Snickers Peanut Butter Squared Cookies

If there is one candy that I cannot resist, it is Snickers Peanut Butter Squared.  It is not all that common locally so when I find them, I hoard!  My problem now is that we have too much and I can’t finish them all!!!  (and Hubby is not a fan of peanut butter…) so… I decided to convert them into… cookies!!!

The original recipe estimated a yield of 4 dozen.  Frankly, I don’t know how all of that would be consumed (even assuming that I was giving half away!!!) so I used only half the recipe (using all butter also instead of a butter-shortening mix) and added a little less than 2 cups of chopped up Peanut Butter Snickers!

1/2 cup butter
3/8 cup each brown and granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/8 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups chopped Snickers Peanut Butter Squared candies

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in flour and baking soda.  Fold in chopped candies.  Drop by round tablespoons (a 1-oz scoop is very convenient) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 8 to 11 minutes.


They are so yummmmyyyy! And the smell that wafted through the house as the cookies were baking – so heavenly!

I was done in less than an hour and the cookies were soft and chewy! The peanuts in the candy provided the crunch while the caramel and nougat in the candy bits provided just enough sweetness! I got about 30 cookies from half the recipe. I’m definitely making these cookies again!  Maybe I will try adding different kinds of chopped candy…

The original recipe is from this book:

The recipe can be found here, with a couple of its variants.

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

The little girl had a friend over for playtime one afternoon.  Mid-afternoon, she runs to the kitchen and whispers to me –

“Mommy! You forgot to make us a snack!”

I didn’t forget.  I had planned to serve some store-bought cookies and juice.

The kid objected.  Vehemently.

She wanted a snack that I made… cooked… or baked…

Sigh.

Ok.

I thought… pancakes… those are fast…

But in the midst of preparing the pancakes, I saw a couple of bananas on the counter that looked like it was going bad… so I peeled them, mashed them then dumped them into the mix.

And as they were cooking on the stove, I saw the remains of some chocolate chips left over from long ago.  I started sprinkling the chips on the pancakes.

Lo and behold.  The pancakes were such a big hit, the little girl asked for the same thing for breakfast the next day!  I had to rush out to buy more bananas!

(Smile)

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (I used just 2 tablespoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 pieces over-ripe bananas, mashed
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
chocolate chips, as desired

Mix the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet ingredients together. Mix together dry and wet ingredients just until mixed. Add the mashed bananas. Do not overmix.

Cook on a griddle as you would regular pancakes. Sprinkle on some chocolate chips while you’re at it!

Then enjoy!

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

For a quick fix, nothing beats a cupcake.  And, if you are in a hurry, mini cupcakes bake up even faster!

The chocolate fudge cupcake recipe I used (slightly varied to suit my personal taste and style) is from this site:  http://yourfoodtube.com/easy-italian-cupcakes-nutella-buttercream-tasty-dessert/

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon golden rum
1/2 cup hot water

Combine the dry ingredients together.  Add melted butter, eggs and rum.  Stir to mix.  Add hot water; stir.

Spoon the batter into 24 mini cupcake tins (lined with paper liners).  Bake in a preheated 350*F oven for about 14 to 16 minutes.  Cool in pans for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, I used an American-style Cocoa Buttercream.

Fast, easy, delicious!  Even if I barely had time!

 

Valentine Brownies!

Truth be told, these brownies were plain old brownies… you could even make the boxed variety… as long as you have a heart-shaped cutter… VOILA!  Heart-shaped Valentine Brownies!

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I did discover that it is easier to cut the brownies without them crumbling if they are well chilled… even a bit frozen even.

These were such a hit with the hubby and the kid!

 

Stovetop Granola

My problem with making granola is that it is always a large batch, aside from the fact that it takes quite a bit of time.  Then, because a batch is always big, we have problems finishing it!  A batch takes us almost a month to finish and towards the end, it deteriorates even just a little bit no matter how well it is stored.

The good news is that there is a easier, faster way to make granola, even if it is only for a single serving!  And no preheating the oven too!  This is granola cooked on the stove top!

Toast 1/3 cup rolled oats and 30 grams sunflower seeds tablespoons (chopped nuts if you prefer) in a wide, flat (nonstick) pan.  Add 1/2 tablespoon each of canola oil and organic honey and toss until everything is coated.  Stir occasionally until light brown, over low to medium heat (take care not to burn the mixture).  Add 1 teaspoon wheat germ.  Stir to mix completely.  Remove from heat, transfer to a plate to cool.  Add about 50 to 75 grams of your preferred mix of dried fruit (mine was a mix of raisins, diced apricots, dried apple, cranberries) and toss to combine.

I based my stovetop granola on the recipe found at http://food52.com/recipes/38602-stovetop-granola.

Tablea Chocolate Cake

Tablea is what we call our locally produced, pure cacao tablet.  Recently, a friend gave me a pack of tablea that she claimed was the renowned one in her province…

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And while I could use them to make sikwate – a hot chocolate beverage made with locally produced tablea, I decided I wanted to make something else… a chocolate cake using tablea!

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The basis for my cake is from the local Yummy magazine – http://www.yummy.ph/recipe/chocolate-tablea-cake-a185-20120319.  I used about 100 grams of tablea.

So how does the tablea chocolate cake compare with the regular chocolate cake?  Well, there is a different dimension to the the tablea choco cake and a slight tang but it was delicious in its own special way!

 

 

 

Bread Pudding

When I was little, bread pudding was a popular dessert.  I never realized that it was made from bread until I was much much older!  It was also one of those things that was made from “a feel for it”, no specific recipe to speak of.

The way I was taught to make it?  It first depends on how much bread cubes we had… basically, spread the bread cubes in a single layer in a Corningware square dish (how specific!)  For the “middle-sized” dish, it meant 2 grande eggs (XL-sized).  Now, for every egg used, we add 3/4 cup milk (no low fat milk… we used to use evaporated milk!), 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, a large pinch of apple spice (or cinnamon) and a small pinch of salt.  This recipe or proportion is by no means a strict one… in fact, we always eye-balled it!

Anyway, our pudding almost always had raisins added to it.  But since I was using the dried fruit bread from the other day, I decided to add chocolate chips instead!  And while I was at it, I added 2 tablespoons of rum too!

The secret?  Leave the bread soaking in the milk mixture at least 4 hours before baking!!!

The verdict?

Everyone loved it… even my hard-to-please mother!!!

 

Fruit and Seed Bars

When I saw the recipe for the Fruit and Nut Bars on the Joy of Baking website, I knew I had to make it for my sweetie – he absolutely loves dried fruit. But, he dislikes nuts!

So I simply substituted a seed mix for the nuts… 

My adaptation – 

1 1/2 cups mix of sunflower seeds and pine nuts
2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruits (raisins, apricots, prunes, dates and cranberries)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 XL egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toss and mix the seeds and dried fruit with the chocolate chips, flour, sugar,baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

Beat the egg and vanilla together until light, fluffy and frothy.  Gently mix the seed-fruit mix and beaten egg until thoroughly mixed.  Pat into a buttered and lined 8-inch baking pan.  Bake in a preheated 325F oven for about 40 minutes.  Cool before cutting into bars.

Hubby’s verdict?  He loves it but requests next time to skip the chocolate chips!

Original recipe here

Peanut Butter Choco Chip Bars

It had been a while since I indulged in my favorite – peanut butter.  So I plucked a cookbook from the shelf and picked a recipe…

The cookbook…

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The recipe…

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My adaptation…

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 XL eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
3/4 to 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugar and peanut butter until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.

Combined flour, baking powder and salt; stir half into the batter.  Mix in the milk.  Stir in remaining half of flour.

Fold in half of the mini chocolate chips.

Spread into a parchment-lined 13×9-inch baking pan and smoothen top.  Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Cool before cutting into bars.