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

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.

PB Caramel Cookie Bars

Last week I made the original version of these bars from Mom on Time Out. And I had a couple, very minor, complaints.
 
After cutting them up and putting them in the fridge, the oatey texture wasn’t even noticeable and the caramel amount was JUUUUUUUST right, as long as you ate the bars cold. What I’m telling you is that they came out even better than I thought. Winning.
 
Even though I liked the original version of these bars I couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome this caramel filling would be with peanut butter cookies! So… of course I had to try it.I used my standard peanut butter cookie recipe, but cut it in half. I used the same filling from the original recipe. I thought these bars really needed a little bit of color, so that’s where the mini M&M’s come in. These came out a little greasy, but I think that’s because I sprayed the edges with cooking spray to keep the caramel from burning to the pan… I cooled them on the counter (in the pan), then cooled them in the fridge (still in the pan) before I cut them into the bars.
Overall these got a thumbs up, but I think the original recipe was better. I think I need to use a chewier PB cookie recipe.
 
Check out my version of PB Caramel Cookie Bars!
Happy Baking!!
-Hey Waitress

Sunday Bakery & Running Outside On The Weekends.

caramelgoeybars
 
Sunday Bakery this week is  these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Bars from Mom On Timeout. They are AAAAAH-MAAAAAAA-ZING. Seriously… the goeyness from the caramel, all those chocolate chips… so awesome.
I didn’t post a recipe because I didn’t adapt it enough. The only thing I changed was the chocolate chips. I used 1 cup of dark chocolate chips, and 1 cup of peanut butter chips. I also sprinkled about a half cup of each on top of the caramel after I poured it on top of the cookie dough.
There’s 2 things that I’m planning on doing differently when I make these again. 
First- I’m changing the cookie dough recipe.  I had a little issue with the amount of oats. Personally, I’d like there to be more, OR none at all. There wasn’t quite enough to make the cookies oatmealy, but there was enough to make the cookie texture a little, um,  different. I’m planning on making these with my favorite peanut butter cookie dough OR my favorite oatmeal cookie dough.
Second-  I’m only making half the amount of caramel sauce. it’s sooo rich (and delicious) I felt like the cookie part of the bar got lost. And no cookie dough deserves to get lost.
No matter what… I’d suggest you try these out, and as soon as I bake my version it will def be posted!
I actually baked these bars yesterday because I though I had a lot of “grown-up” (AKA BORING) stuff to do today. Turns out… I don’t. the only thing I HAD to do was go for a run. Usually I run at the gym on the weekends… These are a few of the reasons why.
– There’s so much traffic on Saturday & Sunday. And if you run on the street/ sidewalk, you probably know how annoying it is to have to constantly stop and wait for a car to go by. I had a fit today trying to avoid any of the main roads, my route looks like a 3 year old drew it! Basically,  cross streets suck and don’t you people want to sleep in on the weekend?!
– Then in the spring/ summer/ fall there’s the yard sales. Seriously people, if you see me huffing along the least you could do is scooch (scootch) your cheap ass over a little so there’s room for both of us on the sidewalk! I’d rather not get hit by another (cheap) guy who is cutting across a lane of traffic so he can get that stupid rooster clock they’re selling for a dollar.
– And finally… it seems like there are way more dogs out on the weekends. I love dogs, and (so far) I’ve never been attacked by a dog. But dogs… they don’t like runners. Maybe its their chase instinct? but whatever it is… UGH. the worst is when it’s close and barking but you can’t see it. it’s like “IS THIS going to be the dog that comes out of nowhere and mauls me”?! The other thing that drives me crazy is dogs that are off-leash. I got chased by a tail-wagging, tennis  ball weilding labradoodle today. After I stopped and accepted the slobbery tennis ball deposited at my feet his owner says “He just wants to run with you”. Well, Lady, I might not LIKE dogs. And I might not be nice enough to stop, and your dog could have run into traffic… Fortunately for me that dog was well behaved. The point is- if you HAVE to let you dog off it’s leash in an unfenced area please call it back to you, or exert some sort of control over it!
 
Ooops. That got a little more angry than I intended. I think I need to go calm down and eat a gooey caramel cookie bar.
Happy Sunday!
-Hey Waitress!!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Muffins w/ Reeses Cups!

Mom On Timeout is a banana/ peanut butter/ chocolate genius! Seriously.
 
I’ve been wanting to try to make banana bread for some time now… and when I stumbled on her version… I HAD to have it. BUT the muffins I actually made are a combination of 2 of her recipes… I used the PB Banana Bread as a base, and then added the Reeses Cups just like in her Reeses Explosion Banana Bread! HEAVEN!
 
I got 24 small muffins out of this batch, but the next time I make them I’ll fill the muffin liners to the very top, ‘cause this batter doesn’t rise very much.
 
I learned something new while making these! I bought these bananas with the intention of making the muffins later in the week, but then I realized that we’re going to my Nana’s (in Maryland) for her 90th birthday Friday. Knowing that my bananas might not be ripe enough to use by Thursday was driving me CRAZY! Fortunately one of my friends from back home sent me this little tip… “Bake” the bananas in the oven! Seriously, put them in the oven at 300 degrees F for 30-60 minutes, until the skins get nice and black. Perfect for baking! I was so excited when it worked!
 
Now, it’s time to go… those little muffins are calling my name for a little snack.
 
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!!
 
My version is HERE!

Reindeer Cookies & Pretzel PB CC Cookies

Wow. I’m soooo late! I made this set of cookies the weekend before Christmas! I’m pretty embarrassed that I’m only posting them now. In my defense, there was Christmas Eve & day (which I spent NOT counting calories and chowing down like a fat kid), and a snow “storm” which kicked my internet into  slow (if it even worked) gear. So I have at least 2 excuses. 
I made these Reindeer Cookies for the first time last year when we visited Hub’s family for Christmas. Only that time I used store-bought sugar cookie dough. Every once in a while I like to make “kid friendly” things so my friends/ family don’t start to think I’m a huge lush! Haha. The best thing about these little reindeer cookies is that everything you need you can get at the grocery store (especially if you use the store-bought dough)! I, however, made these from peanut butter cookies (extra flavor)!
 
Random Reindeer Cookie Notes:
I used a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop, slightly flattened the cookies, then pressed the pretzels (lightly) into the dough.
bake them for approx 10 minutes, then flatten them slightly, and bake for another minute
cool completely… and using canned cake icing, “glue” a Nila Wafer to the bottom (for the muzzle), then “glue” a red M&M for the nose, and 2 colored ones for eyes! I might suggest using cookie icing because that will harden, the cake icing doesn’t.
 
I used the PeanutButter Cookie Recipe for both these cookie, leaving half plain to use for the Reindeer Cookies.
The other half of the Peanut Butter Cookie dough I used to make the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies. Just add 1 cup peanut butter chips, 1 cup chocolate chips, and 1 cup coarse crushed/ or broken pretzels. Use the 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop again… then bake for 10minutes, flatten slightly and bake for 1 more minute!
 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!
-Hey Waitress!!

PB Cookie Cups and Sandwiches with Kahlua Chocolate Buttercream

Last week I decided to give the rest of the month a Cookie theme! I got the idea for the Cookie Cups from a tweet a foodie friend sent out about the version found on Sarcastic Cooking. Rather it came from Jen, of Juanita’s Cocina who was guest blogging.  EEK! Confusing much? Just trying to credit all the right people. 😉 I did however use my mother’s Peanut Butter Cookie recipe, and the buttercream was adapted from Savory Sweet Life.
 
Starting with the dough… The original recipe my mom gave me said “makes 30 doz”. So I halved it. And I still came out with extra cookies, or maybe not enough buttercream. Hmmm… solution- decrease the cookie recipe by half (again), double the buttercream recipe, or eat regular peanut butter cookies (like I did)! I got about 36 “cookie cups”, and 64 cookies (24 that I made into “sandwiches”).
 
The Cookie Cups look a little brown… but I think it’s just because I use my phone to take all the pix. Or maybe they are a little brown and it’s just a  hazard of the light greasing and large amount of dough?! Once they cooled off they hold their shape pretty well, no cookie cups falling apart here!
 
The buttercream is just the right thickness that if you don’t squish the cookies together too hard the sandwiches will hold up well.
 
With the exception of breaking my cookie scoop (again), my (only) mixing bowl not being quite big enough for all the dough, and my trusty hand mixer being on her (his/ its) last leg, I had a remarkable easy Sunday. Woot.
 
Happy Baking,
-Hey Waitress!!
 
You wanna see the recipe?

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Peanut Butter Cupcakes

So, my husbands co-workers are my taste testers/ sweets eaters. He came home last week with a special request from one of the guys. Peanut butter. That was the request, no specifics, just that I use as much peanut butter as humanly possible. What is it with these people and peanut butter!? This is the third request for a peanut butter based treat (chocolate peanut butter cookies, and peanut butter cookies, check out the recipes tab). I tried, and tried, and hunted online for an exciting recipe… and ended up with…

 
A modified version of this one from All Recipes (love that site). I made my changes based on the reviews, and the fact that I refuse to use shortening. It grosses me out. Not to mention isn’t tartar sauce for fish!? I also used Half n Half because I forgot to buy whole milk, and I read that you can use Half n Half instead. It was either that or the 2%, which wouldn’t have enough fat (I think).  The peanut butter and chocolate chips were adding to make the peanut butter flavor really “pop”.  I put the Reese’s in the middle because I’m a fat kid, I love candy, and why the heck shouldn’t I? 
 
The original version of the frosting recipe is here. I totally messed with it, and probably made it more complicated than necessary. But, that’s how I roll. To start, I doubled the original recipe. 12 Reese’s chopped was approx 2/3 of a cup, but the flavor was overpowered by all the chocolate. So I added the extra peanut butter. I also used Half n Half instead of whole milk, and the remaining half bag of chocolate chips instead of baking chocolate. After I had chopped and melted the Reese’s…  it dawned on me, I should have jut used the leftover peanut butter chips! Duh.
I’m not a huge fan of this frosting. It’s REALLY, um,  heavy, or maybe thick? I couldn’t pipe it out of the bag with a #10, and  I ended up cutting the end off of a single use bag. I’m a light and fluffy buttercream kind of person, and this is definitely not light and fluffy. Maybe I need more Half n Half, or less peanut butter? Hmph. I guess I’ll have to try it again.
 
Either way, I can’t wait to find out what all my “tasters” think about ’em.
 
Happy Sunday Cupcakery!
-Hey Waitress!!
 
check out the recipe!