Posted in Baked goods, Baking, breakfast, Brunch, Cake, Desserts, Food

Peanut Butter Blondies

Everyone in our house loves peanut butter so this recipe is definitely a family favorite. A few simple ingredients come together to make a delicious bar great for lunch time or snack time. If you’re a peanut butter lover… pour a giant glass of cold milk, grab a serving-sized blonde, find a quite spot to sit and enjoy a little slice of heaven.

Peanut Butter Blondies

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups brown sugar, packed

4 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13X9” baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter and butter together with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually mix in brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Add flour and mix until well combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Optional: Microwave until spreadable, 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter. Spread over warm bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cool before slicing into bars.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, holiday, holidays, Low Carb

Low-Carb Peanut Butter Mini Loaf

As we move into mid November/December, the holiday season ushers in a plethora of tempting chocolatey treats, sweetly seasoned baked goods, and a bounty of party trays that seem to line the expanse of grocery store isles all over the country.  As the season of eating (and over-eating) begins, I am forever looking for recipes that will help me to stay away from the carb-laden sweet treats that show up everywhere. Yesterday, while I was shopping for a few pantry staples, my neighborhood grocery store shared with customers an array of cakes, pies, and pastry samples.  Turning every corner of each isle offered a new taste of tempting delicacies including shrimp cocktail, hot sugary beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and various sweet treats.  Store owners even offered a full Thanksgiving lunch with all the trimmings so that customers could sample the items and entice them to place early dinner orders for upcoming holiday gatherings.  Food, food, and more food…Yikes!

As an alternative, this Peanut Butter Mini-Loaf is one of the recipes that I turn to for a small sample of low-carb deliciousness that has no flour, a slight bit of sweetener, and a portion size that is certainly doable.  I use peanut butter with ingredients that include only peanuts and less than 1% of salt.  (I use the Smucker’s brand in the glass jar.)  Sometimes I mix a 1/2 cup of cinnamon with a packet of sweeter to make my own version of cinnamon sugar.  I store it in an airtight container and sprinkle a bit of it over the top of a buttered slice. Oh my, simply delicious…



Low Carb Peanut Butter Mini Loaf

1 cup natural peanut butter, creamy 

3 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon  baking soda

2 individual packets sweetener 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 1 quart mini loaf pan or 2-3X5″ loaf pans.  In a medium bowl, combine beaten eggs and peanut butter.  With a spatula, mix until smooth.  Add vinegar, baking soda and sweetener.  Hand whisk until smooth and creamy. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s).   Bake for 30-35 minutes until bread is fully cooked and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing into thin slices with a sharp knife.

 

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Brunch, Food

PB&J French Toast

20140402-202012.jpg
Lately, M has been using the Ninja blender to make her very own homemade peanut butter. She loads up the machine with lots of unsalted peanuts and pulses the motor until the mixture forms a smooth, creamy spread. When we pair the freshly made peanut butter with our Concord Grape Jam and favorite French toast recipe, the combination makes for a killer breakfast treat.

PB&J French Toast

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon butter extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
12 thick slices of bread

Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk until well combined. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, almond, butter, and vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.
Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Soak bread slices in mixture until completely saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown.
Slather your favorite peanut butter over one slice of French toast. Spread your favorite jam or jelly on a second slice of French toast. Combine to make a sandwich and slice diagonally for corner to corner.

20140402-202146.jpg

Posted in appetizers/snacks, Baked goods, Baking, Desserts, Food, holidays, lunch box

Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

20131207-090825.jpg
I have a son that is super picky when it comes to dessert foods. He’s quite old-fashioned and loves only the traditional recipes that we’ve all known for years. Basic chocolate chip cookies (no nuts), plain ole’ brownies (no fancy powder sugar topping) and my famous peanut butter cookies. This is probably P’s most requested cookie recipe.
What I like about this basic recipe is that it is flour-less. Mixing a few simple ingredients together produces a dense, flavorful cookie that everyone seems to enjoy. In the fall, I make these for all of our football tailgate parties because they pack so well. During the winter months, especially for holiday parties, I add a cup of chocolate chips to the mix for a heartier cookie. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is a flavor that just can’t be beat!

Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups peanut butter ( smooth or crunchy)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the peanut butter. Next, stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Use a small ice cream scoop to form dough into 1″ balls and place them 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a criss-cross into the top using the back of a fork. Sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Posted in appetizers/snacks, breakfast, Desserts, Kids in the Kitchen, lunch box, No-Bake

No-Bake Oat and Honey Snack Bites

20131020-134944.jpg
If you like peanut butter, you will love this no-bake treat. I’ve made several variations of this recipe over the years but this one is so simple and produces about 36 rounds of goodness. After parking these in the fridge for about 30 minutes, I pack them in a Tupperware container so I can tuck them into lunch boxes all week long.

No-Bake Oat and Honey Snack Bites

2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Combine peanut butter, honey, and maple syrup; mix thoroughly. Sprinkle in the oats and chocolate chips. Use a small ice cream scoop to shape dough into individual 1″ balls. Place on a cookie sheet and chill for 30 minutes. Pack into air-tight container. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Posted in appetizers/snacks, Baked goods, Desserts, Food, lunch box

Chocolatey Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies

20130815-091224.jpg
So, tomorrow my oldest will be leaving for college…I am surely going to miss her smiling face on a daily basis. It will be hard for me to let her go….
I have spent a good part of the morning baking goodies to pack in containers and load into boxes. Cooling on the counter top, there is a loaf of Irish soda bread, a tray of granola bars, and some Chocolatey Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies (recipe below).
I will wait for them to cool completely and then arrange them in containers for the long drive down to Purdue University. My hope is to continue to send her “care packages” on a weekly basis so that she knows that we miss her and that she is in our thoughts…sending a little “home-baked love” her way as she begins her journey through college life on campus. We love you, K!

Chocolatey Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups peanut butter
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Extra oats for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter, oats, and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1 inch balls (or scoop out dough with a small ice cream scoop) and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press down with slightly damp fingers. Lightly sprinkle with extra oats.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Posted in Baked goods, Desserts, Food, Kids in the Kitchen, lunch box

Easy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

20130704-204825.jpg
Growing up, I remember a boxed mix that my mom used to buy to make something called a snack cake. The favorite in our household was the spice mix flavor. Mom used to quickly bake it in a square pan and slice it into 9 squares. Once our family had grown to a count of 10 people, she was out of luck and needed to find a larger cake mix recipe…the traditional, full-sized cake mix that could be baked in a 9×13 pan.
What I like best about the snack cake is the ease of it all…only a few ingredients and no frosting needed.
This recipe is certainly a favorite. I pack quite a few lunches on a daily basis and this cake is really quite easy to slice, wrap and pack. As my oldest child will be heading to college in August, this will be a great cake to bake and send in a care package as I am sure she will be missing our traditional home-baked goodies. (And we will be missing her!)

Easy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips; mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish; bake 35-40 minutes.

Posted in Baked goods, Food, Kids in the Kitchen, lunch box

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

20130619-071820.jpg
When I was a young girl, I would be asked to load up our Red Flyer wagon with a few of my younger brothers and sisters and spend the afternoon with them at the park. You see, I was the oldest girl in a family of 8 children. My mom would wash clothes, make meals, and tidy up the house, while I took care of the younger children in the family. It wasn’t unusual for me to have 5 little ones with me as I kept them occupied at the neighborhood park for a good portion of the day.
On one of my trips down the block, Mrs. Nolan, an elderly woman that lived in the corner house, opened her door and asked if we would like one of her freshly baked peanut butter cookies. Mrs. Nolan was a friend of the family so accepting a cookie would be no problem. After a few cookies and a glass of cold milk, we were on our way again.
On our next trip to the park, one of the children jumped out of the wagon at Mrs Nolan’s house and asked if we could go to see, “the cookie lady”. From then on, Mrs. Nolan was known as “the cookie lady” and we stopped nearly every day to visit her. She even had her husband assemble a small picnic table for us to sit at in her beautiful backyard, while she brought out cookies and milk.
As I think about my happy, innocent childhood, I remember a lovely women that spent her later years making 6 young children very happy as she fed us and talked with us under the shade of the oak trees in her welcoming backyard on Center Street.

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Extra sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Roll dough into 1 inch balls (or scoop out dough with a small ice cream scoop) and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a cross into the cookie tops using the tines of a fork. Lightly sprinkle with extra sugar.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.