiday baking item.
EASY CINNAMON SODA BREAD
1 box of Beer Bread Mix (I use Tastefully Simple)
1 can of lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-Up)
1 cup of cinnamon chips
Preheat oven according to bread package directions.
Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.
Mix the beer bread mix, soda and cinnamon chips together until just blended. Don’t over mix; batter will be lumpy.
These Sugar Cookies are a staple of my family’s holiday baking! The secret to making these stand out from a traditional sugar cookie is the addition of almond extract. Of course, if you don’t like almond, you can simply use vanilla; but the almond gives it a distinctly special flavor. With Easter just around the corner, you can use pastel colored sugar for a festive touch!
1 cup sugar
1 cup Crisco (I used Butter Flavored)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoons cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
Splash of vanilla extract
Extra sugar for rolling dough in; I like to use a colored sugar related to the holiday
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, beat together sugar and Crisco. Add in egg, beating well.
Add in flour, cream of tarter, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, pinch of salt, and almond and/or vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
Using a cookie scoop, roll one scoop of dough together in your hand to form a ball. Roll the ball of dough in sugar. Place on the greased baking sheet and press down with the bottom of a glass.