Peanutty Chocolate Coconut Bars!!

When I was younger I used to hate coconut. Now…  I just don’t like it.  I tried it for the first time since I was in high school when I was making these bars.

I actually made these for the.mr to take to work. The guy that originally hired him (at this company, and the entire reason we moved to PA) left for another job this past week. L

I told him I’d make him  a special going away present, all he had to do was pick the flavors. He picked peanut butter, chocolate, and coconut.  I have to admit that I was stumped when the.mr came home and told me. What am I supposed to do with those? I don’t even *like* coconut.

I ended up surfing the interwebs until I came across a Martha Stewart recipe Chocolate Coconut Bars. With a little modification these bars turned into Peanutty Chocolate Coconut Bars! They were a big hit!

It’s a fairly simple recipe that doesn’t take a lot of time to put together.

I used chocolate graham crackers instead of regular ones, because I wanted to make sure there was lots of chocolate flavor. You could probably crush them by hand or use a rolling pin, but I really like the small crumbs I got using a food processor.

I used plain peanuts that were broken into halves, instead of the pecans in the original recipe.

I added the ½ cup of peanut butter chips to make sure there was some sweet peanut flavor.

When it came time for the condensed milk I had a little trouble. I couldn’t get it to spread, and there was a lot in the middle of the crust. I eventually used an offset spatula to spread it around. I think it was difficult because I used more “dry” ingredients then in the original recipe. Make sure to keep the condensed milk from the edges of the pan, it’ll burn.

I wasn’t sure how long to cook these for. I’m not really sure what toasted coconut is supposed to taste like, or how brown it’s supposed to get. I took it out of the oven when the coconut pieces sticking up where browned.

These coconut bars kept their shape really well… except the corners and some of the edges. If I make them again I’ll def trim the edges before I share.

The.mr said these Peanutty Chocolate Coconut Bars (click on the link for my recipe) where a hit! AND I found out I no longer despise coconut. Now, I merely dislike it. 😉

Happy Baking!
-Holly

Hot Chocolate Cookies!!

Tis the season for cookies. Tis also the season for hot chocolate. Tis the season to combine the two and make the most glorious cookies I’ve eaten all year!

I (slightly) adapted these cookies from The Girl Who Ate Everything. You can’t beat this combo. Hot cocoa mix added to cookie dough with some chocolate chips and white chocolate chips topped off with some mini marshmallows… yum.

I didn’t change much from the original recipe.

I added an extra ¼ cup of hot cocoa mix, because I used a mix that had mini marshmallows in it. My rationalization was that the dehydrated mini marshmallows took up a little more room than just plain hot cocoa mix would. The mini marshmallows from the mix didn’t melt when I baked these so there was a sprinkling of them throughout the baked cookies.

I added the white chocolate chips in after the post on The Girl Who Ate Everything said that there were some in the original recipe (but she didn’t have any on hand). It was a good call.

As for the extra mini marshmallows… even when I froze them, they still melted when I added them to the cookie dough. L So what I left them out. Then I baked the cookies for about 8 minutes, then lightly pressed some (frozen) mini marshmallows on top, and finished baking the cookies for another 2 minutes.

In my oven I only needed to bake these cookies for about 10 minutes. I left the dough in the fridge between batches, and left it in the ball shape from the scoop. Speaking of the scoop…I think it’s a 2inch scoop… or we can just call it “large”.

If you only make one cookie this season (and let’s be honest… time is almost up) it should be this recipe! I sent half of these to work with the.mr and kept the rest at home. He said his coworkers ate all of them in a few hours, and the ones I kept at home  didn’t even make it 2 days!

Here’s my version of these Hot Chocolate Cookies!

Happy Baking!
-Holly

(Slightly Healthier Than Regular) Banana Bread Muffins!!

I’m super excited about these Slightly Healthier Than Regular Banana Bread Muffins! Know why?! Because they’re (kind of) not bad for you! I mean… it’s got banana, apple(sauce), and wheat flour. There’s no butter or oil and no cholesterol filled egg yolk!

I adapted this recipe from All Recipes. Do you use All Recipes? I usually find a recipe that looks promising and then read the reviews… the people who take the time to review the recipes generally have great tips & adaptations! That’s how this version came about!

I’ve made this recipe 2x in the past week and a half! The.mr and I destroyed them! In my defense, I made them the second time because I realized I didn’t write down the modified directions! Ooops.

The.mr said he couldn’t even tell these muffins are “healthy”. At least until I told him. 😉

These muffins have 165 calories each. You could cut that even more by using a sweetener or a sweetener mix like the one I used in the brownies last week. I haven’t tried it yet… but I assume it would work. You could even leave the chocolate chips out to save a bunch of calories… but why? Chocolate chips make everything better (even if they’re not better for you)!

I loooooove this Slightly Healthier Than Regular Banana Bread Muffins recipe so much I think it’s going to replace my regular banana bread!

Happy Baking!
-Holly

 

PB Chocolate Scones!!

I adapted this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker for Easter brunch last Sunday.

The grocery store was out of small containers of whole milk so I substituted Half N Half (that we keep in the house for our coffee). My dough was pretty sticky, and I think this might be the reason why.

I switched out the kinds of chocolate and added some peanut butter chips… because, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together!? The next time I make these I think I’m going to chop up some Reese’s Cups!

I also varied (does that word work?) from the original recipe when it was time to add the wet ingredients. The entire original recipe was done in the food processor, but mine isn’t big enough. I’m kind of kicking myself for not buy the bigger/ more expensive food processor. ;| live & learn.

Like I said before my dough was sticky. Kneading it a few times on the counter (dusted w/ flour) helped.

Overall these stayed moist and they’re dense but not too heavy. They also make a great “snack” with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.  Not that I need an excuse to eat extra chocolate throughout the day. 😉

Hubs liked these so much he wouldn’t share with his coworkers. That’s a winning recipe in my book.

Happy Baking!

-Holly

Wanna see the recipe for these PB Chocolate Scones?

Shredded Wheat Birds Nests!!

I wasn’t going to post these Birds Nests because they’re so easy, and there are TONS of recipes for them online. But then something awful happened on Sunday (said in my most dramatic tone). What actually happened was I made a recipe that didn’t work out like I expected… and it’s not good enough to share. So, you get these instead! It’s a pretty good trade. I made these last week at the same time as the Peppermint Patty Pretzels.

There really isn’t much to say…

I used Post (brand) shredded wheat and I didn’t realize they’d be so freaking huge! I expected them to be the same size as the frosted ones I used to eat when I was a kid!

I used large cupcake liners because those are the only plain ones I have. All my regular cupcake lines are “pretty” and who wants to use pretty liners, when you’re just going to toss them out before anyone sees!?

These Shredded Wheat Birds Nests taste good, but IMO they’re probably more for decoration then eating. I think they’d make a great addition/ filler on a dessert table for Easter.

Happy Making!

-Holly

PS… I’m sorry if this post is grammatically incorrect. I can’t for the life of me decide if Shredded Wheat Birds Nests is correct, or if it’s supposed to be Shredded Wheat Bird’s Nests! UGH.

Peppermint Patty Pretzels!!

Sometimes I get an idea for something and it gets stuck in my head. Usually when this happens I have no idea how to accomplish said idea. It’s also usually something crafty like the time I tried to make stencils of my dog to paint… Eeerrr, nevermind that.

So… I first thought about making peppermint patty stuffed pretzels, when I was standing in line at Sheetz getting coffee (after my Saturday 10k run and before breakfast) and craving something sweet. You know how check-out lines always have candy and junk around? I saw these. My life changed. No, I’m just kidding, my life didn’t change right then.

My life changed when I saw THIS recipe from Mom On Timeout. Ding (went the light bulb above my head)! Then, I went to the grocery store to get everything I needed to make these Peppermint Patty Pretzels.

 

Recipe Notes:

  • I used about 4 ¾ cups of powdered sugar.
  • I ended up using ¾ of a 1 lb bag of square pretzels.
  • I chose to melt 3 kinds of chocolate chips (white, dark, milk). The dark chocolate is my favorite, Hubs prefers the white. I know 3 ¾ cup seems like A LOT of chocolate, but this recipe makes 5.5 dozen peppermint patty pretzels!

 

Y’all… guess what just happened? I just googled “peppermint patty pretzels” looking for pictures of the ones I saw at Sheetz. I realized I’ve done something like these (that didn’t work out very well) AND I wasn’t as much of a genius as I thought. Apparently peppermint patty pretzels have been done before. A LOT. L Boo.

You’ll still want to make these. They’re totally worth the effort. And I’m going to pretend I didn’t google them… that way I can still claim genius.

Happy Making!

-Holly

Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles!!

I made these on Sunday, and I was going to post them yesterday… but I got distracted, and some other stuff came up. Oooops.

These are adapted from Recipe Girl. I added the chopped Andes & chopped Thin Mints because… well… I can’t ever have enough Andes or Thin Mints. Don’t judge. But seriously, these are freaking delish.

I made the cookie dough Saturday night (I have NO life and I’m OK with it), and then rolled it into balls Sunday morning. After I balled the dough up I stuck them in a single in the freezer for 20 minutes.

I used about ¾ of a bag of green candy melts and 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips. if you’re decorating with sprinkles do it as soon as you take the truffle out of the melted chocolate or else they won’t stick!

Overall these Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles went over reaaaaaaally well and they were super easy to make! Definitely a win. But it’s possible I feel this way due to my obsession w/ edible cookie dough. Like these Stuffed Cookie Dough Truffles, Cookie Dough Cupcakes, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Happy Sunday Bakery!

-Holly

Click here for Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles recipe!

 

Chocolatey PB Caramel Corn!!

I adapted this recipe from Crazy For Crust! It’s sooo good, like crazy good.
 
I’ve had it bookmarked for (what seems like) FOR.EV.ER. and I really wanted to make something that was super-easy and shareable … there’s some sort of major sporting event tonight that people like to gather for… I think it has something to do with football. 😉
 
The next time I make this I’m going to use candy melts. Just like the notes from the original recipe said, the white chocolate melted on my hands. This is probably only a concern if you’re going to be sharing. If you happened to be hunched over a large serving bowl shoving handful in your mouth and growling at anyone who comes to close… melting chocolate won’t be a problem. Not that that happened or anything.
 
I’ll also probably use either peanut butter OR peanut butter chips… this time I was running really low on PB and I wanted to make sure I’d have enough left over for my bagel tomorrow.
 
I let both cookie sheets set in the fridge for a few hours before I broke up the chunks and mixed them together.
 
This stuff is so good I’m glad we’re not going to any Super Bowl Parties so I won’t have to share any of MY Chocolatey PB Caramel Corn!! Click on the link to see my recipe.
 
Happy Making!
-Hey Waitress!!
 

Drunken Turtle Cookies!!

 
I adapted this recipe from Nestle. I had planned on making (boring) turtle cookies, but my booze cabinet was feeling neglected, and the Bailey’s called my name. It called my name so loud some even fell in my coffee while I was baking. 😉
 
The cookie dough recipe is the same one I used to make Captain’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
I used about 3 cups of pecans. I think the next time I make these, I’m going to put the cookie dough down first, then arrange the pecans around it. If you don’t have a 1 ½ inch scoop use a HEAPING tablespoon of dough, and you should still get about 4 dozen cookies.
 
The Bailey’s and caramels took me under 2 minutes to melt. Be SUUUUPER careful ‘cause that shiz is h-o-t hot. And it stays hot for a while. I let it cool for a few minutes then poured it into a pastry bag w/ the end snipped off. I figured it would be less messy that way.
 
The finished product isn’t very pretty, but it sure tastes good! My only complaint is that the caramel on top stays pretty sticky so there’s no good way to stack these. Unless you want to cut sheets of parchment paper up and put them in between the layers (like I did)…
 
Check out the recipe for my Drunken Turtle Cookies!
 
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!!
 
OK… I have a confession. I used this cookie dough earlier in the week. I bought a bag of those Candy Cane Kisses at the grocery store… and in an effort to not eat them all I baked a batch of the Captain’s Chocolate Chip Cookies and replaced the Captain Morgan with Kahlua. Then as soon as they came out of the oven I squished a Kiss on top. They were delish. And that’s why there’s a random (non-turtle) cookie picture in the gallery. <3.
 

Pecan Pie Bites & Candied Pecans!

Alright… this is going to be the shortest post ever. I’ve been kind of under the weather, and we’re travelling to MD for Thanksgiving tomorrow to spend the weekend with my family. I did bake last weekend, but I’ve been feeling pretty crappy for the past few days so I didn’t get a chance to write the post. I know if I don’t write it right now, it won’t ever get done… and that would be super sad ’cause both of these recipes are worth repeating!
Because (like I said 2x already) I was sick, I didn’t actually write a adapted recipe for the Pecan Pie Bites. I doubled this hand pie crust from SmittenKitchen. Then I used biscuit cutters to cut out circles, and after I greased and floured muffin tins (and a Wilton “small cavity” pan) I placed each circle into the “cavity” of the pans.
Then I used the filling from this Pecan Pie recipe from BigBearsWife. Just follow the directions, then fill your pie crust almost to the top. I baked the Pecan Pie Bites at 350 degrees F, for (I forget how long) maybe 20 minutes for the muffin sized ones… basically, bake until the edges are set. Just like Angie says.
 
I also made some Candied Pecans that I adapted from AllRecipes. They’re also suuuuuuuuper yummy. Make sure that you pour them into your parchment paper lined cookie sheet right away. And don’t use a silicon/ plastic spatula… it will probably melt. 😉 Spread them out in a single layer if your cookie sheet is big enough. If you leave them clumpy they’ll be hard to break into single pieces. Check out my Candied Pecans Recipe!
 
Happy Baking!!  Happy Thanksgiving!!
-Hey Waitress!!